“The Mysteries at Our Own Doors,” 2014 Victorians Institute

Deadline: May 15, 2014

Dates: October 24-25, 2014

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Entire CFP Link

Henry James once said of Wilkie Collins: “To Mr. Collins belongs the credit of having introduced into fiction those most mysterious of mysteries, the mysteries which are at our own doors.” Indeed, through the fiction of Collins (and others) the Victorian Era saw the rise of the detective novel as an art form.  Moreover, it also produced a wealth of poems, novels, and prose works that concerned themselves with mysteries, secrets, enigmas, and the unknown. Sensing that they stood on a threshold, that the shadowy borders of new knowledge and understanding lay almost within reach–at their “own doors,” as James said–Victorian authors struggled with a variety of mysteries arising from their interests in science, religion, the occult, mesmerism, identity, sexuality, race, class, and the Empire. We invite papers on any of these topics. Papers or panels on poetry, prose, nonfiction, or visual art are welcome, as are presentations on the pedagogy of teaching Victorian literature.

The keynote speaker is Marlene Tromp, Professor of English and Women’s Studies and Dean of Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Tromp’s many publications include Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism (SUNY, 2006), and she has edited such works as Victorian Freaks: The Social Context of Freakery in the Nineteenth Century (Ohio State UP, 2007).

Please send 300-500 word proposals for papers and a 1-page c.v. to Casey Cothran via email at viconf@winthrop.edu  by May 15, 2014.

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