Friday, November 30, 2012

CFP: Neo-Victorian Cities: Re-Imagining Utopian and Dystopian Metropolises (2/28/2013)

We invite contributions on the theme of Neo-Victorian Cities for the fourth volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, to be published in 2014. This collection will examine the retrospective presentation of nineteenth-century metropolises in the light of contemporary approaches to urban politics and geopolitics, exploring links between the city and the past’s paradoxical ‘modernity’, now obsolete. If the metropolis is seen as a synecdoche of the world, how does this conception reiterate or contradict nineteenth-century views of the city as a synecdoche of nations and/or Empire? How do urban centres reflect environmentalist grievances or anxieties surrounding globalisation, paradoxically functioning as sites of literal and metaphorical pollution and progressive forces? Does the hypermodern understanding of urbanism as a purveyor of plural ethnoscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes find an echo in the re-examination of nineteenth-century cities as centres of social and ideological reform and cross-cultural encounter? By essence palimpsestuous places where the past can be read in the present and where the dead co-exist with the living, metropolises naturally lend themselves to neo-Victorian thematisation. We encourage chapters to investigate the problematic tension between the city as a site of social progress as well as segregation and injustice, as an ethical place of encountering the other and a non-place of individual negation, as a location of creative experimentation and (self-) annihilation. We also welcome analyses of the technical means used by neo-Victorian literature, film, and other media to convey the idea of the city as modernity in progress and never-ending because always re-creating itself anew.

Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • the neo-Victorian city as palimpsest & site of passage towards the present
  • global cities & national identities
  • the city as theatre
  • the re-imagined nineteenth-century flaneur
  • queering the neo-Victorian city
  • global urbanism vs. imperial urbanism
  • metropolitan narratives of past/present migration
  • exploring the anxieties & opportunities of globalisation
  • metropolitan mirrors of postmodernity
  • urban race, class & gender politics & conflict
  • cities’ public places vs. domestic spheres
  • urban architectures of crime & justice: courts of law, prisons & public executions
  • (post)colonial cities & the re-visioned subaltern
  • the neo-Victorian metropolis & Marxism
  • city & spectacle (pageants, processions, galleries, exhibitions, etc.)
  • the monstrous city: enabling spaces of crime, exploitation, and perversity
  • metropolises and their margins
  • the urban underground

Please send 300-500 word proposals (for 8,000-10,000 word chapters) to the series editors: Dr Marie-Luise Kohlke at and Prof Christian Gutleben at by 28 February 2013. Please add a short biographical note in the body of your email.

Completed chapters will be due by 1 September 2013.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CFP: British Society for Literature and Science (12/7/2012; 4/11-13/2013)

British Society for Literature and Science Conference 2013 – Call for Papers
Cardiff University and the University of Glamorgan

The British Society for Literature and Science invites proposals for papers and panels to be delivered at its eighth annual conference to be held in Cardiff, 11-13 April 2013.

The BSLS Conference does not have a theme (as it its usual practise) but especially welcomes proposals on the state of the field of literature and science as well as its relation to other fields. This year we would be particularly interested to receive proposals that reflect upon the interdisciplinary study of literature and science in the context of the debate about the present position of the humanities in academia. However, the Society remains committed to supporting proposals on all aspects of literature and science across all periods.

Proposals for papers of 15-20 minutes should be sent in the body of the email text (no attachments, please), to with the subject line ‘BSLS 2013 abstract’. Submissions should include the title of the paper, an abstract of no more than 300 words, a maximum of 3 keywords (placed at the end of the abstract), and the name and contact details of the speaker.

Closing date for submissions: 7 December 2012.
(Decisions will be made in January 2013)

Contributors interested in organising a panel or other special session, or who have suggestions for alternative forms of conference presentation, are warmly encouraged to contact the conference organisers. The organisers would welcome, for example, workshops on teaching literature and science, or on specific themes in literature and science that cross period boundaries, or on specific published works with considerable influence in the field. Please email the organisers on, using ‘BSLS 2013 Panel’ as the subject line in email correspondence.

Funding: a bursary of £150 will be awarded to a graduate student on the basis on the paper proposals. The student must be registered for a masters or doctoral degree on 9 January 2013. The conference fee will be waived for two further graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the subsequent issue of the BSLS Newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these places, please mention this when sending in your proposal.

Accommodation: please note that those attending will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation. Information on selected hotels will be available shortly on the conference website. As in previous years, we anticipate that the conference will begin at about 1pm on the first day and conclude at about 2pm on the last.

Membership: in order to attend the conference, you must be a paid-up member of the BSLS for 2013. We anticipate that it will be possible to pay the £10 annual membership fee when paying the conference fee online.

Further Information:

Birkbeck Forum for C19 Studies: Gowan Dawson, (12/3/2012)

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies presents:

Gowan Dawson (Leicester): ‘“Working the Public Up for Science”: Thomas Henry Huxley and the Problems of Popularization’

Monday 3 December, 6.00 pm
Keynes Library (Room 114), School of Arts, 
43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Free. All welcome.

Programme for Autumn Term 2012
The final event in our Autumn term programme marks the Robert Browning bicentenary on 12 December, featuring Isobel Armstrong and Britta Martens. Further details can be found at <>.

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

Special Event: Samuel Butler in Italy (1/12/2013)

Samuel Butler in Italy - a special event at St John's College, Cambridge
Saturday 12th January 2013 at St John's College, Cambridge

Adventures in Italy is a celebration of the fascinating collection relating to the Victorian polymath Samuel Butler which is held in the Library at St John's College, Cambridge and is currently the subject of a Heritage Lottery Funded cataloguing project. All these events are free, and everyone is welcome. The programme is as follows:

10.00-16.00: 'Butler's Adventures in Italy' - a new exhibition of photographs, artworks, maps and books from the Samuel Butler Collection, displayed in the beautiful C17th Library at St John's

12.00: 'Samuel Butler, un Amico dell'Italia: The History of a Cultural Partnership' - Cristiano Turbil (University of Kent)

14.00: 'Consigning the Old Masters to Limbo: Samuel Butler's Influence on How I Teach Art and Art History' - Clarice Zdanski (Franklin College, Switzerland)

15.30: 'Over the Range with Samuel Butler (and Some Remarkably Persistent Gnats)' - Julia Powles (St John's College, Cambridge)

Full outlines of the talks and details of the booking arrangements can be found on our website at Please feel free to forward this information to any interested parties, or to contact the Library for more information.

A note on Samuel Butler: As well as being a writer, painter, photographer and evolutionist, Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was a great traveller, who in the latter part of his life adopted Italy as his second country. From the Alpine ranges bordering Switzerland in the north to Trapani on the west coast of Sicily, Butler covered hundreds of miles (many of which were off the standard tourist track), carrying out hugely original literary-historical research and befriending the locals wherever he stopped to rest. The places and scenes that caught Butler's imagination in the 1880s and 1890s are beautifully documented in the Library's collection, which includes almost 2000 original photographic prints and several hundred artworks created by Butler as he went, as well as the maps he used and the souvenirs he collected on his travels.

Anyone with an interest in Italy, the Alps, nineteenth-century travel and culture, walking, photography, art, art history, classical literature (particularly the 'Odyssey') or Samuel Butler generally is sure to find something to interest them at these events. We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Public Lecture: Clair Hughes on "Novel Hats" (11/27/2012)

Clair Hughes (Visiting Research Fellow, Birkbeck): ‘Novel Hats’
Tuesday 27 November, 6.00 pm
Keynes Library (Room 114), School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Free. All welcome.

Programme for Autumn Term 2012
This term’s visiting speakers include Gowan Dawson (3 December). On 12 December, there will be an event to mark the Robert Browning bicentenary (speaker line-up tbc). The programme for the term can be found at <>. The page will be regularly updated with additional events (tbc) and further information.

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

Reminder: Queer London (11/30/2012; 3/23/2013)

Queer London Conference
Saturday 23rd March, 2013
Department of English, 
Linguistics and Cultural Studies, 
University of Westminster, London, UK

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Matt Cook (Birkbeck College, University of London)

This one-day conference is dedicated to a consideration of London and its role in creating, housing, reflecting and facilitating queer life. It aims to bring together scholars from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds to consider representations of queer London and how London itself represents queers.

That London is a focus and centre for queer life and culture can be seen on its stages; in its bar and club scenes; in its film festivals and its representations in film; in its performance art; in its political life; in its gyms; in its history; in its book groups and book shops; and in its representations in the contemporary queer fiction of writers like Alan Hollinghurst and Sarah Waters. That London is a hub and an axis goes without saying. What the ‘Queer London’ conference aims to do then is to offer an opportunity for further analysis and investigation of these representations/representational platforms and to consider the socio-cultural role that London plays in queer life.

The conference will focus on the period 1885 to the present and welcomes interdisciplinary proposals and those from a wide range of disciplines, including: Literature, History, Art, Cultural Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Mapping queer London
  • Lesbian Londons
  • Queers of colour and London
  • Queer modernisms
  • Queer institutions and structures
  • Literary representations of queer London
  • Films of queer London
  • Queer drama and performance in/on London
  • Queer histories of London
  • London’s queer temporalities
  • Queer flâneurie
  • London’s AIDS narratives
  • Queer urban subcultures
  • London’s queer festivals
  • Queer sex workers
  • London’s queer activism
  • Heterosexual and homosexual London, meeting points and overlaps

Please send abstracts of 500 words, or proposals for panels of three linked papers, by Friday 30th November 2012 to Dr. Simon Avery and Dr. Katherine M. Graham at the University of Westminster. Abstracts should be sent as Word attachments to and, and should include details of your current affiliation and a very short author bio.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CFP: Mary Russell Mitford: Local and Global (12/12/2012; 4/4-6/2013)

British Women Writers' Conference
April 4-6, 2013, University of New Mexico

Panel Proposal:
Mary Russell Mitford: Local and Global

Papers are welcome on any aspect of Mary Russell Mitford’s long and prolific literary career spanning the 1810s to the 1840s, and including her poetry, drama, and prose fiction. The influential Mitford, her friendships, her popularity in England and America, her wide reading, her correspondence, her unwanted but real rivalry with Lord Byron, her politics, her successful negotiations with editors and theatre managers, her approach to the local and the global and to gender and genre all invite attention to expand our view of this professional woman of letters and of the transitional decades of the 1820s and 30s in nineteenth century literature. One goal of this panel is to bring scholars together interested in a collaborative effort to plan a digital scholarly edition of Mitford's complete works and letters.

Send 250-word paper proposals by Wed. December 12 at 11:59 PM EST to Elisa Beshero-Bondar at 

Call for Nominations: Prizes for Books in Irish Studies (1/7/21013)

Thirteenth Annual ACIS Prizes
For Books In Irish Studies
Call For Nominations
Deadline for Nominations January 7, 2013
Winners Announced at ACIS National Meeting,
Chicago, IL, April 10-13, 2013

The American Conference for Irish Studies sponsors five book prizes annually for scholarship on Irish subjects, open to books published worldwide. It also sponsors a sixth prize for the year’s outstanding dissertation on a subject related to Irish Studies.

These prizes are:
  • The James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize for Books on History and Social Sciences
  • Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana Fhoras na Gaeilge/The ACIS Award for Books in the Irish Language
  • The Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language and Culture
  • The Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book
  • The Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature
  • The Adele Dalsimer Prize for a Distinguished Dissertation

The winners will be recognized at the 2013 ACIS National Meeting in Chicago, IL, where the selection committee’s encomium is read during the ACIS luncheon and business meeting. Each prize includes a cash award of $500 for the author.

ACIS will also announce the award winners in a press release, its quarterly newsletter and on its website. ACIS will publish a display ad announcing the winners in The Irish Literary Supplement.

All books submitted for these awards must have a publication date of 2012. All dissertations must have been defended in 2012. Anyone, including the author, may submit books for consideration. ACIS members may nominate a book by contacting the relevant committee chair, who will then contact the publisher. Edited collections, fiction, poetry, and anthologies of literature are not eligible.

Dissertations nominated for the Dalsimer Prize may be submitted to the committee electronically as .pdf files.

Copies of the books nominated must be received by each of the members of the appropriate committee (listed below) by January 7, 2013.

No book may compete for more than one of the three disciplinary prizes (Donnelly, Durkan, Rhodes), but an author's first scholarly monograph (or collection of original essays) may be submitted to the Murphy prize committee in addition to one of the three disciplinary committees. Authors may contact the committee chair to determine whether their book has been submitted for a prize. Prize chairs may choose to reassign entered works. Please do not send copies of books to ACIS officers. For more information contact the Chair of the Book Prize Committee, Professor Mary Trotter ( and/or the relevant book prize committee chair (see below).
Please note that only single author texts will be considered. Authors and nominators should be guided by what academic audience the book addresses. Books addressed primarily to historians and/or social scientists should go to the Donnelly committee. Books addressed primarily to literary scholars should go to the Rhodes committee. Books that are addressed to students of language or culture (including the visual and performing arts) should go to the Durkan committee. Books addressed to an interdisciplinary audience (e.g., works in cultural studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies) may be submitted to any one of the book award committees.

For further details, visit

Deadline Extended: Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions (12/15/2012; 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 December 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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reminder: Historians of British Art Publication Grant (1/15/2013)

The Historians of British Art invites applications for its Publication Grant. The organization grants a sum of $600 to offset publication costs for a book manuscript in the field of British art or visual culture that has been accepted by a publisher. Applicants must be current members of HBA. To apply, send a 500-word project description, publication information (name of press and projected publication date), budget, and CV to Renate Dohmen, Prize Committee Chair, HBA, The deadline is January 15, 2013.

Historians of British Art:

Transgression, Trespassing and Taboos in the Long-19th Century (12/21/2012; 4/10/2013)

Transgression, Trespassing and Taboos in the Long-Nineteenth Century
Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference – Call for papers
Cardiff University, 10th April 2013

The long-nineteenth century (1789-1914) is a unique period for the study of transgression – it saw the impact of New Journalism; increasingly prominent debates over women’s roles; and intense controversy over aspects of sex and sexuality. With the advent of mass print and the burgeoning periodical press came a huge appetite for sensation fiction alongside the continuing popularity of crime narratives. The multiplicity of genres and media in the long-nineteenth century emphasises the need to approach this period from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Capitalising upon current trends in historiography and literary studies, this one-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference is organised by the School of English, Communication and Philosophy (ENCAP), and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion (SHARE). The conference will feature papers by postgraduate research students from multiple academic disciplines, reflecting current research trends and demonstrating the value of sharing expertise from different disciplines to further understanding in this area.

We welcome papers from Postgraduate Researchers in English Literature, History, and other related fields.

Topics for discussion might include, but are not limited to:

  • how transgressive acts were represented in both text and image;
  • the relation of constructions and readings of transgression to social and cultural categories like class, race, gender, and sexuality;
  • connections between trespassing and space;
  • representations and reinterpretations of long nineteenth century transgression in present-day popular culture and discourse.
  • New Journalism, sensation fiction, and crime writing;
  • modes of reading;
  • case studies covering particular scandals, institutions, and individuals.
  • ‘deviant’ texts and modes of reading
  • the construction and transgression of spatial boundaries
  • discussions of the treatment of taboos in society in the long nineteenth-century
  • the representation of transgression, trespassing and taboos in visual culture

The confirmed keynote addresses will be given by Dr Harry Cocks (Nottingham) and Dr Heather Worthington (Cardiff).

Abstracts of up to 300 words for 20 minute papers and a 1 page CV should be sent to no later than Friday 21st December 2012. Due to funding restrictions we will be unable to reimburse travel and accommodation expenses.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CFP: New Edited Collection: Comic Empires (6/28/2013)

'Comic Empires: The Imperialism of Cartoons, Caricature and Satirical Art'

Editors: Richard Scully, University of New England in Armidale (New South Wales, Australia), and Andrekos Varnava, Flinders University (Adelaide, South Australia)

In around 15-or-so chapter-length case-studies, we hope to explore the importance of cartoons, caricatures and satirical art in the imperial context (c.1815-1945), from European and non-European imperial actors. The collection will cover important threads of support, resistance, and criticism, of imperialism in both metropole and periphery, explore the question of orientalism, and look at colonial development, as well as any other theme relating to empire.

Abstracts due June 28, 2013.

Final Call for Nominations: Colby Book Prize competition (12/1/2012)

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is pleased to announce this year's call for submissions for the Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize, awarded to the scholarly book that most advances the understanding of the nineteenth-century British newspaper or periodical press.  All books exploring the British press of the period are eligible (including single-author monographs, edited collections, and editions) so long as they have an official publication date of 2012.  The winner will receive a monetary award of up to $2,000, and will be invited to speak at the RSVP conference in Manchester (July 12-13, 2013). The prize was first made possible by a generous gift from the late Vineta Colby in memory of her husband, Robert, and now honors both Colbys for their pioneering scholarship in the field of Victorian periodicals and their dedicated service to RSVP.

To nominate a book, please email the chair of the prize committee, Linda Hughes (, by December 1, 2012.  You or your press will be asked to supply the committee with five copies of the book by mid-December, 2012.  Self-nominations are welcome.

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) is an interdisciplinary and international association of scholars dedicated to the exploration of the richly diverse world of the 19th-century press, both its magazines and its newspapers. More information about RSVP and its lively journal, Victorian Periodicals Review, may be found at

Monday, November 12, 2012

Public Lecture: Victorian Women Travellers and the Problem of Agency (11/14/2012)

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies presents:

Muireann O’Cinneide (NUI Galway): 
‘Victorian Women Travellers and the Problem of Agency’
Wednesday 14 November, 6.00 pm
Keynes Library (Room 114), School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD
Free. All welcome.

Programme for Autumn Term 2012 
This term’s visiting speakers include Deirdre Coleman (19 November), Clair Hughes (27 November), and Gowan Dawson (3 December). The programme for the term can be found at <>. The page will be regularly updated with additional events (tbc) and further information.

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

CFP: Shaw at Home (2/15/2013; 6/17-22/2013)

"Shaw at Home" - G. B. Shaw Conference in UK, June 17-22, 2013. Deadline Feb.15, 2013.

“Shaw at Home,” a conference of international scholars, which will take place mostly in the village of Ayot St. Lawrence north of London, reminds us that “Shaw’s Corner” in Ayot was the Shaws' home longer, 44 years, than any other residence. “Shaw’s Corner” is now maintained partly as a museum and as the stage for annual productions of Shaw's plays on the back lawn. The Shaws also had several residences in London, of course, and the conference will spend a day in London touring Shavian sites there, starting at the London School of Economics. The Keynote Address will be by Sir Michael Holroyd. Paper topics are open, but of course papers that relate Shaw’s work and life to his residences would be especially welcome, as would papers on the two Shaw plays that will be provided by Michael Friend Productions: Buoyant Billions and Geneva. The deadline for submission of paper abstracts and travel grant applications is February 15, 2013 (please send by attachment to an email to Professor Michael O’Hara at For all the details on registration, accommodations, transportation, the schedule, featured speakers, etc., please go to, then to, then's-Corner-Theater.htm. Travel Grants Available: see

Richard F. Dietrich, Treasurer & Webmaster, International Shaw Society

Membership Application for the ISS can be found on a link from:

ISS Grants & Scholarships for Emerging Scholars

CFP: The Transcendent Immanence: The Generative Aesthetic of the King James Bible (11/25/2012)

CFP for an anthology titled The Transcendent Immanence: The Generative Aesthetic of the King James Bible. I have several articles already as well as an interested publisher, but I feel that the anthology is not complete. Interdisciplinary in scope, its focus is identifying major thought and significant tours de force generated through the appropriation of the King James Bible. Suggested topics are below, and others are invited but not on Victorian literature because that’s covered.

  • The KJB and Art or the KJB and the Pre-Raphaelites
  • The KJB and Slavery in Britain and America
  • The KJB and Victorian Medicine
  • The KJB and British Imperialism
  • The KJB and Western Colonization
  • The KJB and Romanticism (German, American, English, or All Three)
  • The KJB and Political Rhetoric
  • The KJB and War
Submit a 250-word abstract or a paper of about 7,000 words in the MLA style directly to by November 25.

Brenda Ayres, PhD 
Professor of English and Assistant Director of Honors
Liberty University
1971 University BL
DH 3310
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Registration open: Victorian Network's 'Other Worlds'

Registration is now open for the Victorian Network and King's College London Conference 'Other Worlds.' Please find the programme and link to online registration below.

3rd December 2012, Senate House, London

9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 10:30 Keynote by Dr. John Holmes (Reading): ‘Pre-Raphaelite Other Worlds’

10:30 – 12:00 Panel A: Visions of the Future
Chair: Adelene Buckland (King’s College London)
Julia Courtney (Independent Scholar): ‘The Island of Progress’
Christina Lake (Exeter): ‘Amazons, Science, and Common Sense in Elizabeth Corbett’s New Amazonia
Dany Van Dam (Leiden): ‘The Victorian Neo-Victorian Story? Future Nostalgia for a Present Past in H.G. Wells’ A Story of the Days to Come

Panel B: Within the Walls
Chair: TBA
Serena Trowbridge (Birmingham City): ‘The Nursery World: Christina Rossetti’s Sing-Song’
Alicia Carroll (Auburn): ‘“Quite Hidden in the Woods”: Secret Sisters of the Arts and Crafts World’
Charlotte Boman (Cardiff): ‘Photography, Domesticity and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination’ 

12:00 – 1:30 Panel C: The Mind’s Eye
Chair: TBA
Gillian Daw (Sussex): ‘New Prospects and Other Worlds: The Victorian Cosmic Journey’
Owen Holland (Cambridge): ‘William Morris’s Utopian Optic of Alterity’
Grazia Zaffuto (Independent Scholar): ‘“Visual Education” as the Alternative Mode of Learning at the Crystal Palace, `Sydenham’

Panel D: Distant Shores
Chair: TBA
Brian Murray (Cambridge): ‘“Dazzled by Oriental Analogies”: The Other-Worldly Past of Nineteenth-Century Ireland’
Luz Elena Ramirez (California State): ‘The English to the Rescue in Frank Aubrey’s Devil Tree of El Dorado: A Romance of British Guiana’
Hannah Lewis-Bill (Exeter): ‘Dickens, China and the Transnational Conversations in Dombey and Son

1:30 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 4:00: Panel E: The World Surveyed
Chair: Rosalyn Gregory (Oxford)
Will Abberley (Exeter): ‘“Other Worlds, Other Tongues”: The Evolution of Language in Victorian Scientific Romances’
Mark Fitzpatrick (Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle): ‘“The Ever-Undiscovered Country over the Hill”: The Temporality and Geometry of Adventure’
Derek Ball (Leicester): ‘“A Mathematical Dreamland, where nothing is but what is not”: Alternative Geometries in Daniel Deronda

Panel F: Beyond the Body
Chair: Ian Henderson (KCL)
Georgina O’Brien Hill (University of Chester): ‘The Spiritualist Memoirs of Florence Marryat’
Will Tattersdill (King’s College London): ‘Intrinsic Intelligibiity: Francis Galton’s Attempt to Communicate with Other Worlds, 1896’
Martin Danahay (Brock University): ‘Other Worlds, Other Bodies’

4:00 – 4:30: Tea Break
4:30 – 5:30: Keynote by Prof. Cora Kaplan (King’s College London): ‘Visitors From Another Planet: Imperial fantasy, Racial Thinking and the Human’
5:30 – 6:30: Wine Reception
7:00: Conference Dinner

For further details, please see the conference website:

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

CFP: Romanticism at the Fin de Siècle (1/15/2013; 6/14-15/2013)

An international conference on collecting, editing, performing, producing, reading, and reviving Romanticism at the Fin de Siècle

Trinity College Oxford, 14-15 June 2013

Keynote Speaker: Professor Joseph Bristow (UCLA)

Call For Papers
This conference places Romanticism at the core of the British Fin de Siècle. As an anti-Victorian movement, the British Fin de Siècle is often read forwards and absorbed into a ‘long twentieth century’, in which it takes the shape of a prehistory or an embryonic form of modernism. By contrast, Fin-de-Siècle authors and critics looked back to the past in order to invent their present and imagine their future. Just at the time when the concept of ‘Victorian’ crystallized a distinct set of literary and cultural practices, the radical break with the immediate past found in Romanticism an alternative poetics and politics of the present.

The Fin de Siècle played a distinctive and crucial role in the reception of Romanticism. Romanticism emerged as a category, a dialogue of forms, a movement, a style, and a body of cultural practices. The Fin de Siècle established the texts of major authors such as Blake and Shelley, invented a Romantic canon in a wider European and comparative context, but also engaged in subversive reading practices and other forms of underground reception.     

The aim of this conference is to foster a dialogue between experts of the two periods. We welcome proposals for papers on all aspects of Fin-de-Siècle Romanticism, especially with a cross-disciplinary or comparative focus. Topics might include:

  • bibliophilia and bibliomania
  • collecting
  • cults
  • editing
  • objects
  • performance
  • poetics
  • politics
  • print culture
  • sociability
  • continuities and discontinuities
  • Romanticism and Decadence
  • Romantic Classicism
  • European Romanticism and the English Fin de Siècle

Deadline for abstracts: 15 January 2013
Please email 300-word abstracts to

Conference organisers: Luisa Calè (Birkbeck) and Stefano Evangelista (Oxford)

This conference is co-organised by the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies and the English Faculty of Oxford University with the support of the MHRA

Thursday, November 01, 2012

CFP: The Victorian Tactile Imagination (1/10/2013; 7/19-20/2013)

Call for Papers
The Victorian Tactile Imagination
Birkbeck, University of London, 19-20 July 2013

Keynote speakers:
Professor Gillian Beer (University of Cambridge); Professor William Cohen (University of Maryland); Professor Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck, University of London); Dr Constance Classen (author of The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch)

“You people who can see attach such an absurd importance to your eyes! I set my touch, my dear, against your eyes, as much the most trustworthy, and much the most intelligent sense of the two”.
(Wilkie Collins, Poor Miss Finch, 1872)

This conference will explore the various ways in which the Victorians conceptualised, represented, experienced, performed and problematized touch. What does touch signal in nineteenth-century art and literature, and how is it variously coded? How are hands and skin – tactile appendages and surfaces – imagined in the period? By investigating the Victorian imaginary of touch, the conference will address and reappraise some of the key concepts and debates which have shaped Victorian studies in the past twenty years – in particular the emphasis on visuality as the dominant mode via which subjectivities and power were effected in the period: not least Jonathan Crary’s influential thesis that the nineteenth century witnessed a pervasive ‘separation of the senses’. The conference aims to investigate instead the workings of a more textured vision and reanimate the interoperability of sight and touch in nineteenth century culture.

The conference will also extend and build upon recent critical studies that have begun to explore nineteenth-century tactility in relation to material culture, bodies, and the emotions. By focusing closely on touch and tactility, it aims to establish whether and in what terms we might talk about a Victorian ‘aesthetics of touch’, and to explore how touch constructs and disrupts, for example, class and gender identities. It will also consider the historical trajectories of touch, asking, for example, in what ways does touch mark or blur the divide between Victorianism and Modernism?

Proposals of up to 400 words should be sent to Heather Tilley at by 10 January 2013. Please also attach a brief biographical note. Proposals for panels of three papers are also welcome, and should be accompanied by a brief (one-page) panel justification.

Possible topics might include:
  • Tactile/haptic aesthetics (representations of hands and touching; art historical writing on the senses; perspectival theory; nineteenth century sculpture; arts and crafts)
  • Rethinking “visual” media and technologies (photography; stereoscopy; cinema)
  • Touch in the Museum (handling/viewing objects; curating; museum policy)
  • Readers and writers (material cultures of the book; embodied readers and writers; the writer’s hand)
  • Social history (domestic violence; hands and work; the gloved hand)
  • Travel and place (the imperial touch; haptic geographies)
  • The hand, skin and dermal structures in design theory and evolutionary science
  • Medicine (blindness; physiology of touch; the medical touch; nerve theory and motor function; pain)
  • Theories of mind and body (psychophysiology; cognitive psychology; phenomenology; psychoanalysis)
  • The gender and sexual politics of touch, the queer touch (lesbianism, tender masculinities)
  • Histories of touch (inheriting and disrupting eighteenth century models of touch; anticipating Modernist touch).

The conference is organised by Birkbeck, University of London’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies,  with support from the Newcastle Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

CFP: Uneasy Neighbors? (2/28/2013; 9/20/2013)

Uneasy Neighbours?: Rural-Urban Relationships in the Nineteenth Century
An International Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Southampton
Centre for 19th-Century Research
20 September 2013

Keynote Speaker: Keith D.M. Snell, Professor of Rural and Cultural History, University of Leicester

The relationship between urban and rural communities in the nineteenth century was increasingly strained by the unprecedented rate and scale of social, industrial, technological and economic change worldwide. Cities demanded ever more from agriculture, while rural populations decreased; country life and work were changed by mechanisation and industrialisation, while newcomers to the cities had to adjust to alien ways of living and conditions of employment; poverty was commonplace in both the countryside and the cities, while the newly wealthy became landowners and urban leaders. This 1-day interdisciplinary conference aims to consider evidence of the tensions, anxieties and experiences resulting from the changing dynamic between rural and urban life, to examine how this shaped the perceptions of the country and the city, and to explore how these are articulated in different contexts.

Suggested topics might include (but are not limited to):
The rival attractions of rural and urban living; the rise of the suburb; changing ideals of national identity; representations of rural and urban life and work in art and science; women’s lives and work in the country and city; rural and urban health/wealth/poverty; utopianism; urban/rural perspectives in the contemporary press; the role and influence of religion; landowners as businessmen and entrepreneurs; the lives of children; philanthropy; the greening of the city (garden cities); industrialisation of the countryside.

Abstracts (200 words) for proposed 20 minute papers to be submitted by e-mail to and by 28 February 2013.

Registration: £30 (£20 students and unwaged)