Monday, July 29, 2013

CFP: Edwardian Culture Network 2014 "Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes" (12/2/2013; 4/10-4/11/2014)

Call for Papers: "Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes"
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 conference organizers invite 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 10-11, 2014.  Please send 300 word abstracts to by no later than Monday 2nd December 2013. For more about the conference and the Edwardian Culture Network, see

Special Event: Birkbeck, London, “Touching the Book: Embossed Literature for Blind People in the Nineteenth Century,” curated by Dr. Heather Tilley

New exhibition about nineteenth-century blindness open at Birkbeck, London.

We're very pleased to announce that a new, free exhibition has opened in the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck's School of Arts, Central London. Touching the Book: Embossed Literature for Blind People in the Nineteenth Century is curated by Dr Heather Tilley, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Birkbeck’s Department of English and Humanities, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through their Sharing Heritage programme.

The exhibition explores the history of embossed reading and writing practices for blind and partially-sighted people prior to the adoption of braille in nineteenth-century Britain and Europe. It contains important examples of nineteenth-century embossed books, writing devices, journals, pamphlets and portraits from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the Wellcome Library, and private collections.  This was a period in which a number of raised alphabets were invented and taught in blind schools and teaching societies throughout Europe, characterized either by their resemblance to the Roman alphabet and legible to the eye or their use of an arbitrary, symbolic code, such as braille.

The exhibition traces debates between those alphabets that were best-suited to the eye vs those best-suited to the finger and explores how nineteenth-century blind and partially sighted people, including Thomas Rhodes Armitage (a founding member of RNIB) and communities campaigned to have ownership of embossed writing systems. Visitors will also be able to access further information and share responses to the exhibition on the exhibition’s website (

Touching the Book: Embossed Literature for Blind People in the Nineteenth Century. Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.

18 July to 30 October 2013. Please visit the exhibition website for more information on opening hours.

The curator will deliver regular tours of the exhibition.

CFP: International Cross-Disciplinary Conference "Gold in/and Art" (12/30/2013; 9/18-9/19/2014)

Organized by Université Toulouse II – Le Mirail (C.A.S. 801) / S.A.I.T.

; 18-19 September 2014, Musée Paul-Dupuy, Toulouse, France

Call for Papers: Gold in/and Art

In the wake of the 2009 conference on “the eloquence of colour” organized by
 the French Society for Word and Image Studies (S.A.I.T.), this 2014
interdisciplinary symposium wishes to examine the unique position of gold
 across literature and the arts in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed
gold is a pigment like no other. Its materiality inevitably conjures up a
complex and paradoxical symbolism which typically negotiates tensions between
the mythical and the political, the beautiful and the commercial, the sacred
and the profane, the invisible and the tangible, the untarnishable and the
ephemeral, virtue and lucre, the collective and the singular, the social and
the private. “Gold in/and Art” therefore purports to continue the exploration
of the dialogue between the arts inaugurated by previous S.A.I.T. conferences,
while confronting such issues of cross-fertilization with an analysis of the
processes of valuing/devaluing/revaluing at work in literature and the arts.
Gold will be envisaged under all its forms, as mineral, colour, light and/or
value—whether it be financial, ethical, mystical, philosophical, or aesthetic
value. The conference theme therefore lends itself to a multiplicity of
approaches which may be economic, historical, political, cultural, artistic,
philosophical, literary and/or linguistic.

Taking as a point of departure Gérard-Georges Lemaire’s observation about
gold’s omnipresence in the history of art and its renewed fascination among
contemporary artists (see G.G. Lemaire, L’or dans l’art contemporain, Paris:
Flammarion 2011; and exhibitions such as “Gold” in 2012 at the Belvedere in
Vienna or “Going for Gold” in 2013 at the Seattle Art Museum), researchers are
encouraged to examine works of 19th-century art/literature or writings on art/
literature which give gold pride of place, either because they foreground gold
as their primary material or because they capitalize on myths and legends
about gold.

We are also interested in receiving proposals for papers studying the
intersection between art and economics, building on the work of critics such
as Jean-Jospeh Goux (L’art et l’argent: la rupture moderniste 1860-1920;
Frivolité de la valeur; Symbolic Economies; The Coiners of Language), Marc
Shell (The Economy of Literature, Money; Language and Thought; Art & Money),
Catherine Gallagher (The Body Economic), Mary Poovey (Genres of the Credit
 Economy) or Regenia Gagnier (Individualism, Decadence and Globalization; The
Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society;
 Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public).

Finally, from a political, philosophical, epistemological, moral, religious or 
spiritual point of view, it may be helpful to keep in mind Zarathustra’s
comments on gold : “Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because
it is uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it always
bestoweth itself. Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest
value. Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre maketh peace
between moon and sun” (Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, chapter XXII).
Indeed, gold has traditionally been used as a standard—of purity, value, 
soundness or excellence. But how has this notion been either consolidated or
challenged in 19th- and early 20th-century art and literature? Do we still
believe in the universal and eternal prestige of gold understood as a
benchmark of value? Or has the possibility for such a consensus disappeared
with the emergence of more diversified centres of power?

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  •  The materiality of painting: the economy of pigments

  • The re-writings of Biblical stories or myths and legends in which gold
plays a major part (the Golden Calf, Danae, King Midas, Croesus, Hercules in
the Garden of the Hesperides, Jason and the Golden Fleece etc.)

  • Art and gold in utopias and dystopias

  • Numismatic fiction

  • Gold and religion – Gold and the mystic eye – Conversion vs.
convertibility – Gold and light

  • Theories of art: the golden mean, the golden age, etc.

  • Representations of the artist’s creative alchemy

  • Symbolic intermedial economies: how does intermediality (i.e. cross-
fertilization between various media or art forms) operate productively? What
are the benefits/profits of such an intermedial dialogue for the work of art/
the artist/the reader/the spectator?

  • Aesthetic revolutions and speculation – Economic crises and crises in

  • The art world: artistic institutions, critics, and art dealers

  • Gold and the literary/artistic canon - Post-colonial perspectives on gold
– Gold and gender: the “gilded cage” of womanhood, gendered approaches to gold
– Gold and queer theory

  • Gold in artistic movements: Orientalism, Impressionnism, Japonism, the
Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, etc.

Please send a 500-word abstract with a short bio to Catherine Delyfer
( no later than December 30, 2013. Selections
 will be made by March 1st, 2014. Papers will be delivered in English. A 
selection of papers will be published.

Monday, July 22, 2013

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

Poetry in Painting:  The Lyrical Voice of Pre-Raphaelite Paintings
An Edited Collection
Sophia Andres
Brian Donnelly

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

CFP: Ann Radcliffe at 250 "Gothic and Romantic Imaginations" (11/30/2013; 6/27-29/2014)

Ann Radcliffe at 250: Gothic and Romantic Imaginations
University of Sheffield
June 27-29, 2014

Keynote Speakers: 
Emma Clery (University of Southampton)
Fred Botting (Kingston University)
Jane Stabler (University of St Andrews)

An international conference will be held at the University of Sheffield June 27-29, 2014 to celebrate the 250th birthday of Ann Radcliffe and the launch of a collection of essays upon her work (eds. Townshend and Wright, CUP 2014). Ann Radcliffe at 250: Gothic and Romantic Imaginations, will celebrate the fiction and poetry of the celebrated 'great enchantress'. Besides formal papers and panels, we will also hold roundtables upon the topics of Teaching Ann Radcliffe and Screening Ann Radcliffe.
Paper and panel proposals are welcomed on but not exclusive to the following topics:

  • Radcliffe’s novels
  • future directions for Radcliffe studies
  • Radcliffe’s legacies (a special panel to be convened by the Romantic Heirs early careers network)
  • Radcliffe in Europe
  • Radcliffe and poetry
  • Dramatic adaptations of Ann Radcliffe
  • Radcliffe and her contemporaries
  • Radcliffe and print culture
  • Radcliffe and politics
  • Radcliffe and travel
  • Radcliffe and visual culture

The roundtable sessions will discuss:
  • Teaching Ann Radcliffe
  • Screening Ann Radcliffe
In addition to launching this essay collection, there will be further opportunity for participating delegates to publish their work: the organizers have secured no fewer than three special journal issues to celebrate the 250th anniversary: Romanticism (eds. Callaghan, Firth and Merrills); Women’s Writing (eds. Smith and Bennett) and Gothic Studies (eds. Mathison and Smith).

We now invite proposals for papers and panels, with the deadline of November 30, 2013. Please send all abstracts to 
Please visit our conference website for details of where to submit your proposals, and further information about the conference itself. 

Organising committee: Angela Wright (Sheffield), Dale Townshend (Stirling); Madeleine Callaghan (Sheffield); Andy Smith (Sheffield); Liam Firth (Sheffield); Fern Merrills (Sheffield); Hamish Mathison (Sheffield); Joe Bray (Sheffield); Mark Bennett (Sheffield); Kate Gadsby-Mace (Sheffield); Lauren Nixon (Sheffield); Kathleen Hudson (Sheffield)

CFP: From Crisis to Criticism: Tensions, Evolutions, Revolutions in 19th and 20th century Europe (10/1/2013; 4/10-11/2014)

"From Crisis to Criticism: Tensions, Evolutions, Revolutions in 19th and 20th century Europe"
University of Cergy-Pontoise
April 10-11, 2014

This international and interdisciplinary symposium to be held at the University of Cergy-Pontoise on April 10 and 11, 2014 will aim at exploring and reconsidering the different manifestations of episodes of crisis in the European history of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is expected that exploring the concept of crisis in its manifestations, consequences and legacy in the 19th and 20th centuries will lead to a better understanding of the ongoing crises in the early 21st century.

It will consider and revisit the reactions and changes that such moments of crisis have left in their wake in all aspects of European life, political, social and cultural
  • As scientific, industrial and political changes awakened a new consciousness and aroused new aspirations for greater liberty, radical movements emerged challenging such theories as liberalism and utilitarianism. These challenging forces could be considered either as a radical questioning of the political, social and cultural heritage or as a form of compromise to avoid commitment and action.

This conference also purports to address the complex link between crisis, criticism and visual representation(s). 
  • At a time when the artistic field achieves a larger degree of autonomy, progressively ending what Bourdieu termed its structural subordination to political power, the canvas (later, the screen) functions as the place, reflection and expression of multi-faceted crises. Fuelled by the context in which it exists, art allows its producers and receivers to distance themselves from some of the most acute contemporary conflicts, social or political. As the instrument of major aesthetic breaks, it may also generate tensions, evolutions and even revolutions of its own.
  • Considered as the symptom of a medical disorder, a crisis throws light on ways in which science had, in the 19th century context, found its way into major debates that continued beyond that century and found modes of expression well into the twentieth century. Some groups held a pseudo-scientific discourse in which new scientific theories were either exploited or corrupted and diverted from their original context. The impact of scientific discoveries in the political and religious fields could be investigated.

The conference will equally aim at exploring the notion of crisis in the field of literature.
  • In what way do the literary representations of crises bear on the (r) evolution of the codes prevailing at a certain period of time? The cyclical aspects of literature, such as the recycling process at work in 20th century pastiche, could be a case in point. It could similarly prove interesting to study how crisis in literature promotes new imaginary worlds, specific representations of the world, or new literary genres created to articulate brand new worlds opening up.
  • Should the literature of crisis be regarded as a literary subgenre in its own right? The question of crisis as spurring on creation should be worth investigating as well. What are the links between a writer’s inner crisis triggered by personal anxieties and crisis at a social, economic, political, scientific, or religious level? At which point does a writer’s literary production stop being symptomatic and merge into a country’s dominant culture? Through which process could it then build up into a symbolic counter-power, possibly resulting into a new collective identity? 
  • When taken in a meaning closer to its Greek etymology, the term “crisis” may be synonymous with “opinion”, and “criticism”. We may then examine openly metadiscursive texts written by authors turning into literary critics: reviews, prefaces, letters, essays, or any other critical text. We also invite the participants to study the idea of criticism in a broader sense comprising the question of the committed writer in times of political and social crisis.
Heritage is generally considered as the product of social, cultural and political consensus. 
  • As such, it would tend to establish order, and to smooth or soothe tensions, evolutions and revolutions. However, on the one hand it can imply tangible and intangible works (artworks, monuments, urban landscapes, or events) associated with moments of crisis which memory communities, States or international organizations wish to preserve and pass on. On the other hand, aesthetic and ideological choices at play in the very process of heritagization can create conflicts and controversy as they imply a critical rewriting of the past and reflect, not only the concerns of a given period, but its aspirations for the future. Furthermore, in relation to questions of identity building, the development of heritage awareness was matched with the setting up of cultural institutions whose actors, whether they be audiences or heritage professionals (curators, mediators), have been induced to produce order through canon and common values, or alternatively debatable distinctions. This conference will examine heritage narratives based on crises, be they considered minor or major ones.
This two-day international symposium will gather academics whose research field is in the political, social and intellectual history of European nations in the past two centuries. Researchers in art and patrimonial history of the period are equally welcome to propose a contribution.

Proposals for papers (20 to 30 lines) including a brief biographical notice and references to 3 publications will be received until October 1st 2013 by the following members of the scientific committee:

CFP: North American British Music Studies Association Biennial Conference 2014 (1/20/2014; 7/31-8/3/2014)

North American British Music Studies Association Biennial Conference 2014: Call for Proposals

The North American British Music Studies Association will hold its Sixth Biennial Conference from Thursday through Sunday, July 31 to August 3, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Proposals on topics related to all aspects of British music and musical life in general throughout Britain, the Empire, and beyond are welcome. Those that draw upon interdisciplinary or broader cultural contexts are particularly welcome.
Presentations may take a variety of formats, including individual papers of twenty minutes in length, workshops involving group participation, roundtable discussions, lecture-recitals, and themed panel sessions. The Nicholas Temperley Prize will be awarded for the best scholarly presentation given by a graduate student.
Proposal format and content
For individual papers, abstracts not exceeding 350 words should clearly present the title, the subject, the methodology, the argument, and the significance of the findings. For presentations in other formats, proposals should be of similar length (maximum 350 words); they should clearly state and justify the intended format, including amount of time requested, and should indicate the originality and significance of the material to be delivered.

Those proposing lecture-recitals must also include recordings of the proposed performer(s) playing examples of the proposed repertory if not of the exact proposed work(s). Anyone proposing a lecture-recital should attach a short biography. All proposals should also indicate audio-visual needs (in a separate line at the end of the abstract, not included in word count). Students should identify themselves as such on the non-anonymous copy of the abstract (see below), so that their papers can be considered for the Temperley Prize.

Proposal transmission procedures
Proposals should be sent via e-mail attachment to the Program Committee Chair Roberta Montemorra Marvin ( with the subject-line NABMSA 2014 Proposal. The e-mail should carry two attachments in Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, or .rtf only). The first attachment (file name = anonymous submission_short title of the proposal) should include within the text only title and abstract. The second attachment (file name = your own last name_short title of the proposal) should contain within the text your name, address, telephone, fax, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation or city, along with the paper title and abstract. The content of this second attachment should also be pasted into the body of the e-mail in case of transmission problems. Audio or video recordings supporting proposals for lecture-recitals are required (demo disc, .mp3 files, etc.) and should be received (electronically) by the same deadline as the abstract (see below). Please contact the Program Chair via email for instructions on how to transmit these materials electronically. Do not send them as email attachments.

The deadline for all submissions is midnight, Eastern Standard Time, January 20, 2014. It is the policy of the Association that all presenters be members in good standing. More information about NABMSA and its activities may be seen on the Association’s web site, . Submissions will be acknowledged within four days of receipt. Participants will be notified of the acceptance by mid-March 2014. Program Committee for 2014: Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa), chair; Christopher Scheer (Utah State University), Derek Scott (University of Leeds); Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Syracuse University)

CFP: MVSA 2014 'Victorian Violence" (10/31/2013; 4/11-13/2014)

2014 MVSA Conference
April 11-13, 2014
“Victorian Violence”
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Midwest Victorian Studies Association will hold its 2014 annual conference at the University of Michigan, April 11-13, 2014. Papers are sought for topics related to the conference theme of "Victorian Violence." Contributions may consider any aspect of conflict or resistance and its representations in art, music, history, or literature: violence in the army, the colonies, the prisons, the streets, the workplace, the family, the home, and even the animal kingdom. Papers on resistance to violence—such as anti-vivisection or the British anti-war movement—are also welcome, as are talks on indirect and systemic forms of violence. We are planning a collection of essays based on the conference.

In addition to the conference theme, we invite proposals for a Victorian Pedagogy Roundtable. Presenters will introduce innovative and successful strategies for teaching Victorian literature, history, music and culture in the classroom. Presentations for this session need not be linked to the conference theme.

MVSA’s 2014 Jane Stedman lecture will be given by Lara Kriegel (Indiana University). Dr. Kriegel’s plenary lecture is titled “Graceful Exits: War Cemeteries, Violent Legacies, and the Afterlife of the Crimean War.”

Send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (both as MWord documents) by October 31, 2013, to Even if you do not submit a paper, please plan to attend!

The Midwest Victorian Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming scholars from all disciplines who share an interest in nineteenth-century British history, literature, and culture.