Thursday, March 27, 2014

CFP: Creativity and Commerce in the Age of Print (5/5/2014; 7/26/2014)

“Creativity and Commerce in the Age of Print”
Centre for the History of the Book
University of Edinburgh
July 26, 2014
Deadline: May 5, 2014

Hosted by the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the sometimes-fraught connections between the ‘art’ and ‘trade’ of books from the Western invention of printing to today. Are the interests of authors and publishers always opposed, or can they lead to productive forms of collaboration? Does work undertaken for the marketplace necessarily compromise its moral and cultural standing? How does literature become property, and how has authorship evolved between the starving writer of ‘Grub Street’ and the modern book festival circuit? Can the requirements of the printing and bookselling industries constitute a form of de-facto censorship, determining the types of work that are published and circulated?

The organizers are currently seeking papers from postgraduate and early career researchers interested in questions such as these, with potential topics including (but not limited to):
  • Authorship and other creative professions
  • The printing and bookselling industries
  • Author-publishers relationships
  • Dissemination networks
  • Subscription and patronage
  • Book advertising, illustration
  • Serial publication
  • ‘Tie-ins’, merchandise, and material culture
  • Libraries and book collecting
  • Commerce and censorship
  • Originality, copyright, and intellectual property
  • Book piracy and its national boundaries
  • Creative work and gender
  • The impact of new technologies for production and dissemination
  • The ‘rise’ or ‘death’ of print.
Proposals in all relevant subject areas and historical periods post-1450 are welcome. Please send a 200-word abstract to by May 5, 2014. Limited travel bursaries may be available; indicate if you would require one to attend. The conference will take place in Edinburgh on July 26, 2014, with registration opening in June.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CFP: PAMLA '14 George Eliot (5/15/2014; 10/31-11/2/2014)

Special Session: George Eliot
PAMLA 2014
Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, California
October 31-November 2, 2014 
Deadline: May 15, 2014

Paper proposals are currently being accepted for a special session on George Eliot for the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association 2014 conference. This panel will explore the complex ideas and themes throughout Eliot’s work. Contributors are encouraged to submit work that examines the many facets of Eliot’s output, as she engaged the historical, literary, philosophical, and cultural trends of her day.  

Deadline for submission: Proposals and abstracts of 300 words should be submitted via the online system at by May 15, 2014. Questions or inquiries can be directed to

Registration: Collecting Byron (4/11-13/2014)

Collecting Byron: A Conference in Celebration of the Byron Society Collection
Founded by Marsha M. Manns and Leslie A. Marchand
Drew University and the Byron Society of America
Madison, New Jersey
April 11-13, 2014

Program--To view the conference program visit:
All events and gatherings take place in Mead Hall


For inquiries please contact me directly:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Extended Deadline: Cosmopolitanism, Aestheticism, and Decadence, 1860-1920 (4/8/2014; 6/17-18/2014)

Cosmopolitanism, Aestheticism, and Decadence, 1860-1920
University of Oxford
June 17-18, 2014
Deadline: April 8, 2014

Plenary Speakers:
Dr Stefano Evangelista (Trinity College, Oxford)
Professor Jonathan Freedman (University of Michigan)
Dr Michèle Mendelssohn (Mansfield College, Oxford)

Over the past twenty years, the term "cosmopolitanism" has been the focus of intense critical reflection and debate across the humanities. For some, it represents a potential remedy for oppressive and antagonistic models of national identity and a means of addressing the ethical, economic, and political dilemmas produced by globalisation. Others consider it a peculiarly insidious form of imperialism, and argue that it advocates an untenable ideal of a privileged, rootless observer, detached from — and disposed to romanticise or commodify — very real injustices and inequalities. Meanwhile, the "transatlantic" has emerged as a popular critical framework and field of inquiry for historians and literary scholars. But the "transatlantic" is also sometimes perceived as a problematic category insofar as it can serve to reinforce the narrow focus on Anglo-American culture that the "cosmopolitan" ideal aspires to overcome. 

Aestheticism and decadence, which flourished as broad artistic tendencies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, speak directly to the issues at stake in contemporary debates about "cosmopolitanism" and "transatlanticism". This is firstly because they evolved out of transnational dialogues between artists, writers, and critics. But it is also because aestheticism and decadence tended to celebrate an ideal of a disaffiliated artist or connoisseur whose interests ranged freely across history, language, and culture, and who maintained an ironic distance from the conventional determinants of identity. Over the last two decades, nineteenth- and early twentieth-century aestheticism and decadence have become established and extremely lively areas of research in the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, and art history. Our conference aims to bring together established as well as emerging scholars in these fields, and to explore how the attractions and problems of "cosmopolitanism" illuminate, and can be illuminated by, current scholarly debates about aestheticism and decadence.

Possible topics for papers include, but are not restricted to: 
  • Border crossing/flânerie/tourism/expatriatism
  • Aestheticism/Decadence and the Ideals of World Citizenship/Literature
  • Cosmopolitan Communities and Identities
  • Cosmopolitan Forms and Formalisms
  • The Poetics of Cross-Cultural Influence/Translation
  • The Politics of Aestheticism, Decadence, and/or Cosmopolitanism
  • Networks of Artistic and Scholarly Exchange
  • Anti-cosmopolitanisms: Nationalism, Philistinism, and Xenophobia
  • Visual Culture and the Consumption of Art
  • Salons, coteries, and clubs
  • Print culture and the circulation of texts beyond national borders
  • Exile, Hospitality, Assimilation, and Strangers
  • Consumerism and Mass Culture
  • Elitism, Democracy, and Culture/Kultur
  • Transatlantic Fashion and the Circulation of Commodities
  • The ethics of Aestheticism, Decadence and/or Cosmopolitanism
  • World Religions, Alternative Spiritualities, and Cosmopolitan Secularisms
  • Regional Writing/Forms of Localism/Homelands
  • Cosmopolitan Detachment/Aesthetic Disinterest
  • Decadent/Aesthetic Cities
  • The aesthetics of particularity/universality
  • The pathologisation of Decadence/Cosmopolitanism
  • Transatlantic Celebrity/The Cult of the Artist
The committee will provide four fee-waiving places at the conference: two are reserved for graduate students who wish to attend and serve as conference reporters, and two are reserved for early career researchers (i.e., graduate students or scholars who have recently completed a PhD but do not currently have a supportive institutional affiliation) who wish to deliver a paper and would otherwise struggle to attend. If you would like one of these fee-waiving places, please write to us and briefly explain (in fewer than 500 words) how the conference relates to your research.

Please send proposals (of 500 words or fewer) as pdf or Word attachments to by April 8, 2014. 

Extended Deadline: Victorian Collections and Collecting (3/31/2014; 10/16-18/2014)

Victorian Collections & Collecting
California State University, Fullerton
October 16-18, 2014
Deadline: March 31, 2014

Keynote speaker: Anne Helmreich (Senior Program Office, The Getty Foundation; Art History, Case Western) is the author of The English Garden and National Identity, the Competing Styles of Garden Design, 1870-1914, and numerous articles and book chapters on the art and architecture of nineteenth-century Great Britain. 

We encourage papers across all disciplines. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Collecting/Collections and commodity culture
  • Connoisseurship, expertise, and elites
  • Collected works and Oeuvres
  • Communities/coteries of taste
  • Art, museums, and curation
  • Collecting science and nature
  • Congregations, Crowds, Masses, Mobs
  • Collecting and empire
  • Competitive collecting
  • Collecting and Entrepreneurship
  • Eccentric and eclectic collections
  • Centripetal and centrifugal forces
  • Collecting among the nouveau riche
  • Periodicals as collections
  • Collecting as a response to modernity
  • Cataloging, indexing, and taxonomies
  • Neo-Victorian and steampunk collections
  • Genres of collection: Anthologies, Albums, Compilations, Compendia
  • Hoarding and obsession

California State University, Fullerton is a major regional university in a vital, flourishing area that includes Orange County, metropolitan Los Angeles and the expanding Inland Empire. The campus is set in Fullerton in north Orange County, about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, 21 miles east of nearby beaches, and just minutes from Disneyland.

To submit: Email a 300-word abstract and 1-page CV (name on both) to by March 14, 2014.

CFP: Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users (4/16/2014; 6/16-17/2014)

Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users: Studying Victorian Print Consumption in 2014
Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies
National University of Ireland, Galway
June 16-17, 2014
Deadline: April 16, 2014

Plenary speakers: Dr Stephen Colclough, Bangor University & Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin, National University of Ireland, Galway

Nineteenth-century studies continues to engender some of the most dynamic scholarship in the study of historical readership with works like Leah Price’s How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (2012) featuring some of the most thought-provoking commentary on reader encounters with print to emerge in recent times.  

Conceptualisations of the functions print commodities served for various groups of nineteenth-century consumers grow increasingly nuanced.  Much of this research into the history of reading has been fuelled by mass digitization endeavours like Google Books and digital humanities projects like The Reading Experience Database. However, while such resources offer significant possibilities, the conditions under which one now engages with this primary material can give rise to questions of context, materiality, and access.  Accordingly, this two-day conference will seek to appraise the current state of the field and offer a forum for twenty-minute papers that address any aspect of the consumption and production of Victorian print culture matter, historical or contemporary.  It is also envisaged that an edited collection published by an international academic house will result from the conference.

Possible topics upon which submissions are welcome include but are certainly not limited to:  
  • Historical readers and reading practices of the Victorian period
  • Readership and issues of gender and/or sexuality: e.g. constructions of “the woman reader”; “masculine” reading matter; and “queer” reading experiences. 
  • Periodical and/or serial circulation and consumption in territories like nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia
  • The publication, dissemination, and consumption of books and/or series in nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia
  • Transnational print culture in the nineteenth century: national and global identities
  • Methodological concerns in the study of the history of reading 
  • Consumers, producers, and Victorian visual culture 
  • Disposable literature and ephemera of the Victorian age
  • Scholarly editing projects and nineteenth-century culture
  • The planning, design, and use of digital resources in the study of nineteenth-century print culture, including debates surrounding open access and paywalls.
Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words together with a short biography (c. 100 words) to by April 16, 2014. Decisions will be announced in early May.  Postgraduates and early career scholars are particularly welcome. Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to

This conference is made possible by the generous support of The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CFP: MLA '15 "Literature that Sparks Social Change" (3/15/2014; 1/8-11/2015)

MLA 2015
Vancouver, Canada
January 8-11, 2015
Deadline:  March 15, 2014

Literature that Sparks Social Change
Scholarship often focuses on how fiction reflects social change, but what literary works have concretely led to social movements or specific social reforms, and how? 300-word abstract by March 15, 2014; Ursula McTaggart ( and Laura Struve (

Reminder: Decadence and the Senses (4/10-11/2014)

Reminder! Registration Open
"Decadence and the Senses: An Interdisciplinary Conference"
Goldsmiths, University of London,
April 10-11, 2014

This interdisciplinary conference explores the relationship of Decadence and the senses, and the ways in which Decadent writers attempt to capture fleeting sensations.  It is an opportunity to trace common visual, aural and 'perfumed' motifs in Decadent works, and to reflect on the extent to which the senses are important to our understanding of the tradition.

To register and to view the program, visit

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Registration Open: Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes (4/10-11/2014)

Registration Open
University of Liverpool
April 10-11, 2014 

“Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes”
History is not like a bus-line on which the vehicle changes all its passengers and crew whenever it gets to the point marking its terminus. Nevertheless, if there are dates that are more than conveniences for the purposes of periodisation, August 1914 is one of them. Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire.

At the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, how useful is it to think about the Edwardian era as ending decisively in 1914? Indeed, how helpful have conventional boundaries of periodisation been in our understanding of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century British culture? Rather than viewing ‘the Edwardian’ as a fixed and isolated historic moment, this conference seeks to open up new ways of thinking about the premonitions and echoes of the Edwardian age. Just as the 1880s and 1890s can be interpreted as ‘proto-Edwardian’, so too the Edwardians can be seen to have anticipated many issues and debates of the present day, from coalition governments to trade unions, immigration acts to women’s rights.

The committee invites papers on any aspect of British culture, based on varied temporal definitions of the ‘Edwardian period’.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: 
  • Proto-Edwardians: how far back can we trace the spirit of the Edwardian age? The Victorians? The Regency? Beyond?
  • 21st Century Edwardians: to what extent have the social reforms, political activities and cultural developments of the Edwardian era shaped contemporary society?
  • Between Two Wars: what is the relationship between war and the Edwardians? How significant is it that the Edwardian era is frequently perceived to have been bookended by the Boer War and the First World War?
  • Old versus new: how helpful is Samuel Hynes’s observation that the Edwardian era was one in which ‘old and new ideas dwelt uneasily together’? Was the Edwardian period an unusually heterogeneous cultural moment?
  • Uncanny Edwardians: how did the Edwardian preoccupation with séances, emergent psychological theories, and theological developments, influence their perception of themselves in terms of their historical moment?

“Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes” is the second annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network.  The two-day conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on April 10th-11th 2014. For more about the conference and the Edwardian Culture Network, see

Job Posting: Professor of English Literature University of Lincoln (3/31/2014)

Professor of English Literature
University of Lincoln
Closing date: March 31, 2014

The University of Lincoln is seeking to appoint a Professor of English with a specialism in English Literature post-1800. Based in the School of Humanities you will work alongside the Head of School and a team of research active colleagues providing academic leadership and strengthening the research environment. The English subject team has distinctive strengths in nineteenth-century studies and contemporary writing and has been strengthened in recent years through significant investment in new academic staff. Preparation for the next REF exercise is already underway and our new Professor will be central in shaping our submission.

The University of Lincoln is a forward-thinking, ambitious and international institution and you will be working in the heart of a beautiful, historic and friendly city.

For an informal conversation please contact our Executive Consultant, Imogen Wilde, of Harvey Nash on +44 (0) 20 7333 1503 or 07791 938533.

To apply please visit our website,

CFP: The Prosaic Imaginary (3/31/2014; 7/1-4/2014)

The Prosaic Imaginary: novels and the everyday, 1750-2000
University of Sydney
July 1-4, 2014
Deadline: March 31, 2014

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: 
Professor Maud Ellmann, Randy L. & Melvin R. Berlin Professor of the Development of the Novel in English, Chicago Associate Professor Julie Park, Vassar Professor John Plotz, Brandeis

The conference will open up the nuances of the term ‘prosaic’ by exploring the privileged relationship between the novel genre and multiple and complex categories of the ‘everyday’. Building on John Plotz’s notion of the novel as exemplary ‘portable property’, the conference will address the relationship between novel-reading as everyday activity and the novel’s prosaic subject matter, whether this is conceived as material object, cultural practice, or speech act.

Suggested topics:  
  • The novel and things
  • The novel and film/and TV
  • Readerships of the novel
  • The novel and gender
  • The novel and childhood
  • Queer novels
  • Psychologies of the novel
  • Novel genres
  • The odd or uncategorisable
  • The secular imagination
  • Book history and the novel
  • The novel and the digital everyday
  • Characters as quasi-persons
  • Novel worlds
  • The novel and the institutionalisation of affect
  • The novel as political action
  • Temporalities of the novel
  • The novel and the forms of property
  • The scale of the novel

Proposals for 20 minute papers or for 3 paper panel sessions should be sent to Vanessa Smith ( by March 31 2014. Postgraduate submissions welcomed. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

CFP: MLA '15 "New Approaches to Science and Technology in Victorian Studies" (3/14/2014; 1/8-11/2015)

MLA 2015
Vancouver, Canada
January 8-11, 2015
Deadline: March 14, 2014

"New Approaches to Science and Technology in Victorian Studies"
This panel is seeking papers bringing new approaches to science and/or technology (including but not limited to those listed below) to readings of Victorian literature and culture, and in papers focused on the impact these new approaches may have for the field of Victorian Studies:
  • Victorian literature
  • culture and: STS (science, technology, society)
  • philosophy of science/technology
  • history of science/technology
  • technoculture; etc.
Please send a 500-word proposal a 1-page CV by March 14, 2014 to Jessica Kuskey (

CFP: MLA '15 “The Ballad Beyond Bibliography” (3/15/2014; 1/8-11/2015)

Special Session, MLA 2015
Vancouver, Canada
January 8-11, 2015
Deadline: March 15, 2014

“The Ballad Beyond Bibliography”
Ballad are a robust medium for the dissemination of social knowledge and attitudes; what is the meaningful life of ballads within cultures? 1 page abstract – bio by March 15, 2014; Alan Rauch (

CFP: SCBS '14 (3/15/2014; 11/14-15/2014)

Southern Conference on British Studies & the Southern Historical Association
Atlanta, Georgia
November 14-15, 2014 
Deadline: March 15, 2014

Spearkers: The 2014 SCBS annual meeting will feature a plenary address by Susan R. Grayzel, University of Mississippi and a roundtable discussion featuring Michael P. Winship on his book, Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims and a City on a Hill.

The SCBS construes British Studies widely and invites participation by scholars in all areas of British history and culture, including the Empire or Commonwealth and the British Isles.  Interdisciplinary approaches and proposals which focus broadly on teaching British studies are especially welcome.

Proposals may consist of individual papers or of papers grouped for a session.  For session proposals, two or preferably three papers should relate to a common theme, not necessarily bound by the usual chronological framework. For each paper proposed, please submit an abstract of 200 words, a CV, and contact information for each participant. Proposals should be sent to Dr. Katherine Grenier at: or Department of History, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29409.

Final Reminder: NAVSA '14 (3/7/2014; 11/13-15/2014)

NAVSA 2014
London, Canada
November 13-15, 2014
Deadline: March 7, 2014

There is just ONE day left to submit proposals to the 2014 NAVSA conference in London, Canada.  Here's the submission form:

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, March 7.  You can find out more information about the 2014 conference here:

Please note that, if you are submitting an entire panel, you will need to provide cvs and proposals for each of the people on your panel.  These need to be separate files and must all be in PDF format.  

CFP: SCLA '14 "Nuance" (5/12/2014; 10/10-12/2014)

SCLA 40th Annual Meeting
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida
October 10-12, 2014
Deadline: May 12, 2014

For Roland Barthes, nuance named "an ethical project." "I want to live according to nuance," he declared. But what is nuance, and what possibilities might it open up for thinking about the arts and humanities today? What role might it play in interpretation, in teaching and scholarship, in reading and writing? Wayne Koestenbaum, the keynote speaker for this conference, suggests that nuance appears as "a trace, like dust on plush, [that] resuscitates a lost instant when someone…raptly concentrated on a stray interpretive detail." What does it mean to care about nuance, to overlook it, to suppress it? In addition to an ethics of nuance, might we speak of a politics, an aesthetics, a history of nuance?

At the 2014 SCLA conference we will explore what it means to read for (and with) nuance. Welcome avenues of inquiry could include, but are not limited to:
  • the ethics of interpretation
  • translation and its vicissitudes
  • memory, trauma, and the trace
  • the pleasures of the text
  • mimicry and insubordination
  • queer identifications and misidentifications
  • (out)laws of genre
  • margins and marginality
  • aesthetic categories
  • affect
  • silence, illegibility, the intractable, the neutral
  • styles of reading (close, distant, surface)
  • nuance and the consumer society
  • criticism and creativity

Please submit 250-word paper proposals or 500-word panel proposals by May 12, 2014 through the conference’s website:

Graduate students submitting a paper proposal may also apply for an SCLA Travel Scholarship (guidelines provided on paper proposal form). The conference also plans to include two undergraduate sessions and welcomes undergraduate proposals.

For more information on the Society of Comparative Literature and the Arts and The Comparatist, please visit

Sunday, March 02, 2014

New Deadline: Literature and Affect (3/14/2014; 7/2-4/2014)

Australasian Association of Literature
The University of Melbourne
July 2-4, 2014
Deadline: March 14, 2014

Confirmed keynote speakers: Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania), Sharon Marcus (Columbia University), & Gillian Russell (Australian National University)
What is “the affective turn” and where did it come from?  The relationship between literature and affect has long been a fraught one. On the one hand, the discipline of literary criticism derives from early eighteenth- century aesthetic philosophy that can be understood as an attempt to theorize pleasure. On the other, after Kant, criticism is predicated upon the separation of feeling from judgment. Enshrining this separation as a principle of critical practice, W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley formulated “The Affective Fallacy” (1949) to name the shame of an emotional entanglement with the literary text. Here, the aesthetic functions as a conceptual mechanism for separating pleasure and value. And if pleasure is such a contested topic, what about pain, what about the ugly feelings? (to use Sianne Ngai’s coinage). And where is the body in all of this?

More recently, the so-called “affective turn” has turned a new attention upon the world of feeling. It returns literary criticism to New Criticism’s scandalous scene of the affective fallacy in order to re-evaluate the languages of feeling. A shaping force in illuminating the value of the affective has been queer theory, in its vital exploration of the transformative potential both of forward-looking utopian desires and backwards feelings such as shame. The affective turn has also been powered by the recognition that emotion and history are not opposed, and that emotion itself has a history. (Indeed, in a dramatic statement of the inseparability of history and affect, the Marxist cultural historian, Fredric Jameson, asserts that “History is what hurts”.) Perhaps paradoxically, new intensities of interest in literary form (e.g. as objectified and “unfelt” emotion) and in the cognitive dimensions of feeling also energize this turn and challenge the distinction between reason and feeling.

The committee invites papers that engage with any aspect of literature and affect; explore the significance for literature of the affective turn that has informed the humanities more broadly; analyze the relationship between affect and the literary aesthetic; engage affect and emotion to explore (or indeed contest) the singularity of literature. The committee also invites papers that consider literature and affect historically, and that consider affect, literature and the problem of evaluation (aka judgment).

Possible topics might include:
  • Literary hedonisms and literary pleasure Practices of reading New formalisms Cultures of taste
  • Memory and affective histories Affect and temporality Literature and public emotions Theories of affect and emotion Fandom, celebrity, scandal, Cognitive literary criticism, psychoanalysis and the neurosciences Pain and trauma
  • Sensation and corporeality Sexuality and eroticism Literary and aesthetic judgment Aesthetic-affective moods, modes and tones (e.g. sentiment, melodrama, camp)
  • Non-human, impersonal and animal affect Actors and performance Emotions and new media (e.g. memes, avatars, social networking)
Please submit a title and 500-word abstract for proposed papers by Friday February 28, 2014 via the submission form on the AAL conference website.

Conference organizers: Clara Tuite, Sarah Balkin, Sarah Comyn, Corey Wakeling (English and Theatre Studies, The University of Melbourne)

CFP: "Charles Dibdin and his World" (5/26/2014; 11/28-29/2014)

University of Notre Dame London Centre
British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
1 Suffolk Street, London, England
November 28-29, 2014
Deadline: May 26, 2014

CFP: "Charles Dibdin and his World"
2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), perhaps the most versatile and talented actor, musician, playwright, and songwriter of the 18th and 19th centuries. Across his career Dibdin played the organ at St Bride’s in Fleet Street, collaborated with Isaac Bickerstaff on comic operas, acted at Drury Lane, Covent Garden and numerous other theatres throughout Britain, was director of music at Ranelagh Gardens, performed in blackface as Mungo in his opera The Padlock, translated French opera, opened his own theatre (twice), went to debtor’s prison, toured the country with a one man show, opened a publishing warehouse, wrote novels, memoirs, and a history of the English stage, published three music text books, and composed several thousand songs.

In addition, Dibdin’s sea songs were central to establishing the Royal Navy as the mainstay of British patriotism, in spite of mutiny, sedition, and the press-gang, playing a significant role in uniting a fractious nation after the upheavals of the 1790s. Charles’ private endeavours were also prolific. Family members included his daughter Ann Dibdin Dacre, a talented artist who provided illustrations for Dibdin’s Memoirs. His affair with the actress and dancer Harriet Pitt (1748?-1814) resulted in a daughter, and two sons: Charles Isaac Mungo Dibdin (1768-1833), who staged spectacular mock-sea battles in his aquatic theatre at Sadler’s Wells; and Thomas Dibdin (1771-1841), opera librettist, poet, composer and author of numerous theatre-pieces including Harlequin and Humpo, between them continuing their father’s legacy into the nineteenth century.
Such diverse careers touch on almost all aspects of musical and theatrical culture in the late Georgian period, and demand a truly interdisciplinary approach. The premise of this conference is that understanding the life and work of the Dibdin family necessitates a re-examination of the wider world of performance and literary culture of which they were so integral a part. To this end we invite proposals for papers in any discipline on any aspect of the life and work of Charles Dibdin and his family, or that illuminate the world of this subversive, patriotic, irascible, and glorious anarchic writer and performer.

Topics might include:
  • Patriotism, propaganda and performance
  • Orientalism and the staging of empire
  • Blackface and representations of race
  • Legitimate and illegitimate theatre
  • Celebrity, biography, reputation
  • Gender and the public sphere
  • Performance practices
  • The one-man show
  • Music and morality
  • Genre and composition
  • Origins of the music-hall
  • Book history and broadsides
  • Theatrical and musical economies
  • Music markets, copyright and piracy
  • Forms of writing: the novel and the song
  • Provincial and metropolitan entertainments
The conference will be in a workshop format consisting of a series of roundtable discussions of pre-circulated papers. Dinner, accommodation, and a performance of Dibdin’s songs will be provided for all participants. Papers will be circulated by November 14, 2014. These will form the basis of a collection of essays placing Dibdin in his world, providing new ways to conceive of the relationships between legitimate and illegitimate theatre, elite and popular entertainment, and provincial and metropolitan performance.

Abstracts (max 500 words) for 3-5,000 word papers should be sent with a short biography to by May 26, 2014. For more information please contact the organisers, Drs Oskar Cox Jensen (King’s College London), David Kennerley (Oxford) and Ian Newman (Notre Dame) at

This conference forms part of the ERC-funded project “Music in London, 1800-1851”, led by Professor Roger Parker, King’s College London, with support from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame.

CFP: VPFA "Victorian Treasures & Trash" (4/4/2014; 7/8-10/2014)

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association
Generously Supported by BAVS
Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London
July 8-10, 2014
Deadline: April 4, 2014

Speakers and Special Presentations
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr Jonathon Shears (Keele), "'[...] battered [...] soiled [...] broken [...] empty [...] half-smoked [...] stale': The Hangover in Victorian Popular Fiction’"
  • Guest Speaker: Judith Flanders, "Painting Reality: Home vs. Home-ness"
  • Senate Library Special Collections Talk and "hands-on" mini-exhibition: Dr Karen Attar, "Trash, Treasure or Trashy Treasure at the Institutional Library"

CFP: “Victorian Treasures and Trash” 
The Victorian Popular Fiction Association conference is recognized as an important event on the annual conference circuit and offers a friendly and invigorating opportunity for established academics and post graduate students to share their current research. The organizers remain committed to the revival of interest in understudied popular writers, which is pivotal to the reputation this conference has established.  

The organizers invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation of the topic and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which might address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.

The organizers welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, or for panels of three papers, on topics which can include, but are not limited to:
  • Treasures and Trash in: the home, the street, the store, the library, the gutter, the island, the workhouse, the factory, etc.
  • Print culture and the literary marketplace: ‘trash’ fiction, high/low culture, taste, fashion, rarity, cheap editions, fine editions, ‘specials’, royalties, contracts, collectors, etc.
  • Treasure: buried, hoarded, displayed, collected, traded, neglected, etc.
  • Waste: scrap/s, refuse, recycling, reclamation, that which is/those who are discarded/unwanted, the abandoned, etc.
  • Dirt: gossip, scandal, degeneracy, decay, cleanliness, healthfulness, godliness, etc.
  • Trashed: defaced, vandalised, wasted, defamed, scandalised, denounced, drunk, drugged, etc.
  • Industry: the ethics of production, craftsmanship, the cheap, the mass-produced, etc.
  • Money: markets, debts/debtors, savings, shares, inheritances, ransoms, fortunes, etc.
  • Papers and artefacts: archives, special collections, the museum, the preserved, the priceless, the lost, digitised treasures, etc.
  • The Beloved: persons, possessions, memories, moments, etc.
  • Values: validity, value/worth, cost, price, morals, family values, etc.
  • Things: junk, clutter, paraphernalia, bric-a-brac, curiosities, trinkets, tokens/keepsakes, troves, etc.
  • People: fortune-hunters, gold-diggers, prospectors, speculators, pirates, con-artists, thieves, beggars, prostitutes, consumers, etc.

Special author panels: This year the committee will schedule special panels to be hosted by guest experts on each of six key popular authors; therefore, the organizers especially welcome papers about the following authors:
  • Mary Elizabeth Braddon (hosted by Anne-Marie Beller)
  • Wilkie Collins (hosted by Mariaconcetta Constantini)
  • Marie Corelli (hosted by Nickianne Moody)
  • Florence Marryat (hosted by Greta Depledge)
  • Ouida (hosted by Jane Jordan and Andrew King)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson (hosted by Sara Clayson)

Other suggested authors/papers in previous years have also discussed authors such as:
J. M. Barrie, Mrs Beeton, Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Rhoda Broughton, Lewis Carroll, Mary Cholmondeley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, Jerome K. Jerome, Rudyard Kipling, Eliza Lynn Linton, Edith Nesbit, Margaret Oliphant, Olive Schreiner, Bram Stoker, William Makepeace Thackeray, Dinah Craik, Anthony Trollope, Mary Augusta Ward, H.G. Wells, Ellen Wood, & Charlotte Yonge

Postgraduate students can apply now for funding to cover conference fees – see the website for details: . Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to Drs. Kirsty Bunting, Janine Hatter and Helena Ifill at: Deadline for proposals: Friday April 4, 2014.