Deadline: June 30, 2014
Publication: Fall 2015
Essays are sought for a special number of Victoriographies inspired by the concept of textual longevity. There is a great deal of energy in media studies, new materialism, and print culture around questions of textual longevity. We understand longevity to mean the iterability of text, broadly conceived: reprinting, versions, editions, revisions, translation, interpretation, appropriation, the readymade, intermediality, homage, modernization, spoof, and parody.
Scholars in textual studies challenge us to consider the variability of the text over time, historical eras, national borders, print format, and genre. At the same time, Caroline Levine’s suggestion of “birth-time” in a recent issue of Victorian Studies (Summer 2013) begs the related question whether there is also a “death-time” for texts. She argues that we should turn to form, and specifically to networks, to understand literary history in ways that nation-focused approaches overlook. Texts moving through time and space develop relational networks, which raises a number of productive questions: If we consider networks of textual circulation as organic forms (networks as organisms), what might such readings yield? What might readings of the “birth-time” or “death-time” (or lack thereof) for a text teach us about how we define a text? About nationalist claims and canonization? About authorial and textual identity? About generic distinctions and ways of reading? Or about crafting a more expansive, interpenetrative literary history that extends beyond a critical reliance on place of origin or periodization?
We seek contributions to this special issue that generate a discussion on the iterable textual body as an object that simultaneously resists decay and requires human intervention to assist its regeneration, as that which is at once inanimate and living, embodied and disembodied, singular and networked. We invite articles invested in Victorian literature and in interrogating, recharting, reinscribing, and retracing the long nineteenth century.
Please submit essays of 5,000-7,000 words (inclusive of end notes), a 250-word abstract, a brief biographical sketch, and 5-6 keywords (preferably not words used in the title) for online searches to Guest Editor Amy Kahrmann Huseby (University of Wisconsin-Madison) at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30, 2014.