Friday, August 30, 2013

Call for Submissions: RSVP "Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize" (12/1/2013)

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals
Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize
Deadline: December 1, 2013

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.  Books exploring the British press of the period are eligible so long as they have an official publication date of 2013. The winner will receive a monetary award of up to $2,000, and will be invited to speak at the RSVP conference in Delaware (September 12-13, 2014). 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, Laurel Brake (, by December 1, 2013.  You or your press will be asked to supply the committee with five copies of the book by mid-December, 2013.  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

CFP: NeMLA 2014 "Victorian Inhumanities" (9/30/2013; 4/3-6/2014)

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Susquehanna University
April 3-6, 2014
Deadline: September 30, 2013

This panel will explore the cultural history of the nonhuman in the long nineteenth century. The panel chairs invite papers that unpack historical ideas of the nonhuman or of the species barrier, especially in relation to disciplinary divisions in the arts and sciences occurring over the course of the nineteenth century. Proposals might focus on canonical cultural documents or more scientific forms like lectures, natural histories, anthropological studies, and so on. 

Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words to by September 30, 2013.

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

Monday, August 26, 2013

CFP: PCA/ACA 2014 "The Body and Culture" (11/1/2013; 4/16-19/2013)

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
Chicago, IL
April 16-19, 2014
Deadline: November 1, 2013

The Body and Culture area of the Popular Culture Association is issuing a call for papers for the national meeting of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association to be held in Chicago, April 16-19, 2014. Papers in this intentionally interdisciplinary and diverse area look at the multitude of meanings culture writes onto bodies, the mechanisms used to write and disseminate those meanings, as well as the impact those meanings have on the bodies so inscribed. 

Deadlines for submissions is November 1, 2013. Specifics on the conference are available at All papers must be submitted online at

Friday, August 23, 2013

Symposium: Damaging the Body "Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth Century Culture and Literature" (10/17/2013)

Free symposium
Damaging the Body "Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth Century Culture and Literature"
Barts Pathology Museum
Thursday 17th October 2013, 6-9 pm

This symposium will seek to explore the relationship between the sciences and Victorian mesmerism, psychical research and parapsychology. This event has been kindly sponsored by the British Society for Literature and Science.

  • Prof. William Hughes (Bath Spa University) "'The Theatre of His Beastly Exhibitions': The Erotic Nature of Early Victorian Magnetism'"
  • Andreas Sommer (UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines) 'Mesmerism, hypnotism and the formation of modern psychology in Germany'

This event is free but tickets will need to be booked in advance. Book online here.

The event will take place at St Bartholomew's Hospital, Pathology Museum and Gallery, 3rd Floor, Robin Brook Centre, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE. Nearest tube: St Paul's 

Doors open at 6pm, when there will be a chance to view the exhibits in the museum. The event will run from 6.30 - 8.30pm

The Damaging the Body website can be found here:

Special Announcement: Small academic publishing house for sale

Small academic publishing house for sale.

Six titles in print, all annotated editions of historical non-fiction works. More titles in progress. This publishing house might suit retired academic or small college or other party seeking to make a contribution to the world of scholarship rather than financial gain.

For details, contact Tony Simpson at:

CFP: NeMLA 2014 "Science and the Occult in the Long Nineteenth Century" (9/30/2013; 4/3-6/2013)

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Susquehanna University
April 3-6, 2014 
Deadline: September 30, 2013

The goal of this panel is to explore the intersections between two current themes in British literary studies: the influence of science on the literature and culture of the long nineteenth century and the period’s simultaneous fascination with and investigation of the occult. While science and the occult are often assumed to occupy different discourses culturally and, particularly in terms of genre, narratively, such a separation is artificial.

This panel seeks papers that explore the intersections between science and the occult as seen in British writing and literature from the long nineteenth century. Ideally papers will address what these discourses tell us about their cultural moment and the development of scientific epistemes. Papers ranging in topic from Romanticism to fin de siecle, from science writing to penny dreadfuls, from magic to physics are welcome.

Please email 250-300 word abstracts and a brief bio to Leigha McReynolds,, by September 30th.  

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

For more information visit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Special Event: Touching the Book: Embossed Literature for Blind People in the Nineteenth Century (7/18-10/30/2013)

Peltz Gallery, Ground Floor, School of Arts, Birkbeck, London WC1H 0PD
July 18 – September 16, Monday-Friday 9-8pm.
September 17 – October 30, Monday – Saturday, 9-8pm

This free exhibition explores the history of literacy for blind and visually impaired people in nineteenth-century Britain and Europe through the development of embossed literature. It introduces visitors to the variety of embossed writing systems that blind people were taught prior to the widespread adoption of braille at the end of the nineteenth century. There was fierce debate in this period between educators who favoured a system based on the Roman alphabet that could be read still by sight and those who advocated for an arbitrary system – such as braille – more suited to finger reading.

Touching the book: Embossed literature for Blind People brings together a rich array of material, including important examples of early classbooks, spiritual guides, the first specially-commissioned embossed Bibles, writing devices, pamphlets and visual images. It details how early embossing attempts were motivated by religious desire to enable blind people to read the word of God directly through touch. This fuelled investment in embossing processes which in turn improved the quality and durability of embossed books.

Most significantly however, the development of finger-reading practices helped to create new communities of literate blind and visually-impaired people who began advocating for reading and writing systems best suited to the needs of blind people. The exhibition highlights individuals in the nineteenth-century blind community who both raised the profile of and were instrumental in improving literacy for blind and visually-impaired people, including Laura Bridgman, William Moon, G.A. Hughes, Louis Braille and Thomas Rhodes Armitage.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reminder: Edited Collection Poetry in Painting: The Lyrical Voice of Pre-Raphaelite Paintings (12/1/2013; 5/30/2014)

Poetry in Painting: The Lyrical Voice of Pre-Raphaelite Paintings
An Edited Collection
Sophia Andres (
Abstract deadline: December 1, 2013. 

This interdisciplinary collection of essays seeks to offer new insights into Victorian culture and society through Pre-Raphaelite perspectives captured in the relationship between Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the poems which inspired them.   Authors are invited to choose paintings by Pre-Raphaelite artists and their associates that have been inspired by poems, or poems inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and discuss the means by which the textual is transfigured into the visual or the visual into the textual.   The goal of this work is primarily, but not exclusively, twofold: (1) to explore the interpretive perspectives on paintings which poems disclose; (2) to examine the Victorian or modern, cultural or sociopolitical, concerns that inform visual and textual relations inspired by Pre-Raphaelite art.

Letters, reviews and journals may be used to convincingly reinforce the connections between poems and paintings.  Through a textual and visual journey, this work should reflect an innovative approach to Pre-Raphaelite art and Victorian poetry.  Of particular interest are paintings and poems which have not hitherto received substantial critical attention.  Since this interdisciplinary work will address both scholarly and general audiences, writers are encouraged to avoid scholarly jargon and lengthy footnotes.
The collection is an international and egalitarian collaboration; we invite scholars of any level or discipline to submit an abstract.

Topics might include (but not limited to) the following:
  • The Spiritual and the Material
  • The Past in the Present
  • Imperial Expansion
  • Historical Indeterminacy
  • National Identity
  • Modernity
  • Natural and Supernatural
  • Rural Industrialization
  • Fantasies of Utopia
  • Social Changes
  • Psychological and Ideological Conflicts
  • Kaleidoscopic Visions
  • Music in Poetry and Painting
  • Rossetti’s Painted Poems
  • Psychological Drama
  • Transgressions of Spatial and Temporal Boundaries
  • Mythologies
  • Prostitution
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Shakespeare
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Dante
  • Youth and Beauty
  • Class Conflicts
  • Shattered Illusions
  • Romantic Longings
  • Promiscuous Eroticism
  • Gender Transgressions
  • Social Entrapments
  • Materialism
  • Women’s Choices
  • Vulnerable Domesticity
  • Moments of Seduction
  • Dream Visions
  • Visionary Experiences

Abstract deadline: December 1, 2013. Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words and a brief CV to preraphaelites2013@gmail.comAuthors will be notified by February 3, 2014, whether or not their abstract has been accepted.  The deadline for the full length chapter, if accepted, is May 30 2014.  Chapters should be between 4,000-5,000 words in length, accompanied by an abstract of 200 words. Preliminary inquiries are welcome: kindly address them to

Reminder: Liberty and Limits 1789-1920 (8/1/2013; 12/5-6/2013)

Liberty and Limits 1789-1920
MGSM, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
December 5-6, 2013
Deadline: August 1, 2013

Keynote Speakers: Professor Nancy Armstrong (Duke University), Professor David Punter (Bristol University), Professor Deirdre Colman (University of Melbourne).

The long nineteenth century was inaugurated by the French Revolution and closed in the aftermath of  the First World War.  In Britain the intervening period was marked by a dialectic compounded of sub-revolutionary change and processes of containment. In all cultural fields new modes of knowledge, theories, and aesthetic forms emerged. The Romantics and Victorians inherited the discursive energies of the eighteenth century in terms of the ways in which literary and other forms of writing were lauded or vilified as intervention, catalyst, palliative or purge. The energy of this period was enacted as much through writing and reading as through empire building and military/mercantile expansion. We invite papers that engage with all aspects of cultural change – including evolution, excess, experimentation, nostalgia, suppression, dissent. Themes addressed can include, but are not confined to, the following:
  • Material print culture and new modes of dissemination of information
  • Literary revolutions
  • Life writing and the private as public performance
  • The modern city
  • The fin de si├Ęcle and the emergence of Modernism
  • Gender/sexual identity
  • Class mobility/instability
  • Industrialisation
  • Anglophone writing and readership
  • Self-help and social mobility
  • Romantic and Victorian poetics
  • Crime and detection
  • Policing
  • Juvenilia
  • The rise of children’s literature
  • Education and literacy
  • Evolutionary theory and social Darwinism
  • The marketplace and the birth of the consumer
  • Science and technology
  • Celebrity authorship as cultural phenomenon
  • The changing nature of readership
  • The politics of Empire
  • Photography/ images
  • Afterlife: Steampunk and neo-Victorian narratives, the long nineteenth century in 
  • film adaptations

Please send 300 word abstracts and proposals for themed panels as word documents or PDF with subject heading “Liberty and Limits Conference Abstract” to: The deadline for receipt of proposals is  August 1, 2013.

Dr Lee O’Brien
Dr Geoff Payne
Dr Ryan Twomey

For full information here is the link to our conference:

CFP: AAH 2014 "Sea Currents: The 19th-Century Ocean World" (11/11/2013; 4/10-12/2014)

Association of Art Historians
London, Royal College of Art
April 10-12, 2014
Deadline: November 11, 2013

Convenors of Session: 
Kathleen Davidson (U of Sydney)
Molly Duggins (U of Sydney)

Vast and fluid, the oceanic spaces of empire in the 19th century inspired an imaginative and multifaceted aesthetic discourse that intersected with colonial and scientific expansion. From the seashore, which emerged as a site of leisure, liminality and transgression, to the seabed, which was perceived as a perilous but alluring frontier, marine environments captivated contemporary practitioners and audiences alike on a local and global scale.

This session presents a new perspective on the art and history of empire as manifested through maritime traditions. Whereas, the oceanic imperium has been viewed in terms of its formal presence and official exchanges across the globe – often with regards to naval power, exploration and navigation – this session will take a closer look at more informal imperial ocean networks. Changing conceptions of the marine world were shaped by increased immigration and maritime trade, steam travel, the fluid circulation of media and technology, the diversification of science, the popularisation of rational entertainment, the rise of spectacular exhibitionary culture, and a gender system in flux.

Taking a comparative approach, this session will address the informal and intimate encounters and exchanges that occurred across 19th-century empires by artists, scientists, travellers, theorists and cultural critics, publishers, and consumers. The panel chairs invite papers that explore how various individuals and groups considered and negotiated the relationship between different visual, tactile and abstract representations of the ocean environment mediated through art, science, architecture, design, craft, text or performance.

Abstracts (max. 250 words) for papers of 25-30 minutes are to be sent to Kathleen Davidson ( and to Molly Duggins ( by November 11, 2013.

For more information on the 40th Annual Association of Art Historians conference: