“Form and Reform”

Abstract Deadline: December 15, 2016

Dates: July 27-29, 2017

Location: UC Santa Cruz, CA

CFP Link

A conference on nineteenth-century literature, art, and history to be held at UC Santa Cruz, preceding the Dickens Universe week on Middlemarch. Keynote speakers will be Caroline Arscott (The Courtauld Institute of Art) and Ian Duncan (University of California, Berkeley).

Applicants to this conference are warmly invited – but are not required – to stay for the week on Middlemarch (see below).

All genres of Victorian literature addressed the major questions of social and political reform that characterized the period, as did many art and craft practices, genres of history writing or scholarship, and forms of popular culture. This conference will give participants an opportunity to think about the “form” of reform. Current debates about form and formalism in Victorian Studies open the door to this dimension of the word “reform,” and they urge us to re-consider their relation. The conference also invites historical papers on nineteenth-century reform movements. Ideally, such a broad topic should also suggest meta-critical questions about the period – and periodization: questions addressing the formal dimensions of conceiving our objects of study. If we can make the distinction between historicist criticism and formalist criticism, how can these engage and challenge each other afresh?

Submit a 500-word proposal and a 1-page CV to Carolyn Williams at carolyn.williams@rutgers.edu by December 15, 2016. The conference program will be announced in January, 2017. Please address inquiries to Carolyn Williams or to Rae Greiner (drgreine@indiana.edu), Tricia Lootens (tlootens@uga.edu), or Elsie Michie (enmich@lsu.edu).



Mobilities, Literature, Culture (International)

Abstract Deadline: December 1, 2016

Dates: April 21-22, 2017

Location: Lancaster University, UK

CFP Link

This two-day conference provides a forum for scholars working at the intersection of literary and cultural studies and mobilities theories to explore the cultural representation of mobilities across geographical regions and historical periods. The conference offers a timely space in which to discuss the incisive new methodologies, frameworks, and theorizations that are shaping the dynamic and growing field of literary-mobility studies.

The organisers invite papers both from scholars who draw upon cultural geography and/or sociology to gain new insights into literary and cultural texts, and from researchers who make use of literary and cultural texts in their theorizing of space and movement. The conference will encompass a wide range of movements from the global and transnational to the local and the everyday, including journeys by foot, bicycle, motorcar, rail, air, and sea, at local, regional, national and transnational levels. Textual materials of all kinds – film, photography, digital media, and the visual arts, as well as fiction, poetry, and other literary forms – and projects engaging with non-western literatures and cultures are welcome. Uniting this diverse temporal, spatial and textual field, the conference retains a core focus on the fluid, reciprocal and often innovative relationship between mobility and culture. Continue reading

Oscar Wilde and Life Writing Now (International)

Abstract Deadline: November 1, 2016

Dates: May 27-30, 2017

Location: Ryerson University, Toronto

CFP Link

This wide-ranging, discursive panel explores the evolving relationship between Oscar Wilde’s biographers, editors, and literary critics since 1987. It invites papers that are retrospective as well as those that consider how future research might supplement recent developments.

Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde came before the world in 1987. A decade later, Stephen Fry took centre stage in Wilde, the feature film. Neil Bartlett’s Who Was That Man?: a Present for Mr.Oscar Wilde, Terry Eagleton’s Saint Oscar, and David Hare’s The Judas Kiss offer their own interpretations of Wilde’s life. The last few years have seen a steady stream of new biographies and editions of Wilde’s works. Continue reading

“Song and the City (c.1790-c.1840)” (International)

Abstract Deadline: October 28, 2016

Dates: October 27-28, 2017

Location: University of Notre Dame, London Global Gateway

CFP from NASSR Listserv

Song was an integral part of the soundscape of London in the early nineteenth century. Among the cacophonous bustle that constituted a central aspect of the modernity of the metropolis, were ballad singers, convivial clubs that met in the city’s taverns and alehouses, and barrel organs playing the most popular tunes of the day. Songs were performed in the city’s theatres and pleasure gardens, sometimes as part of the planned entertainment, and sometimes performed more spontaneously. “Never shall I forget that night when the news of Nelson’s victory of the Nile reached us,” one Londoner wrote. I was at Drury-lane, and the theatre was crowded. [‘God save the king,’ ‘Britons Strike Home,’ ‘Conquer to Save’ and ‘Rule Britannia’] were called for and sung. I exulted at witnessing the sublimity of the national feelings thus wound up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm.” As the comment suggests, songs were capable of reflecting patriotic sentiments, but they also produced a more local sense of place, constituting a perception of the city through their performance.

We are planning a two-day workshop to examine the relationship between London and song in as broad a way as possible. By “song,” we mean the popular theatrical hits, operatic arias, hymns, drinking songs, and street ballads that could be heard in London, but we also mean more lyrical ballads or poetic productions that aspired to song (such as Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, for example) which might reveal the relationship of the city to its tradition of singing. By the “city” we mean the churches, palaces, theaters, drawing rooms, pleasure gardens, taverns, alehouses, brothels, boats, ships, carriages, markets, fairs, and streets in which songs could be heard, or were imagined to be heard. What can we learn about London by thinking about the songs that were performed there? What can we learn about songs by thinking about their circulation and performance spaces? How does song reflect and produce the lived experience of London in the period? Continue reading

George Egerton and the fin de siècle (International)

Deadline: November 1, 2016

Dates: April 7-8, 2017

Location: Loughborough University

CFP Link

Keynote speaker: Professor Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware)

This is the first conference dedicated to the life and work of George Egerton, the nom de plume of Mary Chavelita Dunne (1859–1945). Egerton is often discussed in relation to New Woman writing and scholars have tended to focus on her first two short story collections, Keynotes (1893) and Discords (1894). Although we welcome papers that consider her early works, this conference seeks to go beyond these parameters, with the aim of recovering her wider oeuvre and reassessing her wider contribution to fin de siècle and early 20th century literature and drama.  Continue reading

MVSA 2017 Seminars CFP

Abstract Deadline: November 16, 2016

MVSA Dates: April 28-30, 2017

MVSA Location: Oberlin College, Ohio

MVSA 2017 Seminars Full CFPs and MVSA Conference Full CFP

We are excited to announce the call for seminar papers for the Midwest Victorian Studies Association 2017, with the theme of “Victorian Taste.”  Participants in MVSA seminars will write 5-7 page papers that will be pre-circulated to the other participants prior to the conference.  During the seminars, the seminar leader and participants will identify important points of intersection and divergence among the papers and consider future areas of inquiry and collaboration.  Seminars are limited to 12 participants. Proposals are due November 16, 2016.

This year’s seminars include:
“Victorian Poetry in Good and Bad Taste,” with Julie Carr, University of Colorado, Boulder
“Shopping for Taste: The Marketplace and Everyday Cultures of Distinction,” with Erika Rappaport, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Liberalism, Sociability and Musical/Literary Taste” with Phyllis Weliver, St. Louis University
**See Full CFPs (above link) for seminar abstracts and proposal contacts.**

The “Blackwood’s” Bicentenary (International)

Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2017

Dates: July 24-25, 2017 (doesn’t conflict with BARS 2017)

Location: University of Edinburgh

Entire CFP

After a tumultuous and decidedly dull first six months as the Edinburgh Monthly, William Blackwood’s magazine underwent a thorough rebranding for its now-legendary October 1817 issue. On the 200th anniversary of what remains one of the boldest launches in British periodical history, we will return to the scene of Blackwood’s founding, assembling hoary-headed Blackwoodians and fledgling scholars alike for two days of debate about Maga’s highs and lows and its enduring legacies in literary, cultural, and political history.

Organizers: Nicholas Mason (Brigham Young U.) and Tom Mole (U. of Edinburgh)
Committee: David Finkelstein (U. of Edinburgh), Robert Irvine (U. of Edinburgh), Anthony Jarrells (U. of South Carolina), Jon Klancher (Carnegie-Mellon U.), David Latané (Virginia Commonwealth U.)
Sponsors: Centre for the History of the Book (U. of Edinburgh), Romantics Bicentennials series (Keats-Shelley Association of America), Studies in Scottish Literature

Keynote Speakers: Mark Parker (James Madison U.) and Joanne Shattock (U. of Leicester) Continue reading

“Romantic Life,” NASSR 2017 (International)

Abstract Deadline: January 17, 2017

Dates: August 10-13, 2017

Location: Ottawa, Canada

CFP Link

We invite submissions for NASSR 2017 in Ottawa. The theme of the conference is Romantic Life, understood in the broadest terms possible to include:

  • biography; autobiography; lives; anecdote; history; secret history; life-writing
  • Bildung; development; progress
  • portraiture; still life; visual art; visual culture; the sister arts
  • theatre and cultures of performance
  • the good life; the happy life; vita activa; political life
  • end of life; elegy; palliation; mourning; momento mori
  • the afterlife; afterlives; romantic cultures of posterity
  • institutional life; under-lives; secret societies; clubs; shadow-lives; undergrounds; exiles
  • slavery; traffic in human lives; forced migration; diaspora; indigeneity
  • mimesis; representation; media; mediation; virtual reality; second lives; avatars
  • book history; authorship; print culture; manuscript culture; book-life; book liveliness
  • measures of life: chronologies; scales; charts; census; population; statistics
  • the sciences of life; the human sciences
  • natures; environment; ecology
  • natural history; natural philosophy
  • “it” narratives; thing theory; object-oriented ontology; the new materialisms
  • disaster; catastrophe; ecological crisis; ecocriticism
  • organicism; vitalism; materialism
  • theories of emergence
  • Lamarckian evolution; devolution; hybrids; mutation
  • preformationism and epigenesis
  • biopolitics and biopolitical life
  • human and non-human life; the humanities; animal studies; planetary life; the anthropocene

Continue reading

NCSA Graduate Caucus: “Some Dance to Remember; Some Dance to Forget: Dance and Memory in the Nineteenth Century”

Abstract Deadline: September 15, 2016

Dates: February 2-4, 2017

Location: Charleston, SC

Entire CFP Link

In Dancing Out of Line: Ballrooms, Ballets, and Mobility in Victorian Fiction and Culture (2009), Molly Engelhardt proclaims:

Dance exerts a powerful hold on the modern memory, and that hold affects temporality: dance generates excitement that becomes the material of memory-making; it preserves the feelings connected to the past by framing moments of import for future recall; and it triggers that recall, for the constancy of dance components over time are powerful enough to transport participants into their dancing pasts.

In its vital connection to memory-making, dance in the nineteenth century served to facilitate, commemorate, and register rapid social, economic, and industrial change across the globe. Writers and artists turned to dance as a medium for exploring issues of physical and social mobility, nationalism, and gender. Dance could offer positive opportunities for the upwardly mobile—as in the carefully choreographed engagements of Jane Austen—or could invite rather grim associations—such as the early nineteenth-century revival in Europe and Britain of the Danse Macabre—a late medieval trope depicting the relationship between life and death as a ghoulish dance. Genres of dance in the nineteenth century could also scandalize—as in the shockingly sensual waltz, or the Dance of the Seven Veils performed by Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

From the quadrilles of Jane Austen to the Ballets Russes, dance continues to shape our understanding of the literature, art, and history of the nineteenth century. In honor of the theme of this year’s Nineteenth Century Studies Association conference—“Memory and Commemoration”—the Graduate Caucus invites proposals for a special panel entitled “Some Dance to Remember; Some Dance to Forget: Dance and Memory in the Nineteenth Century.” How did citizens of the nineteenth century use dance to commemorate, remember, and register individual and collective experience? How do we as scholars use dance as a lens to understand our nineteenth-century subjects? How do the dance legacies of the nineteenth century shape our modern memory of that time? This special panel will prepare conference attendees for an optional nineteenth-century dance workshop at the conference, hosted by the Graduate Caucus.

Please submit a one-page CV and 250-word proposal for 15-20 minute papers to ncsagradcaucus@gmail.com by September 15, 2016. While the Graduate Caucus sponsors this event, the panel is open to all. We are happy to respond to any queries you may have at this email address. For more information about NCSA and the conference in Charleston, visit http://www.ncsaweb.net/Current-Conference.

“Union and Disunion in the Nineteenth Century” (International)

Abstract Deadline: November 28, 2016

Dates: June 22-23, 2017

Location: Plymouth University (England)

Entire CFP Link

PUNCS (Plymouth Nineteenth Century Studies) invites proposals for 20-minute papers for a proposed international, interdisciplinary conference in 22 – 23 June 2017 on the general theme of union and disunion.

The first international conference hosted by PUNCS began on the day of the Brexit vote, and commentators have seen this event in the context of other signs of anti-globalisation, and in a landscape of violent disintegrations or forcible integrations in the Twenty-first century.

We are interested in papers by scholars working in British, continental European, American and world history in the Nineteenth century, in literary studies, history, legal history, art history, economic history, geography and other disciplines.

Please send your 300 word abstract and a brief c.v. to one of the organisers listed below. The deadline is 28 November 2016.

We hope to edit a selection of papers for publication after the conference.

Dr Annika Bautz annika.bautz@plymouth.ac.uk

Dr James Gregory james.r.gregory@plymouth.ac.uk

Dr Daniel Grey daniel.grey@plymouth.ac.uk

Professor Kim Stevenson kim.stevenson@plymouth.ac.uk


“Western Esotericism and Deviance” (International)

Abstract Deadline: November 15, 2016

Dates: June 1-3, 2017

Location: Augustinerkloster, Erfurt, Germany

CFP Link

The conference is presented by ESSWE in cooperation with the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany.

One of the master narratives in the study of Western esotericism is that esoteric ideas, authors and currents have, for the most part of Western history, been subject to processes of othering, marginalization, rejection or prohibition by dominant or mainstream cultural and religious discourses. For some scholars, this exclusion has been one of the main criteria for defining the very concept of “Western esotericism.” However, recent approaches that have highlighted the entanglement of esoteric ideas and mainstream culture point to the need of developing a more nuanced picture of the relationship between esoteric and mainstream discourse, in pre-modern as well as contemporary times. The conference theme, “Western Esotericism and Deviance,” thus calls for a closer examination of this master narrative by specifically addressing the social and cultural embeddedness of esoteric ideas, authors and currents in Western history.

A detailed description of the conference topic can be found here. Keynote sessions will be with Marion Gibson, Olav Hammer, Jay Johnston, Martin Mulsow, Marco Pasi, and Kocku von Stuckrad. Presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Papers are invited in English. We would like to encourage panel organizers to engage in innovative presentation and discussion formats. Please send your paper or panel proposal to esswe6@uni-erfurt.de by November 15, 2016. Please have a look at the submission guidelines. Those with accepted proposals will be notified and registration will begin January 15, 2017. To secure the early bird conference registration fee, you must register between January 15 and March 31, 2017. The normal conference registration fee will be applied from April 1 to May 31, 2017. Continue reading

“Odd Bodies,” INCS 2017

Abstract Deadline: November 1, 2016

Dates: March 16-19, 2017

Location: Philadelphia, PA

CFP Link

Nineteenth-century bodies were poked and prodded, characterized, caricatured, corseted and cossetted, disciplined, displayed, naturalized, normalized, medicalized, mapped and mechanized. Sciences and pseudosciences brought the body under scrutiny to an unprecedented degree—phrenology, psychology, physiology, anatomy, paleontology, microbiology, germ theory, principles of population, zoology, and sexology, all contributing to the proliferation of bodily discourses. Improvements in medicine and sanitation coexisted with poor sewage, and the ever-present fear of disease, and bodies were variously protected and regulated through Factory Acts, Public Health Acts, and the Contagious Diseases Act. Hospitals, workhouses and freakshows corralled and categorized. Pre-raphaelite painters proferred strong and sexualized women, while overpopulated novels featured the blind and deaf, fragile children and disabled adults, and all worried whether such outward signs accurately attested to the content of a character. Meanwhile, changes wrought in understanding one kind of body reverberated through its analogs; the human body was taken as model for corporate bodies, the body politic, bodies of knowledge—and vice versa. And where there is a model, a norm, there is also that which defies and defines that norm. INCS 2017 will pay special attention to the problematic, marginalized and metaphoric—to odd bodies.

Upload proposals via conference website by November 1, 2016. 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 e-mail address. Proposals that are interdisciplinary in method or panels that involve multiple disciplines are especially welcome. Questions? Contact Barri Gold at incs2017@gmail.com.


“Victorian Taste,” MVSA 2017

Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2016

Dates: April 28-30, 2017

Location: Oberlin College, Ohio

Full CFP Link

What was Victorian taste? How did British Victorians at home and abroad discuss, theorize, market, judge, and consume taste? How was taste imagined and envisioned in relation to literary, visual, and musical arts? How did new knowledge of Britain’s historical and aesthetic past impact tastes of contemporary Victorians? MVSA’s 2017 conference invites papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about taste and the Victorians. Proposals 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.

The 2017 conference will be held at Oberlin College & Conservatory, in the 1963 Minoru Yamasaki-designed buildings that reflect the neo-gothic splendor of some of the college’s oldest buildings. Aside from attending panels, seminars, and the Jane Stedman plenary lecture, conference participants will have the opportunity to tour a special Victorian exhibit at the Allen Memorial Art Museum and attend “What the Victorians Heard,” a concert by Oberlin’s Collegium Musicum (directed by Steven Plank), as well as dozens of other ongoing musical and theatrical performances.

For individual papers, panels, or lecture-demonstrations, send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (as MWord documents) by September 30, 2016, to conferencesubmissions@midwestvictorian.org.

NCSA 2017 Session: “19th Century Theatre”

Abstract Deadline: September 15, 2016

Location: Charleston, SC

Dates: February 2-4, 2016

Individual CFP from VICTORIA Listserv; NCSA CFP available here

I’m soliciting proposals for 20-minute papers about American, British, European, and/or World theatre during the long nineteenth century.  Scholars will present accepted papers at the upcoming conference of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, which takes place 2-4 February 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Papers might address “legitimate” theatre, “illegitimate” theatre (e.g. melodrama, pantomime, spectacle, hippodrama, comedy, farce), adaptation (e.g. Byron, Dickens, Scott, Stowe), translation (e.g. Schiller, Kotzebue), Romantic theatre, closet dramas, the “well made play,” or particular plays/authors (e.g. Jerrold, Fitzball, Haines, Boucicault).

Scholars might explore social, economic, gender, political, and/or aesthetic issues relating to plays, actors, and managers, to music hall, or to particular theatres.  Other topics might include copyright, censorship, audiences, sexualities, and the “long run,” as well as regional and traveling companies.
Continue reading

“Past and Present: New Directions in Victorian Studies”

Abstract Deadline: July 1, 2016

Date: October 29, 2016

Location: Loyola University Chicago

CFP Link

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Elaine Hadley, The University of Chicago
In Past and Present (1843), Thomas Carlyle states, “The condition of England, on which many pamphlets are now in the course of publication, and many thoughts unpublished are going on in every reflective head, is justly regarded as one of the most ominous, and withal one of the strangest, ever seen in this world.”
The Victorians were deeply invested in establishing the historical importance and future significance of their own time.  If thinkers like Thomas Carlyle read the past as a means to critique and shape the present, how do our own interpretations of the Victorian period reveal our understanding of contemporary society?  Why do we recall and historicize certain aspects of Victorian life and culture in the present day?  How should scholars in the 21st century understand the Victorian preoccupation with history?  Finally, can readings of the Victorian period provoke examination of the reasons behind the development of our own interpretative lenses?
LUCVS solicits paper proposals addressing these questions. Possible CFP categories include, but are not limited to the following: Nineteenth century, Gothic, Textual Studies, Queer theory, Women and Gender Studies, Art History, Marxist theory, Narrative theory, Post-colonialism, Religious studies, Theology, Poetics.
Please send abstracts no longer than 300 words to lucvictoriansociety@gmail.com no later than July 1, 2016. We welcome the research of professors, academics, independent scholars, and graduate students.

“Memory and Commemoration,” NCSA 2017

Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2016

Dates: February 2-4, 2017

Location: Charleston, SC

CFP Link

The NCSA program committee invites proposals on any aspect of “memory and commemoration” in the nineteenth century. From photographs and locks of hair to jubilee processions and civic monuments, nineteenth-century men and women sought to commemorate, preserve, and utilize personal and collective memories and histories. How did individuals remember loved ones, or their own histories? How did they celebrate corporate visions of the past, or dispute visions put forward by others? How were interpretations of the past used as tools of revolution, nation-building, imperialism, and other political activities? In what ways did new economies of tourism and consumerism support a culture of commemoration? How, too, have memories of the nineteenth-century past been contested by later generations? Topics might include civic commemorations, jubilees, holidays, public memorials, architectural changes, cemeteries, elegies, death rituals, photography, souvenirs, memoirs and autobiographies, or literary and artistic uses of the past. Papers may also analyze theoretical concepts of memory, invented traditions, and contested spaces, as well as interdisciplinary and alternate interpretations.

Send 250-word abstracts with 1-page CVs to ncsacharleston2017@gmail.com by September 30, 2016. Abstracts should include author’s name, institutional affiliation and paper title in the heading. They welcome panel proposals with three panelists and a moderator or alternative formats with pre-circulated papers and discussion. Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. Presenters will be notified in November 2016. Graduate students whose proposals have been accepted may submit completed papers to apply for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. Scholars who reside outside of North America and whose proposals have been accepted may submit a full paper to be considered for the International Scholar Travel Grant (see NCSA website for additional requirements: http://www.nscaweb.net).

“Dark Romanticism,” ICR 2016

Abstract Deadline: May 25, 2016

Dates: October 20-23, 2016

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

CFP Link

At the turn of the nineteenth century, ‘dark’ engineers – working at the intersection of artistic imagination and technological ‘progress’ – produced a number of automata, robots, and other simulations of life, both via literary conceptualization and in material realizations. While in some circles these developments were heralded as scientific advancement, in others dire warnings were sounded against such uncanny imitations of life – ‘horrid aberrations,’ the production of which evinced technological hubris, the arrogance of Enlightenment philosophy, and the vain attempt of science to supplant God and nature in the act of creation. Indeed, these manufactured monsters were sometimes taken as assaults upon human identity, psychology, and religion.

In line with the conference theme of “Dark Romanticism,” we are proposing a session of 15-20 minute papers on “Dark Romantic Automata,” to focus on the broadest possible interpretation of the title. We encourage submissions of 300-word abstracts by May 25, 2016 to Chris Clason clason@oakland.edu and Michael Demson mtd007@shsu.edu on this topic.

“Border States,” MMLA 2016

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2016

Dates: November 10-13, 2016

Location: St. Louis, MO

CFP Link

The Midwest Modern Language association invites proposals for the 2016 conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Papers are accepted on any topic, yet participants are welcome to consider this year’s conference theme: “Border States.”

“Border States” is inspired by the 2016 conference location in the historic and culturally rich city of St. Louis, Missouri—a site shaped by indigenous, French, Spanish, and U.S. contact and conquest; by efforts to maintain and topple the institution of slavery; by western expansion; by the Great Migration, white flight, and urban renewal; and by refugee resettlement. Today, St. Louis serves as a continued reminder of both stubborn divisions and promising coalitions across lines of race, class, region, and nation that continue to shape lives and inform literature. As a result, we encourage papers that tackle the issue of “Border States” in both literal and figurative senses. Topics could include, but are not limited to, the following: Continue reading

“Border States” Dickens Society, MMLA 2016

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2016

Dates: November 10-13, 2016

Location: St. Louis, MO

CFP from VICTORIA-Listserv

The Dickens Society invites proposals for a sponsored panel at the 2016 conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association in St. Louis, Missouri. Papers on any aspect of Dickens’s works will be considered, but we are especially interested in proposals that engage the broader MMLA conference theme, “Border States.”  The theme is inspired by the 2016 conference location in the historic and culturally rich city of St. Louis, Missouri—a site shaped by indigenous, French, Spanish, and U.S. contact and conquest; by efforts to maintain and topple the institution of slavery; by western expansion; by the Great Migration, white flight, and urban renewal; and by refugee resettlement. Today, St. Louis serves as a continued reminder of both stubborn divisions and promising coalitions across lines of race, class, region, and nation that continue to shape lives and inform literature. We therefore encourage papers that tackle the issue of “Border States” in both literal and figurative senses.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: Dickens’s imaginative engagements with geographic borders, empire, nationalism, or cosmopolitanism; with travel, crossings, and cultural and economic exchanges; with psychology and states of consciousness; with states of matter and transition; with inter-generic adaptations and innovations; with Victorian urbanization and suburbanization; with the evolving stat(us) of authorship, publication, and the book market; or with states of personal, biological, or psychological transition such as adolescence, migration, marriage, parenthood, or illness and death.

Please send 500-word abstract and brief (1-page) CV to Sean Grass at scgrass@iastate.edu. Proposals are due April 30, 2016, and authors will be notified by June 1, 2016.

“Music and Politics in Britain, c. 1780-c.1850 (International)

Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2016

Location: King’s College, London

Dates: June 2-3, 2017

CFP from BAVS Listserv

Music was everywhere in early nineteenth-century British politics. Coronations, commemorations, marches, protests, dinners, toasts, rallies, riots, festivals, dances, fundraisers, workplaces, streets—all hummed to the sounds of music. It provided anthems for anointing and songs for sedition, rhythms for rituals and ballads for ballots, chants for charters and melodies for militaries. In all these spaces, media, and fora, radicals, reformers, loyalists, and conservatives all competed for the best tunes. And they did so because of their belief in music’s capacity to affect its listeners—to arouse joy and indignation, sadness and sympathy, merriment, mischief, and mirth—and its ability to bind participants together in new visions of community, nation, and identity.

Yet, for all its omnipresence, music often struggles to be heard in the dusty silence of the archive. Music’s evanescence and impermanence defies established, text-based methods of historical enquiry. Indeed, most historical analysis of music and political culture has focused exclusively on song lyrics. We need a much broader frame of analysis to understand how music connects to the political. Music, text (if present), and the circumstances and social dynamics of performance, all combine to generate a range of meanings for those taking part—one person’s pleasant entertainment might be another’s call for revolution, and for some, both at once. This multiplicity of meanings projected by musical performance is at once challenging and beguiling, precisely for the ways in which it variously circumvents, contradicts, reinforces, or interweaves with the textual elements of political discourse. Bringing music to the centre of analysis has rich potential to offer fresh insight into political traditions, symbols, divisions, and struggles. An explicit aim of this conference is to facilitate this by promoting a deeper interdisciplinary exchange between historians, musicologists, and scholars of visual, literary, and theatrical culture.

To these ends, we invite proposals for papers from scholars in any discipline that address the role of music in political culture in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Chronological boundaries are flexibly conceived, and proposals for papers which address earlier and later periods but which overlap with 1780–1850 are welcome.

The conference will consist of a series of roundtable discussions among all participants of pre-circulated papers. Papers will be circulated by 12 May 2017. Once revised, these will form the basis of a collection of essays on the intersection of music and political culture in this period. The conference is supported by the ERC-funded project ‘Music in London, 1800–1851’ led by Professor Roger Parker. There is no registration fee, accommodation and dinner will be provided, and travel costs will be reimbursed where possible.

Abstracts (max. 500 words) for 5,000 word papers should be sent, with a short biography, to david.kennerley@history.ox.ac.uk by 1 June 2016.

For more information please contact the organisers, Drs David Kennerley (Oxford) and Oskar Cox Jensen (King’s College London) at david.kennerley@history.ox.ac.uk or oskar.cox_jensen@kcl.ac.uk. Continue reading