Thursday, December 20, 2012

Call for Proposals: VPFA 2013 Research Seminar Series (1/31/2013)

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is now accepting proposals for the 2013 Research Seminar Series to be held in Senate House, London. Open to both the general public and the academic community, this series is part of the Association’s ongoing commitment to the dissemination of the latest research in the area as well as the revival of understudied texts and writers. Proposals may take the form of individual papers or panels of three and may be drawn from any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture.

Queries and proposals should be sent to Dr Janice Allan ( and Joanne Parsons ( who wish to be considered for the Spring Seminar in April (date TBC) should submit their proposals by 31 January 2013.

Victorian Popular Fiction Association:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CFP: RLS 2013 "Stevenson, Time and History" (2/15/2013; 7/8-10/2013)

RLS 2013: Stevenson, Time and History
8-10 July 2013
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Keynote Speaker: Professor Adrian Poole, University of Cambridge

Topics for discussion include: 

  • History and historiography
  • The historical novel
  • Theories of evolution
  • The ideas of progress
  • Generation and degeneration
  • Narrative temporalities
  • Genealogy and ancestry
  • Stages of life: childhood, youth, age
  • Memory and nostalgia
  • Change

Proposals for papers (250 words) should be emailed to Roslyn Jolly ( or Chris Danta ( Deadline extended to 15 February 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deadline Extended: British Women Writers Conference (1/1/2013; 4/4-6/2013)

We have had requests to extend the deadline, so you (and all your friends and colleagues!) now have until January 1st to submit an abstract to the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Conference April 4-6, 2013 in Albuquerque, NM.

The English department at the University of New Mexico is pleased to host the 2013 British Women Writers Conference. The conference will be April 4-6, 2013 at the Hyatt in downtown Albuquerque, NM. The conference theme is “Customs,” and we look forward to a wide range of unique presentations on the topic. In fact, we have several potential publication opportunities for those who present at the conference! In addition, we are excited that our brilliant lineup of speakers includes:

Keynote Speakers
Devoney Looser and Pamela Gilbert

Plenary Panel
Diane Long Hoeveler, Kathy Psomiades, Linda Troost

Customs are often thought of as the habits or social norms that dictate behavior, sometimes so rigidly that they appear to be laws. Conversely, though, “custom” can refer to a product or service tailored to the “customer’s” individual specifications, or the taxes or duties on imports/exports, the governmental department charged with implementing such fees, or the place in which all items entering a country from foreign parts are examined for contraband.  Regardless of its particular connotation, “custom” denotes a sense of rigidity, restriction, or control; it is these forms of social, economic, and/or personal limitations that we wish to explore with this year’s conference. Prospective panelists are encouraged to think of “customs” broadly as the term might apply to British and Transatlantic women writers and their often-underrepresented contributions to literary studies. Potential topics related to this theme might include but are not limited to the following themes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British women’s writing:

  • Habits, practices, and routines
  • Fashions and manners
  • Rituals and ceremonies (religious, political, social, and cultural)
  • Trade issues in the local and/or global economy
  • Business and mercantile transactions and expansion
  • Trade and exchange (economic, cultural, philosophical, or trade in knowledge and ideas)
  • Issues of circulation (monetary as well as other goods and services in the social, political, global, or domestic spheres)
  • Debt and credit
  • Traditions and conventions (how they are established as well as how they are upheld or subverted, modified, or re-imagined)
  • Customers and patronage
  • Taxation, duties, and tributes
  • Law and legal systems

Please send abstracts of 250 words for individual paper presentations by January 1, 2013 to

Check out our website at!

CFP: Literature, Community and its Limits (2/1/2013; 7/15-16/2013)

On the 30th anniversary of both Jean-Luc Nancy's La communauté désoeuvrée and Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, a conference, at the Institute of English Studies, University of London on 15-16 July 2013,  seeks to explore ways that "community" and literature (in its widest acceptation) are and have been conceived over the last 250 years. Through exploration of the past, the conference hopes to begin formulating new ways of thinking about how we do and can live together in an environment mediated by words on a page.

Besides continuing the questions asked by Anderson and Nancy, conference speakers might wish to address the following:

  • How has literature been used to promote communities alternative to the hegemonic?
  • What are the possibilities and limits of thinking community as a friendship group or coterie that generates literary output available beyond the limits of that group?
  • What are the implications for community of human and non-human overlap?
  • Is the idea of class as both socially active community and analytic concept really dead? If so - or if not - how far might economics rather than (literary) myth underpin concepts of community?
  • To what extent are readers of a printed (or print-simulating) text really members of a community? How have such communities been imagined - and recorded?
  • What alternative ways of conceiving community beyond Nancy and Anderson might be mobilised to help us understand literature (e.g. Wenger and Lave's "communities of practice")?
  • How might the marginal be and have been conceived? What advantages, if any, accrue from this position vis-à-vis the community, to whom and in what circumstances?

The deadline for abstracts (250 words) is 1 February 2013. Please send copies of the abstract and 1-page CVs to both and

More detail can be found at

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Last Call: AVSA 2013 “'The Victorian Environment” (12/12/2012; 2/6-8/2013)

We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be joined by five distinguished keynote speakers for the ‘Victorian Environment’ conference, to be hosted at the University of Melbourne, 6-8 February, 2012:

  • Professor Timothy Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University.
  • Professor Tim Dolin, Curtin University
  • Associate Professor Anna Johnston, the University of Tasmania
  • Associate Professor Pablo Mukherjee, the University of Warwick
  • Professor John Plotz, Brandeis University
We are still accepting abstracts (deadline, December 12th) and our call for papers follows below.  We hope that you will be able to join us for what looks set to be a very exciting conference.

Call for Papers
Australasian Victorian Studies Association Conference, 'The Victorian Environment'
The University of Melbourne, Australia
February 6-8, 2013

With the pressures of industrialism and the clustering of workers in urban centres, the Victorians were acutely aware that their environment was changing.  Torn between nostalgia for a countryside that was in jeopardy and exhilaration at the rapidity with which their surroundings altered, Victorian literature and culture reflects a world undergoing radical change.  Colonization and assisted emigration schemes expanded the scope of the environment still further, pushing the boundaries of the home environment on an unprecedented scale.  These untamed physical environments enabled new freedoms, but also posed hostile challenges that invited attempts to control the natural world.

We seek papers of no more than twenty minutes in length, which consider any aspect of how the Victorians engaged with or sought to retreat from their environment.   Note that submission of an abstract signals an intention to attend the conference and that absentee papers will not be permitted.

Topics might include:

  • Landscape/cultivation of the land
  • Natural disasters and responses to them
  • Pollution, industrialism and place
  • The weather/climate
  • The country versus the city
  • The natural world
  • Sanitation, health, and disease
  • Fire
  • Water
  • The colonial environment
  • Emigration
  • Seascapes
  • Animals
  • Science and the classification of nature
  • Exploration and mapping
  • Visualizing the Victorian environment
  • Soundscapes and noise pollution
  • Smells
  • Excavation and archaeology
  • The environment of Victorian studies in the present
  • Nostalgia/the sense of an elsewhere
  • Heritage/conservation
Please email abstracts of 200 words maximum and a brief biographical note to  by no later than 12 December 2012.

Further information about the conference will be made available at

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

CFP: Sherlock Holmes, Past and Present (1/15/2013; 6/21-22/2013)

This conference offers a serious opportunity to bring together academics, enthusiasts, creative practitioners and popular writers in a shared discussion about the cultural legacy of Sherlock Holmes. The Strand Magazine and the Sherlock Holmes stories contribute one of the most enduring paradigms for the production and consumption of popular culture in the twentieth- and the twenty-first centuries. The stories precipitated a burgeoning fan culture including various kinds of participation, wiki and crowd-sourcing, fan-fiction, virtual realities and role-play gaming. All of these had existed before but they were solidified, magnified and united by Sherlockians and Holmesians in entirely new ways and on scales never seen before. All popular culture phenomena that followed (from Lord of the Rings to Twilight via Star Trek) shared its viral pattern. This project aims to unpick the historical intricacies of Holmesian fandom as well as offering a wide variety of perspectives upon its newest manifestations. This conference invites adaptors of and scholars on Holmes, late-Victorian writing, and popular culture internationally to contribute to this scholarly conversation. Our aims are to celebrate Conan Doyle’s achievement, to explore some of the reasons behind Holmes’ enduring popularity across different cultures and geographical spaces, and to investigate new directions in Holmes’ afterlife. This conference will precede Holmes’ 160th birthday in 2014. It will launch a new volume of essays on Holmes co-edited by Dr. Jonathan Cranfield and Tom Ue, and form part of the larger celebrations in London and internationally.

Senate House, London

21 and 22 June 2013

Possible Topics:
  • Holmes and Detective Fiction
  • Holmes and Science
  • Becoming Holmes
  • Holmes and Gender
  • Holmes’ Costume
  • Holmes in Retirement
  • Holmes and His Boswell
  • Holmes and Steampunk
  • Holmes and Philosophy
  • Holmes and Moriarty
  • Holmes computer games
  • Holmes/Victoriana in the graphic novel (From Hell, Grandeville...)
  • Post-2000 film and television adaptation
  • Fan letters addressed to Holmes

Submit proposals of 350 words and biographies of 150 words by email to BOTH Jonathan at AND Tom at by 15 January 2013.

Reminder: 2013 BWWC "Customs" (12/15/2012; 4/4-6/2013)

Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Conference

April 4-6, 2013 in Albuquerque, NM

The English department at the University of New Mexico is pleased to host the 2013 British Women Writers Conference. The conference will be April 4-6, 2013 at the Hyatt in downtown Albuquerque, NM. The conference theme is “Customs,” and we look forward to a wide range of unique presentations on the topic.

Customs are often thought of as the habits or social norms that dictate behavior, sometimes so rigidly that they appear to be laws. Conversely, though, “custom” can refer to a product or service tailored to the “customer’s” individual specifications, or the taxes or duties on imports/exports, the governmental department charged with implementing such fees, or the place in which all items entering a country from foreign parts are examined for contraband.  Regardless of its particular connotation, “custom” denotes a sense of rigidity, restriction, or control; it is these forms of social, economic, and/or personal limitations that we wish to explore with this year’s conference. Prospective panelists are encouraged to think of “customs” broadly as the term might apply to British and Transatlantic women writers and their often-underrepresented contributions to literary studies.

Potential topics related to this theme might include but are not limited to the following themes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British women’s writing:

  • Habits, practices, and routines
  • Fashions and manners
  • Rituals and ceremonies (religious, political, social, and cultural)
  • Trade issues in the local and/or global economy
  • Business and mercantile transactions and expansion
  • Trade and exchange (economic, cultural, philosophical, or trade in knowledge and ideas)
  • Issues of circulation (monetary as well as other goods and services in the social, political, global, or domestic spheres)
  • Debt and credit
  • Traditions and conventions (how they are established as well as how they are upheld or subverted, modified, or re-imagined)
  • Customers and patronage
  • Taxation, duties, and tributes
  • Law and legal systems
Please send abstracts of 250 words for panel proposals by November 15, 2012 and for individual paper presentations by December 15, 2012 to

Check out our website at!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

CFP: Neo-Victorian Cultures (3/1/2013; 7/24-26/2013)

Neo-Victorian Cultures
24-26 July 2013, 
Liverpool John Moores University
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 ceaseless desire to reassess and adapt Victorian texts, theories, ideas and customs. Such work has focused in particular on manifestations of the neo-Victorian on page and on screen; 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 of neo-Victorian studies both within and beyond the arts and humanities through an examination of the Victorians’ 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
  • the gender and sexual politics of neo-Victorianism
  • 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; consuming and 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 session’s 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.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and to welcoming you to LJMU in July!

The Organisers: Nadine Muller, Lucinda Matthews-Jones, and Jonathan Cranfield

Conference Website:

Call for Applications: Rare Book School 2013

Rare Book School announces its 2013 course schedule. Join us this summer as we celebrate 20 years at the University of Virginia, and 30 years in operation!

In 2013, RBS will offer courses at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (June–August), the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Library, and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in New Haven (June), the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (July) and at the Smithsonian Institution and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC (October–November).

This year RBS adds seven new courses, highlighted in bold below, to our programming. Additionally, RBS is pleased to offer several courses of interest to scholars of the 19th century, including “The Printed Book in the West Since 1800,” taught by Eric Holzenberg, “The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820-1940,” taught by Michael Winship, and “The History of 19th- and 20th-Century Typography & Printing,” taught by John Kristensen & Katherine McCanless Ruffin, a new course.

The online application for Summer courses will be available on the RBS website beginning in January 2013. Detailed course descriptions and advance reading lists are available at

Summer 2013

10–14 June in Charlottesville, VA
H-30: The Printed Book in the West to 1800, Martin Antonetti
L-95: Born-Digital Materials: Theory & Practice, Matthew Kirschenbaum & Naomi Nelson
T-60: The History of 19th- & 20th-Century Typography & Printing, John Kristensen & Katherine McCanless Ruffin
H-90: Teaching the History of the Book, Michael F. Suarez, S.J.
G-55: Scholarly Editing: Principles & Practice, David Vander Meulen

17–21 June in Charlottesville, VA
I-10: History of Printed Book Illustration in the West, Erin C. Blake
M-20: Introduction to Western Codicology, Albert Derolez
C-60: Examining the Medical Book: History & Connoisseurship, Stephen Greenberg
L-65: Digitizing the Historical Record, Bethany Nowviskie & Andrew Stauffer
L-70: XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts, David Seaman

17–21 June in New Haven, CT
B-40: Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures, Christopher Clarkson
L-60: Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians, Jackie Dooley & Bill Landis
M-90: Advanced Seminar: Medieval Manuscript Studies, Barbara A. Shailor
C-85: Law Books: History & Connoisseurship, Mike Widener

8–12 July in Charlottesville, VA
C-30: Developing Collections: Donors, Libraries & Booksellers, Tom Congalton, Johan Kugelberg & Katherine Reagan
B-10: Introduction to the History of Bookbinding, Jan Storm van Leeuwen
H-15: The History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830, James N. Green
G-20: Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis, David Whitesell
M-70: The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts, Heather Wolfe

22–26 July in Charlottesville, VA
I-20: Book Illustration Processes to 1900, Terry Belanger
M-10: Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500, Consuelo Dutschke
H-40: The Printed Book in the West Since 1800, Eric Holzenberg
L-30: Rare Book Cataloging, Deborah J. Leslie
L-25: Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books, Joel Silver
B-50: Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding, Jan Storm van Leeuwen

22–26 July in Philadelphia, PA
H-25: 15th-Century Books in Print & Manuscript, Paul Needham & Will Noel

29 July–2 August in Charlottesville, VA
H-10: History of the Book, 200–2000, John Buchtel & Mark Dimunation
I-40: The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800, Roger Gaskell
C-90: Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections, David Pearson
G-10: Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description, David Whitesell
H-50: The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940, Michael Winship

Fall 2013

28 October–1 November in Washington, DC
L-35: Advanced Rare Book Cataloging, Deborah J. Leslie
I-95: Hokusai & Book Illustration, 1800–1879, Ellis Tinios

CFP: Neo-Victorianism and Tactility panel (1/2/2013; 7/19-20/2013)

Dr Duc Dau and Dr Caitlin McGuinness are seeking to organise a panel for the conference “The Victorian Tactile Imagination,” 19-20 July 2013, at Birkbeck, University of London. They are looking for two papers to complete our panel on Victorian reimagining and tactility. Abstracts that complement their paper on amputation, illustration and fairy tales in Jane Campion's film The Piano would be highly desirable. But they are also open to anything that sounds interesting. Papers could be about novels, films, theatre, poems, graphic novels, or steampunk, among other things. The conference CFP can be found below. Please send abstracts of 400 words and a brief biographical note to Duc Dau at and Caitlin McGuinness at by Wednesday 2 January.  Preliminary inquiries would be most welcome. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 02, 2012

CFP: Special Issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Summer 2013 (3/1/2013)

'Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century'

Scholars are invited to submit articles for the Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies special issue 'Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century'. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is a peer-reviewed, online journal committed to publishing insightful and innovative scholarship on gender studies and nineteenth-century British literature, art and culture. The journal endorses a broad definition of gender studies and welcomes submissions that consider gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality. This special issue aims to situate nineteenth-century gender studies within a wider conversation that is taking place regarding health, medicine, and embodiment across the humanities and social sciences, to address a critical gap in the conversations about the intersection of nineteenth-century gender politics and medicine.

Critical discussion of gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has often relied on a dichotomy in which 'male medical discourse' (Vertinsky, 1994) stands in opposition to the image of the female patient. Furthermore, most feminist research on gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has been done on the medicalisation or, in the fin de siècle, 'hysterisation' of women. This special issue proposes to problematise this dichotomy and expand the notion of gender and medicine to include topics which have previously been overlooked. Medical technologies, institutionalisation, and more complex approaches to the practitioner/patient relationship tend to be excluded from discussions of gender and embodiment in the nineteenth century, but they are essential to a comprehensive exploration of medicine as it evolved throughout the century.

Building off of works such as Catherine Judd's Bedside Seductions: Nursing and the Victorian Imagination, 1830-1880 (1998), Kristine Swenson's Medical Women and Victorian Fiction (2005), Miriam Bailin's The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction: The Art of Being Ill (2007), and Tabitha Sparks's The Doctor in the Victorian Novel: Family Practices (2009), this issue will seek to reformulate an approach to gender and medicine, which has traditionally been more interested in the role of women in the medical sphere. As well as discussing women in medicine, this issue will extend its reach to consider masculinity, sexualities, gender and the non-human, and the way that notions of gender influence medical narratives just as medicine influences constructions of gender.

We invite submissions that explore topics such as:

  • Medical narratives
  • Practitioners/patients
  • Nursing
  • The culture of medical journals
  • Literary and artistic constructions of medicine and the body
  • Medical technologies
  • Institutionalisation of medicine
  • The gendered body
  • Emotive embodiment
  • Illness narratives
  • Constructions of disability
  • Medicalisation of the body
  • Anatomical texts
  • Reproductive technologies and the rise of obstetrics
  • Performativity and modes of looking
  • Medical museums
  • Sexology
We welcome articles of 5,000-8,000 words, and in MLA format. Please use US spelling and citations. With the submission you should also include a 250-300 word abstract and a 50 word biographical note, the latter which will be posted if accepted for publication. Please send an electronic version of your submission, in Word or .doc format, to both editors: Lena Wånggren ( and Ally Crockford ( The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2013.

We also welcome book reviews and review essays, especially on the themes of gender, the body, and medicine, but also on wider issues regarding gender in the nineteenth century. If you want to submit a book review, please contact the reviews editor Susan David Bernstein (

Friday, November 30, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Completed chapters will be due by 1 September 2013.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further Information:

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

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies presents:

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

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

Free. All welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

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

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

Free. All welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

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

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

Panel Proposal:
Mary Russell Mitford: Local and Global

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further details, visit

Deadline Extended: Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions (12/15/2012; 4/19-20/2013)

Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions
A Conference in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Victorian Poetry
19-20 April 2013
West Virginia University

Please send 300-500 word proposals for papers and a 1-page c.v. via email to: by 15 December 2012.

Papers on any aspect of Victorian poetry and poetics are invited, especially those devoted to: the reconsideration of poetic forms and formal innovations; fashions, trends, and modes in poetry; the publication and commerce of poetry; poetry book history; and Victorian prosody and stanzaic forms.  Papers devoted to the "fashions" of scholarship on Victorian poetry for the last fifty years are also invited.

Monday, November 19, 2012

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

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

Historians of British Art:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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