American Literature in the World Graduate Conference

Deadline: December 1, 2015

Date: April 8, 2016

Location: Yale University

CFP Link

The conference hopes to broaden the scope of American literature, opening it to more complex geographies, and to a variety of genres and media. The impetus comes partly from a survey of what is currently in the field: it is impossible to read the work of Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, Robert Hass and Jorie Graham, Dave Eggers and Jhumpa Lahiri without seeing that, for all these authors, the reference frame is no longer simply the United States, but a larger, looser, more contextually varied set of coordinates, populated by laboring bodies, migrating faiths, generational sagas, memories of war, as well as the accents of unforgotten tongues, the taste and smell of beloved foods and spices.

The twenty-first century is a good century to think about American literature in the world. But other centuries are equally fertile ground, as the writings of Anne Bradstreet, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Bishop make abundantly clear. To study these and countless other authors is to see that the United States and the world are neither separate nor antithetical, but part of the same analytic fabric. Our conference explores these extended networks through many channels: from the cultural archives circulating across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, to the dynamic interactions between indigenous populations and those from other continents; from the institutions of print, to the tangled ecologies of literature, art, theater, music, and film, to the digital globalism of the present moment.

The conference is generously supported by the Beinecke Library, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the English Department, the American Studies Program, the African American Studies Department, the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program, the Comparative Literature Department, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Italian Department, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and the Film Studies Program at Yale University. We offer a $300 travel stipend to those coming from outside the tri-state area. Conference attendees are also invited to three related events: a research workshop with Melissa Barton, Curator at the Beinecke Library; a publication workshop with Gordon Hutner, editor of American Literary History; and a “Scholars as Writers” workshop with Stephen Burt, Professor of English, Harvard University, and frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Please send a 1-page abstract to by December 1.

“Victorian STEAM,” Victorians Institute Conference

Deadline: April 29, 2016

Dates: October 14-15, 2016

Location: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

CFP Link

Since its widespread adoption in the 1990s, the acronym “STEM” has focused political and public attention on investments in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. In response, numerous commenters as well as arts and humanities advocacy organizations have urged the necessary inclusion of the “arts” in educational priorities with the hybrid acronym “STEAM.” In this context, we devote the theme of this conference to “Victorian STEAM” with two related goals. First, to explore the nineteenth century’s creative intermingling of pursuits across the arts and sciences when, in so many cases, disciplines had yet to separate into their discrete domains. With a nod to the “steam” which so transformed historical industry, this conference investigates the interdisciplinary, extradisciplinary, or even predisciplinary alliances which powered new knowledge and critique in the Victorian era. Second, Victorian STEAM underscores the continuing relevance of such humanities-based work today, not only to stress the vital importance of arts and humanities training in education, but even to propose how Victorian studies — so attuned to the potentials for disciplinary crossings — may uniquely help reimagine such work in the present.

To these ends, we invite proposals for participation at the Victorians Institute’s conference at North Carolina State University on October 14-15, 2016, in Raleigh, NC. Individuals may submit 300-word abstracts and a one-page CV for consideration in a general conference pool. We also encourage participants to submit proposals for complete panels or roundtable discussions, particularly those offering cross-cutting perspectives from different disciplinary, methodological, or thematic viewpoints. Proposals for full panels should comprise 500 words and include one-page CVs of the panelists. We welcome submissions from graduate students, instructors, faculty, and independent scholars regardless of rank or affiliation. The Victorians Institute additionally provides a select number of travel awards for attendees demonstrating need. If you would like to be considered, please include a brief cover letter explaining your request and what travel support you currently receive. Please format abstracts and CVs as .doc, .docx, or .pdf files and submit as attachments to by the deadline of April 29, 2016.

Though this conference is generously sponsored by the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and Department of English, participation is not restricted by discipline, in keeping with its theme.

“Romanticism and its Discontents,” NASSR 2016

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Dates: August 11-15, 2016

Location: UC Berkeley

CFP Link

The 24th Annual Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism will take place on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, on August 11-14, 2016. Our conference is entitled “Romanticism and its Discontents.”

We invite consideration of any aspect of discontent with and within Romanticism, a field we construe in broad, international terms. Participants might address the misfit between a concept and a practice; explore writers’ representations of disaffection, their resistance to contemporary norms (aesthetic, political, economic, social, or cultural), or their desire to reassert those norms; discuss the deficiencies of “Romanticism” as an ideological or historical category or “discontent” as an affect intrinsic to Romanticism; reflect on the current state of academic scholarship. Or—if you are dissatisfied with these formulations—we invite you to construe Romanticism’s discontents in any way that seems
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Digital Humanities Postdoc

Deadline: October 30, 2015

Fellowship Guidelines

The Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for the 2016-17 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities. One award is available to an untenured scholar in the humanities whose PhD must have been received between December 2007 and December 2015. The DH Fellow is required to spend the nine-month academic year (September 2016 – May 2017) in residence at Penn.

The PhD is the only eligible terminal degree. MFAs and other doctorates such as EdD are ineligible. In addition to scholars from the core humanities disciplines, those in related fields such as anthropology and the history of science are eligible to apply. Additional educational background in programming, library sciences, computer graphics, computational linguistics, or other fields relevant to digital humanities research is desirable but not required.

The Mellon Fellow will be affiliated with both the School of Arts and Sciences and the Penn Libraries, and will participate in the biweekly Price Lab Mellon Seminar. The fellow will pursue his or her own research project, presenting this work at the seminar, while also contributing to team-based projects at the Lab, and teaching one DH course during the year in the undergraduate College. (While the application requires a brief course description, actual specifications of the class will be worked out next spring with the Price Lab’s Managing Director.)

The Mellon DH Fellowship carries an annual stipend of $55,000 plus single-coverage health insurance (fellows are responsible for coverage of any dependents). Applicants from outside the US must be eligible for appointment under a J-1 visa (Research Scholar status); no exceptions will be made, and the Price Lab reserves the right to revoke a fellowship if the recipient is unable to meet this condition.

Applications are accepted via secure webform only. Requires three letters of recommendation, an application form, and a CV.

  • Full fellowship guidelines, the downloadable application, and details on the Price Lab website:
  • Application deadline: 30 October 2015.

Fellowships in Print Culture & Digital Editing

Deadline: September 20, 2015

The second of these posts, the Fellowship in Textual Studies and Digital Editing, states a preference for scholars working in the Victorian period, but Victorianists are encouraged to apply for the Fellowship in Print Culture too.  The deadline for both is Wednesday 30 September 2015.

University Academic Fellowships are prestigious positions designed to attract the best early career scholars from around the world.  The positions are for five years in the first instance (at Grade 8, salary in range £38,511 to £45,954) progressing to a position as Associate Professor (Grade 9, salary between £47,328 to £54,841) on successful completion of the Fellowship.  The positions are research-oriented, with teaching responsibilities built in towards the end of the Fellowship ahead of promotion to Associate Professor.

The University of Leeds has considerable strengths in both textual scholarship and the history of the Book, and, in the Brotherton Library, is home to one of the best collections of Victorian books and manuscripts in the country.  The School of English has a long history of scholarship in Victorian Studies, as well stengths in textual editing, bibliography, and book history in all periods.  Much of this work is brought together under the auspices of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print (Centre CHoP), a cross-faculty research group that is currently restoring the University’s historical print room, which contains a paper-making equipment, a bindery, four Victorian presses, and sets of type.  Finally, there is a digital humanities research group within the School of English and scholars take part in digital initiatives across the University and beyond.

James Mussell ( is happy to field any enquiries about the Print Culture Fellowship and any general questions.  For queries about the Textual Studies and Digital Editing Fellowship, please contact Professor Martin Butler.  Further details available at the links above.

“The Book in Art and Science,” SHARP 2016 (International)

Deadline: November 10, 2015

Dates: July 18-21, 2016

Location: Paris, France

CFP Link (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing)

SHARP’s 2011 conference on “The Book in Art and Science” in Washington, D.C., attracted a number of papers on the medical book and medical print culture—a topic that, while traditionally marginal within print culture studies, has drawn increased scholarly interest over the past few years. This panel will provide a forum for discussing research findings, questions, and concerns specific to the medical book at SHARP’s 2016 conference in Paris, France, July 18-21.

Papers may approach the topic, “The Languages of the Medical Book,” from different angles, including (but not limited to):

  • The genre-specific language of the medical book
  • The form of the medical book — its changing material demands and/or differences from other kinds of books
  • The medical book trade — key actors, structure, governing laws and conventions
  • Dialogue and tensions among writers, publishers, editors, agents, and other participants in medical print culture
  • The circulation of medical books within and across national borders
  • Multilingual medical books; translation issues and the medical book
  • Digitization and the its impact on the circulation of the medical book and/or medical information

If interested in joining this panel, please send a MS Word document or PDF with the title of your paper, an abstract (maximum 400 words), and short biography (maximum 100 words) to by November 10, 2015. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the organiser, Sarah Bull, at the same e-mail address.

Dickens Society Annual Symposium (International)

Deadline: October 15, 2015

Dates: July 11-13, 2016

Location: Iceland University, Reykjavik

CFP Link

No sooner had Dickens made a name for himself by writing novels than the London theatres began to adapt them to the stage. Indeed, both The Pickwick Papers (April 1836–November 1837) and Oliver Twist (February 1837–March–1838) underwent such adaptations before the serial run of either had come to an end, and the latter was staged in one form or another no fewer than forty times before 1850! Just over half a century later, “The Death of Poor Joe,” a silent film from 1901 initiated a long series of adaptations of his works for cinema, and in 1959, BBC television broadcast adaptations of Great Expectations and Bleak House that proved how well suited his works were to either type of screen. Over four hundred adaptations later, there is no sign that the public’s enthusiasm for adapting Dickens is on the wane. Quite the contrary, audio versions of his works, a mode that can be traced directly to Dickens’s own dramatizations and his celebrated (and much imitated) readings can now be downloaded in a matter of minutes in MP3 format from a large number of internet sources. By the 1840s, his novels had been translated in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian, influencing a host of European writers over the following three decades. If we add the visual arts, musicals, graphic novels, video games, and a multitude of objects from Christmas decorations to cigarette cards and figurines, there seems to be no limits to the adaptability of Dickens’s works.

Papers (deliverable in twenty minutes) related to adaptation as well as proposals on all aspects of Dickens and his works are welcome. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies

Deadline: December 1, 2015

Dates: April 1-3, 2016

Location: Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)

CFP Link

The Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies invites paper and panel proposals for its 43nd annual meeting, to be held at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, April 1-3, 2016.

The PCCBS invites papers representing all fields of British Studies—broadly defined to include those who study the United Kingdom, its component parts and nationalities, as well as Britain’s imperial cultures.  We welcome proposals from scholars and doctoral candidates in a wide range of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, including History, Literature, Political Science, Philosophy, Religion, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Theater Studies, and Art History. Continue reading

“Virginia Woolf and Heritage” (International)

Deadline: January 25, 2016

Dates: June 16-19, 2016

Location: Leeds Trinity University

CFP Link

Virginia Woolf was deeply interested in the past – whether literary, intellectual, cultural, political or social – and her writings interrogate it repeatedly. She was also a great tourist and explorer of heritage sites in England and abroad. As the first Annual Virginia Woolf Conference to be hosted in England for 10 years, and located in Yorkshire, an area rich in cultural links for Woolf (not least the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, the subject of her first published article), this conference will explore how Woolf engaged with heritage, how she understood and represented it, and how she has been represented by the heritage industry. See more details in the CFP Link, above.

For individual papers, send a 250-word proposal. For panels of three or four people, please send a proposed panel title and a 250-word proposal for each paper.

Please e-mail the proposal in a Word document to by 25th January 2016. Proposals should be anonymous, but please provide names, affiliations and contact details for speaker(s) in the e-mail message.

Curran Fellowships 2016

Deadline: November 1, 2015


The Curran Fellowships are a set of travel and research grants intended to aid scholars studying 19th-century British magazines and newspapers in making use of primary print and archival sources. Made possible through the generosity of the late Eileen Curran, Professor Emerita of English, Colby College, and inspired by her pioneering research on Victorian periodicals, the Fellowships are awarded annually. This year, up to five prizes will be awarded in amounts up to $4000 each.

The Curran Fellowships are open to researchers of any age from any of a wide range of disciplinary perspectives – literary scholars, historians, biographers, economists, sociologists, art historians, and others – who are exploring the 19th-century British press as an object of study in its own right, and not only as a source of material for other historical topics. Applicants’ projected research may involve study of any aspects of the periodical press in any of its manifold forms, and may range from within Britain itself to the many countries, within and outside of the Empire, where British magazines and newspapers were bought, sold, and read during “the long nineteenth century” (ca. 1780-1914).

Applications for the Curran Fellowships for research to be undertaken in 2016 must be submitted in electronic form to no later than November 1, 2015. Applicants should send a current c.v., the names and contact information of two scholars who are familiar with the applicant and his or her research goals, and a description of the project to which these funds will be applied.  Any questions about these awards can be sent to   Applicants will find helpful this set of additional guidelines.

“Adapting Dickens” (International)

Deadline: October 15, 2015

Dates: July 11-13, 2016

Location: Iceland University, Reykjavik

CFP from VICTORIA Listserv; Dickens Society Link

No sooner had Dickens made a name for himself by writing novels than the London theatres began to adapt them to the stage. Indeed, both The Pickwick Papers (April 1836–November 1837) and Oliver Twist (February 1837–March–1838) underwent such adaptations before the serial run of either had come to an end, and the latter was staged in one form or another no fewer than forty times before 1850! Just over half a century later, “The Death of Poor Joe,” a silent film from 1901 initiated a long series of adaptations of his works for cinema, and in 1959, BBC television broadcast adaptations of Great Expectations and Bleak House that proved how well suited his works were to either type of screen. Over four hundred adaptations later, there is no sign that the public’s enthusiasm for adapting Dickens is on the wane. Quite the contrary, audio versions of his works, a mode that can be traced directly to Dickens’s own dramatizations and his celebrated (and much imitated) readings can now be downloaded in a matter of minutes in MP3 format from a large number of internet sources. By the 1840s, his novels had been translated in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian, influencing a host of European writers over the following three decades. If we add the visual arts, musicals, graphic novels, video games, and a multitude of objects from Christmas decorations to cigarette cards and figurines, there seems to be no limits to the adaptability of Dickens’s works.
Continue reading

“Global Dickens,” NeMLA 2016

Deadline: September 30, 2015

Dates: March 17-20, 2016

Location: Hartford, CT

CFP from VICTORIA Listserv

Panel Title: Global Dickens (panel sponsored by the Dickens Society)

Chair: Diana Archibald (University of Massachusetts Lowell)


World-wide interest in Charles Dickens experienced a resurgence during the bicentennial in 2012 when scholars and enthusiasts across the globe engaged in celebrations, interrogations, and encounters with the Inimitable. Throughout the last two decades a few works of interest have been published on global Dickens, and this appears to be a growing topic
of interest both for Dickensians and other scholars, especially those researching and writing in postcolonial and cultural studies.

This panel, organized by the Dickens Society, welcomes proposals for papers on any aspect of the topic of global Dickens, including reception of Dickens outside of the Imperial center, reimaginings of Dickens in global contexts, the fluidity of influence, and more. Of particular interest are papers that discuss how the digital humanities intersect with
global Dickens studies.

Please submit proposals (300 words maximum) and a short bio. to Prof. Diana Archibald at

Deadline: September 30, 2015

“Making a Scene,” BWWC 2016

Deadline: January 5, 2016

Dates: June 2-5, 2016

Location: University of Georgia

CFP Link

The theme of the 24th annual meeting of the British Women Writers Conference is “Making a Scene,” and we’re excited to welcome papers that play with the elasticity of this phrase vis-à-vis eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writings by women. From the sublime panoramas of “Beachy Head” and the scandalous rehearsals of Lover’s Vows in Mansfield Park to the landscapes of Helen Huntingdon and the ekphrastic poems of Michael Field, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature by British women writers frequently makes a scene as it considers landscape, theatrical performance, and the creation or representation of visual art. Additionally, actresses themselves enrich women’s writing of the period; the works and life writings of Charlotte Charke and Fanny Kemble remind us that actresses formed a vital part of the canon of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women writers.

But “making a scene” is also a breach of social decorum; it runs the risk, as Haywood’s Fantomina learns despite her calculated use of disguise, of revealing the desire underneath a too ostentatious flirtation. Or it shatters protocol by suggesting the vehemence of any passion. For political radicals also make scenes in British literature, and Barrett Browning’s “Runaway Slave” delivers a powerful one at Pilgrim’s Point. Barrett Browning reminds us that making a scene is often a radical, transgressive act, particularly for an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century woman, whose need to be witnessed, heard, or even seen defies the social and political architecture that tries to silence her.

We invite papers and panel proposals that consider any facet of this theme, particularly those in relation to writing scenes, scenes of the mind, landscapes, political demonstrations, courtroom outbursts, and performance more generally. For paper proposals, please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio (in a single attachment) to by January 5, 2016. For full panel proposals, please compile all proposals, along with a brief rationale for the panel, into a single document. Papers and panels must address the theme and its application to British women’s literature of the long eighteenth- or nineteenth-centuries. Graduate students whose submissions are accepted may apply to receive a travel grant sponsored by the British Women Writers Association.

“The Science of Affect in American Literature and Culture,” NeMLA 2016

Deadline: September 30, 2015

Dates: March 17-20, 2016

Location: Hartford, CT

CFP Link

Patricia Clough has recently identified what she calls an “affective turn” in fields across the humanities and social sciences, which reimagine the place of emotion and the body within the political, economic, and social. Affect is increasingly important to nineteenth-century American studies, as critics like Michael Millner and Christopher Castiglia work to understand how feelings such as sympathy and anxiety helped shape literature and popular culture, as well as our definitions of citizenship more broadly. In addition, this affective turn is present in the sciences: Raffi Khatchadourian’s recent investigative piece, “We Know How you Feel: Computers are Learning Emotion and the Business World Can’t Wait” in the New Yorker (19 Jan. 2015), examines how contemporary computer science research capitalizes on consumer feelings to create an “emotion economy.” This panel seeks to explore how these trends can be linked to the nineteenth-century’s interest in the readability and knowability of human emotion (through, for example, pseudo-sciences such as mesmerism, phrenology, and electrical psychology). Though these various investigations into affect work towards very different ends, the trend to pursue human emotion pervades American literary and scientific studies. In what ways are recent scientific explorations that endeavor to quantify human interiority similar to nineteenth-century science that posited the knowability of the self? What can such similarities tell us about the ability to “know” both our own and others’ emotions? This panel will draw attention to the potential intersections between affect theory and nineteenth-century science, literature, and psychology. We welcome papers that explore nineteenth-century science and psychology on its own terms, and especially in relation to the spread of Western culture and United States imperialism. As well, we invite papers that consider the place of science in affect studies through the present day.

We look forward to hearing from you! Please submit abstracts here: and direct any questions to

“A Time of Judgement”: The Operation and Representation of Judgement in Nineteenth-Century Cultures (International)

Deadline for Abstracts: November 30, 2015

Dates: June 23-24, 2016

Location: Plymouth University, UK

CFP Link

This international, interdisciplinary conference seeks to examine the role of ‘judgement’ in the nineteenth century, in both the Anglophone and European cultures. As a theme, related to but distinct from notions of justice, judgement has not attracted much attention from humanities scholars in contrast to the interest expressed in philosophy and psychology.

The nineteenth century saw judgement operating and developing in a multiplicity of ways: with national and international architectural and art competitions, and awards for design at universal exhibitions, and the proliferation of a literary market that saw judgement (understood as discrimination and evaluation) exercised in popular and learned reviews. Scientific controversies also involved judgements.

The legal aspect of judgment is an obvious theme and can be explored from both legal history and literary perspectives, as well as through visual culture. The conference is also, however, interested in how non-legal acts of judgement were depicted, for example in Pre-Raphaelite and other artistic representations of the ‘judgement of Paris’, or Christian works such as Thomas Martin’s ‘Last Judgement.

Please send a 300 word abstract, with a brief biography, to one of the conference coordinators (see link for e-mails) by November 30, 2015.

“Strata,” Edited Collection

Deadline: September 30, 2015

CFP Link

The editors invite proposals for essays on the theme of ‘strata’ across English literature in the period 1860-1930. This period saw landmarks in archaeological discovery including the ancient city of Troy in 1868 through to the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. In the early twentieth century, the radiometric dating of strata revolutionised geology, while psychology moved into a laboratory setting, and pioneers such as Sigmund Freud developed ground-breaking techniques to penetrate the unconscious. Thus the era was one in which varieties of depths – both literal and figurative – were explored, their treasures exposed, and their secrets made to impact upon the ways in which both the external world and the internal self were perceived.

The editors are particularly interested in essays which marry the two threads of physical (geological / archaeological) and psychological strata.

Essay abstracts (approx. 500 words) and a short biography (up to 100 words) including your name, position and affiliation, should be sent to by 30 September 2015. Longer outlines or drafts are also welcome at this time. The editors aim to notify selected authors by mid-October, and completed essays should be submitted by January 2016. Queries are welcome concerning submission topics.

“Forgotten Geographies in the Fin de Siecle” (International)

Deadline: December 20, 2015

Dates: July 8-9, 2016

Location: Birkbeck College, University of London

CFP Link

Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in fin-de-siècle cultural studies and, in particular, in the growth of cosmopolitanism and internationalism in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. This critical reception has tended to read British fin-de-siècle culture as a reflection of and reaction to specific European countries, mainly France. The wealth and variety of imperial and industrial Britain’s cross-cultural exchanges, however, has not been generally considered as a whole. British artists and writers of the 1880s and 1890s were avid travellers and readers who came in contact with a vast range of European cultures – Belgian, Bohemian, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish… As a way of escaping industrialisation and cultural homogenisation, or as a consequence of imperial politics, many artists and writers also interacted with further cultures, such as Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Moroccan, and Turkish, to name but a few. British authors of the fin de siècle were undeniably influenced by French writing, but also by Scandinavian naturalists like Ibsen and Hamsun, and by the newly translated fiction of Turgenev and Tolstoy.

Likewise, the impact and response to British art and literature in the international cultural community has yet to be explored. Anglomania was a distinct tendency among aesthetes in turn-of-the-century Hungary, Russia, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland, to name but a few. The promotion of British aestheticism was often seen by the locals as a step to modernisation and advancement of national artistic and literary tradition. English magazines, which facilitated revolutionary changes in publishing, design, and international networking, e.g. The Studio, The Yellow Book, The Savoy, were set as examples for the emerging culture of periodicals in Eastern Europe. The late Pre-Raphaelite movement, especially works and ideas of Burne-Jones and Watts, was also a powerful yet underappreciated influence on the development of Symbolism in Polish visual culture.

As recent research questions the cultural segregation between East and West, challenging post-colonial assumptions about imperial hierarchy, and instead emphasising global networks of reciprocity, it is the intention of this conference to further expand this debate. By bringing together established and emerging scholars, we aim to reconsider the intellectual and national foundations of the British fin de siècle, assessing the role of other ‘forgotten’ cultures in the articulation of British cultural movements of the time. At the same time, we intend to unlock and reframe the perception of British authors abroad by explicating the reinvention of meaning of their work in different cultural, social, and political environments.

“Social Victorians,” NAVSA 2016

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Dates: November 2-5, 2016

Location: Phoenix, AZ

CFP Link and NAVSA website

The Conference Committee for the 2016 annual NAVSA conference invites proposals for papers and panels on the subject of Social Victorians.

What does it mean to speak of the social in the Victorian era? In what ways were the Victorians social, antisocial, or both at once? What definitions of sociability circulated during the period, and through which structures? What models of sociability vyed, prevailed, and emerged?

The deadline for paper and panel submissions is February 1, 2016. For individual papers, submit 250-word paper proposals, along with a one-page CV. For entire panels, submit the above for each paper, as well as a one-page summary of the panel.

Continue reading

“Childhood/Innocence in Victorian Medievalism”

Deadline: September 20, 2015

Dates: May 12-15, 2016

Location: Kalamazoo, MI

CFP from NAVSA Listserv and CFP Program Link

Though Victorian interest in the Middle Ages has been well-documented, the particular motivations for that interest deserve fuller attention. This session seeks paper-proposals that will explore how what has often been called the Victorian “cult of the child” informed and complicated nineteenth-century fascination with the medieval period.

Victorian thinkers applied perfect goodness, a natural state of innocence, and pure happiness to children and suggested methods for cultivating these qualities. These thinkers employ the same language when theorizing about the language and literature of medieval England (and Scandinavia). Matthew Arnold – and William Wordsworth before him – valued Chaucer’s poetry as the youthful utterance of the language spoken by the English nation. Reverend Charles Kingsley and others thought of medieval Englishmen (and Scandinavians) as the boyhood manifestation of current English men. According to Kingsley, the Teutons – as he called his English ancestors – defeated the Romans in Europe because the Teutons were akin to manly boys living in the forest and were full of simplicity, morality, but also action. Those qualities, Kingsley argued, were present among the English and led to the success of the English nation. It was these qualities that were to be fostered in English boys and medieval literature became an integral component to youth education because it was seen as espousing and engendering these characteristics. Thus versions of The Canterbury Tales and Old Norse-Icelandic sagas (among many other texts) were created for schoolboys. Continue reading

CFP: Biographies on Early Feminists

Abstract Deadline: December 1, 2015

Chapter Deadline: May 1, 2016 (Draft) & July 1, 2016 (Final)

CFP from VICTORIA Listserv

Proposed manuscript title: A Hall of Mirrors: Multi-biographical Transfigurations of Pre-Twentieth Century British Women Writers

This manuscript will investigate the biases, contradictions, errors, ambiguities, gaps, and historical contexts in biographies of twelve controversial feminist British women who published prior to the twentieth century. Such discrepancies have run rampant, many of them incomprehensively left unchecked and perpetuated from publication to publication. A Hall of Mirrors analyzes the agenda, problems, and strengths of biographies, highlighting the flaws, deficiencies, and influences that have distorted scholars’ understanding of the following women: Margery Kempe, Aphra Behn, Mary Astell, Margaret Cavendish, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Wollstonecraft (assigned), Mary Hays, and Catharine Macaulay, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Grand, and George Eliot, a chapter devoted to each. Others will be considered as well. Besides exposing warped portrayals of these particular provocateurs, this study seeks to demonstrate that biographies often reveal more about the biographer than about the biographee and often reflects the time in which the biography was written instead of the time in which the biographee lived.

Interested authors are invited to submit a 500-word abstract and a list of prior publications to by Dec. 1, 2015. First drafts of full chapters (no more than 7,000 words each) are due by May 1, 2016, and final versions by July 1, 2016. Please do not submit abstracts for previously published works.

Dr. Brenda Ayres

Liberty University
Professor of English and Assistant Director of LU Honors