Deadline: February 21, 2014
Date: June 5, 2014
Location: University of Warwick
The nineteenth century saw a proliferation of print culture not just in Britain but also across the Empire and beyond. This conference recognizes a significant shift in nineteenth-century studies towards print culture as an important form of Anglophone responses to various aspects of imperialism and globalization, including the renegotiation of gender relations in imperial and extra-imperial locations. While it has been argued that the colonies and the wider Anglophone world formed a large market (with India being the largest single market) for British publishers, the relationship between imported British periodicals and emerging global print media is still underexamined. The reprinting of materials from metropolitan British newspapers and periodicals offers key insights into how ‘news’ travelled and re-circulated at local and regional levels. Moreover, the British press during this period obsessively returned to colonial subjects, often featuring scenes of colonial life and sketches of particular ‘types’ of imperial subjects.
In this conference, the committee is keen to open up a space for counter-narratives to such representations, by showing Britain and evolving gender conceptions, such as separate spheres for men and women, through a different perspective. Imperial periodicals emerged as a new medium for expressing the social and political role of colonial peoples and their investment in bourgeois subjectivities in a widening public sphere. They also provided a platform where new Anglophone elites and expatriate Britons could write about their lives and experiences in a multiplicity of ways – in articles, fiction, poetry, and letters. The committee is especially interested in the role of periodicals in shaping and disseminating literature (fiction, poetry, drama, and travel narratives) so as to broaden our field’s understanding of the global in the long nineteenth century and of the place of women and sexuality within a “Greater Britain” structure.
Deadline for Abstracts: February 21, 2014. Decisions will be announced in early March 2014.