Monday, April 29, 2013

Workshop: Locating Women in Victorian Print Culture (6/13/2013)

Locating women in Victorian print culture
Thursday 13 June 2013
R1.15 Ramphal Building, University of Warwick

A workshop co-organised by the University of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies.

Laurel Brake (Birkbeck, University of London) 
Beth Palmer (University of Surrey)
Margaret Beetham (University of Salford)
Tara Puri (University of Warwick) 

The last few decades have seen an increasing interest in nineteenth century print culture. This workshop aims to build on this recent scholarship by bringing together academics working on different aspects of Victorian periodicals. The papers will focus both on questions of gender and genre, as well as the methodological challenges presented by these capacious and diverse entities. Beginning with inquiries as basic as what constitutes a periodical, the papers will explore questions like: What is women’s role as editors, contributors, and readers of these periodicals? How does the form and the multi-generic nature of the periodical shape its reading? And where do women’s magazines fit into women’s literary history?

  • 11.00 - 11.30:  Welcome and coffee
  • 11.30 - 13.30:  Laurel Brake, Young Oxford in Print 1869-1889. The (Humphry) Wards and the (Walter) Paters. Beth Palmer, Locating the editor in women's literary magazines 
  • 13.30 - 14.30:  Lunch
  • 14.30 - 16.30:  Margaret Beetham, Sable Sisters, Missionary Wives, and Bad Mothers: Domestic Femininity in Victorian Religious Periodicals. Tara Puri, Thinking about materiality in women’s magazines 
  • 16.30 - 17.00:  Closing remarks
  • 17.00:  Wine reception 

Please note:
Attendance at the workshop is free and lunch is provided. However, numbers are limited so please email Tara Puri to register:

Two travel bursaries are available for postgraduate students to attend the workshop. If you would like to be considered, please submit a short outline of your research.

CFP: Romancing the Long British 19th Century (3/1/2014)

Journal of Popular Romance Studies
Romancing the Long British 19th Century

The long British nineteenth century (1789-1914) appears to have the long global twentieth century (including the first decades of the twenty-first) in its thrall. Regency and Victorian settings proliferate in popular romance fiction, ranging from scenes of domestic life within the United Kingdom to British espionage in Europe and British colonial settlements. Retellings and “sequels” of Jane Austen’s novels line our (digital) bookshelves and fill fan-fiction websites, spilling over most recently into the YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Such adaptations of Austen’s novels, along with film and TV versions of the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, suggest that modern audiences cannot get enough of stories about Georgians, Victorians, and Edwardians in love.

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies seeks papers on this enduring love affair with 19th-century Britain. Why does a period that is historically associated with the establishment of the Industrial Revolution, the consolidation of the Empire, and the coalescing of middle-class mores now strike us as a particularly “romantic” era? How do popular and middlebrow media from around the world construct, interpret, and recast the world of 19th c. Britain, broadly construed? What do these interpretations say about our current moment and our modern (or postmodern) thoughts and feelings about romance?

We welcome submissions that explore these and related questions from any disciplinary or theoretical angle. We invite papers that cover different media, including (paper and digital) literature, film, TV, online content, and marketing.

This Special Issue of The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is guest edited by Jayashree Kamble and Pamela Regis. Please submit scholarly papers of no more than 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, by March 1, 2014, to An Goris, Managing Editor, at Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit

CUNY Victorian Conference: Inventing Victorian Race (5/3/2013)

Inventing Victorian Race
The CUNY Annual Victorian Conference
Organized by Richard Kaye and Talia Schaffer
Friday, May 3, 2013
CUNY Graduate Center
New York, New York

Sponsored by the Victorian Committee of the PhD program in English, the CUNY Graduate Center, Dickens Studies Annual, the Office of the President, and the Center for the Humanities.

If you are in the New York area this weekend, please come to the CUNY Victorian conference, "Inventing Victorian Race." CUNY has a fantastic lineup of speakers: Neville Hoad, Daniel Hack, Bryan Cheyette, Aviva Briefel, Faith Smith, Tim Watson, Irene Tucker, Patrick Brantlinger. It's 9-6, in the Segal Theater at the Graduate Center (34th and 5th), free and open to the public.

The program is here:

Symposium: Ruskin (7/13/2013)

No Wealth but Life: Why John Ruskin Matters Today
The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, at Arch Street (Berkeley, CA)
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (lunch included) with reception to follow.

Few have more powerfully criticized the impoverished notion of wealth embraced by the modern world than John Ruskin (1819-1900), yet his voice is curiously absent from today’s debates. Join us as we take a fresh look at Ruskin’s ideas and consider the ways in which his deep concern for true civilization, the well-being of the earth and humanity, and a life restored to its basis in real wealth, offers us both profound insight and hope for a more wholesome and happy future. Berkeley author Gray Brechin (UC Berkeley’s Living New Deal; author, Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin), and Ruskin scholars James L. Spates (Guild of St. George; Professor of Sociology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY) and Sara Atwood (Guild of St. George; author, Ruskin’s Educational Ideals).will speak about Ruskin’s lasting contribution to our understanding of modern civilization.

For more information or to purchase tickets: 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Survey Call: How do you use academic journals and social media?

Lucinda Matthews-Jones and Helen Rogers are writing a paper called ‘Doing Things Differently: Writing, Academic Journals and Social Media in the Online World’. Notwithstanding our title, we want to start by examining how one scholarly community – all those studying or interested in the nineteenth century – currently accesses and engages with print and digital media.

We would like to know about your experience and views, whether or not you regularly read journals, visit academic blogs and websites, tweet or use facebook. We aim to map what our community is doing now, rather than what we ought or should be doing! Our findings, we hope, will help all of us think more creatively and proactively about how we exploit online media to change the way we read, write, publish and share our work. Equally, it may illuminate aspects and strengths of traditional forms of scholarly communication that we wish to preserve.

Please take a few minutes to answer our online survey.

We will be presenting initial findings based on the survey at a paper (13 May) we are giving at the Institute for Humanities and Social Science Research, Manchester Metropolitan University, (Lecture Theatre 5, Geoffrey Manton Building, 5.30-7.30). Over the summer we aim to make our paper available for online comment and discussion before we publish the final version.

Thank you for your time.

Lucinda Matthews-Jones (Journal of Victorian Culture Online) and Helen Rogers (Journal of Victorian Culture)

On Cosmopolitanism Seminar - Birbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies (5/30/2013)

The Global and the Local: the NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA joint conference in Venice (3-6 June 2013) is fast approaching. With that in mind, the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies is hosting a warm-up event, On Cosmopolitanism, to give those interested in the topic a chance to hear three eminent speakers - Stefano Evangelista, Alex Murray, and Matthew Potolsky - discuss their research in this field. All are welcome to the session, which will be held on 30 May 2013 at 6pm in the Keynes Library (Room 114, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London, UK, WC1H 0PD)

Stefano Evangelista (Oxford), 'Cosmopolitanism and Sexual Freedom in George Egerton's Norwegian Stories'
George Egerton's collection of short stories, Keynotes (1893), created a sensation for its frank exploration of female sexual desires and became one of the iconic texts of British Decadence. While Egerton's feminism has been discussed by various critics, she remains almost completely undiscovered as a crucial mediator of Scandinavian culture into Britain at the moment of the Northern Breakthrough. Some of the stories in Keynotes use a Scandinavian, mostly Norwegian, setting, as a backdrop to their pioneering discussion of female sexual freedom. Egerton discovers the untapped potential of the North which in her writings becomes, for modern English women in search of sexual freedom, an anti-type to the South imagined by homosexual male writers.

Alex Murray (Exeter), 'Venice, sans hope': Transatlantic Decadence and New York Writing'
Recent years have seen a rise in studies of Transatlantic Decadence and aestheticism, mapping the importation of French and English intellectual developments in to American cities, primarily Boston, New York and San Francisco. While we are beginning to develop a clearer picture of how these works were received, less attention has been paid to their effects. In this paper I offer an introduction to the ways in which Edgar Saltus, James Huneker and Carl Van Vechten negotiated between European models for writing urban space and the singular demands of writing New York City. In drawing on Huysmans, Verlaine and other European models these writers shed the language of impressionism and the metaphors of haunting, developing a new form of Decadence which was indebted to, but ultimately refashioned, the writing of the Old world.

Matthew Potolsky (Utah), 'Aestheticism and Politics'
It has often been noted that Romantic writing was born in the shadow of the great revolutions of the late eighteenth century, reflecting upon and responding to political experiments and personal testimony. Critics have long understood aesthetcist writing as a turn against the explicit political works of the romantic era, but I want to argue in this paper that this opinion needs to be revised. Politics are in fact a significant concern of aestheticist writers.

This paper will take up two poems about war and revolution in aestheticist writing. It will be my argument that, although these images seem to argue for or imply a withdrawal from the political, they in fact try to understand politics in ways that differ significantly from romantic models. Where romantic writers speak openly as "unacknowledged legislators of the world," to borrow Shelley's famous phrase, aestheticist writers seek the sources of political change in the dark corners of private life. What seems to be a turn away from politics is often a kind of politics by other means.

I begin with Theophile Gautier's "Preface" to his most avowedly aestheticist collection Emaux et Camees, which depicts the poet closing his window against the street violence of 1848. I find in this poem, however, a cosmopolitan openness that complicates the speaker's turn to poetry. Dante Rossetti's poem "After the German Subjugation of France" casts the fall of Louis Napoleon in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War as akin to the vengeful return of a child born of a liaison with a prostitute. As in his earlier poem, "After the French Liberation of Italy," Rossetti defines politics in explicitly erotic terms.

Chair: Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck)

For more information, please refer to the website at:

If you would like to be added to the Forum mailing list or would like more information, please email:

Last Call: special issue of Women's Writing (5/1/2013)

We seek 2-3 additional essays for a special issue of Women’s Writing on Nineteenth-Century Australian and New Zealand Girls’ Culture.

Colonial girls’ culture is receiving growing critical attention, prompting us to rethink its significance for women’s writing. The journal Women’s Writing invites original papers for a special issue dedicated to the colonial girl and her literature in nineteenth-century Australia.

What was it like to be a girl at “the antipodes” in the nineteenth century? How was the colonial girl constructed, both “back home” and throughout the British Empire, and how did she view and represent herself? Was there a distinctly “antipodal,” Australian, or New Zealand girls’ culture and in what ways did it parallel, overlap with, influence, and in turn, become influenced by constructions of girlhood in other parts of the Empire? How did antipodal girls’ culture harness and redefine imperialist ideologies and their malleable relationship to domesticity? In what ways did their literary representation not only mould imperialist representations, but help to shape nineteenth-century literature in English in general, including children’s and especially popular girls’ fiction, which was emerging as a distinct genre in the course of the century? These are some of the questions that individual articles will be addressing. The colonial girl’s changing depiction in Victorian culture at the same time raises larger issues about the representation of the antipodes in British and colonial texts. A new look at colonial girlhood constructively draws into question the still dominating discourses on male mateship, for example. In addition, it helps us to reassess the wide range of genres that constituted nineteenth-century Australian and New Zealand literature and read them in tandem with similar cultural formations.

This special issue aims to create a forum for a more encompassing approach to nineteenth-century Australian and New Zealand literature, while providing new insight into Victorian representations of girlhood and how the figure of the colonial girl helped change these representations.

  • Topics may include but are not limited to:
  • Colonial girlhood and its literary representation
  • The construction of colonial girls’ culture
  • Australian girls’ magazines and periodicals
  • “The antipodes” in both British and colonial girls’ publications
  • Colonial children’s literature and writing for girls
  • Individual authors and their works
  • Comparative approaches
Please submit papers for consideration between 4000-7000 words to Tamara S. Wagner at, by 1 May 2013.

Contributors should follow the journal’s house style details of which are to be found on the Women’s Writing web site

This is the new MLA. Please note that instead of footnotes, we use endnotes with NO bibliography. All bibliographical information is included in the endnotes. For example, we require place of publication, publisher and date of publication in brackets after a book is cited for the first time. Please also include an abstract, a brief biographical blurb (approximately 100 words), and a key of 6 words suitable for indexing and abstracting services.

Lecture Series: Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies 2013 Summer Term Programme

The Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies would like to announce our programme of lectures and seminars for the 2013 Summer Term.

Monday 29 April 2013, 6:00-8:00pm
Simon Dentith (Reading): 'The Mill on the Floss under the Sign of Hindsight'

Monday 13 May 2013, 6:00-8:00pm
Diana Maltz (SOU): 'Decadence for Kids?: Mabel Dearmer and Children's Book Illustration in the 1890s'

Monday 20 May 2013, 6:00-8:00pm (venue tbc)
Martin Myrone (Tate Britain): 'Spectacle and the Sublime: Romantic Visuality and Contemporary Exhibition Culture'

Monday 20 May 2013, 7:30-9:00pm (venue tbc)
'Amy Levy and Controversy': Panel Discussion with Richa Dwor (Leicester), Naomi Hetherington (Birkbeck), Nadia Valman (QMUL), and Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck)

Tuesday 21 May 2013, 7:30-9:00pm (venue tbc)
Eugenia Gonzalez (Birkbeck): Victorian Dolls and Material Play

Thursday 30 May 2013, 6:00pm
'On Cosmopolitanism:' Seminar with Stefano Evangelista (Oxford), Alex Murray (Exeter), and Matthew Potolsky (Utah)

Monday 10 June 2013, 6:00-8:00pm
Alison Booth (Virginia): A Network of Trollopes: Anglo-Italians, Women, and Biographical "Events"'

Unless otherwise noted, all sessions take place in the Keynes Library (Room 114, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London, UK, WC1H 0PD). All sessions are free and welcome to the public.

For more information, including abstracts of each paper, see:

Please email if you would like to join our mailing list or for further information about the series.

Lecture: "Useful & Beautiful: William Morris and his Books" (5/6/2013)

Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, in conversation with Diane Waggoner, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Monday, 6 May 2013
12 noon
East Building Concourse, Auditorium
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC

Free and open to the public

William Morris (1834-1896) gained fame as a designer, as a poet, as a socialist, as the founder of the arts and crafts movement, and as the maker of beautiful books at his Kelmscott Press, founded in 1891. In this illustrated conversation with National Gallery of Art curator Diane Waggoner, Mark Samuels Lasner explores Morris's lifelong, multifaceted engagement with print--as a reader, author, collector, calligrapher,  typographer, printer, and publisher--which culminated with the publication of the great Kelmscott Chaucer just before his death.  Samuels Lasner will also touch on his own collecting of Morris and his circle.

More information:

Selections from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library,  are included in "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900" and "Pre-Raphaelites and the Book," exhibitions on view at the National Gallery of Art through 19 May 2013.

Reminder: UPSTAGE: a Journal of Turn-of-the-Century Theatre (6/24/2013)

UPSTAGE, a peer-reviewed online publication dedicated to research in turn-of-the-century (1880-1914) dramatic literature, theatre, and theatrical culture, is seeking submissions for its Summer 2013 issue. This is a development of the pages published under this name as part of THE OSCHOLARS, and is now an independently edited journal in the Oscholars group published by Rivendale Press at, as part of our expanding coverage of the different cultural manifestations of the fin de siècle. UPSTAGE is indexed by the Modern Language Association.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the work of Shaw, Schnitzler, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, von Hofmannsthal, and their contemporaries in Western and Eastern Europe and beyond.

UPSTAGE welcomes a variety of theoretical and critical methodologies.

We are interested in receiving: 

  • Scholarly articles of approximately 3000 words
  • Book reviews of approximately 500 words
  • Reports on work in progress (book manuscripts, Master’s theses, and doctoral dissertations) (approximately 500-1000 words)
  • Reviews of contemporary productions of turn-of-the-century plays (or plays about the turn of the nineteenth century) and announcements of future productions (approximately 500 words) 
Please e-mail your submissions by June 24, 2013, as MS Word attachments only, to both

Dr. Helena Gurfinkel, Department of English Language and Literature, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA at


Dr. Michelle C. Paull, Drama Programme, St. Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, TW1, 4SX, England, at

Submissions should conform to the latest version of the MLA style. In order to undergo masked peer-review, scholarly articles must be submitted in the following way: the author’s contact information and brief bio should appear in the body of the e-mail, while the Word attachment should contain no identifying information. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

CFP: “Contact and Connection”: Travel and Mobility Symposium (5/1/2013; 6/27/2013)

Thursday 27th June 2013, University of Warwick

Keynote speakers:
Dr Cathy Waters (University of Kent)
Professor Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University)

Submissions are invited for the first annual symposium of the University of Warwick Travel and Mobility Studies Research Network, on the theme of “Contact and Connection”.

The symposium aims to address the various connections and forms of contact produced through different forms and representations of travel practice. How does travel connect cultures? What new cultural formations are produced through the process of travel? What are the implications of connection across local, national and global mobile networks? How does travel connect people to the spaces around them and through which they move? What new theoretical connections are produced through the intersections of travel and mobility theory with other disciplines?

Proposals are welcome from researchers working across the arts, humanities and social sciences, including such subjects as travel literature (fiction and non-fiction), the visual arts, tourism studies, migration and migrants, commodity circulation, transnationality, philosophies of travel, and mobility theory in any historical period and within any global context.

Topics might include:

  • Cultural connections forged through travel
  • Contact zones in colonial contexts
  • Intra-national and local networks of mobility
  • Global networks and transnationality
  • Connections within and between literature, visual arts, and other cultural modes
  • Circulation of people, commodities, texts
  • Connections between people and places
  • Theoretical connections within travel studies
  • Touristic connections with spaces of travel
  • Meeting points and places of contact

Deadline extended: Please send abstracts of 300 words for a 15-20 minute paper or expressions of interest by 1st May 2013.

Email: Dr Charlotte Mathieson or Dr Tara Puri

For more information on the Network visit

Event: W.T. Stead: One Year On (5/14/2013)

Jim Mussell, Laurel Brake, and Roger Luckhurst are holding an event at the British Library on Tuesday 14 May 2013, 6:30-8pm, to mark the publication of the book, W.T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary (British Library, 2012), and the special issue on Stead of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (out early May 2013).  The event will feature short talks from Rohan McWilliam, Kate Campbell, and Tony Nicholson, a Q and A, and drinks and nibbles.  It's free to attend, but you need to 'buy' a ticket via the BL Box Office here:

It promises to be an interesting evening and a good opportunity to reflect on W.T. Stead and his legacy, 101 years on.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

CFP: 2013 Trollope Prize (6/1/2013)

The Trollope Prize at the University of Kansas is pleased to announce the judges for the 2013 essay contest, including two new judges and one returning panel member.

Lauren M. E. Goodlad is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She serves as a member of the advisory boards of Victorian Literature and Culture and Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. She has published extensively on the works of Anthony Trollope, including pieces in The Politics of Gender in Anthony Trollope’s Novels (Ashgate, 2009) and Literature Compass (2010). She is also the author of Victorian Literature and the Victorian State (Johns Hopkins, 2003), Goth: Undead Subculture (Duke, 2007), and, most recently, Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s (Duke, 2013).

Talia Schaffer is Professor of English at Queens College CUNY and the Graduate Center CUNY. She is the author of Novel Craft: Victorian Domestic Handicraft and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (2011); The Forgotten Female Aesthetes; Literary Culture in Late-Victorian England (2001); co-editor with Kathy A. Psomiades of Women and British Aestheticism (1999); editor of Lucas Malet's 1901 novel, The History of Sir Richard Calmady (2003); and editor of Literature and Culture at the Fin de Siècle (2006). She has
published widely on noncanonical women writers, material culture, popular fiction, aestheticism, and late-Victorian texts. She is currently working on a book on ‘familiar marriage,’ a rival to romantic unions in Victorian marriage plots.

Dorice Williams Elliott is Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas. Her work focuses on the Victorian novel, theories of class, and feminist theory. She has recently received both a fellowship from the Hall Center for the Humanities and a W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Her publications include The Angel out of the House: Philanthropy and Gender in Nineteenth-Century England (University of Virginia Press, 2002). She is currently researching Australian convict literature.

The Prize is pleased to be continuing its partnership with The Fortnightly Review, which will publish both the winning graduate and undergraduate essays from the 2013 contest. Additionally, the Review will award a modest honorarium to both the graduate and undergraduate winners.

The deadline for entries to both the undergraduate and graduate essay contests is June 1, 2013. Also please note that recent PhD recipients may enter the graduate contest. More detailed information on the criteria for entering the contest is available on the Trollope Prize website.

Please see our website -- -- for more information on the Prize and links to our social media pages. Questions should be addressed to

CFP: in:flux 1845-1945: A Century in Motion (5/17/2013; 6/27/2013)

1845-1945: A Century in Motion
University of Birmingham, 27th June 2013
Keynote speaker – Dr Matthew Rubery, Queen Mary University of London
Interdisciplinary postgraduate conference – call for papers

How did the rapid period of industrialisation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries help to shape societies and lifestyles in the West? What types of social changes, movements and developments characterise this time period? This interdisciplinary postgraduate conference, in affiliation with the Centre for the Study of Cultural Modernity and hosted by the College of Arts and Law, seeks to explore the various ways in which this century was one of ‘motion’, in every sense of the word. The conference title seeks to encapsulate both the uncertainty and upheaval of this period as well as the physical and cultural movements that occurred at this time. We invite papers addressing these themes from postgraduate researchers and early-career academics working on this period from a variety of backgrounds.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

Cultural or social movements

  • political movements
  • the Women’s Movement
  • arts movements (musical, artistic, literary)
  • religious and philosophical
  • popular cultural trends (food, fashion, advertising)

Physical movements

  • mass movement of people (mobilisation of soldiers, migration from towns to cities)
  • transatlantic and inter-continental travel (including emigration and immigration)
  • leisure and tourism
  • transport
  • changing landscapes

Development and progress

  • media (cinema, audio technology and radio, print media)
  • scientific and medical advances
  • technology
  • economic growth and/or recession
  • development of nationhood

These headings are suggestions only; we welcome proposals exploring crossovers between these topics, or addressing them from interdisciplinary perspectives. Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20 minute papers along with a short biographical note of no more than 50 words should be sent to by the 17th May 2013. We welcome any questions that you may have; please do not hesitate to contact us at the above address.
For more information about the Centre for the Study of Cultural Modernity please visit their website:

Twitter: @pgculturalmod          

Sunday, April 07, 2013

CFP: Victorians and the Law (5/10/2013)

Victorian Network is an MLA-indexed online journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best postgraduate work in Victorian Studies.

The eighth issue of Victorian Network, guest edited by Dr Cathrine Frank (University of New England), will take a fresh look at the interfaces between literature and legal cultures in the Victorian period. From the Reform Acts through the growth of colonial law to the establishment of divorce courts, nineteenth-century legislature shaped and responded to the same cultural developments – the rise of the middle class, industrialisation, imperial expansion, and shifting ideas about gender, to name but a few – that were also eagerly debated by literary writers. The politics and aesthetics of many nineteenth-century novelists, poets and playwrights were informed by a sustained engagement with legal debates and practices. Their works often reflected on, and sometimes challenged, the law’s construction of civic, social and gender identities, while also casting a critical (or appraising) eye over the bureaucratic apparatus on which legal practice was built.

We are inviting submissions of no more than 7000 words. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • wills, trusts and guardianship accounts: the materiality of the legal archive
  • Victorian trials, sensation and theatricality
  • criminal law, lawlessness, realist epistemologies and the detective plot
  • Victorian law and gender
  • the reaches of the law: imperialism and the legal & literary creation of colonial identities
  • intersections between genres of legal and literary writing
  • “brought up a barrister”: nineteenth-century authors, legal training, professionalization and the bar
  • radical politics, social change and the working class in Victorian literature and the law
  • debates about rights to intellectual and literary property
  • the spaces and cultural venues of legal practice

 All submissions should conform to MHRA style conventions and the in-house submission guidelines. The deadline for submissions to our next issue is 10th May, 2013. Contact:

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Print & Popular Culture Seminar (5/7/2013)

Victorian Print and Popular Culture Seminar Series
(Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History)
Liverpool John Moores University

Tuesday 7th May 2013
Dr Annemarie McAllister (UCLAN) The Temperance and the Working Class Project: public engagement with academic research on popular culture

The teetotal temperance movement, from its beginnings in Preston in 1832, swept the country and numbered millions of members by its high point just before the first world war.  It remained fairly strong in its heartland of the North West for much of the twentieth century, and yet had almost disappeared from popular knowledge by 2012, 180 years after the signing of the first total abstinence pledge.  This talk will explore how the 'Temperance and the Working Class' Project has managed to raise the profile of temperance history locally and nationally, an undertaking involving oral history, performances and re-creations, three 'Demon Drink' exhibitions, local and family history events, guided tours, and of course much traditional and social media work.  From mounting a pop-up exhibition with volunteers in a local shopping centre and tweeting about it, to singing temperance ballads in costume, the life of an academic takes some strange turns when in receipt of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.  The story of the Project reveals how nineteeth- and twentieth- century cultural history can provide a focus for the social creation of, recapture of, and debate about community identity.  Engagement with historical ideas and artefacts can also relate to current social concerns and influence individual life choices.  For more information please see and

To be held in room 112, Dean Walters Building, St James Road, Liverpool, 5:30pm to 6:45pm. Refreshments to be provided.

For more information contact: Dr Clare Horrocks (Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communication)

Monday, April 01, 2013

CFP: Sensationalism and the Genealogy of Modernity (7/31/2013; 12/18-19/2013)

A Two-Day International Workshop
Tel Aviv University, December, 18-19, 2013

A vast tradition of literary and theoretical reflections has mapped modernity in the fragmented, synaesthetic experience that characterizes urban life. From the paratactic verses of Wordswoth’s Prelude describing the city of London, to the discussion of the ‘shock’ effect and the hyper-stimultion of the urban sensorium in the works of Walter Benjamin, George Simmel, and, most recently, Ben Singer, the bombardment of ever changing stimuli targeting the perception of the urban flâneur has been set against a tradition of aesthetic and epistemological concern valuing the intuited principle of unity that granted access to truth.

The publishing industry has contributed to this new experience of modernity by transforming the production and dissemination of narrative units through periodical forms that mechanically reproduced the same episodic impressions, often by capitalizing on the shock factor upon which many genres of popular entertainment depended. The sensational potential of the plots of both popular fiction, drama, and early cinema have challenged and transformed the discourses of class, gender and national identity that structured the dominant culture.

A significant role in the transformation of aesthetic perception, artistic representation  and the production of the print industry has been played by the research on vision and the analysis of movement in the course of the ‘long nineteenth century,’ as Max Milner, Jonathan Crary and Marta Braun, among others, have argued.  Nineteenth century research on vision has significantly altered not only theoretical discussions but very the modalities of vision that countless ‘philosophical toys’ and popular forms of entertainment disseminated at the level of the everyday.

This conference seeks to map a genealogy of modernity through the ‘sensational’ by taking a comparatist, transnational, interdisciplinary and intermediatic approach to the study of perception and the ways of constructing knowledge in the period going from the emergence of the discourse of aesthetics to the experimentations associated to the early twentieth century avant-garde.

Among the topics considered (but not limited to these):
  • the emergence of aesthetics in the eighteenth century 
  • the research on optics and motion and its impact on literary and artistic mimesis
  • sensationalism in the eighteenth century
  • the many forms of literary sensationalism in theatrical production and periodical fiction (melodrama, sensation novels, crime fiction, roman judiciaire, etc.)
  • adaptations, translations and fortune of specific genres, works and authors of sensational literature in foreign markets
  • violence and the project of modernity
  • serialization and the status of the reader
  • the montage effect in print culture
  • political meanings of sensationalism
  • the responses to new media and the reverberations of optical toys in theoretical,  artistic and literary texts
  • points of rupture/continuity in the historical narratives of modernism
  • transmediation of the sensational in advertising, precinema and silent film
  • the periodical press and the emergence of new journalism
  • archeological approaches to the avant-garde
  • urban modernism and subjectivity in the long nineteenth century
  • the challenges to traditional notions of the sister arts
  • comparative models of sensationalism and the genealogies of modernity
  • commodity culture and the hybrid text of modernity
Please send a 3-400 word abstract and a short bio by July 31 to Alberto Gabriele (

CFP: Summer Shaw Symposium (5/1/2013; 7/26-28/2013)

The 10th Annual Summer Shaw Symposium on July 26-28, 2013, co-hosted with the International Shaw Society by the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, invites proposals for papers to be submitted to Professor Brad Kent at for 20-minute presentations. The ISS and the Shaw Festival also offer a combination Travel Grant/Bryden Scholarship for Emerging Scholars that provides free accommodation for the three days of the symposium, free registration, and some help with paying for travel. Most papers will probably be on the two Shaw plays offered at the Festival, Major Barbara and an adaptation of Geneva, or on comparisons of those two plays with other plays offered by the Festival (see, but other topics will be considered. Registration for the symposium includes tickets for the two plays. 

The deadline for submitting an abstract is May 1, 2013, and the same deadline applies to applications for the Grant/Scholarship. There is much more information at Send queries to and copy the ISS President Michael O'Hara at

CFP: 2013 VanArsdel Essay Prize (5/1/2013)

Graduate students are invited to submit essays for the 2013 VanArsdel Prize for the best graduate student essay on, about, or extensively using Victorian periodicals. The winner will receive $300 and publication in Victorian Periodicals Review. Submissions should be 15-25 pages, excluding notes and bibliography. Manuscripts should not have appeared in print. Send e-mail submissions to VPR Editor Alexis Easley ( by May 1, 2013. Submissions should be formatted as Word files in Chicago style with identifying information removed. In an accompanying e-mail, applicants should include a description of their current status in graduate school.