“Victorian News: Print Culture and the Periodical Press,” MVSA 2016

Deadline: October 31, 2015

Dates: April 8-10, 2016

Location: University of Missouri, Columbia

CFP Link

The Midwest Victorian Studies Association will hold its 2016 annual conference at the University of Missouri, Columbia, April 8-10. Taking as its starting point the remarkable explosion in the periodical press and the availability of cheap print in the Victorian Era, the conference aims to attract papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about the topic. Proposals for papers of twenty minutes in length are sought from scholars working in art history, musicology, history, science, philosophy, theater, and literature. We particularly encourage presentations that will contribute to cross-disciplinary discussion, a special feature of MVSA conferences.

MVSA’s 2016 Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker will be Leanne Langley, Associate Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Musical Research, social and cultural historian of music, and leading authority on music journalism in nineteenth-century Britain.

MVSA is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming scholars from all disciplines who share an interest in nineteenth century
British history, literature, and culture. For individual papers or panels, send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (as MWord documents) by October 31, 2015, to conferencesubmissions@midwestvictorian.org. Even if you do not submit a paper or seminar proposal, we hope you will plan to attend the conference.

“Making a Scene,” BWWC 2016

Deadline: January 5, 2016

Dates: June 2-5, 2016

Location: Athens, GA

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. Continue reading

“Natural and Unnatural Histories,” INCS 2016

Deadline: November 2, 2015

Dates: March 10-13, 2016

Location: Asheville, NC

CFP Link

Historicism achieved its full flowering in the nineteenth century, when the historical methods of inquiry envisioned by figures such as Vico, Herder, and von Ranke were taken up and transformed in philosophy, art criticism, hermeneutics, philology, the human sciences, and, of course, history itself. By 1831, John Stuart Mill was already declaring historicism the dominant idea of the age. Taking human activity as their central subject, some nineteenth century historicisms extended Hegel’s distinction between historical processes governed by thought and non-historical processes governed by nature. At the same time, scientists like Lyell and Darwin radically challenged nineteenth century understandings of history by arguing that nature itself is historical. Powered by fossil fuels, industrialization began to prove this point by profoundly altering global ecologies at a previously unimaginable scale. We seek papers that investigate nineteenth-century histories and natures. How do
natures, environments, or ecologies interact with histories at different scales—the local, the national, the transnational, or the planetary? What role does the nineteenth century play in the recent idea of an Anthropocene era? How might
nineteenth-century natural histories help us to rethink historicism in the present? What are the risks and promises
of presentist approaches to the nineteenth century?

Deadline: November 2, 2015. For individual papers, send 250-word proposals; for panels, send individual proposals plus a 250-word panel description. Please include a one-page CV with your name, affiliation, and email address. Proposals that are interdisciplinary in method or panels that involve multiple disciplines are especially welcome. Send questions and proposals to Jill Ehnenn at incs@appstate.edu

“Literature and Tourisms of the Long Nineteenth Century”

Deadline: June 3, 2015

CFP Link

“Literature and Tourisms of the Long Nineteenth Century”
Special Issue of LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory
Guest Editor: Meghan Freeman, Manhattanville College

According to the OED, the word tourism enters the English lexicon at the dawn of the nineteenth century, thus institutionalizing the notion that travel is a necessary component of personal development. As crowds of earnest bourgeois travelers displaced the solitary young aristocrat on the Grand Tour a vast body of literature concerned with both mundane and exalted facets of foreign places cropped up to fulfill a new set of needs.  Owing to the diversity of places to which individuals traveled and the many different reasons for doing so, these needs were diverse and multiform.  So, rather than speak of a monolithic tourism culture, it might be better to contemplate the many different tourisms that emerged from and developed over the course of the long nineteenth century (defined here as approximately 1789-1914). For this special issue of LIT we are soliciting essays concerning experiences of and with tourism over the course of the long nineteenth century, as those experiences are documented, codified, and complicated in literatures devoted to travel.

Continue reading

MMLA 2015: American Literature Before 1870 Permanent Section CFP

Deadline: April 5, 2015

Dates: November 12-15, 2015

Location: Columbus, OH

CFP Link for Permanent Sections / CFP for Special Sessions 

With the theme of “Arts and Sciences” in mind, we welcome papers exploring the relationship between the artistic and the scientific in American literary texts produced before 1870. Possible topics might include: representations of artistic or scientific innovation or discovery, explorations of pseudo-science and its cultural effects, the influence of literary texts on scientific and/or medical knowledge and practice, the influence of scientific and/or medical progress on the literary imagination, doctors and/or patients as characters in literary texts, art and/or artifice as theme, and the role of the arts and/or the sciences within the larger American culture. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a brief academic bio by April 5th to panel chair, Dr. Shawna Rushford-Spence, at srushford-spence@lourdes.edu.

MMLA 2015: American Literature After 1870 Permanent Section CFP

Deadline: April 5, 2015

Dates: November 12-15, 2015

Location: Columbus, OH

CFP Link for Permanent Sections / CFP for Special Sessions 

In recognition of this year’s conference theme, we welcome papers that explore the interface of scientific and aesthetic discourse in American literary texts produced after 1870. Possible topics include but are certainly not limited to: literary models derived from scientific models or vice-versa, the aestheticization of science and/or technology, the scientist as literary character, novelistic/poetic/dramatic depictions of scientific discovery, the cultural hegemony of the sciences, author as scientist and scientist as author.

Please submit a 250 word abstract and a brief academic bio by April 5th to panel chair, Dr. Mark Schiebe, at mschiebe@qcc.cuny.edu

MMLA 2015: English Literature 1800-1900 Permanent Section CFP

Deadline: April 5, 2015

Dates: November 12-15, 2015

Location: Columbus, OH

CFP Link for Permanent Sections / CFP for Special Sessions 

“Intersections of Art and Science in the Long Nineteenth Century”

We welcome papers that explore the intersection of “art” and “science” in the long nineteenth century. From Keats’s enigmatic intonation “beauty is truth, truth beauty,” to Ruskin’s declaration that “high art differs from low art in possessing an excess of beauty in addition to its truth, not in possessing excess of beauty inconsistent with truth,” to the aestheticism of the fin de siècle, the nineteenth century witnessed a fraught renegotiation of the relationships between knowledge, art, and science. If the opposition between C.P. Snow’s “two cultures” is one legacy of the nineteenth century, we aim to take seriously the “and” of “arts and sciences,” highlighting the consonances and mutualities as well as the disjunctions that characterized the period.

We are interested in artistic representations, practices, and engagements with the empirical sciences, and in the epistemological shifts that constructed the “artistic” and the “empirical.” Examples are countless. Coleridge collaborated with his physician-superintendent James Gillman on The Theory of Life. John Constable’s cloud studies are renowned for their meteorological rigor. George Eliot represented medical doctors as modern heroes in a sociologically-inflected novelistic form. Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote letters to Nature magazine. Erasmus Darwin’s poemThe Botanic Garden makes significant contributions to Linnaean taxonomy, while Byron’s doctor John Polidori founded the vampire genre. Indeed, scientific practice depends upon forms of representation, and artistic practice necessarily involves knowledge-work.

250-word abstracts are due by April 5th, and should include name, institutional affiliation, email address, and paper title. Send to Andrew Welch at awelch2@luc.edu

“Uses of ‘Religion’ in 19th Century Studies”

Deadline: September 18, 2015 at 5pm

Dates: March 16-19, 2016

Location: Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University (TX)

CFP Link

In 2016 the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University is hosting a special conference on “Uses of ‘Religion’ in 19th C. Studies.” Work on the invention and history of the category “religion” by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political philosophers, theologians, and scholars of religious studies has begun to influence scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and culture. Literary scholars of the nineteenth century have thereby increasingly recognized that the modern category of “religion” is a uniquely Western construction generated and reinvented in mutually constitutive dialogue with “the secular” and forms of secularism, and never in neutral ways—being, for example, deeply entangled with the formation of state power, imperial expansion, and discriminatory portrayals of non-Europeans. Within the last five years, scholars such as Michael Warner, Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, and Philip Gorski have edited important interdisciplinary collections on the religious, the secular and secularism, their historical constructions, and their (troubled) applications to European and global contexts. Comparable interdisciplinary discussions are still needed in nineteenth-century studies, in particular between scholars of nineteenth-century literature and scholars from other disciplines. This conference is designed to address the need. Continue reading

VanArsdale Prize 2015

Deadline: May 1, 2015

[From VICTORIA listserv]

The VanArsdel Prize is awarded annually to the best graduate student essay investigating Victorian periodicals and newspapers. The prize was established in 1990 to honor Rosemary VanArsdel, a founding member of RSVP whose groundbreaking research continues to shape the field of nineteenth-century periodical studies.

The deadline for this year’s award competition is May 1, 2015. The winner will receive $500 and publication in the spring 2016 issue of Victorian Periodicals Review. Submissions should be 15-25 pages, excluding notes and bibliography. Manuscripts should not have appeared in print.

For further details about the prize, contact the editor of VPR, Alexis Easley (maeasley@stthomas.edu).


Deadline: September 1, 2015

Dates: March 17-20, 2016

Location: State College, PA (Penn State)

CFP Link

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper and panel submissions for its fourth biennial conference, which will take place March 17-20, 2016 at the Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State University in State College. We invite individual paper or group proposals on U.S. literary culture—broadly conceived—during the long nineteenth century.

Our conference theme is “Unsettling,” which takes its inspiration from recent revisionist approaches to the methodologies, geographies, languages, and texts that disturb, divert, and reconstitute American literary, historical, and cultural studies. Leaving open ended what is being unsettled, the theme challenges the notion of a defined field focusing on a specific set of texts. In contrast to the assumption of a shared practice or single canon, “unsettling” recognizes the fragmented and contradictory condition of US and American literary studies. The Program Committee is particularly interested in challenging the belief that questions of race and racism are settled. If anything, recent events from Ferguson to the immigration debates point to the unfinished business of race, ethnicity, and nationalism and the ongoing relevance of the nineteenth century and its antecedents. “Unsettling” also points to the effects of a historical period when the United States sought new settlements and sometimes took territory by force. How did the effects of political organization, economic conditions, and social hierarchies in the nineteenth century leave unsettled today’s socio-political challenges? How has the field responded to a transformation in what is studied as part of literary culture? How have new approaches, methodologies, and archives opened the field of study?

Proposals will be due on Sept. 1, 2015. Information about submitting is forthcoming. Continue reading

“Paris and London 1851-1900: Spaces of Transformation” (International)

Deadline: May 18, 2015

Location: Oxford University, London

Dates: October 23-24, 2015

CFP Link

Keynote speaker: Patrick McGuinness (Oxford)

Closing speakers: Diana Cooper-Richet (UVSQ), Michel Rapoport (UVSQ)

We invite proposals for the international conference entitled “Paris and London 1851-1900: Spaces of Transformation”, which will be held in Oxford this October, bringing together early career researchers (doctoral students, as well as more established scholars) whose work addresses the question of the cultural transfers between London and Paris during the second half of the nineteenth century.

The two capital cities – which are privileged lenses through which to assess the progression of the modern metropolis –, have often been the focus of studies, from cultural history to great literary changes, most of which have been examined from a global perspective. And yet, it is only recently that the two cities have been surveyed comparatively: the aim of the conference is thus to concentrate exclusively on the cultural exchanges between the two capitals and to consider what that cross-Channel circulation, that back-and-forth flux has brought to one or/and the other. Continue reading

“Liquid Dickens” (International)

Deadline: March 31, 2015

Dates: July 8-10, 2015

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

CFP Link

The theme of the 2015 Dickens Society Symposium is inspired by Dickens’ arrival in Halifax by sea in 1842, as well as the city’s geographical and historical situation. Like other strategically significant ports, such as Gibraltar, nineteenth-century Halifax was conceived of as a bastion of Britain’s military defense network. Imperial troops were garrisoned at the Citadel, noted by Dickens as “a strong fortress” at “the highest point” of the city, throughout the century in order to deter American incursions into British North America and to defend against attacks made along the North Atlantic. Indeed, by 1870, Halifax remained the only settlement in British North America to boast an imperial garrison, as British troops were withdrawn from the rest of Canada and command headquarters for the British armed forces were transferred to the city. In this sense, Halifax’s civic and imperial identities are intimately bound up with its maritime character.

One page proposals should be sent by email to Dr. Sara Malton, Department of English, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, at sara.malton@smu.ca. Proposals must be submitted by 31 March, 2015.

Further information is available on www.dickensquarterly.org and www.liquiddickens.wordpress.com

“Performing the (Neo-)Victorian”

Deadline: July 15, 2015

CFP Link

Neo-Victorian Studies, Spring 2016 Special Issue

This special issue will explore the ways in which modern cultures have re-worked the Victorian past through performance. As Marvin Carlson has famously suggested, theatre is a haunted practice, summoning up ghosts of past productions, styles and performances, which are often inherited from the Victorian age. Present-day live representations of the Victorians inevitably mix elements of the ‘old theatre’ – nineteenth-century auditoria, costume and spectacle – with ‘new performance’, such as projections, recorded sound, and different configurations of performance space, actor-audience relations, performance styles and scripting or devising practices. This special issue seeks to examine such haunted interactions between old and new performance both in the theatre and beyond the stage. The guest editors invite contributions from those working across a range of arts disciplines, both scholars and practitioners, who can elaborate and analyse the ways in which the Victorians have been performed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. While fiction and film have enjoyed scholarly attention in the field of neo-Victorian Studies drama, theatrical entertainments, music, dance, visual and audio cultures are all areas which have been relatively neglected. This special issue seeks to extend the existing neo-Victorian canon and firmly place performance as a practice heavily invested in the afterlives of Victorian culture.

Please address enquiries and expressions of interest to the guest editors Beth Palmer at b.palmer@surrey.ac.uk and Benjamin Poore at benjamin.poore@york.ac.uk. Completed articles and/or creative pieces, along with a short biographical note, will be due by July 15, 2015 and should be sent via email to both guest editors, with a copy to neovictorianstudies@swansea.ac.uk. Please consult the NVS website (‘Submission Guidelines’) for further guidance

“Victorian Work and Labor”

Deadline: June 1, 2015

Dates: October 2-3, 2015

Location: Converse College, Spartanburg, SC

CFP Link

The concept of personal, as well as societal, industry was essential to the Victorian sense of self. The idea of work as a virtue, a duty, and a privilege was widespread (and sometimes mocked). For the 44th annual meeting of the VICTORIANS INSTITUTE, we invite proposals from a variety of disciplines addressing issues of Victorian work and labor.

Papers or panels on poetry, prose, nonfiction, visual art, or historical context are welcome, as are presentations on the pedagogy of teaching Victorian literature.

Selected papers from the conference will be refereed for the Victorians Institute Journal annex at NINES.

Send 200 – 250 word proposals and a brief one-page CV to Anita Rose, anita.rose@converse.edu, by June 1, 2015. Proposals should include contact information. Panel proposals should provide contact information for all participants, a synopsis of the panel and abstracts of all papers to be included.

The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947

Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2015

Article Deadline: August 2016

CFP from Victoria Listserv

The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947 (Edited Collection)


We seek proposals for an essay collection entitled The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947, to be proposed to Ashgate’s new Among the Victorians and the Modernists series. Focusing on the development, popular diffusion, and international networks of British occulture between 1875-1947, the interdisciplinary volume will capitalize on the recent surge of scholarly interest in the late Victorian occult revival by tracing the development of its central and residual manifestations through the fin de siècle and two world wars. We aim to challenge the polarization of Victorian and modernist occult art and practice into discrete expressions of either a nostalgic reaction to the crisis of faith or a radical desire for the new. The collection will also map the affinities between popular and elite varieties of occultism in this period, recognizing the degree to which esoteric activities and texts relied on and borrowed from the exoteric sphere.


At the heart of this volume is a flexible understanding of ‘occulture’, which the editors use to signal an understanding of the occult as a system of cultural networks or webs of associations and influences rather than as a monolithic set of beliefs or practices. The collections takes as its historical parameters the 1875 founding of the Theosophical Society by H.P. Blavatsky and H.S. Olcott and the 1947 death of countercultural occultist and notorious “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley. While we welcome proposals on major occult figures, cultural texts, organizations, and phenomena in this period, we are also particularly keen to receive proposals on lesser-known examples of the period’s occult engagement. Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

Continue reading

“Modernism and Decadence”

Deadline: April 10, 2015

Dates: November 19-22, 2015

Location: Boston, MA

CFP Link

Both major modernists of the time and subsequent criticism about modernism have contested the relationship between modernism and “decadence.” Decadence’s relationship to modernism is often discredited by subordinating it to related movements like impressionism and symbolism. In opposition to such contestations, a number of recent works suggest a closer relationship between modernism and decadence. Vincent Sherry’s 2014 work “Modernism and the Reinvention of Decadence” argues that decadence and modernism are dual names for a joint condition (34). For Sherry, a similar temporality of dispossession defines both (35). In the essay “Decadence, Melancholia, and the Making of Modernism in the Salome Fairy Tales of Strindberg, Wilde, and Ibsen” (from the recent collection “Decadence, Degeneration, and the End”), Kyle Mox describes decadent literature as a “form of proto-modernism,” positing that they both prefer the artificial to the natural (128).

This panel seeks papers that continue and expand this discussion. How would our understanding of modernism change if a greater emphasis were placed on its relationship to decadence? What sorts of themes, anxieties, and historical changes inspirited both of these movements? Can we see in the formal techniques and thematic innovations of decadent literature and art an anticipation of modernist aesthetics? Which modernist writers, artists, and thinkers carried forward the spirit and mood of decadence? How are modernism and decadence related to the aesthetic movements of realism, naturalism, impressionism, symbolism, aestheticism, and post-modernism, among others? In keeping with the conference’s theme of revolution, can we find in these two movements a similar spirit of revolt against tradition, particularly with respect to politics, technology, culture, identity categories, and people’™s experiences of everyday life?

This panel welcomes papers on any topic on the relationship between modernism and decadence in literature, the visual and performing arts, literary theory and philosophy. Please send a 300-word abstract and a CV to Ajitpaul Mangat at ajitpaul@buffalo.edu by April 10, 2015.

“George Meredith and His Circle: Intellectual Communities and Literary Networks” (International)

Deadline: March 15, 2015

Dates: July 24-25, 2015

Location: Bishop Grosseteste University (Lincoln, England)

CFP Link

This will be the first international conference on George Meredith’s work and critical reputation, and therefore a landmark event in Meredith studies. The conference also highlights debates about the circulation and exchange of ideas between Meredith and his contemporaries, encompassing the wider resonances of legacy and literary community in the circulation of ideas in the second half of the long nineteenth century.

The conference will firstly bring together both established and emerging scholars working on Meredith, and will therefore provide a forum for critical discussion of his work and his place in the literary history of both the Victorian and Modern periods. While his work has not been popularly embraced, he still remains consistently at the forefront of nineteenth century literary studies, albeit as an author and poet who has received inadequately sustained critical attention. Continue reading

“Britain, The British Empire, and the World,” NACBS 2015

Deadline: March 3, 2015

Dates: November 13-15, 2015

Location: Little Rock, AR

CFP Link

The NACBS and its Southern affiliate, the Southern Conference on British Studies, seek participation by scholars in all areas of British Studies for the 2015 meeting.  We will meet in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 13-15, 2015 (in conjunction with the meeting of the Southern Historical Association). We solicit proposals for panels on Britain, the British Empire and the British world. Our interests range from the medieval to the modern. We welcome participation by scholars across the humanities and social sciences.

We invite panel proposals addressing selected themes, methodology, and pedagogy, as well as roundtable discussions of topical and thematic interest, including conversations among authors of recent books and reflections on landmark scholarship. We are particularly interested in submissions that have a broad chronological focus and/or interdisciplinary breadth. North American scholars, international scholars and Ph.D. students are all encouraged to submit proposals for consideration.  Panels typically include three papers and a comment, and ideally a separate chair; roundtables customarily have four presentations, as well as a chair; proposals which only include papers will be less likely to succeed.  We are not able to accommodate individual paper proposals; those with paper ideas may search for additional panelists on lists such as H-Albion or at venues such as the NACBS Facebook page. Applicants may also write to the Program Chair for suggestions (nacbsprogram@gmail.com).  Continue reading

“Recollecting the Nineteenth Century Museum” (International)

Deadline: February 20, 2015

Date: May 15, 2015

Location: Ryerson University, Toronto

CFP Link

Keynote Speaker: Lynne Teather

The nineteenth century was a formative period in the history of the modern museum, not least in new nations keen to establish and build cultural capital. Early museums in Canada were very often attached to institutions with an educational mandate, such as mechanics institutes, religious centres, local societies for the advancement of literature, science and art ­ and universities. But they could also be aligned with a culture of attractions, such as Thomas Barnett’s Niagara Falls Museum, that appealed to the public’s interest in curious and spectacular things. In both cases, transported European models continued to play an important and often formative role.

Please submit 250-word abstracts by February 28, 2015 to: recollectingmuseums@gmail.com