Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Registration open: Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture (4/12-13/2013)

Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture
University of Durham & University of York
12th – 13th April 2013

Registration now open!

"It must have seemed like a long garden party on a golden afternoon – to those who were inside the garden. But a great deal that was important was going on outside the garden: it was out there that the twentieth-century world was being made. Nostalgia is a pleasing emotion, but it is also a simplifying one; to think of Edwardian England as a peaceful, opulent world before the flood is to misread the age and to misunderstand the changes that were dramatized by the First World War" (Samuel Hynes, The Edwardian Turn of Mind).

More than forty years since Samuel Hynes wrote these words, many accounts and representations of Edwardian England still invoke the image of the garden party. Building on recent critical reappraisals, such as The Edwardian Sense (Yale 2010), and coinciding with the major Edwardian exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to examine this notion, and to explore the alternatives. Was there such a thing as a distinct Edwardian culture; if so, what were the forces behind it?

This two-day conference will be held at the University of Durham (Friday 12th April) and the University of York (Saturday 13th April), and features a series of papers and panel discussions on subjects ranging from railway posters to chivalric costumes, censorship to science fiction, and spiritualism to neo-Edwardian films. Our confirmed keynote speakers are Dr. Ysanne Holt (Northumbria) and Dr. Simon J. James (Durham).

The total cost of the conference, including lunch on both days and a wine reception to close, is £10.

To register, please visit the online store.
Alternatively, you can follow the links on
For further information please email

‘Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture’ is generously supported by the Centre for Modern Studies and the Humanities Research Centre (University of York), and Event Durham (University of Durham).

CFP: Upstairs and Downstairs: The British Historical Costume Drama on TV (4/15/2013)

Upstairs and Downstairs: The British Historical Costume Drama on TV (from The Forsyte Saga to Downton Abbey)

The recent popular success of “Downton Abbey” calls for a renewed examination of such earlier BBC/ITV/Masterpiece Theatre serialized period dramas as “Upstairs Downstairs,” “The Pallisers,”and “The Forsyte Saga,” among others that have aired (and have been repeated) since the 1970s. We also want to examine how more recent dramas like “Downton Abbey” engage with these earlier productions in terms of style, thematic content, and programming.

We are seeking essays for a critical anthology that addresses such topics (but are not limited to) as the following:

  • How the small screen period drama interrogates past and present gender/ class/race relations and notions of historical “authenticity”
  • Transatlantic reception /interpretations
  • How these TV serials fulfill and/or disrupt notions of “quality television”
  • The afterlife of the serialized period drama on video/DVD
  • The role of fans in shaping the content/reception of these dramas (message boards, role playing, Facebook and other social media sites that connect fans, etc)
  • The relationship between history, heritage, and the costume drama
  • Adaptation and the translation from historical novel to the TV miniseries
  • How history and culture are commodified for popular audiences
  • The feminization of history via the costume drama
  • The relationship between these series and wider developments in TV or popular culture more generally
  • How these programs have engaged with, or been received in relation to, ideas of region and regional difference
  • How the development of the genre been bound up with technological changes, such as the use of video, widescreen and (more recently) HD

Please submit a 500 word abstract and brief CV by April 15 to the editors, Julie Anne Taddeo, University of Maryland, USA ( and James Leggott, Northumbria University, UK (

If accepted, the first draft of essays (approx. 7000 words) will be due Sept. 15, 2013 (guidelines from press will follow).

Please note: Individual authors are responsible for permissions for any images reproduced in their essays.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Last Call: AAL Conference 2013 "Modern Soundscapes" (3/1/2013; 7/10-13/2013)

Modern Soundscapes
University of New South Wales
July 10-13, 2013

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Steven Connor (Cambridge) and Garrett Stewart (Iowa)

What is a modern soundscape?
This conference aims to address this question by drawing together researchers engaged with the history and theory of sound and noise from the fields of literature, film, and media studies, as well as architecture, music and the visual arts to consider the multiple soundscapes that have shaped and continue to shape the history of modernity. Jonathan Sterne contends that dating from around 1725 ‘sound itself’ becomes ‘an object and a domain of thought and practice, where it had previously been conceptualized in terms of particular idealized instances like voice or music’. This historical claim challenges the assumption that modern culture is essentially a visual culture, substituting the ear for the eye, and creating a space for a new sonic history of modernity to be written, theorized and contested.   Thinking through sound has long been a literary preoccupation. Reflecting on the potential of the “auditory imagination” T.S.Eliot wrote, it “is the feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word; sinking to the primitive and forgotten, returning to the origin and bringing something back, seeking the beginning and the end. It works through meanings, certainly, or not without meanings in the ordinary sense, and fuses the old and obliterated and the trite, the current, and the new and surprising, the most ancient and civilized entality.”  Thinking through the resonant opening created by poetic form Eliot imagines potential creative fusions that cut across space, time, culture and forms. Taking inspiration from Eliot’s expansive vision, we invite papers that engage with sound as a catalyst for thought, critical and creative practice, and historical reconsiderations of modern soundscapes from the eighteenth century to the present.

Possible themes/issues may include:

  • Voices, Listening, Hearing
  • Sound Technologies
  • Music and Modern Space
  • Literary soundscapes
  • Sound & Cultural/National Difference
  • Sonic Environments
  • Noise/Sound & Everyday Life
  • Noise & Silence
  • The politics of noise (rioting, dissent, suppression)
  • Noise & the Media
  • Print Culture/ the History of the Book
  • Architectural Space & Acoustics
  • Psychology & Noise
  • Aesthetics & Noise
  • Film Sound
  • Noise & the Avant-Garde
  • Noise & Modernism
  • Victorian & Eighteenth Century Soundscapes

Please submit titles and abstracts for proposed papers by Friday March 1st, 2013 via the submission form on the conference website.

Conference organisers
Helen Groth, Julian Murphet, Penny Hone, Joseph Cummins

Last Call: Neo-Victorian Cultures: The Victorians Today (3/1/2013; 7/24-26/2013)

Neo-Victorian Cultures: The Victorians Today
24-26 July 2013
Liverpool John Moores University 

Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Helen Davies (Teesside University)
Prof. Margaret Stetz (University of Delaware)
A. N. Wilson (Author of The Victorians and The Potter's Hand)

While aesthetic, political and artistic returns to the Victorians have been prevalent throughout the twentieth century, the last decade has seen a particular surge in scholarly work addressing the seemingly ever continuing desire to reassess and adapt Victorian texts, theories, ideas and customs. This work has focused in particular on manifestations of the neo-Victorian on page and on screen, and this conference seeks to build on but also expand these debates by bringing together writers, practitioners and researchers working on the lasting presence of the Victorians since 1901 in a wide variety of realms, ranging from art and architecture to science, politics, economics, fiction and film. In doing so, the event aims to further expand the vibrant field neo-Victorian studies both within and beyond the arts and humanities through an examination of the Victorians¹ continuing influence on twentieth and twenty-first century culture. We therefore welcome and encourage abstracts from postgraduate students, academics and independent researchers from all academic realms in the hope of capturing the diverse work being done on Victorian afterlives across a wide spectrum of disciplines and across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • the ethics, politics and aesthetics of adaptation
  • neo-Victorian politics, economies and economics
  • neo-Victorianism on page, screen and canvas
  • neo-Victorian subcultures
  • the Victorians in contemporary architecture, art and design
  • neo-Victorian journalism/ the Victorian press and contemporary journalism
  • the Victorians in contemporary science and medicine
  • the neo-Victorian canon
  • teaching neo-Victorianism
  • the neo-Victorian marketplace; marketing the (neo-)Victorians
  • Steampunk

Presentations should take the form of 20-minute papers. We also welcome proposals for fully-formed panels or roundtables. For individual papers, please submit a 300-word abstract as well as a short biographical note. For panel and roundtable proposals, please provide a brief outline of the session¹s aims together with abstracts and biographical notes for each speaker and for the proposed panel chair or discussant. All proposals should be emailed to the organisers at no later than 1 March 2013. Please do not hesitate to email us if you have any questions about the event. You can also follow us on Twitter (@Neo_Vic_Cult) and on Facebook ( 

Last Call: NAVSA 2013 "Evidence" (3/1/2013; 10/23-27/2013)

NAVSA 2013, Pasadena, CA, Oct 23-27

The North American Victorian Studies Association Conference for 2013, in Pasadena, California, October 23rd-27th, invites papers on the theme of evidence. Evidence is central to all our work: we use texts, images, objects, the built environment to support our arguments. We also interpret, select, arrange, and juxtapose such evidentiary material. The Victorians strenuously looked for evidence to support their beliefs, social policies, and colonial projects. Our program will include optional workshops at the Getty Research Institute and material culture sessions at the Huntington. Conference attendees will be able to enter the Huntington and its wonderful gardens free of charge.

Proposals for individual papers or panels should be submitted electronically by March 1, 2013. Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 500 words; panel proposals should include 500-word abstracts for each paper and a 250-word panel description. Applicants should submit a one-page cv. All documents should be submitted in .pdf format through the online form linked to the conference website: <>

Conference threads might include: 

  • What is evidence? How do different disciplines identify and use evidence? How does the use of evidence draw boundaries and bridges between disciplines? How does interdisciplinary work deal with evidence?
  • How has the use of evidence changed (new evidence and new ways to use old evidence)?
  • Evidence and the humanities: interpretation, analysis, scientific and historical method, supporting arguments
  • Digitization and the changing nature of the archive, museum and library
  • Teaching and evidence: sources, assessment, pedagogies
  • Lost evidence: wars and other research inconveniences
  • Imagined evidence and historical fictions
  • Science: method, demonstration, essentialism/Social Darwinism
  • Religion: belief, faith and intuition
  • Personal evidence: autobiographies, letters and diaries
  • Visual evidence: photography, painting, theater, film and other displays
  • The building, the city and the village: architecture, urban planning and historic preservation
  • Archaeology, fossils, bone, tracks, spoor
  • The body as evidence
  • Material culture: clothes, pottery, and other everyday objects
  • Crime and Justice: police, detectives, witnesses and the press
  • Politics: parliamentary inquiries, select committees
  • Ghosts and revenants: evidence of the supernatural and of the afterlife
  • The press: scandal and public opinion
  • Evidence and the colonial project

CFP: Popular Entertainment Studies

Popular Entertainment Studies an international peer-reviewed online journal, intends to publish the March 2014 issue (Vol.5, no.1) with the special focus of popular entertainments in times of war.

We believe that the topic may be of interest to all Victorianists in that it encompasses the long nineteenth century from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the outbreak of World War One. We would welcome expressions of interests in the topic and suggestions for what might be included.

In the first instance please contact:

Victor Emeljanow,General Editor
Popular Entertainment Studies

CFP: MLA 2014, "The Victorian Photographic Imaginary" (3/15/2013; 1/9-12/2014)

"The Victorian Photographic Imaginary"
Special Session: MLA 2014 
Chicago, January 9-12

“Here is Queen Victoria photographed in 1863 by George W. Wilson; she is on horseback, her skirt suitably draping the entire animal (this is the historical interest, the studium); but beside her, attracting my eyes, a kilted groom holds the horse’s bridle: this is the punctum; for even if I do not know just what the social status of this Scotsman may be (servant? equerry?), I can see his function clearly: to supervise the horse’s behavior: what if the horse suddenly began to rear? What would happen to the queen’s skirt, i.e., to her majesty? The punctum fantastically ‘brings out’ the Victorian nature (what else can one call it?) of the photograph, it endows this photograph with a blind field.”
-Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

What else can one call it? Please consider submitting an abstract for this special session if your work touches on any aspect of the relationship between Victorian literature and photography. Topics may include realism, poetry, theatricality, intermediality, proto-photography, spiritualism, mourning, identity, or empire. Numerous scholars have shown the importance of literary form for thinking about Victorian photography. Given this growing body of work, our panel will look forward to new directions for the study of Victorian visual culture and appraise how this work relates to the much broader context of the history of photography.

Submit 300-word abstract and CV by March 15, 2013 to Jesse Hoffman, Rutgers University (  

Program: NVSA 2013 Conference (4/5-7/2013)

“1874” – The Northeast Victorian Studies Association conference
Boston University, April 5-7, 2013

Please see the conference website for information on registration, travel, and accommodation:


Friday, April 5
1:30 pm Tour of Victorian Boston with Martha Vicinus

2:00-3:30 pm Registration

3:45 pm Welcome

4:00-5:45 pm: Literary Culture, 1874: Will Lee (Yeshiva U), Moderator
Maia McAleavey (Boston College), “Aurora Floyd (1874)”
Sarah Weaver (U of Cambridge), “Tennyson Turns Playwright”
Laura Green (Northeastern U), “Bathsheba Everdene, Young Brown, and Zelda the Gypsy: At Home in Cornhill Magazine, January, 1874”
Dennis Taylor (Boston College), “Catholicism and Literary Culture in 1874”

5:45-7:15 pm Welcome Reception

7:30-9:30 pm Optional dinner off campus

Saturday, April 6
Book Exhibit

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast and Registration

9:00-11:00 am Keynote panel: James Eli Adams (Columbia U), Moderator
Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck, U of London)
Robert J. Richards (U of Chicago)
Herbert Tucker (U of Virginia)

11:00-11:15 am Coffee Break

11:15 am-12:45 pm Science, 1874: Vanessa Ryan (Brown U), Moderator
Elisha Cohn (Cornell U), “Playful Atoms and Beautiful Cells: Scientific Aestheticisms, 1874-1890”
Kyle Fetter (SUNY Buffalo), “Anxious Scribblings: Genre, Heredity, and Periodization in Samuel Butler’s First Notebook of 1874”
John Mulligan (Brown U), “Richard Proctor’s Sense of Scientific Duty and the 1874 Transit of Venus”

1:00-2:30 pm Lunch
The Saturday lunch, a long-standing tradition, is a convivial event at which topics are proposed and voted on for the following year. All are welcome.

2:30-4:00 pm Technology and Design, 1874: Aaron Worth (Boston U), Moderator
Dory Agazarian (CUNY Graduate Center), “Past into Present: The 1874 Design Debate over the Completion of St. Paul’s Cathedral”
Christopher Keep (U of Western Ontario), “Bodies, Machines, and the QWERTY Keyboard”
Ayla Lepine (Yale U), “Watts and Company, Founded 1874: Religion, Decorative Arts, and Political Controversy”

4:00-4:15 pm Coffee Break

4:15-5:45 pm Philosophy, 1874: Vincent Lankewish (Professional Performing Arts School), Moderator
Patrick Fessenbecker (Johns Hopkins U), “Sidgwick, Meredith, and Parfit on Reasons and Egoism”
Matthew Sussman (Harvard U), “Henry Sidgwick and the Methods of Aesthetics”
S. Pearl Brilmyer (NYU), “Schopenhauer’s Drive: Sex, Agency, and Victorian Literary Feminism”

6:00-7:00 pm Reception (The Castle, 225 Bay State Road)

7:00-9:30 pm Dinner Banquet (The Castle)

9:45 pm After-dinner Drink (Beacon Street Tavern, 1032 Beacon St., Brookline, MA)

Sunday, April 7
8:00-9:00 am Breakfast

9:00-10:30 am Empire, 1874: Sebastian Lecourt (Rutgers U), Moderator
Lucy Sheehan (Columbia U), “Present Pasts: Performances of Slavery and Abolition in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda”
Mark Doyle (Middle Tennessee State U), “The Bombay Riots of 1874: Liberty and Violence in an Imperial City”
Jane McGaughey (Concordia U), “The Orangeman in Winter: Ogle Gowan, Masculine Frailties, and the Rise of the Orange Order”

10:30-10:45 am Coffee Break

10:45 am-12:15 pm Teaching 1874: Lisa Rodensky (Wellesley College), Moderator
Anne Humphreys (Lehman College)
Timothy Alborn (Lehman College)
Rosemarie Bodenheimer (Boston College)

12:15-1:00 pm Conference Wrap-Up
John Plotz (Brandeis U)
Jonathan Loesberg (American U)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NAVSA 2013 Panel Proposal: "'With fog all around them': Obscurity of Form and Suffering in Victorian London" (2/26/2013; 10/23-27/2013)

Panel Proposal:
“With fog all around them”: 
Obscurity of Form and Suffering in Victorian London
NAVSA 2013, Pasadena, CA, October 23-27, 2013

Engaging the NAVSA 2013 conference theme of “Evidence,” this panel looks for proof of what remained invisible within the urban sphere. London, it is often noted, amplified the Victorian awareness of visuality – with its ocular inundation of advertisements, public spectacles, even glass windows and gas-lighting. But as Kate Flint and Lynda Nead have professed in their works on the visual imagination and the image-rich city, respectively, the fascination with visibility prompted a concomitant interest in (and anxiety over) that which remained shadowed and unseen.

This panel intends to accomplish two things. First, it will map the invisible territories of London still underexplored in Victorian criticism, searching out forms of urban suffering that were, for various reasons, out of reach of the gas-lamps' rays and beyond the grasp of sight. Second, it will bring to light how the obscurity of form prompted authors, artists, and commentators to play with formal elements and blur generic borders in their portrayals of urban strife. While keeping this dual intention in mind, papers might consider a wide range of topics linked with invisibility, such as the unconscious, physiology, spectrality, hidden women, mad men, the lower classes, prostitution, criminality, etc.

If your work falls along similar lines, please submit a 500 word abstract along with a one-page c.v. to Adam Watkins at and Laura Eidam at by February 26, 2013.

NYPL Short-Term Research Fellowships 2013 - 2014 (4/8/2013)

The New York Public Library is pleased to offer Short-Term Research Fellowships to scholars from outside the New York metropolitan area engaged in graduate level, post-doctoral, and independent research.  Scholars needing to conduct research in the Library’s special collections for humanities projects including but not limited to art history, cultural studies, history, literature, performing arts and photography are welcome to apply. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents with the legal right to work in the U.S.  Stipends are $1,000 per week for up to four weeks.  Researchers must be in residence at the Library for a minimum of two weeks between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. 

In 2013-2014, the Library will offer additional fellowships to support the study of food and society focusing on manuscript cookbooks and related archival collections held by the Library. With support from the Pine Tree Foundation, the Food Studies Fellowships are intended to support multidisciplinary research and expose individuals working in the area of food studies to manuscript recipe books and archival collections held at the Library. Applicants should follow the same guidelines as the Short-Term Research Fellowship program.

Application Deadline:  April 8, 2013
Notification:  May 3, 2013
Award Period:  July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

Questions about the fellowships should be directed to the curatorial staff in the applicant’s area of interest; see for e-mail addresses of the collections, and for information about the collections of The New York Public Library.

Application:  Complete applications consist of: an abbreviated c.v. with current contact information; a research proposal, including desired length of residency and intended use of the collection(s); a letter of recommendation for the project to be received by April 8, 2013.

Read carefully the Application Guidelines [below] to ensure applications are complete before submission.

Research proposals: The proposal should include a general description or abstract of the research project, its title and genre, e.g. dissertation, book, or article. Applicants should then identify specific materials to be consulted during the desired dates of the fellowship. Successful applications will also include a detailed explanation of how collections unique to the New York Public Library are essential to the project.

Announcement: Fellowship awards will be announced by May 3, 2013. Fellows and their research projects will be acknowledged on the New York Public Library website and in Library publicity.

Residency: Fellows must take up residency between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.Fellows are expected to be in continuous residence for the duration of the  award period as specified in the proposal. The maximum proposal length is four weeks.

Fellow’s Report: Each fellow is required to write a brief statement about his or her project and work completed at the Library by the end of the award period. 

Application Guidelines
Follow these instructions to ensure your application to NYPL’s Short-Term Research Fellowship meets the submission guidelines. Then submit the 5-page application as a single pdf or Word file to by April 8, 2013

page 1 Contact information
Give preferred email address, mailing address, phone numbers
Include project title and format (i.e. dissertation, book, article)

page  2 Abbreviated cv
Summarize positions held and scholarly accomplishments
List citations and activity related to proposed research

page  3 Abstract or summary of the research  project
Introduce the research project as clearly as possible
State its particular significance to a larger discipline
Describe potential results of the project

pages  4-5 Collection use statement
List or describe material at The New York Public Library to be consulted during residency
Explain how these materials or collections are relevant to your project

A complete application requires a letter of recommendation to be sent directly to by the referee by April 8.

If anyone is interested in applying for a Food Studies Fellowship at the Pforzheimer Collection, we have Thomas Love Peacock's ms. recipe books, a manuscript of his entitled "The Science of Cookery," in addition to a number of published cookbooks (including vegetarian cookbooks and volumes promoting vegetarian diet).

Opportunity for Study at Rare Book School

RBS provides five-day, intensive courses for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of written, printed, and born-digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field.

Our 2013 online application is now available at the Rare Book School website,

This year, we are pleased to present more than thirty courses on the history of books and printing. Our offerings this year are particularly rich in the subject of nineteenth century studies, including the following four courses—one of which is new:

L-70. XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts, taking place June 17­–21 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by David Seaman (Dartmouth College Library). In this practical exploration of the creation, preservation, and use of electronic texts and their associated images in the humanities, students will learn about the creation and manipulation of XML texts. This course is ideal for scholars keen to develop, use, publish, and control electronic texts for library, research, scholarly communication, or teaching purposes. For more information: 

H-50 The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820-1940, taking place July 29–August 2 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by Michael Winship (University of Texas at Austin). This course will focus on the manufacturing methods, publishing practices, distribution networks, and reception and use of books, periodicals, and other printed materials in the United States during the industrial era, roughly from the 1820s to the 1940s. Learn about the evolving relationship between authors and publishers, the role of reading and readers, and the rise of trade publishing in this survey, an RBS favorite for almost twenty years. For more information:

L-25 Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books, taking place July 22–26 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by Joel Silver (Lilly Library). Learn about the many reference sources for researching rare books, particularly related to early printed books; British and American literature; historical Americana; voyages and travels; maps and atlases; science and medicine; and the book arts. Course participants will learn strategies for using resources effectively as well as how to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. The course is intended for special collections librarians, antiquarian booksellers, collectors, and scholars who are interested in learning to investigate rare books. For more information:

H-40 The Printed Book in the West since 1800, taking place July 22–26 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by Eric Holzenberg (Grolier Club). This intensive survey of the technological advances in papermaking, illustration processes, composition, printing, binding, and distribution is ideal for those with a strong native interest, but little formal study, in the art and history of the modern book. Charting the rise of industrialization against counter-cultural movements in art and literature, this course offers a splendid history of the book as cultural and aesthetic artifact.
For more information:

For a full course schedule, additional course descriptions, and our online course application, be sure to visit the RBS website at

North West Periodicals Research Workshop (3/8/2013)

North West Periodicals Research Workshop
University of Central Lancashire library
Fri, 8 March, 1pm

The programme includes 2 short talks on Victorian periodicals:

  • Visual culture and mechanical objectivity in 19th-century engineering periodicals – Dr Jonathan Westaway, UCLAN
  • The hidden world of water drinkers: What we have learnt from temperance periodicals – Dr Annemarie Mcallister, UCLAN

There will be an opportunity to browse UCLAN’s special collections of periodicals, including Victorian engineering and astronomy journals and the UK’s largest collection of temperance periodicals.

For further details, go to:

Monday, February 18, 2013

CFP: NAVSA 2013 Panel Proposal: “Finding the Hidden Adult in Victorian Children's Literature” (2/22/2013; 10/23-27/2013)

Panel Proposal: 
"Finding the Hidden Adult in Victorian Children's Literature"
NAVSA 2013, Pasadena, CA, October 23-27, 2013

The Victorian era embraced the notion that childhood should be set aside as a time of unbridled play and fantasy, separate from the adult world of work. Yet the worlds of childhood and adulthood were constantly blurring within and alongside books for both kinds of audiences: Catherine Robson notes the presence of men in Wonderland, Claudia Nelson has recently shown that "precocious children" and "childish adults" populate Victorian literature, and Perry Nodelman locates the "hidden adult" in children's texts.

In keeping with the "Evidence" theme of the NAVSA 2013 conference, this panel seeks presentations that search for evidence of the adult inhabiting the child's world or the child within the adult. Papers might consider child writers imitating adult-authored literature; adults writing for children or mimicking the child's voice; adult/child collaborations; case studies of texts that resist age-based audience conventions; and other instances of this boundary-crossing in the Victorian era, as well as the influence of personal history on literary production. Projects concerned with the exchange between different media forms--e.g., text and image; periodicals and bound volumes; "high" culture genres and "low"--are particularly welcome.

Please submit 500 word paper abstracts along with a one-page c.v. to A. Robin Hoffman at and Meghan Rosing at by February 22, 2013.

CFP: NAVSA 2013 Panel Proposal: “Forcible Evidence: The Periodical Press, the Public, and State Violence” (2/25/2013; 10/23-27/2013)

Panel Proposal: 
“Forcible Evidence: The Periodical Press, the Public, and State Violence”

In recent years, Victorian scholars have given renewed attention to the periodical press and extra-literary modes of communication. Thanks to technological improvements in printing and circulation, the Victorian era saw a significant expansion in the quantity of periodicals and newspapers available to a growing and multifaceted public. As a result, Victorians like Matthew Arnold were anxious about the effect of the new periodical press on the amorphous public and a weakening of state and social authority and coherence, both domestically and abroad. Of course, newspapers could (and did) support state authority as well as oppose it. So how did the press mold readers’ opinions and actions in the guise of delivering information? In what ways did the diverse form(s) of the periodical press shape and present evidence, ultimately influencing what Wilkie Collins called “the Unknown Public?” Specifically, how did justifications for state violence compare to the independent trials performed in the periodical press, and how did the press redefine what counted as evidence for the English reading public?

This panel seeks papers that investigate the role of the periodical press in presenting, shaping, and defining the public and its understanding of the disciplinary role of the state. Papers may address such issues as: What is the newspaper’s treatment of disciplinary violence? What counts as evidence of force, and what counts as forcible evidence? What is the relationship between the newspaper and state methods of control and punishment, including torture, imprisonment, and capital punishment? What is the role of the newspaper in defining the limits of official violence used in colonial spaces? How does the press depict state-sanctioned suffering and the appropriate response of the public to these scenes?

Please submit abstracts of 500 words and a one-page CV by February 25, 2013 to Katherine Anderson (

Panel subject to approval.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

CFP: Vernon Lee (5/31/2013; 10/17-19/2013)

CFP: Vernon Lee
(Violet Paget, 1856-1935)

Women and Political Theory in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Century: Vernon Lee and Radical Circles

Université de Paris Diderot, UFR EILA
17-18-19 October 2013
The Sibyl, Niama, It Palmerino Cultural Association, Advancing Women Artists

“Vernon Lee” (Violet Paget, 1856-1935) is well-known for her remarkable erudition, her sharp analyses of arts, music, and literature, her travel accounts uncovering the mysterious presence of the genius loci, her studies on aesthetic contemplation hinging on the central notion of empathy, her fiction (novels and short stories), her theatre work, and even her involvement in the defence of the city centre of Florence.

But little is known about Vernon Lee as a campaigner against war, against imperialism, and as a free woman striving for an ideal society based on equal rights and universal brotherhood, whose voice grew louder and louder in her fight for peace in Europe and the world. Indeed, as Phyllis F. Mannocchi declared in her Florence paper, 28 Sept. 2012 : “In the scholarship on Vernon Lee, not much attention has been paid to the fact that as she approached late middle age, Vernon Lee seemed to discover her voice as a political ‘radical,’ a supporter of women’s suffrage  a participant in the anti-war movement, and an expert in international relations. Vernon Lee’s ‘radical’ politics were ‘natural’ to her. After all, she was a ‘born internationalist,’ who had lived in France, Germany, Switzerland, England, and Italy, and was multi-lingual. After expressing her opposition to the Boer War (1899 – 1902), Vernon Lee began to write more often on social, political, and international issues. WHY is it that so little is known of her writing on these issues during this later period of her life?” (Phyllis Mannochi, International Conference Violet del Palmerino : Vernon Lee’s Cosmopolitan Salon, 1889-1935, Florence, 27-28 Sept. 2012. Accessible:

This conference will aim to further the knowledge on Vernon Lee’s and other women’s radical theories in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, in relation to contemporaneous British, Italian, French, Swiss, and German radical circles.

We invite contributions on:

  • Alice Abadam
  • Annie Besant
  • Clementina Black
  • Irene Forbes-Mosse
  • Isabella and Emily Ford
  • Mathilde Hecht
  • Emily Hobhouse
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Clémence Royer

Favoured topics will include:

  • Vernon Lee and (Fabian) Socialism
  • Vernon Lee and Anti-Semitism
  • Vernon Lee and Fascism
  • Vernon Lee and Nazism
  • Vernon Lee and Bolshevism
  • Vernon Lee and India (Gandhi)
  • Vernon Lee and International Relations
  • Vernon Lee and women’s suffrage
  • Vernon Lee and women’s role in society
  • Vernon Lee and the relations between men and women
  • Vernon Lee’s pacifism: the Boer War; WWI; the coming of WWII
  • Vernon Lee and vivisection
  • Vernon Lee and the UDC (Union of Democratic Control)
  • Vernon Lee and the concert of nations (League of Nations)
  • Vernon Lee and economics
  • Vernon Lee and Europe
  • Vernon Lee and the Dreyfus affaire
  • Vernon Lee’s philanthropy

Please send your abstracts (title + about 450 words) before 31st May 2013 to
Michel Prum
Sophie Geoffroy

Comité scientifique/ Scientific Board

  • Françoise Barret-Ducrocq (Paris Diderot)
  • Florence Binard (Paris Diderot)
  • Sophie Geoffroy (Université De La Réunion)
  • Guyonne Leduc (Lille 3)
  • Phyllis Mannocchi (Colby University)
  • Michel Prum (Paris Diderot)
  • Shafquat Towheed (London Open University)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CFP: Social Fabrics HG Wells and William Morris Conference (5/15/2013; 9/14/2013)

A Conference Jointly Run by the H.G. Wells Society and the William Morris Society

Saturday 14 September 2013, The Coach House, Kelmscott House, London, UK

We are delighted to invite papers on the full range of topics indicated by the title of the conference.

Please email abstracts of 500 words to 
Emelyne Godfrey,,
Patrick Parrinder, 
and Sylvia Hardy

Deadline for Paper Proposals: 15 May 2013

Location of Conference:
Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA
Nearest tube stations: Ravenscourt Park (10-minute walk) and Hammersmith (15-minute walk).

CFP: The Importance of Being Wilde (3/31/2013; 6/12/2013)

The Importance of Being Wilde: 
Day Symposium on Oscar Wilde and Fin de Siècle Culture University of Limerick, Ireland. 12th June 2013

Plenary Speakers:
Professor Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware)
Professor Joseph Bristow (University of California Los Angeles)

Call for Papers:
On the 8th of January 1884 Mr Oscar Wilde appeared before a Limerick audience in the Theatre Royal  (Henry Street). His lecture ‘On the House Beautiful’ was not well attended; according to the Limerick Chronicle, the audience ‘was select and small and would have damped the ardour of many public speakers’. Nonetheless, Wilde appeared onstage again the following night to deliver a talk on ‘Personal Impressions of America’. Over a century later, this day symposium commemorates Wilde’s visit to Limerick, focusing primarily on Wilde as public intellectual and cultural critic.

A key figure at the fin de siècle, Wilde was a literary writer, radical thinker, and cultural icon all at once. His works, and his legacy, are associated with disruptions of norms of gendered behaviour, sexual identities, class alignments, and aesthetic issues. Today, the flourishing of a diverse and interdisciplinary body of scholarship is testament to his importance. The continued production of Wilde’s work, particularly his plays, attests to the sustained interest of a general audience in his ideas. Our symposium aims to contextualize Wilde’s work in relation to other scholars, literary writers, radical ideas, and avant garde movements of his day.

Papers may address, but are not limited to the following topics:
  • Wilde and his contemporaries
  • The Irish Wilde
  • Wilde and the New Woman
  • Wilde: public intellectual
  • Wilde and aestheticism
  • Wilde and socialism
  • Wilde the European
  • Wilde: our contemporary

Abstracts (300 words, for papers of twenty minutes), accompanied by a brief bio, should be sent to by March 31st 2013.

Organisers: Dr Tina O'Toole, Dr Eoin Devereux, and Dr Kathryn Laing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CFP: RMMLA 2013 19th-Century British Literature Session ( 3/1/2013; 10/10-12/2013)

RMMLA 19th Century British Literature Session--Vancouver, WA.

250-word abstracts dealing with any aspect of English Nineteenth-Century Literature are welcome. Please also include a brief CV or equivalent biographical statement. Graduate students are especially encouraged to submit proposals. The deadline for submission is 3/1/2013, and the conference will be held in Vancouver, WA on October 10-12, 2013.

Please note that accepted presenters will need to be current in their RMMLA dues by 4/1/2013. Abstracts and CVs may be emailed as Word, RTF or PDF attachments to or sent via regular mail to Scott Rogers, 1404 University Circle, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, 84408.

For further information, see the conference website:

CFP: 2014 MLA Dickens Society panel: "Stupid Dickens" (3/1/2013; 1/9-12/2014)

MLA 2014
9-12 January, Chicago
Dickens Society Panel

"Stupid Dickens" invites papers that reflect on and/or move beyond pronouncements that Dickens produced "flat," imbecilic, one-dimensional characters appealing to our non-intellectual selves and sides to consider intelligence/stupidity in terms of (for instance) provincialism/urbanity; cognition and/or affect; race and/or class; literary genre or mode. Please send 250-word abstracts to Rae Greiner, by March 1 2013.

Monday, February 11, 2013

CFP: The Wilkie Collins Journal

The Wilkie Collins Journal, formerly The Wilkie Collins Society Journal, has recently been relaunched as an on-line, open access resource. The current issue, which can be viewed here:, contains five new articles on various aspects of Collins's work, plus book reviews.

Contributions for the 2013 issue are currently being sought. We welcome scholarly articles on any aspect of Collins's work and are particularly keen to publish work that promotes new methodological approaches and / or explores those texts which tend to receive less critical attention. The WCJ also welcomes articles on related authors and 'sensation fiction' (broadly defined), thus submissions on authors such as Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Ellen Wood, Charles Reade, Florence Marryat, etc. will be considered. Submission information can be found by following this link:

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

CFP: Special Neo-Victorian Issue of the Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies (4/1/2013)

The Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies (AJVS) invites submissions for a special edition on neo-Victorianism to be published in September 2013. AJVS is a fully refereed journal published by the Australasian Victorian Studies Association, with articles covering topics as diverse as archaeology, architecture, art, economics, history, literature, medicine, philosophy, print culture, psychology, science, sociology and theatre appearing in its pages. 

The past decade has seen increasing scholarly interest in what Marie-Luise Kohlke, editor of Neo-Victorian Studies, calls "the afterlife of the nineteenth century in the cultural imaginary". This edition aims to contribute to the growing interdisciplinary dialogue about the ways in which the Victorian period is re-imagined in contemporary culture. The guest editor invites research papers on any aspect of the neo-Victorian, including, but not limited to:

  • Neo-Victorian literature, popular fiction, graphic novels and comic books;
  • Film, television and dramatic adaptations of Victorian literature;
  • Steampunk fiction, art and fashion;
  • Neo-Victorianism and cultural conservatism;
  • Neo-Victorianism and its significance for Victorian Studies;
  • Nostalgia and remembering;
  • Gender, sexuality and class politics and neo-Victorianism.

Papers of no more than 7,000 words in length should be emailed as a Word document with an accompanying abstract of approximately 200 words to Dr Michelle Smith,  by 1 April 2013.

Author guidelines for AJVS are available at the journal website:

CFP: Queer Relations: Revising the Victorian Family (4/1/2013)

Queer Relations:  Revising the Victorian Family
Proposal deadline: 1 April 2013
Dr Duc Dau, University of Western Australia
Dr Shale Preston, Macquarie University

We invite contributions for an upcoming volume of essays which examine the Victorian family through a queer lens. 

The Victorian family can be taken to mean the nineteenth-century nuclear or extended family, or the family of texts associated with the Victorian period (e.g. nineteenth-century and neo-Victorian texts).  We are looking for exciting interrogations into the discourse of the Victorian family.  These interrogations can focus on untraditional familial arrangements, non-normative relationships, polyamorous attachments, queer families in disparate communities/locations (e.g. circuses, theaters, brothels, homes for fallen women, monasteries, convents, hospitals, schools, ships, military units, thieving fraternities), homosexual/homosocial utopias, erotic fantasy worlds (e.g. fairy, goblin), etc. 

Alternatively, the interrogations can examine queer 20th and 21st century texts/domains/mediums that allude to or mash-up the Victorian family of texts (canonical or otherwise) or seek to revise traditional notions of the Victorian family.  Focus areas can include but are not limited to the novel, poetry, film, television, theater, auto/biography, periodicals, the internet, steampunk etc.

Please send 300 word proposals and a two-page CV to the editors Dr Duc Dau at and Dr Shale Preston at by 1 April 2013. Completed chapters of 6,000 - 8,000 words will be due by 1 February 2014.

Monday, February 04, 2013

CFP: Victorian Review special issue on "Victorians and Risk" (9/1/2013)

Victorian Review seeks proposals for articles for a special issue on “Victorians and Risk,” to be published in Fall 2014 and guest edited by Dr. Daniel Martin.

Since the publication of Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (1992), sociologists and historians have interrogated the frequency of risks of all kinds in modern life: railway accidents, colliery explosions, natural and industrial catastrophes, spills, fires, and collisions, among countless others. However, the emergence of risk as a sociological and economic reality of everyday life in the nineteenth century still lacks significant scholarly theorizing in the humanities. Current scholarship about Victorian contributions to a modern “risk society” requires a sustained dialogue about how the Victorians conceived of accidents, disasters, catastrophes, and risks of all kinds beyond the limited scope of the local. For this issue, we seek papers that address such a dialogue through analysis of Victorian culture’s fascinations with and anxieties about risky activities, behaviors, industries, legalities, philosophies, and forms of expression.

In general, risks have a peculiar temporality. To “run a risk” is to operate in that space between the historian or statistician and the prophet or sage, to exist in a present moment that requires a continual reconsideration of simple linear or chronological time. Risks mark themselves off against past accumulations of data and past accidental phenomena, but they also anticipate spaces and developments for future prevention. We seek original essays that attempt to situate such theoretical and abstract notions of risk within literary, historical, and cultural contexts. We are especially interested in essays that draw connections between specific risk events and Victorian theorizing about the constantly accumulating risks and accidental phenomena of modern life.       

Interested scholars may wish to develop their ideas according to the following topics:

  • Risk and the Victorian railway network
  • Representations of accidents in the Victorian press
  • Risk and Victorian theories of temporality
  • The subjectivity/performance of risky activities and behaviors
  • Victorian insurance and the origins of risk management
  • Insurance frauds and risky business
  • The phenomenology of bodies at risk
  • Risk, athletics, and bodily performance/techniques
  • Risk and the limits of the body
  • Risky bodies and the origins of statistical personhood
  • Rethinking, revising, reevaluating the notion of a “risk society”
  • Risks in their local and global contexts
  • Genres of risks and genres of the accidental
  • Risk and the periodical press
  • Danger, affliction, and disability
  • Transformations in Victorian concepts of space and time
  • Industrial or human-made disasters and catastrophes
  • Risk and catastrophic thinking in Victorian social theory
  • Risk and decadence/ the aesthetics of risk

Please submit abstracts of 500 words or address enquiries to Dr. Daniel Martin ( by Sept 1, 2013. Final essays will be due by Feb 1, 2014.  

Registration open: Victorian Comedy Conference (4/27/2013)

Registration is now open for a one day conference to be held at University College London on Saturday, 27 April 2013. The conference will consist of a number of papers from experts of various aspects of Victorian Comedy. There will in addition be a roundtable chaired by Dr Jonathan Wild (Edinburgh) and Dr Jane Darcy (UCL) on approaches to teaching Victorian comedy.

The speakers are:

  • Professor Michael Slater (University of London) on Punch serials
  • Dr Carolyn Oulton (Christchurch, Canterbury) on Jerome K Jerome
  • Dr Ann Featherstone (Manchester) on Comedy in Victorian Circuses
  • Dr Oliver Double (Kent) on Little Tich
  • Professor Peter Swaab (UCL) on Edward Lear
  • Dr Jonathan Wild (Edinburgh) on Masculine Middle-Brow Literature
  • Dr Louise Lee (Roehampton) on Darwin’s Humour
The event is free of charge, thank to generous funding from the UCL Arts and Humanities Faculty. It will include refreshments, lunch and a wine reception.

Places are limited. Please contact Dr Jane Darcy to register or to make an enquiry: