Monday, June 25, 2012

Last Call: Victorians Journal of Culture and Literature (6/30/2012)

Victorians Journal of Culture and Literature marks the bicentenary birth-years of Robert Browning and Charles Dickens. New work addressing any aspect of their writing, careers, and contributions to literary and cultural history are invited for consideration. Please send electronic submissions to Questions are welcome, as are illustrations (b/w, no copright issues).

Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2012. Notification: August 2012. Publication: December 2012.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CFP: MVSA 2013 "Victorian Belief/Victorian Doubt" (10/31/2012; 4/12-14/2013)

Midwest Victorian Studies Association (MVSA) 2013 Conference
Victorian Belief/Victorian Doubt
April 12-14, Cleveland, Ohio

For our 2013 conference we invite presentations, panels, and entertainments from scholars of art, music, history, history of science, and literature on topics related to Victorian belief and doubt. These could include religions, superstitions, and convictions of all sorts, and their obverse: skepticisms, denials, and uncertainties. With its single, shared session format, MVSA offers a unique opportunity to present work to an undivided audience. Participants are also invited to submit essays for an edited volume of articles based on conference proceedings.

Sample topics might include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Religious controversies; conversion and de-conversion
  • Musical or artistic expressions of faith, belief and doubt
  • “The invisible hand,” political economy, and “faith in the market”
  • Ethics and morality
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Missions and missionaries
  • Secular faiths: agnosticism, Positivism, the “religion of Socialism”
  • Science as a system of belief; skepticism; the “unknowable”
  • Folk beliefs: medicine, superstitions, witchcraft, magic
  • Eclectic faiths: Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.
  • Social class and religion
We encourage submissions for sessions of varied formats; panels devoted to teaching the Victorians; and proposals relating to digital Victoriana. Proposals for 20-minute papers or longer panels should submit 500-word abstracts and vitae by October 31, 2012, to; if you do not receive a reply within 3-5 days, please re-send.

We are pleased to have as our 2013 plenary speakers Timothy Larsen, McManis Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College and author of Crises of Doubt: Honest Faith in 19th-Century England (2006) and A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (2012); and Julie Melnyk of the University of Missouri-Columbia, author of Women’s Theology in 19th-Century Britain (1998) and Victorian Religion: Faith and Life in Britain (2008).

Even if you do not submit a paper, please plan to attend!  For more information, please visit

Friday, June 15, 2012

CFP: Pre-Cinema & Silent Film (NCSA, CSU/Fresno) (9/30/2012; 3/7-9/2013)

Special Session on Pre-Cinema & Silent Film

34th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association
Fresno, California, March 7-9, 2013

As part of the 2013 NCSA conference, Arnold Anthony Schmidt is seeking papers or presentations for one or more panels about pre-cinema and early film technology, as well as on silent film creators (producers, actors, directors) and images (representations of class, culture, gender, or race) produced anywhere before 1914. Film – i.e. “moving pictures” -- fits neatly into the conference theme of Locomotion, which I interpret very broadly.

If they like, scholars might address the theme literally (treating images of travel and physical movement) or metaphorically (e.g. technical evolution; camera movement; narrative or character development; cultural, historical, or psychological change). Feel free to email me if you have questions about the appropriateness of a topic for presentation.

To submit, please e-mail 250-word abstracts of 20-minute papers and one-page vitae to Arnold Anthony Schmidt at by 30 September 2012. It may be possible to arrange screenings to accompany the panels, so include information about any material available.

Graduate students may, upon acceptance of their abstracts, submit complete papers in competition for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses.

For more information, please see the general conference CFP:

CFP: Moving Towards Science in the Long Nineteenth Century (7/30/2012; 9/12/2012)

‘Moving Towards Science in the Long Nineteenth Century’: 
Postgraduate Symposium
12 September 2012, 
The Literary and Philosophical Society, 
Newcastle upon Tyne.

Guest speakers:
Professor Jennifer Richards and Dr Anne Whitehead (Newcastle University), Professor David Knight (Durham University), and Dr Peter Garratt (Northumbria University)

The North East Postgraduate Research Group for the Long Nineteenth Century (NENC) invites proposals for a one-day postgraduate symposium held on Wednesday 12 September 2012.

The theme of the symposium reflects two parallel ‘moves’ towards science. First, it references the rise of the ‘natural sciences’, the scientific method, and the professional scientist across the long nineteenth century. Second, it recognises moves in contemporary arts and humanities scholarship towards a more nuanced disciplinary relationship with the sciences and the possibility of ‘one culture’.  Adopting an exploratory methodology, the day will allow postgraduate delegates to think widely about how literary culture of the period approached, adapted, and rejected emergent scientific, technological, and medical discourses and methods. More broadly, we will consider how and why literature and science might move together in the contemporary academy.

Ranging across the early modern period to the end of the long nineteenth century in their areas of specialisation, our guest speakers will consider in particular how they have approached or made use of scientific discourses in their own research. This will provide delegates with an opportunity to gain insight into some of the methodological and theoretical benefits and challenges of a turn towards science. Accordingly, we invite proposals from postgraduates for papers which broadly consider ‘moves’ towards science in the literature of the long nineteenth century, or in contemporary approaches to nineteenth-century literature.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Defining science then and now: shifting linguistic terms
  • Science in the public arena: the role of institutions in shaping relations between literature and science
  • The popularisation of science through literary forms: prose, poetry, periodical, and pamphlet
  • Reading in new ways: approaching the scientific text across disciplinary lines
  • Specialisation and the figure of the professional scientist
  • Evolution: approaches, responses, reactions
  • Developing narratives: the Enlightenment, discovery, invention
  • Science in literary forms and the literary form of science
  • Medicine and the burgeoning medical industry
  • Science at the margins: gender, class, race, and geography
  • The collaboration of scientific and literary circles
  • Science and anxiety: resistance to scientific ideas in literature
  • The rise of psychology and theories of the mind
  • Pseudoscience and quackery: authenticity, belief, demonstration, and revelation

Abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted to by 30 July 2012.

The symposium is being generously supported by the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) and by the three host Universities (Newcastle, Durham, and Northumbria). The day will therefore be free to attend, and we are delighted to be able to offer a number of postgraduate travel bursaries.
Please indicate in your abstract if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

For more information please visit the NENC website:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Registration Open: “The Other Dickens” conference (7/6-8/2012)

The University of Portsmouth is pleased to announce that registration for 'The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts' conference at the Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth, 6-8 July, is now open.  You can register and view the draft conference programme online at

As well as the conference itself, Victorianists are invited to register for two special events: a public lecture by Lillian Nayder entitled 'Afterlives: Mrs Dickens in Fact and Fiction' (7pm, 6th July) and Miriam Margolyes' show 'Dickens' Women' (5pm, 8th July, Portsmouth Grammar School).  Further details can be found at

We look forward to seeing you in the city of Dickens' birth for these bicentenary events!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

CFP: Victorian Review Hamilton Prize (6/30/2012)

Victorian Review invites applications for the Hamilton Prize for the best graduate student paper submitted to the journal in a given year. The annual award honours the effort and achievements of Susan Hamilton, editor of Victorian Review from 2000 to 2006.

Papers should be 20-25 pages in length and should not have been previously published. The winner must have been registered as a graduate student in the six months preceding the competition deadline. Winners will receive an award of $250 CAN and publication of the winning essay in Victorian Review. The deadline for submissions for the competition will be June 30 2012

The winning essay will be selected according to three criteria: contribution to Victorian studies; quality and originality; and style and clarity. The award will be judged by the editorial team of the journal in consultation with Advisory Board members. 

Please send entries to:
ATTN: Mary Elizabeth Leighton
Submissions Editor

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Registration open: Race, Nation and Empire on the Victorian Popular Stage (7/11-14/2012)

Registration is now open for the major international conference ‘Race, Nation and Empire on the Victorian Popular Stage’ (to be held in the Storey Institute, Lancaster, 11-14 July 2012).

Please visit the website for further information (

The full programme is available for download from the website. A list of confirmed panels and speakers is to be found at the base of this email. You’ll see an excellent line up of speakers from across the UK, North America and Australia. John MacKenzie will provide the keynote lecture: ‘All the Empire’s a Stage: the Context and Performance of Imperialism’. (Emeritus of Lancaster, Edinburgh etc). He is author of Propaganda and Empire, Imperialism and Popular Culture and series editor of Manchester University Press’ Studies in Imperialism. Jane Pritchard (Victoria and Albert Museum) will deliver a special session which includes the exhibition of early film footage highlighting dance practice. The conference includes papers from academics working in the fields of theatre history/performance studies, Victorian literature, cultural history and museum studies. Cengage is sponsoring a special session on digital archives and Victorian Studies.

Booking now open: Victorian Popular Fiction Association 4th Annual Conference “Hard Cash” (7/11-12/2012)

Booking is now open for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association 4th Annual Conference, 11–12 July 2012, Institute of English Studies, University of London, Senate House.

Theme: Hard Cash: Money, property, economics and the marketplace in Victorian Popular Culture

Keynote speakers: Regenia Gagnier: 'The global circulation of British literature and culture: British fiction, economics and the marketplace', and Deborah Wynne: 'Hades! The Ladies! Male Drapers and
Female Shoppers'

Guest Speakers: David Waller, author of The Perfect Man: The Muscular Life and Times of Eugen Sandow Victorian Strongman and Helen Rappaport author of Beautiful For Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street – Cosmetician, Con-Artist, and Blackmailer

The VPFA conference is now an established event on the annual conference timetable and offers a friendly and invigorating opportunity for established academics and postgraduate students to share their current research. Our theme this year is Hard Cash: Money, property, economics and the marketplace in Victorian Popular Culture. This theme enables us to develop the interdisciplinary study of
nineteenth-century popular culture, and changing attitudes to money and economics across the period.

To view the provisional programme or to register your place, please visit:

Saturday, June 02, 2012

CFP: Nineteenth-Century Philanthropy: Poverty, Giving, and the Culture of Altruism (8/10/2012)

Given the pervasive nature of private philanthropy during the long nineteenth century, its influence on the basic institutions of society was inescapable.  In the uneven march toward the modern welfare state, fluctuating government policy dictated the scope of the public sector and the space for private volunteerism, and philanthropists became increasingly effective at shaping policy debates.  With the growth of charitable organizations came the development of presumably scientific and disinterested methods of coordinating and systematizing relief, often in order to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Examining the discourse involved in these methods illuminates the complex motives behind charity work and the ways in which nineteenth-century philanthropy worked hand-in-hand with the other institutions of its day.

Literature of the period both reflected these issues and sought to influence debates over the nature and function of philanthropy. While some social reform writers adopted philanthropy as the figure for their own artistic endeavors, others militated against its rising influence—Carlyle characterized the new phenomenon of “philanthropology” as a “sugary, disastrous jargon.” Many writers, understanding its polarizing energy, made it a central theme of their works.

We propose a collection of essays addressing the function of philanthropy in British and American writing of the long nineteenth century.  Essays should explore the multi-faceted nature of philanthropic discourse and try to account for its prominent and dynamic role in the literature of the period. 
Possible topics include:

  • Philanthropy as social classification: modes of discrimination, the “deserving poor,” detecting pauperism
  • The science of charity: ethics, altruism, philanthropy in evolutionary thought, moral and social psychology—Darwin, Spencer, Bain, etc.
  • The economics of philanthropy: business models, paving the way for the welfare state, criminal philanthropists
  • Lady Bountiful: women’s contributions to charity work and philanthropic constructions of gender
  • Imperial philanthropy: transnational exchange, colonial subjects as philanthropists, negotiating competing ideologies of race and nation, abolitionist discourses
  • The “Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists”: self-help societies, the poor as philanthropists, reverse philanthropy
  • Educational philanthropy: ragged schools, Sunday schools, working men’s institutions
  • Competing ideologies of philanthropy: political economy, religion, socialism, utopianism
  • Philanthropic fiction: authorship as philanthropy, depictions of charity in mass media, philanthropic print culture, satirical portraits

Please send a 500-word proposal and 1-page vita by August 10th, 2012 to:

Frank Christianson
Associate Professor of English
Brigham Young University

Leslee Thorne-Murphy
Associate Professor of English
Brigham Young University

Essay drafts (7-10,000 words) will be due by August 1st, 2013.