Thursday, October 25, 2012

CFP: At the edge of perception: Victorian conceptions of the unseen universe (11/1/2012; 6/1-4/2013)

Joint Session CFP for ACCUTE/NAVSA:
At the edge of perception: Victorian conceptions of the unseen universe 

Victoria, British Columbia
June 1-4, 2013

We invite papers that engage with the congress theme “@ the edge,” especially as related to the Victorian conceptions of the unseen. We suggest papers related (but not limited to) the following themes: 

  • Victorians and ghosts, seers, spirits, the occult 
  • Victorians and ether, magnetism, energy 
  • Victorians and the edge of the “real,” 
  • Victorians and the limits of human perception 
  • Victorians and faith, agnosticism, atheism, unbelief 
  • Victorians and space 
  • Victorians and mapping/seeking the unknown 

Please send proposals of 300-500 words, along with 100-word abstracts and 50-word bios, to Lisa Surridge, Materials must be received by November 1

Call for Nominations: NCSA Article Prize (11/15/2012)

The Article Prize recognizes excellence in scholarly studies from any discipline focusing on any aspect of the long 19th century (French Revolution to World War I). The winner will receive a cash award of $500 to be presented at the annual meeting of NCSA in Fresno, California (March 7-9, 2013).

Articles published between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 are eligible for consideration for the 2013 prize and may be submitted by the author or the publisher of a journal, anthology, or volume containing independent essays. Submission of interdisciplinary studies is especially encouraged. The winning article will be selected by a committee of nineteenth-century scholars representing diverse disciplines.

Send three copies of published articles/essays to the chair: Professor Christine Roth, Department of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901. Questions should be sent to: Applicants must verify date of actual publication for eligibility and provide an email address so that receipt of their submissions may be acknowledged. One entry per scholar or publisher is allowed annually. Essays written in part or in whole in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations. Deadline for submission is November 15, 2012.

Reminder: Interiority in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain: Beyond Subjectivity (12/15/2012; 4/12/2013)

Interiority in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain: 
Beyond Subjectivity

Rutgers University, April 12, 2013

The potential for discovery of what is or was “interior” fires the curiosity of scholars of British history and culture, whether the subject of investigation is the parlor of a middle-class Victorian family or the emotional life of an eighteenth-century Methodist.  The Rutgers British Studies Center will hold a one-day interdisciplinary conference on April 12, 2013 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey on interiority in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain.  Broadly understood, "interiority" might include any topic that concerns mental or material phenomena that are conceived to be interior, internal, inner, or inward, often but by no means always in explicit distinction from what is exterior, external, outer, or outward.   Listed below are a number of such topics; the aim of this list is to be suggestive, not exhaustive. We encourage topics that in some fashion reflect on historical changes in interiority.

A great deal of excellent work has been done in these period fields on the idea of interiority as psychological subjectivity. We value this work. At the same time—and with no intention of proscribing papers  that thoughtfully extend it —we especially encourage papers that go beyond this concentration and that allow relations and correlations to be drawn between different senses of interiority. In this spirit we also aim to bring together a range of interdisciplinary scholarship. We invite those interested to submit proposals of about 250 words by December 15, 2012 to Kathryn Yeniyurt at

  • Feeling/s and sentiment:  social, familial, intimate relationships; isolation and loneliness; pity and pathos; sensibility, sentimentalism, sensationalism, subjectivity, solipsism
  • Aesthetic appreciation/response:  the imagination; physical or emotional responses to artwork /literature/nature
  • Emotional experience/response: happiness, sadness, depression, alienation, etc.
  • Thought/cognition: philosophical and scientific debates over impressions, perceptions, ideas; human and animal instinct, habit, perception;  minds vs. behavior; intuition and analysis, detection and crime-solving
  • Sense disability : blindness/deafness; braille/sign language
  • Religious/supernatural experience: conscience; conversion experience; mysticism; revelation; mesmerism; the occult
  • Mental illness:  humane treatment/advocacy of the mentally ill; categorizing mental illness; gendered mental illnesses, e.g., “hysteria,” post-partum depression, neurasthenia, melancholy, hypochondria

Persons and the Interpersonal
  • Sympathy/empathy
  • Humanitarian: charity, benevolence; advocacy and activism (the poor, criminal, insane, disabled, non-human)
  • Categorizing “Person”: characters, persons, actors, agents, souls, selves, individuals; infant, child, adult, wild children, animals
  • Language, lack of language: representation of interior experience, mind; personality and character assessment; reputation and credit; “literary” representation;  non-linguistic representation; “the unspeakable” (trauma, pain, “the sublime”)
  • Legal definitions of “person”; legal testimony and evidence of the intrapersonal (motive, intention); lawyer-client, doctor-patient privilege

  • Pain/suffering: expression and representation of interior bodily experiences
  • Accessing bodily interiors: medical technology and instruments; biological functions
  • Biotechnology: alteration of physical forms; bioethics
  • Anatomy, dissection, vivisection:  ovariotomy; controversies over dissection/vivisection of humans or animals and representation of their experience
  • Sickness and death:  representation of symptoms,  practice of diagnosis; “invalidism”; defining death
  • Sex and reproduction: conception, pregnancy, birth; gender difference; penetration; masturbation
  • Transfusion, bodily exchanges, contagion:  transfer of blood, organs, tissue, etc. from one organism to another; wet-nursing; germ theory; endemic, epidemic disease; quarantine
  • Clothing:  undergarments, nightclothes, mourning garments, uniforms, etc.

Architectural Spaces
  • Design and perspective:  scale and detail; form and function; beauty and utility; ornamentation
  • Interior spaces:  private spaces in home (bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, studies), workplaces (adjoined to living spaces,  inner offices), public institutions  (museums, hospitals, municipal buildings, urban gardens; domestic servants and access to family
  • secrets, “dirty laundry”
  • Restricted and protected spaces:  bank vaults; hospitals; prisons; laboratories; archives; repositories
  • Spaces for sickness, death, and grief:  the asylum; the sickroom; the death-bed; the cemetery; public vs. private mourning; mourning garments; funerals and processions; eulogies
  • Sanitation:  waste disposal; cleansing of bodies, homes, hospitals, etc.; housing standards, esp. in impoverished areas; overcrowding; diseased or quarantined districts

Geographical Spaces
  • Domestic and Foreign, Metropolitan and Periphery:  exoticism; missionary activities
  • Classification:  mapping; collection of specimens of animals, minerals, or vegetation for study; classifying people and cultures :  the primitive; the noble savage; stadial theory (savage, barbarian, civilized); wild and tame(d); ethnography, anthropology; cross-culturalism (“going native,” Europeanization, native informants)
  •  Geo-politics; intranational internalizations (south and north, west and east, regionalism, city and country, city and suburb, intra-urban divisions)
  • Penetrating “the Interior”:  the hunt; the safari; interaction in “the contact zone”; exploration and “discovery”; disclosing nature; the psychological interior
  • Travel and cultural exchange: Britons abroad; expatriates; travelers and immigrants in Britain; imports and exports, balance of trade

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lecture: digitizing the Punch Contributor Ledgers (11/6/2012)

Colleagues are cordially invited to Liverpool John Moores on November 6th for the first Victorian Print and Popular Culture seminar of this academic year.

Meeting at the University Library, Aldham Roberts at 4pm there will be a meeting with Seth Cayley, Publisher for Cengage Learning, to discuss products in the Gale Catalogue and the imminent launch of their new digital project on The Daily Mail.  There will be a break for refreshments followed by a paper delivered by Dr Clare Horrocks on the Punch Contributor Ledgers. The talk will be centred on the first phase of her project to digitise the Punch Contributor Ledgers and will include the launch of the pilot site which has digitised 1843 - 1847 of the Ledgers as well as providing a site where teaching and learning resources for working with Victorian periodicals can be hosted.  The whole site will be free at the point of access, meaning that scholars of Punch and Victorian authors like Jerrold and Thackeray can for the first time easily identify the full extent of the material they actually contributed to Punch.  The second phase of the site through to 1855 is due for release in 2013.

For further information, please feel free to contact Clare offlist at

Dr Clare Horrocks
UK Liaison for the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP)
Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture, Communication
(Admissions Tutor and PDP Co-Ordinator)
Dean Walters Building
Liverpool John Moores University

CFP: Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions (11/15/2012; 4/19-20/2013)

Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions
A Conference in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Victorian Poetry
19-20 April 2013
West Virginia University

Please send 300-500 word proposals for papers and a 1-page c.v. via email to: by 15 November 2012.

Papers on any aspect of Victorian poetry and poetics are invited, especially those devoted to: the reconsideration of poetic forms and formal innovations; fashions, trends, and modes in poetry; the publication and commerce of poetry; poetry book history; and Victorian prosody and stanzaic forms.  Papers devoted to the "fashions" of scholarship on Victorian poetry for the last fifty years are also invited.

NCGS Call for Guest Editors (11/9/2012)

We are currently looking for guest editors for the summer 2012 issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies ( This past summer Lizzie Harris McCormick and Cecile Kandl edited the issue "Women Write the Natural World," and the previous summer's issue, edited by Susan Hamilton and Janice Schroeder, focused on "Nineteenth-Century Feminisms: Press & Platform."

If interested, please submit a brief proposal to both and by November 9th.

CFP: Transatlantic Literary & Cultural Relations (1/31/2013; 6/27-30/2013)

The 9th Biennial Symbiosis 2013 Conference:
Transatlantic Literary & Cultural Relations

A Symbiosis, BCCW & Reading University event
Venue: Brunel University, London, UK
Dates: Thursday 27th June to Sunday 30th June, 2013

Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Paul Gilroy (King’s College, London); Prof. Peter Robinson (University of Reading); Prof. Robert Weisbuch (University of Michigan); Dr. Kathleen Wheeler (Darwin College, Cambridge)

Guest speaker: novelist Will Self on ‘My American Self’

‘My visit to this city has been exceedingly gratifying, on account of the freedom I have enjoyed in visiting such places of instruction and amusement as those from which I have been carefully excluded by the inveterate prejudice against color in the United States. Botanic and Zoological gardens, Museums and Panoramas, Halls of Statuary and Galleries of Paintings, are as free to the black as the white man in London.’ Frederick Douglass, to William Lloyd Garrison, May 23, 1846.  

‘Of all the British painters, surely Hogarth was the only realist and the only man who knew his London. Lower London is exactly what it was when he studied it and hated it.’ —[1902] Willa Cather, Willa Cather in Europe.

Headline conference theme is Transatlantic London, although proposals on any topic relevant to Transatlantic Studies are welcome. The event organizers invite submission of:

  • 200 – 300 word abstracts for proposed 20-minute conference presentations
  • Panel presentations comprising 3 presenters (please submit 200 word abstracts & brief overall rationale)
  • Please send by email to both:  /

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Thursday 31st January 2013

The editors of Symbiosis, the Conference Directors, and members of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing (BCCW) and the Brunel Gender, Sexuality Research Centre (BGSRC) and the University of Reading Modern Studies Research Group invite proposals for panels and individual papers of twenty minute length, which engage a wide variety of transatlantic and/or transnational topics in the literatures and cultural histories of the Atlantic world. The conference is certainly not limited to any local concerns, although papers that treat London (and particularly its suburbs) as a site of Atlantic cultural exchange and interrelationships are especially welcome, as are those examining the first twelve years of transatlantic literary and cultural responses to 9/11, from 2001–2013, and the significance of the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Pollyanna. Additionally as ever submissions are actively encouraged from all scholars and students of literary and cultural history and representation from every period from the earliest settlement right through to the present. Activities will include a literary event at the Keats House in Hampstead, London, which will incorporate a poetry reading and tour of significant cultural sites.

Brunel is a well-situated and pleasant campus university located in Uxbridge, a suburb on the outskirts of west London very close to Heathrow Airport. Uxbridge town centre has numerous attractive bars, restaurants and two large shopping centres, and is near walks along canal-side paths. Central London with its numerous cultural, academic, scholarly and other facilities and venues can be accessed in under an hour by direct tube links (29/02/2012 Tfl journey planner estimate: 55 minutes Uxbridge to King's Cross & St Pancras) from Uxbridge Underground Station, which is walking distance from Brunel’s campus. London’s West End, the theatre district, the British Library, the British Museum, and most of its attractions are equally accessible by underground travel. Accommodation can be booked on campus, in well-appointed rooms about a three minute stroll from the conference centre and the Symbiosis event.

The conference fee (tba) will include lunches, teas and coffees, single accommodation (with continental breakfast) if booked and specified, and a two-year subscription to the journal, Symbiosis. The conference dinner is additional, and delegates are responsible for their own evening and other supplementary meals. Double rooms can be booked at a slightly higher fee.  A list of local hotels and guest houses, if preferred, can be provided.

Submit 200 – 300 word abstract with details of your academic affiliation and contact details in Microsoft Word attachments by 31st January, 2013 to the Conference Directors, Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel) and Dr. Matthew Scott (Reading): /  Add ‘Symbiosis 2013 Proposal’ to the subject line of your message, an essential detail since they will be sorted automatically using this search term. 

Earlier inquiries are welcome; early acceptance may be possible if required for institutional or similar funding to facilitate attendance. Symbiosis cannot offer bursaries or fee waivers. Further details will be posted on the Brunel University School of Arts webpage, on the Symbiosis website and its Facebook page. See variously:

Reminder: Larkin Research Fellowship in Irish Studies (11/1/2012)

A pioneering historian, inspiring teacher and one of the founders of the American Conference for Irish Studies, Professor Emmet Larkin (1927-2012) was truly one of the twentieth century giants of Irish historical studies. To honor his memory, ACIS and Dr. Larkin's friends and family have created the Emmet Larkin Fellowship, an annual research award of $700 to be given to an advanced Ph.D. student working on a dissertation on an Irish topic (diaspora included) in History or the Social Sciences at a North American institution. Applicants should submit an application letter (a 2-3 page proposal that explains the scope and goals of the project, the intended use of the funds, and includes a brief, select bibliography), a CV and two letters of recommendations to Michael de Nie, Chair, Larkin Fellowship Committee, Department of History, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118: Electronic submission is encouraged. The deadline for submission is November 1, 2012.

American Conference for Irish Studies:

Monday, October 15, 2012

CFP: Nineteenth-Century Aetiologies, Exoticism, and Multimodal Aesthetics (2/15/2012; 4/2-4/2013)

Nineteenth-Century Aetiologies, Exoticism, and Multimodal Aesthetics
University of Liverpool, 2-4 April 2013

The encounter with the other always means the encounter with the unknown.
The unknown can be easily misperceived.
Langeveld, 1966

There is a primary understanding of nineteenth-century modes of impression, expression, and interpretation that predispose positive human connection as opposed to the psychology and philosophy of negativity before and after the Enlightenment. Nineteenth-century semiotic sources other than language are particularly read in separation from one another in different fields so much so that in postcolonial studies, for example, we do not see expression of multimodality in its realistic form. Rather we encounter  an idealistic homage in  its uni-modality, studying the mind and body of the ‘other’ through the intellectuality of the so-called
governing mind and body of the ‘self’.

Similarly in our contemporary conception of ‘aetiology’ and ‘exoticism’, it is possible to  decode both terms as simple indications of ill and foreign origin. Scholarly focus on which aspect of these two terms is supposed to represent aesthetics of the long nineteenth century, at its best, has overlooked central concepts such as ‘otherness’ and ‘consciousness’ and their multimodal workings. If we think of various modes of expression during the  long  nineteenth century, we can find numerous examples of multimodal connectivity: think the combination of manuscript and print, the expression of otherness through impressions modulated in portraits, carpets, calligraphy,  monuments, sculptures,  music notes,  printed narratives, … ; you will particularly recall William Blake and Jane Austen in Britain, the French  Jean-Léon Gérôme, the Russian  Ivan Aivazovsky, the Irish  William Rowan Hamilton, the Persian Kamal-ol-Molk Mohammad Ghaffari and many others from  different geographies  who made and communicated meaning  by combining various semiotic sources.

Today many literary and linguistics scholars claim that multimodality is a current academic development; its origins, historical prevalence, philosophical particularities  in relation to ‘otherness’  are  rarely discussed. There  are, however, ongoing projects and a magnificent body of work produced by scholars who connect aesthetics and stylistics  both  historically and psychologically, e.g. Joe Bray (Sheffield),  Adrian Førde Andersson (Agder),  Arianna Maiorani (Loughborough), Bjarne Markussen (Agder), Peter Stockwell (Nottingham), Andrew Wilson
(Lancaster),  to name  but  a few. Drawing upon the writings of these  and other researchers, the conference aims to address historical conceptions, communications, and meaning-makings of ‘otherness’. We will discuss the significance of nineteenthcentury consciousness, various modes of communication interlinked through the 19th-C Aetiologies, Exoticism, and Multimodal complexity of symbols, icons, narratives, theories, etc. that remain difficult to decipher, especially in transition from one domain to another. Contributions in the following areas are particularly welcome:

  • Identity, Portraiture, Performance
  • History, Otherness, Aetiology
  • Consciousness and the Narrative Style
  • Nineteenth Century Mind-Body Relations
  • Multimodality in Historical and Philosophical Contexts
  • Multimodal Aesthetics

Keynotes include:
Professor Thomas Claviez, University of Berne
Professor Lubaina Himid, University of central Lancashire
Professor Michael Hughes, University of Liverpool
Professor Anahid Kassabian, University of Liverpool
Dr Arianna Maiorani, University of Loughborough
Dr Cristina Pascu-Tulbure, University of Bangor
Dr Severin Schroeder, University of Reading

There will be two-three workshops during the conference and a book exhibition. A collection from selected presentations  will be considered for publication as 2013 special issue of the  International Journal of Literature and Psychology  Also a volume of ‘Texts and Embodiments in Perspective’ book series will showcase key conference proceedings.  To submit individual proposals for 20-minute papers + CV/Biog. note, and for panel proposals of up to three papers, each 20 minutes, email: 

Two postgraduate bursaries will be available for daily attendance, memorial of Dr Wasfia Mhabak. Discounted registration fees will be available to members of Liverpool Embodiments Project.

Conference link:
Abstract Deadline: 15 February 2013

CFP: Melancholy Minds and Painful Bodies: Genealogy, Geography, Pathogeny (3/1/2013; 7/9-11/2013)

Melancholy Minds and Painful Bodies: Genealogy, Geography, Pathogeny
University of Liverpool, 9-11 July 2013

Strange Contraries in thee combine,
Both hell and Heaven in thee meet,
Thou greatest bitter, greatest sweet
No pain is like thy pain, no pleasure too like thine.
John Norris, 1687

One of the major developments in the study of melancholia over the last thirty years has been the rise to  aesthetic and  cultural prominence  of varieties of negative emotions proposed and discussed as melancholy, including different conceptions, analyses, and portrayals from grief to insanity. Most recently, Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia (2011) happens to be the melodramatic adaptation of the concept fuelled by cinematic symbols.  Correspondingly, often observed as ‘a central European discourse’, melancholia has resurfaced to embody complementary or paradoxical notions not merely in the literary analysis of texts and contexts, but it has also emerged to retrieve its historical categorization. The cultural  and social  history of emotions entwined with modern medical and psychiatric lexicalization has opened new  pathways to provide  relative definitions of melancholia. However, theories about the choice of analogies for melancholy, whether aesthetic, cinematic, religious, or medical, somehow fail to distinguish the connections between  contrary factors involved in melancholia.

It is also noteworthy that theories of characterization, no matter of what kind, tend to reformulate and evaluate contrary factors for the sake of preserving ‘superiority’ according to prevalent taste at each moment in time. In Britain, for example, individual and collective melancholia has been appreciated as a sign of genius and national pride at one time  and announced as a national malady at another. Analogous is the contemporary history of behavioural rather than cognitive attributes to grief,  e.g. tearfulness. Pain, in comparison, is bodily and often mental distress which in the past was closely perceived in relation to melancholia, but today research on pain is divorced from depression let alone melancholy. Thus, we miss the ‘melancholy-pain bridge’ in contemporary scholarship of mental and physical suffering. On the other hand, while pain is seen through the lens of universality, with management models stretching from Chinese medicine to Latin America, melancholia has rarely been investigated beyond the Western borders with regard to its genealogy, pathology, pathogeny,  and management. Whether this geographical focus is a matter of re-establishing  pre-eminence or  in want of psycholinguistic reference, thereby centred on a gap in universal scientific communication, it invites intriguing and challenging enquiries.

We  welcome contributions  from different fields in humanities, social and life sciences in the following categories and other relevant areas:

  • Diversity in the geography of melancholia and pain
  • The relationship between Western theories of emotions and Oriental conceptions
  • The European hypothesis of melancholia-pain in non-European cultures
  • Orientalism, grief, and abstinence
  • Emotionality as negativity
  • Gender attributes and tearfulness
  • Art history, muscle tension, and the painful posture
  • Interpretation, assumption, semantic relation
  • Fear, Pain, and melancholy dominance
  • Depression and pain
  • Paranoia, melancholia, and pain
  • Misconceptions; cyclothymia and bipolar disorder
  • Melancholy appropriation, ethnicity, multicultural perspectives
  • Cosmology and elegiac pain management
  • Cinematic symbols
  • Literary emotionality, fictive superiority
  • Embodied cognition
  • Anaesthetics, the relationship between medical management and other models
  • Lyric manifestation of melancholy and pain

Abstracts and panel proposals of up to 300 words per 20-minute papers are welcome plus a short biographical note. If you wish to attend without presenting a paper, please email the organisers with your CV and a statement as to how your research relates to the conference. Postgraduate students can apply for Dr Wasfia Mhabak Memorial Grant by sending your abstract, 1000-word research statement, and CV to the conference board.

A selection of papers expanded and edited after the conference will be considered for publication in the International Journal of Literature and Psychology (issues 2014). Further particulars:

Submission Deadline: 1 March 2013
Email your proposal to:

London Nineteenth-Century Seminar "Death and the Victorians" (Fall 2012)

London Nineteenth-Century Seminar 2012-2013
Autumn Term: Death and the Victorians
Saturdays, 11.00-13.00

20 October 2012 (Senate House, Room 104)
Dr. Claire Wood (University of York):  'Death and the Department Store'

Dr. Elizabeth T. Hurren (University of Leicester): 'The Body Trade in the Dead of London, 1832-1930'

3 November 2012 (Senate House, Room 261)
Dr. Keren Hammerschlag (King's College London): 'Death Walking: Frederic Leighton's Procession Paintings'

Prof. Marcia Pointon (University of Manchester): 'Writing and Touching: casts, masks and materiality'

8 DECEMBER 2012 (Senate House, Room 261)
David McAllister (Birkbeck): 'The Great Majority': Demography, Democracy and the Victorian Dead

Dr. Deborah Lutz (Long Island University): The Many Faces of Death Masks: Dickens and Great Expectations


Strand Organisers, Autumn Term 2012: David McAllister, Birkbeck College and Nicola Bown, Birkbeck College

For more information about the London Nineteenth-Century Seminar: Ana Vadillo, Birkbeck College (

Reminder: 2013 Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies (11/1/2012)

University of Delaware Library Delaware Art Museum
Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies

The University of Delaware Library in Newark, Delaware and the Delaware Art Museum invite applications for the 2013 joint Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies. This one-month Fellowship is intended for scholars working on the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates. Up to $3,000 is available.

The Delaware Art Museum is home to the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the US. Assembled largely by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., the collection includes paintings, works on paper, decorative arts, manuscripts, and letters, and is augmented by the museum’s Helen Farr Sloan art library. With comprehensive holdings in books, periodicals, electronic resources, and microforms, the University of Delaware Library is a major resource for the study of literature and art. The Special Collections Department contains material related to the Pre-Raphaelites who are also well-represented in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection of Victorian books, manuscripts, and artworks.

Application deadline: November 1, 2012.

More information:

or write to:

Pre-Raphaelite Studies Fellowship Committee
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE 19806

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reminder: Victorian Poetry Special Issue: Victorian Periodical Poetry

Victorian Poetry Special Issue:
Victorian Periodical Poetry
Spring 2014

Edited by
Alison Chapman and Caley Ehnes
University of Victoria, Canada

Until recently, poetry published in Victorian periodicals was simply ignored. Dismissed as “filler”, devalued as sentimental, and denigrated as popular verse, periodical poetry languished behind serial fiction and the more respectable poems published in single-authored collections and anthologies.

But the fortunes of periodical poetry have swiftly and dramatically changed. With the consolidation of the periodical as a central component of Victorian studies, renewed attention has been given to the place of the poem in the periodical.

Kathryn Ledbetter’s Tennyson and Victorian Periodicals: Commodities in Context (Ashgate, 2007), for example, powerfully argues that Tennyson’s contributions to periodicals were critical to his career, in that they were part of the circulation, marketing and advertising of Tennyson’s status as a poet. In addition, they were very lucrative. Tennyson’s own complaints about publishing in periodicals may have contributed to that venue’s scholarly neglect, but Ledbetter shows how many Victorian poets were profoundly conflicted about the necessity of periodical publishing: on the one hand, periodicals offered a wide readership (at a time when publishers were shy of committing to volumes of original poetry) and often paid handsomely, but on the other the periodicals themselves were seen as ephemeral, feminised, and were associated with low-brow popularity. Thus, integral to periodical poetry are questions of value, taste and aesthetics. Ledbetter’s follow-up study, British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Poetry and Civilization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), argues that periodicals empowered women poets and enabled them to contribute to debates about affect, taste and education.

Another key intervention is Linda K. Hughes’s 2007 article for Victorian Periodical Review, “What the Wellesley Index Left Out: Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies”, which is a compelling call to embrace poetry’s engagement with serial print culture. Hughes argues that periodicals mattered not just to poets, but that “the more pressing questions, in my view, are why original poetry mattered to Victorian editors and readers and what poetry can tell us about Victorian periodicals as a whole” (p. 91). In this special issue, we wish to broaden and deepen this fundamental point, so powerfully put by Hughes, and ask for contributions not only on why poetry matters to Victorian periodicals, but why Victorian periodicals matter to Victorian poetry.

In addition to the formative studies by Ledbetter and Hughes, there are a host of other critics working on Victorian periodical poetry, such as Eileen Curran (on the poetry published in Bentley’s Miscellany), Florence Boos (on working-class poetry), and Michael Sanders (on Chartist periodical poetry). But there to date there is no collection of articles or chapters engaged with the topic, and we feel a special issue will be timely in not just offering new primary and critical material on periodical poetry, but also on reflecting what periodical poetry tells us about Victorian poetry as a whole. Central questions will include: whether and to what extent Victorian periodical poetry challenges the conventional account of Victorian poetics, prosody and genre; the relation between periodical poetry and serial fiction; and what new or revised models of poetry readership are suggested by periodical poetry. Thus, the special issue will welcome articles uncovering and assessing the importance of neglected periodical poetry, but also asking
probing questions about what challenges and revisions Victorian periodicals bring to the understanding of poetry. These issues are particularly pressing with several digital initiatives that will increase the accessibility of periodical poetry (including our own Victorian Periodical Poetry Database [as part of the Victorian Poetry Network], the project of adding poetry to the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, as well as the Yellow Nineties), but also with the huge amount of periodical poetry recently made available through such ventures as the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition and 19th Century UK Periodicals databases. In this light, the special issue will also address questions of digitizing Victorian periodical poetry.

Some topics that a special issue on Victorian Periodical Poetry will address:

  • Periodical poetry, illustration and the issues of materiality (e.g. layout, margins)
  • The poetics of periodical poetry
  • The relation of periodical poetry to questions of time and periodicity
  • The relation of periodical poetry to serial fiction
  • Sentimentality, sensibility and taste
  • Lyric, narrative and the periodical poem
  • Popular verses high-brow poetry; acculturation
  • Education, gender and issues of readership
  • Digitising and indexing periodical poetry
  • Newspaper poetry and journalism
  • The representation of poetry in the periodical press: reviews, advertisements, etc.

We invite the submission of essays of 20-25 manuscript pages by 30 April 2013, for publication in Victorian Poetry (Spring 2014). Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. Early expressions of interest and proposals of topics are also welcome; please contact the editors: and

CFP: Literary London Symposium (11/15/2012; 12/15-17/2012)

We would like to invite you to attend the Literary London Symposium to be held at The Oxford and Cambridge Club in London during the dates of December 15 – December 17, 2012. 

The symposium will entertain papers written on subjects of literature, culture, arts, religion, capitalism and public education of the Dickensian Era through the Victorian Age. The Age of Dickens and the Age of Victoria were, combined, possibly the most dynamic century ever to exist in the English speaking world. It was in 1837 that Victoria assumed the crown and in that same year Dickens’ published the final installment of the serial publication of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. 

If you are interested in presenting a paper related to the Victorian Age or Charles Dickens, the abstracts are due by November 15, 2012 . You are invited to make a presentation and to provide a paper to our advisory council for possible inclusion in a special Literary London volume. 

The meeting will begin on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 pm at The Oxford and Cambridge Club and end on Monday at 5:30 pm that evening. Lunch will be provided on Sunday and Monday along with tea/coffee breaks. The conference will host a special ‘Dickens and Victorian Age’ tour of London on Sunday afternoon after lunch. The conference fee is 645 British Pounds. 

Participants in the meeting will have access to an array of academic, cultural and social resources including the Charles Dickens Museum and Westminster Abbey, where Charles Dickens is buried. It is also well worth exploring the streets, courts and alleys on either side of Fleet Street. Dickens' publishers' offices were in the area and he used it in many of his novels including Barnaby Rudge, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Martin Chuzzlewit, Pickwick Papers, The Tale of Two Cities and Our Mutual Friend. Fleet Street is one of London's ancient roads, linking the merchants of the City of London with King's palace at Westminster, and the area has many interesting “Dickensian” buildings, some dating back to the 12th century. 

Registration will close on November 15, 2012 . You can register on our web site at If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know via email at administrator@literarylondonsymposi 

CFP: AVSA 2013 "The Victorian Environment" (11/30/2012; 2/6-8/2013)

Australasian Victorian Studies Association Conference
'The Victorian Environment'

The University of Melbourne, Australia
February 6-8, 2013

With the pressures of industrialism and the clustering of workers in urban centres, the Victorians were acutely aware that their environment was changing.  Torn between nostalgia for a countryside that was in jeopardy and exhilaration at the rapidity with which their surroundings altered, Victorian literature and culture reflects a world undergoing radical change.  Colonization and assisted emigration schemes expanded the scope of the environment still further, pushing the boundaries of the home environment on an unprecedented scale.  These untamed physical environments enabled new freedoms, but also posed hostile challenges that invited attempts to control the natural world.

We seek papers of no more than twenty minutes in length, which consider any aspect of how the Victorians engaged with or sought to retreat from their environment.   Note that submission of an abstract signals an intention to attend the conference and that absentee papers will not be permitted.

Topics might include:

  • Landscape/cultivation of the land
  • Natural disasters and responses to them
  • Pollution, industrialism and place
  • The weather/climate
  • The country versus the city
  • The natural world
  • Sanitation, health, and disease
  • Fire
  • Water
  • The colonial environment
  • Emigration
  • Seascapes
  • Animals
  • Science and the classification of nature
  • Exploration and mapping
  • Visualizing the Victorian environment
  • Soundscapes and noise pollution
  • Smells
  • Excavation and archaeology
  • The environment of Victorian studies in the present
  • Nostalgia/the sense of an elsewhere
  • Heritage/conservation
Please email abstracts of 200 words maximum and a brief biographical note to by no later than 30 November 2012.

Further information about the conference will be made available at

Final Notice: Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in Nineteenth-Century Media (10/15/2012)

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) is pleased to announce the fourth annual Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship, made possible by the generosity of publisher Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in support of dissertation research that makes substantial use of full-text digitized collections of 19th-century British magazines and newspapers. A prize of $1500 will be awarded, together with one year's passworded subscription to selected digital collections from Gale, including 19th Century UK Periodicals and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.

Purpose: The purpose of the Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship is two-fold: (1) to support historical and literary research that deepens our understanding of the 19th-century British press in all its rich variety, and (2) to encourage the scholarly use of collections of full-text digital facsimiles of these primary sources in aid of that research.

Eligibility: Eligible for this award is any currently enrolled postgraduate student, in any academic discipline, who by the end of 2012 will have embarked on a doctoral dissertation or thesis that centrally involves investigation into one or more aspects of the British magazine and newspaper press of the 19th century. Preference will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in approach, and that propose to use innovative methods of exploration that are uniquely possible with online collections. The digitized collections used in this research may include those created by any publishers or projects, whether commercial or non-commercial.

Applications: Applicants should send a c.v. and the names and contact information of two scholars who are familiar with the applicant and his or her dissertation project; it is expected that one of these will be the student's dissertation director. The project description (approx. 500-800 words) should concisely explain the aims of the proposed research and the key importance of the role of full-text digitized collections in that research. Applications for the Gale Fellowship for dissertation research to be undertaken in 2013 must be submitted in electronic form and sent to by October 15, 2012. Any queries about the application may be sent to the same address. Applicants will be notified in January. The successful applicant will be expected to submit a brief report to RSVP at the conclusion of the funded portion of the project, describing the results  of the research.

For more information and news about the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, please visit its webpage at

Reminder: Leisure! Enjoyment! Fun! (11/1/2012; 3/14-17/2013)

Leisure! Enjoyment! Fun! 
INCS 2013 Conference 
University of Virginia
March 14-17, 2013

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” It was the age of pleasure. It was the age of atonement. It was any place in the nineteenth century. The scope is global, the approaches, cross-disciplinary. What pleased the palate and tickled the nose? What roused the senses and deepened joy? What thrilled the body and inspired the mind? What did they do besides work? What diversions (respectable or otherwise) did they seek? How did they think about the enjoyments they sought? These are some of the questions to address at INCS 2013, which is devoted to ‘Leisure, Enjoyment, and Fun.’

Consider all forms of enjoyment desired, sought, anticipated, or suppressed. Of course what constitutes enjoyment was widely contested ‘then’ as it is ‘now,’ and just what the relation between enjoyment and happiness is has never been clear. The task we set ourselves this year is an examination of various pleasures, thoughts about fun and leisure, expressions or reports of enjoyment, and what these experiences tell us about the nineteenth century. Definitions of enjoyment are themselves numerous and contrasting, and we will keep the field broad so as to draw a wide catch. Enjoyment may be associated with entertainment, amusement, comfort, satisfaction, happiness, absence of pain, etc. We are interested in how enjoyment is experienced, what function it serves, how it can be legislated or monitored, if it can be exhausted, repeated, repelled, and whether individual enjoyment differs from enjoyment shared.

Topics are not limited to, but might include:

  • Ambivalence towards . . .
  • Theories of leisure
  • Enjoyment, guilt, atonement
  • License and restraint
  • Sport, games, and races
  • Music, music halls, music boxes
  • Festivals, street entertainments
  • Pleasure gardens
  • Illicit fun
  • Design, fashion, shopping
  • Gustatory delights
  • Trade in exotics
  • Hobbies
  • Weddings, parties, picnics
  • Spectacle
  • Dance
  • Cartoons, comic periodicals
  • Sunday papers and other popular reading
  • Pets, animal fighting
  • Experimentation, invention
  • Gardens and horticulture
  • Collecting
  • Museums, exhibitions
  • Training for fun
  • Medical tourism

Deadline: November 1, 2012. For individual papers, send 250-word proposals; for panels, send individual 250-word proposals for each paper plus a 250-word panel description. Please include your name, affiliation, and e-mail address on your proposal. Send questions and proposals to Karen Chase (

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Public Lecture: Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck): ‘Art and the Literary in Victorian England’ (10/22/2012)

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies presents:

Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck): ‘Art and the Literary in Victorian England’
Monday 22 October, 6.00 pm
Keynes Library (Room 114), School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Free. All welcome.

The lecture will be followed by a reception to celebrate the start of the Autumn term programme of talks.

Programme for Autumn Term 2012
This term’s visiting speakers include George Levine (30 October), Muireann O’Cinneide (14 November), Deirdre Coleman (19 November), Clair Hughes (27 November), and Gowan Dawson (3 December). Further details will be posted shortly at our website <> and circulated via the mailing list.

Email <> to join our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter @BirkbeckC19

Lectureship in Nineteenth-Century and American Literature (10/19/2012)

The School of English, Bangor University is seeking applications for the following vacancy: Lectureship in Nineteenth-Century and American Literature.

Starting Salary: £30,122 (on Grade 7) p.a.
Closing date: 19 October 2012

Applications will only be accepted via our on-line recruitment website. However, in cases of accessibility issues, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 382926. Please quote the following reference number when applying: BU0020.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

CFP: “We Are Not Amused”: Victorian Comedy and Humour (11/1/2012; 6/1-4/2013)

CFP for the Victorian Studies Association of Ontario's ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) member-organized panel:
“We Are Not Amused”: Victorian Comedy and Humour

Abstracts due: Nov 1, 2012
Conference date and location: June 1-4, University of Victoria, BC

Comedy is under-explored in Victorian literary criticism, but it is pervasive in the texts of the era, from brief moments—Dickens’ caricatures and Thackeray’s asides—to more extended treatments, in Lear’s nonsense verse and Jerome K. Jerome’s widely popular Three Men in a Boat.

This panel invites papers that explore comedy, humour and laughter in Victorian literature and cultural productions. What functions did comedy serve in Victorian texts? When is its humour riotous and anarchic, and when does it reinforce norms? How comfortably did comedy sit alongside the period’s idealization of moral and artistic solemnity? What effect does laughing at, or laughing with, texts and characters have upon our understanding of them? Why are the comic features of a scene or moment important?

Papers may consider such topics as:

  • Parody, burlesque, farce and satire
  • Ditties, jokes, word-play, wit and puns
  • Black humour and the grotesque
  • Clowning, the circus, and comic performance
  • “Serious cheerfulness” and the mixing of wit and gravity
  • Savoy Operas and the music hall
  • Eminent Victorians and depictions of Victorian earnestness          
  • Failed humour or humourlessness
  • Caricatures and stereotypes
  • Comedy as social critique or subversive force
  • Sentimental humour
  • The science and philosophy of Victorian laughter

ACCUTE requires the following of all proposed papers: 

  • a 700-word proposal or completed paper (of approximately 8-10 double-spaced pages, not to exceed 20 minutes in presentation). Please note that because of our policy of blind vetting, ACCUTE cannot accept proposals or papers that include identifying marks. These include information in headers, references to your work or to your collaborations with others, your rank or institutional affiliation, or any other information that might identify you to a vettor.
  • a completed Proposal Submissions Information Sheet, available from the ACCUTE website:
  • a 100-word abstract of the proposed presentation
  • a 50-word bio-bibliographical note on yourself

Email address for submissions: