“Culture Industries,” MSA 18

Panel Proposals Deadline: April 15, 2016

Dates: November 17-20, 2016

Location: Padadena, CA

CFP Link

The term “culture industries” may have been coined almost a century ago, but it remains as relevant as ever and provides the theme for the 2016 MSA annual conference in Pasadena, California. New modes of cultural production and consumption continue to inform our everyday lives, and they are increasingly shaped by the presence of innovative transport, communication, and media technologies. If distances are shrinking as a result, we need to continue addressing how the concepts of urban/regional, national/transnational, local/global cultures are getting redefined in the process. Southern California is an ideal site for such an exercise: once the capital of a monolithic culture industry reviled by Theodor Adorno, it has remained a lively nexus for an ethnically diverse population that encourages the proliferation of cultures in the plural. An ongoing challenge, then, involves the close examination of how the very concept of culture is increasingly bound up with new ways of thinking about old distinctions between high and low, serious and popular, aesthetics and form, politics and identity, self and other, human and machine.

The conference organizers for “Culture Industries” invite proposals for seminars and pre-conference workshops (due Feb. 26), panels, roundtables, poster sessions, multimedia/digital exhibitions (due April 15). We encourage proposals relevant to the conference theme but welcome panel, seminar, and roundtable proposals on all topics related to modernism. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the proposal, not its relevance to the conference theme. We ask that proposals provide complete panels and roundtables. Individuals seeking to create or to participate in a panel or roundtable are encouraged to visit the MSA CFP page or the MSA Facebook page for guidelines to develop and opportunities to promote a panel or roundtable. All proposals must include requests for AV provisions. Continue reading

“Re-Reading the Fin de Siècle: Richard Marsh, Popular Fiction and Literary Culture, 1890-1915”

Abstract Deadline: February 29, 2016

If chosen, draft deadline: May 31, 2016

From VICTORIA Listserv

Re-Reading the Fin de Siècle: Richard Marsh, Popular Fiction and Literary Culture, 1890-1915
Edited by Victoria Margree, Daniel Orrells and Minna Vuohelainen
We are seeking to secure two additional 7000-word chapters for an essay collection that has at this stage been reviewed and welcomed by a highly reputable UK-based university press. We welcome submissions from both early-career and established scholars.
We like to think we know about the Victorian fin de siècle. We live today with an image of Victorian Britain constantly reproduced in film, television, fiction and fashion. Academic studies ask us to look to the fin de siècle as a mirror upon our own society; as a period in which were established many of the dominant facets of the culture we confront in the early twenty-first century. This collection of essays seeks to question the security of our assumptions about the fin de siècle by exploring the life and works of one of the major creators of this world who has nonetheless been written out of its history. Richard Marsh (1857-1915) published the most popular supernatural thriller of 1897, his novel The Beetle outselling Bram Stoker’s Dracula both then and for several decades to come. A major contributor to the literary and journalistic culture of his time, Marsh helped to shape the genres of fiction with which we are familiar today. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a contemporary author of similar stature who possessed his versatility and longevity. For over twenty-five years he entranced late-Victorian and Edwardian readers with many enormously popular tales of horror, humour, romance and crime; stories across which feature shape-shifting monsters, daring (if sometimes morally dubious) heroes, a lip-reading female detective, and an assortment of objects that come to life. These fictions reflect contemporary themes and anxieties while often offering unexpected or even subversive takes on dominant narratives. This book seeks to understand what Marsh’s success tells us about the culture of a turn-of-the-century Britain that seems at once so different from, and so similar to, our own.

Continue reading

NEH Summer Dickens Seminar

Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

Dates: July 3-29, 2016

Location: UC Santa Cruz

Application Link

Applications are now being accepted for “Charles Dickens: Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities,” a four-week Summer Seminar supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Directed by Prof. Marty Gould, the seminar will be held at UC Santa Cruz, home of the Dickens project. The seminar begins Sunday, 3 July 2016 and ends Friday, 29 July 2016.

The application deadline is 1 March 2016. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend a month in on the beautiful California coast discussing Dickens with colleagues from across the country!

Designed for middle and high school teachers, the “Charles Dickens: Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities” seminar critically explores two of the most frequently taught of Dickens’s novels. Both of these texts are deeply engaged with political and social issues that are as relevant today as they were for Dickens and his contemporaries: education, labor reform, law, social revolution, and terrorism. Via a range of disciplinary fields and methods, the seminar considers how Dickens—and literature more generally—can promote historically inflected cultural literacy while developing the ethical and political perspectives our students need in order to fully engage with contemporary social issues.

Though built around Dickens, the seminar’s critical methods are more broadly applicable, making the seminar useful for teaching literary texts in a wide range of humanities courses, including history, theatre, and civics. In their final projects, participants will develop and share specific strategies for translating the seminar material into real-world classroom activities that prompt students to consider why Victorian literature remains relevant to contemporary culture and how humanistic fields of inquiry are necessary to understanding and responding to today’s most pressing social, political, and ethical challenges. Continue reading

“‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities”

Abstract Deadline: February 29, 2016

Dates: May 5-6, 2016

Location: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CFP Link

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students to present papers at its eleventh annual interdisciplinary conference, “‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities.”

Our conference will bring together innovative work in affect theory, literary studies, and related fields to consider how feelings contribute to literature and how fictions feel real. As affect explores the cultivation, proliferation, and broader implications of both fictional and real-world feelings, literary scholarship has begun to consider compelling intersections of the mind and the material world that complicate the space between what feels “real” and what is.

 Responding to these scholarly trends, we hope to foster reflection on all permutations of literary feelings and felt realities. What does focusing on affect in literature teach us? How do texts bring characters’ emotions to life? How do these literary emotions evoke affective responses in their readers? How do literary emotions move us and, in affecting us, effect real change on an individual or global scale? What is the relationship between feeling and fiction? How might literature contribute to reimagining realities? How can perception blur distinctions between the real and the fictional, and how does such blurring inform our definitions of what constitutes “reality”? How do modes from the pseudo-documentary to the fictional memoir undermine longstanding generic distinctions that separate the “real” from the “not real”? How can fictions come to supplant lived realities, and what are the consequences of such substitutions? How do unreliable narrators call attention to the subjective nature of reality and its dependence on personal feelings? Our conference will provide an opportunity for keynote speakers, panelists, and attendees to collaboratively explore these and related issues.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by Monday, February 29, 2016. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (http://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

Midwest Conference on British Studies 2016

Abstract Deadline: March 15, 2016

Dates: September 16-18, 2016

Location: Iowa State University

CFP Link

The Midwest Conference on British Studies is proud to announce that its 63rd Annual Meeting will be hosted by Iowa State University in Ames, September 16-18, 2016. The keynote speaker will be Susan Kingsley Kent of University of Colorado Boulder, and the plenary address will be given by Ian Archer of the University of Oxford.

The MWCBS seeks papers from scholars in all fields of British Studies, broadly defined to include those who study England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Britain’s Empire and the Commonwealth from Roman Britain to the modern age. We welcome scholars from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including but not limited to history, literature, political science, gender studies, and art history. Proposals for complete sessions are preferred, although proposals for individual papers will be considered. We welcome roundtables (of four participants plus chair) and panels (of three participants plus chair/commentator) that:

  • offer comparative analyses of different periods of British Studies, such as comparing medieval and early modern issues in context
  • situate the arts, letters, and sciences in a British cultural context
  • examine representations of British and imperial/Commonwealth national identities
  • consider Anglo-American relations, past and present
  • examine new trends in British Studies
  • assess a major work or body of work by a scholar
  • explore new developments in digital humanities and/or research methodologies

Continue reading

“Swinburne’s Poems & Ballads: 150th Anniversary Conference” (International)

Abstract Deadline: February 29, 2016

Dates: July 29-30, 2016

Location: St. John’s College, Cambridge

CFP Link

William Michael Rossetti writes in his defence of Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads that ‘If Shelley is “the poet for poets”, Swinburne might not unaptly be termed “the poet for poetic students”‘.

A century and a half later, Swinburne’s poetry continues to prove divisive for readers. While few fail to recognise Swinburne’s technical achievement, technique remains a central area of controversy: students of poetry continue to wrestle with the status of Swinburne as the ‘prosodist magician’.

This conference proposes further consideration of Swinburne’s achievement. By focusing on his most notorious work, the aim is to foster new ways of thinking about the significance of this collection to the development of English poetry during a period of staggering metrical experimentation. It is for this reason that we papers are being solicited which look first and foremost to address questions of technique, which will include all aspects of form, genre and the ‘lyrical’.

The hope is that this conference will bring together established scholars, early career researchers, and graduate students working on or in relation to Swinburne. Attendance by graduate students will be encouraged by means of a reduced fee.

Please send proposals of no more than 500 words to:


Proposals should be received no later than 29th February 2016. Please attach abstracts in a separate .doc or .pdf file, without name or affiliation. You are welcome to include a brief biographical note in the body of your email.

“Victorian Popular Genres” (International)

Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2016

Dates: July 14-15, 2016

Location: Senate House, London

CFP Link

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association conference is recognised as an important event on the annual conference circuit and offers a friendly and invigorating opportunity for established academics and postgraduate students to share their current research. We remain committed to the revival of interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, which is pivotal to the reputation this conference has established.

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

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, or for panels of three papers. Continue reading

World Congress of Scottish Literatures: “Dialogues and Diasporas” (International)

Deadline: October 1, 2016

Dates: June 21-25, 2017

Location: Vancouver, Canada

CFP Link

The second World Congress of Scottish Literatures will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from June 21-25, 2017 and will coincide with the annual meeting of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society.  The Congress’s subtitle, “Dialogues and Diasporas,” speaks to the range of ways in which Scotland is articulated both at home and within a global context.  At the same time, it acknowledges the multiple roles Scotland has played in the production of both globalism and localism.

The geographical location of the conference on the West Coast of Canada draws particular attention to two key themes of the conference:

1. Indigenous/Scottish relations

2. Transpacific/Scottish connections

The steering committee invites proposals for papers that explore these or any of the following themes [see full CFP link above].

We also welcome pre-organized panels on any of these topics.  In keeping with the conference’s focus on dialogue and in order to maximize discussion and participation, panel organizers are encouraged to explore alternatives to the traditional format  of three to four papers: workshops, roundtables, lightning talks, pecha kucha.

Please note that in the interests of involving as many people as possible, participants are asked to present only one paper at the meeting; however, they may also serve on a roundtable/discussion or as a discussant.

Deadline for submissions of papers and panels: Oct. 1, 2016.

Further information about the conference is available at https://dialoguesanddiasporas.wordpress.com/

Please send submissions to: Leith Davis at scotlit@sfu.ca

“Transatlanticism and The Blithedale Romance”

Abstract Deadline: March 15, 2016

Full Essay Deadline, upon acceptance: July 15, 2016

CFP Link

A special issue of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Spring 2017

Guest editors: Derek Pacheco and Michael Demson

We invite submissions that address all aspects of “Transatlanticism and The Blithedale Romance.”

In The Blithedale Romance, Hawthorne famously derides Brook Farm’s utopianism by likening it to Charles Fourier’s outlandish prophecies of seas-transmuted-into-“limonade à cèdre.” For all its satire, however, the novel is positively awash, so to speak, in British and European literary, social, and intellectual currents—from pastoral aesthetics, to prison reform, to fantasies of agricultural improvement, to name a few. For example, Hawthorne’s wry allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey’s unrealized utopian Pantisocracy opens up questions about the extent to which he understood his own experience of Brook Farm in terms of the agrarian thought permeating transatlantic Romanticism. Indeed, that such preoccupations would drift across the Atlantic ocean’s temporal and geographic expanses exemplifies what Elisa Tamarkin has called the “irreducible ‘fluidity’ of the Atlantic world.” In what further and diverse ways, then, can we consider The Blithdale Romance as a novel of the Atlantic world?

Abstracts of approximately 300-500 words by 15 March 2016 with a two-page cv (please send to demson@shsu.edu). Full essays (6,000-9,000 words) would be due by 15 July 2016.

Please address any questions to dpacheco@purdue.edu or demson@shsu.edu

‘Gender in Victorian Popular Fiction, Art, and Culture’

Deadline: April 30, 2016

CFP from VICTORIA Listserv

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is a peer-reviewed, online journal committed to publishing insightful and innovative scholarship on gender studies and nineteenth-century British literature, art and culture.

This special issue invites articles on all aspects of the relationship between gender and the “popular”. Popular fiction in the nineteenth century was repeatedly, and often negatively, associated with women and femininity, perceived as a mass of “silly novels by lady novelists” (George Eliot). Existing scholarship (by critics such as Solveig R. Robinson and Jennifer Phegley) has already done much to challenge the old Victorian notion that popular fiction was second-rate literature produced by a second-class gender. We seek papers that will reassess or reinvigorate the relationship between popular fiction and the feminine, but also work that goes beyond this in order to interrogate the interactions between gender and popular genres more broadly. Thus, we encourage engagement with masculinity studies and queer theory, as well as other popular genres, such as magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications, the penny bloods, gothic fictions, detective fiction, fads and fashions, and theatrical engagements. We also welcome submissions that consider gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality.  Continue reading

The Female Fantastic, 1860-1930: On the Gendered Supernatural in Texts by Women

Abstract Deadline: February 15, 2016

Upon acceptance, full paper due: July 15, 2016

CFP from NCSA Facebook page

Where realism was the signature feature of earlier Victorian fiction, mid-to-late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century writers increasingly embraced fantastic modes. Rosemary Jackson, in her 1981 Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, inaugurated the now-ubiquitous truism of literary studies that late Victorian fantastic narratives frequently hold strong – and often covertly revolutionary – metaphorical relations to social concerns. Supernatural and symbolic texts are ideal sites for encryption of radical queries and pervasive anxieties related to gender, sexuality, religion, medicine, science, ethnicity, substance abuse and colonialism (to name a few).

This is an especially persistent trait – one manifested and developed in many directions in the Edwardian and early Modernist fantastic. In supernatural thrillers, ghost stories, science fictions, and amorphous fantasias, counter-cultural angsts find substitutive satisfactions and conflated expression. The uncanny effects of fantastic literature enable this; indirection, obscuration and innuendo are ideal mediums for saying-not-saying things. Indeed, whatever energies crescendo in fantastic literature are exactly those that realism – by default – tends to eclipse, reduce, or normalize. Experiments in form and language, from aestheticism to Modernism, only add to the covert power of fantasy.

Given the substantial scholarship dedicated to non-realist representations written by male writers, this book project will specifically explore women-identified writers’ uses of the fantastic from 1860-1930. Writers like Ouida, Vernon Lee, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Mary Butts, Elizabeth Bowen, and Sylvia Townsend Warner used narratively polymorphous fantastic sub-genres to dramatize their particularly activist arguments and ideas. This provided the flexibility to explore not only the darkest corners of the external world, but also the deepest subterranean secrets of the mind. For not only did women-identified writers wield these forms’ easy strategic cover to subvert the status quo, but they also used them to explore the gendered psyche’s links to imagination, pathology and creative, personal and erotic agency. In addition to providing dynamic presentations of female and gender-queer subjectivity, these texts also illuminate intriguing and complex relationships to key moments in gender(ed) history.

This collection will be submitted to an already-enthusiastic selective academic press. Continue reading

2016 American Literature Association Conference

Deadline: January 30, 2016

Dates: May 26-29, 2016

Location: San Francisco, CA

General CFP Link; Societies’ CFP Link

For the 2016 conference, the ALA will again rely on electronic submission of program information and conference proposals. As usual, the societies that make up the American Literature Association will organize much of the program. Individual societies will issue their own calls for papers, which may be listed on the ALA website as well as on the societies’ own website and publications. Guidelines for author societies are detailed towards the end of this notice.

Individuals may also propose papers or panels to the conference director by January 30, 2016. Preference will be given to papers and panels that represent authors, genres, or topics that are not covered by the societies that make up the ALA. Proposals must follow the guidelines described at the end of this notice.

Please see the Societies’ CFPs for panels. Societies of interest to our group include: Continue reading

ICVWW 2016: “From Brontë to Bloomsbury Third International Conference: Reassessing Women’s Writing of the 1880s and 1890s” (International)

Deadline: March 31, 2016

Dates: July 25-26, 2016

Location: Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK

Conference Link; CFP from VICTORIA Listserv

The International Centre for Victorian Women Writers’s five-year project From Brontë to Bloomsbury: Realism, Sensation and the New in Women’s Writing from the 1840s to the 1930s aims to trace and reassess, decade by decade, how women’s writing develops in the cultural context of the 1840s to the 1930s: a transformative period in women’s private, public and literary lives. Including the work of canonical authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, the project is also significantly concerned with rediscovering and repositioning the lives and work of neglected female authors.

Now in its third year, the project aims to build on the success of conferences in 2014 and 2015 on women’s writing from the 1840s to the 1870s. This cfp therefore seeks proposals for papers that explore the range and vitality of British women’s writing from 1880-1899. Particularly welcome are papers which encourage new perspectives on literary genre, the critical reception of women writers, or canon formation. The 1880s and 1890s marked a shift in women’s writing with the death of George Eliot in 1880 and the emergence of politically engaged New Woman writers such as Sarah Grand and Mona Caird as well as bestselling popular authors such as Marie Corelli. These decades brought a new generation into conflict with more conservative writers including Ouida and Eliza Lynn Linton, both of whom had made their name in the 1860s. With the collapse of the three decker in the last years of the century, women writers were able to refashion the traditional form of fiction for their own uses.

300 word abstracts and a 100-150 word biographical note should be sent to the organising committee (Dr Susan Civale, Professor Adrienne Gavin, Alyson Hunt and Professor Carolyn Oulton) at ICVWW@canterbury.ac.uk by 31 March 2016.

“Bigger, Better, More! – Growth and Expansion in the Victorian Press”

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Dates: September 9-10, 2016

Location: Kansas City, MO

CFP Link

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals invites proposals for its 2016 conference on the theme of growth and expansion in the Victorian press.We encourage broad interpretation of what “Bigger, Better, More!” means for Victorian newspapers and magazines, with possible topics including: Continue reading

Special Issue: “Screening the Victorians in the Twenty-First Century”

Deadline for Abstracts: March 15, 2016

Deadline for articles, if accepted: October 15, 2016

CFP Link

2017 special issue of Neo-Victorian Studies

Despite frequent predictions of their disappearance, appropriations of the Victorian era never quite seem to leave our film, television and computer screens. Indeed, in popular prime-time viewing from Doctor Who (2005-) to Sherlock (2010-) and Penny Dreadful (2014-), and in cinematic blockbusters such as Sweeney Todd (2007), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Crimson Peak (2015), the Victorians remain a particularly visible part of present-day culture. This special issue will explore recent popular screen Victoriana ‘for the masses’ and the politics of its production, distribution, audience reception and consumption. Contributions that engage with the breadth of screen media, from big-budget film and television series produced by the likes of the BBC and Showtime to online web-series created by small production companies and non-professionals are welcome. How has screen Victoriana developed since the millennium? How might we address questions of neo-Victorianism’s periodization via the film medium? In a time when transnational co-production is increasingly common, how important are national origins and audiences in shaping neo-Victorianism on screen? What ‘sells’ these myriad moving images of the nineteenth century? Wherein resides their distinctive appeal and what meanings, values, and affects do audiences invest therein?

Continue reading

“Victorians Journal of Culture and Literature” on the topic of William Shakespeare

Deadline for article submissions: April 1, 2016

Next year, 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Victorians Journal of Culture and Literature invites submissions of new work on Victorian Shakespeare, including literary commentary / criticism, theatrical interpretations, staging and performance, actors and audiences, and the contextualizing of Shakespeare within the era of Britain’s greatest industrial and imperial expansion. How did the “Victorian frame of mind” contribute to and shape our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s writing in the modern and postmodern eras?

Deadline: April 1. Length: 5,000–6,000 words. Please address queries to the editor at deborah.logan@wku.edu.

“Transgressions,” VISAWAUS 2016

Deadline: March 15, 2016

Dates: September 29-October 1, 2016

Location: Austin, TX

CFP Link

The Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States invites papers on transgressions of established boundaries, ways of seeing transgression, those who transgressed, and behaviors or beliefs that were seen as transgressive in the nineteenth century. See full CFP Link for list of potential topics.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Dennis Denisoff  (Ryerson University).

Dennis Denisoff’s current monograph project, tentatively entitled Eco-Pagan Politics in British Literature and Culture: 1850-1920, explores the intersections of Victorian ecology, animality, and desire in pagan works by Florence Farr, Vernon Lee, Walter Pater, Simeon Solomon, R. L. Stevenson, and others. His books include Aestheticism and Sexual Parody, Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, and the novels Dog Years and Winter Gardeners. He has edited Queeries: An Anthology of Gay Male Prose and The Nineteenth Century Child and Consumer Culture, and co-edited Perennial Decay: On the Aesthetics and Politics of Decadence and the ongoing dh project The Yellow Nineties Online.

To submit email a 300-word abstract and 1-page CV (name on both) to visawus2016@gmail.com by March 15, 2016.

Each year, VISAWUS awards the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award ($600.00) to the best graduate student paper presented at the conference. All graduate students presenting at the conference are eligible for the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award.

“Consuming (the) Victorians,” BAVS 2016 (International)

Deadline: March 1, 2016

Dates: August 31-September 2, 2016

Location: Cardiff University (Wales)

CFP Link

The Victorian age saw the emergence of ‘modern’ consumer culture: in urban life, commerce, literature, art, science and medicine, entertainment, the leisure and tourist industries. The expansion and proliferation of new mass markets and inessential goods opened up pleasurable and democratising forms of consumption while also raising anxieties about urban space, the collapse of social and gendered boundaries, the pollution of domestic and public life, the degeneration of the moral and social health of the nation. This conference is concerned with the complexity and diversity of Victorian consumer cultures and also seeks to consider our contemporary consumption of the Victorians.

For a list of possible topics, see the full CFP.

Reception in the Impressionist galleries, with access to the Victorian art gallery, followed by an organ recital and conference dinner, National Museum Cardiff.

House tour of Cardiff Castle, with interior decoration by Victorian architect William Burges. Continue reading