Monday, 31 October 2011

Calls for papers: a weekly round up

Victorian Hesitations: Indeterminacy in Language, Art, and Politics 28-31 May 2012

Victorian Studies Association of Ontario/ Assoc. of Canadian College and University Teachers of English - Joint Panel 

This conference will consider the  traces of equivocation, vacillation, and indecision that lie behind all the evidence of Victorian vim and vigour. It invites papers that explore suspended moments in Victorian culture – moments when a delay, however long, was of real consequence. How did the Victorians understand hesitation? How did they weigh the ethics of equivocation against the virtues of candor? How did their moments of uncertainty manifest themselves in movement? How was the difference between deliberation and doubt calibrated in this age of enterprise?

The deadline for submission is 15 November 2011. Abstracts should be sent to Constance Crompton at
. For further information, including submission details, see the NAVSA blog.

Orality and Literacy (London C19 Studies Seminar, Birkbeck University) 17 March 2012

The theme for the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar in the Spring term 2012 will be Orality and Literacy, marking the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of Walter Ong's influential book. Over three days in January, February, and March, speakers will explore a range of issues relating to the interactions between voice and text in the Anglo-American long nineteenth century: philology and acoustic nostalgia, melody and poetic form, laughter, and more.

We are soliciting 20-minute papers on the seminar theme to form a panel discussion on the extended final day of the seminar programme, Saturday 17 March 2012.

Please send 300-word proposals to the convenors, James Emmott (Birkbeck ( and Tom F. Wright (UEA) ( by 2 December 2011. 

More information about the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar can be found here

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage at DePaul University 30 April 2012

DePaul Humanities Center Call for Papers:
Marking the 200th Anniversary of the Publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Cantos 1 and 2
Monda, April 30, 2012
DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Interdisciplinary papers are especially welcome from graduate and post-graduate scholars on Byron and Berlioz or Byron and Turner. Submit abstract to the Humanities Center by January 15, 2012 at this address:
For more information visit the Humanities Centre website:

Fourth International Postgraduate Symposium on Thomas Hardy  18-26 August 2012

Proposals are invited for papers on any aspect of the life, work and thought of Thomas Hardy for the fourth International Postgraduate Symposium on Thomas Hardy which will take place in Dorchester, 18-26 August 2012, as part of the 20th International Thomas Hardy Conference & Festival.

This is a unique opportunity to share and debate ideas on Hardy with other new and established scholars. A selection of these papers will be published in the peer-reviewed Thomas Hardy Journal. All attending postgraduates will be expected to join the Thomas Hardy Society at a reduced subscription rate. A small bursary will be offered to successful applicants to assist with the cost of attending the conference, and conference fees will be waived. Reduced rates will be offered to postgraduates wishing to attend the conference but not giving papers. 

Decisions will be made by the Symposium Convenors Professor Roger Ebbatson, Lancaster University, and Dr Angelique Richardson, University of Exeter. Proposals of 250 words (max) for papers of 15-minute duration should be sent to by 31 March 2012.

NAVSA 2011 'Performance & Play'

The 2011 NAVSA conference is approaching! Running from 3-6 November, the conference is themed to present ideas of performance and play, and the full conference programme can be found here

The plenary speakers are Carolyn Williams (Rutgers University), Catherine Robson (New York University), and Tom Gunning (Chicago University).

You can also follow the conference twitter feed @NAVSA2011 for updates and (hopefully) live tweeting from the event.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

University of Oxford: Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Culture Forum

Members might be interested in the

Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Culture Forum
University of Oxford

The Theme for Michaelmas Term 2011 is:
Science and the nineteenth century

Week 1 (14 October): FILM NIGHT. Screening of From Hell (2001), Magdalen, Old Law Library, 7 p.m. Drinks and snacks provided!

Week 2 (21 October): READING WEEK. Discussion of extracts from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Platnauer Room, Brasenose, 12-1:30. Email us for extracts at address below.
Week 3 (26 October): MUSEUM TRIP. We will meet at the Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, at 1 pm. (Admission Free)
Week 4 (4 November): SEMINAR. William Kelley (St. John’s) will speak on the topic of “‘God Educating Man’: History, Natural History, and Revelation in the work of Charles Kingsley”. Platnauer Room, Brasenose College, 12-1:30.
Week 5 (9 November): MUSEUM TRIP. We will meet at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Parks Rd., at 1 pm. (Admission Free)
Week 6 (18 November): SEMINAR. Caitlin Meagher (New) will speak on the topic of “‘The Way to Lose Money’: A History of Rail in C19 Japan”. Platnauer Room, Brasenose, 12- 1:30.
Week 7 (23 November): LONDON TRIP. We will be visiting the Old Operating Theatre, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and going on a Jack the Ripper Walk. Signup for this outing will be in Week 2.
Week 8 (2 December): SEMINAR. Maan Barua (Brasenose) will speak on the topic of “Elephants, Empire and Empiricism: Rethinking Colonial Science at/from the Margins”. Platnauer Room, Brasenose, 12- 1:30.

Friday, 21 October 2011

CFP: The Popular and The Middlebrow: Women’s Writing 1880 - 1940

Postgraduate Conference

The Popular and The Middlebrow: Women’s Writing 1880 - 1940

12 April 2012, Newcastle University

Keynote Speaker:

Professor Nicola Humble (Roehampton)

This event aims to bring together postgraduate researchers from across the UK and beyond to discuss the growing interest in and importance of the categories of the middlebrow and the popular as ways of engaging with women’s writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Both of these terms have become crucial ways of exploring the work of more marginalised female writers who were not directly involved in larger intellectual discourses such as Modernism or social realism, but who enjoyed a great deal of success during their own time.  From the regency romances of Georgette Heyer to the crime fiction of Agatha Christie, from the muted socialist politics of Winifred Holtby to the witty asides of Molly Keane, the conference reasserts the importance of these women’s writing as part of a wider literary tradition. It encourages papers which both work with and interrogate the terms ‘popular’ and ‘middlebrow’ as well as those which choose to apply them to the work of a specific woman or group of women in order to challenge or consolidate their usage. It asks: do the terms still contain inherent value judgements? Are they problematic when applied to women’s literature? Or do they engender a challenge to preconceptions about women and literary history, allowing for a reconceptualization of notions of canonicity? 

Possible topics include:
  • Women writers and the popular
  • Women writers and the middlebrow
  • Domesticity and the home
  • Place and landscape
  • War and politics
  • Queer fictions
  • Marginalised women writers
  • Violence
  • Women writing romance
  • Women and historical fictions
  • Women writers and science fiction

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be emailed 
to by 30 November 2011.   
For more information:

In association with the Long Nineteenth Century Research Cluster (School of English) and the Gender Research Group (Newcastle Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) and supported by a grant from the Catherine Cookson Foundation.

Organized by Katherine Cooper and Jodie Laird

**This conference will run in conjunction with another event, 'Gender, Travel and Modernity, 1850-1950' taking place on 13th and 14th April 2011. Delegates may wish to attend both events. For more information:

Thursday, 20 October 2011

CFP: BSLS Annual Conference

The British Society for Literature and Science have issued a call for papers for their annual conference, to be held at the University of Oxford, 12-14 April 2012, which you can find here.

The organisers have chosen not to select a conference theme which I think will result in an event which showcases a wide selection of the best new work being undertaken in the field of literature and science. However, to correspond with this there is a more general theme, which will be discussed through a number of training sessions and roundtable debates, on the current state of the field, reaction to critical approaches, and the practices of teaching interdisciplinary studies.

Past BSLS conference programmes can be found on their website. The 2010 annual event was held here at Northumbria University (NENC member Helen Williams gave a paper) and was a great success, so I'd encourage you to think about submitting a paper or even to suggest a panel proposal if you have an interest in the cross-disciplinary field of literature and science studies.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

LitSciMed Training Workshop videos

This collaborative project co-ordinated by the University of Salford with funding from the AHRC  aimed to offer postgraduates innovative training from subject specialists on the theories and methods of interdisciplinary research between literature, science, and medicine. It has recently reached the end of its scheduled programme, however the website will continue to be updated and utilised as a resource,so it is worth having a look at the various slideshows and blogs which it offers. In addition, a number of its seminars and workshops were recorded and have been uploaded here

A selection of videos which may be of use to those working on aspects of disciplinary cross-over and confluence, such as the relationship between poetic form and contemporary scientific thought, theories of materiality, and using objects in research include:

Steven Connor, 'Object Lessons: Thing Theories and Material Culture'

Isobel Armstrong, 'Glass Reflections'

Michael Whitworth, 'Poetry and the Language of Science: Some Lines of Enquiry'

John Holmes, 'Crossing Two Cultures: Poetry, Science, and Criticism'

Other videos discuss the philosophy of science and the sociology of scientific understanding. Also available is the inaugural lecture given by Prof. Sharon Ruston of the University of Salford who co-ordinated the traiing programme.

Friday, 14 October 2011

CFP: 'Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel' at Newcastle University

Call for Papers for a two-day conference, 13-14 April 2012, held at Newcastle University, entitled 'Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel, 1850-1950'.
"This two-day international and interdisciplinary conference invites papers that explore the changing relationship of women and travel across key moments in modernity, such the First World War and its effects on women’s independence, the developments in British Imperial activity, and the boom in rail, air and sea travel."
See here for further details. 

The nineteenth-century Amanda Knox....

Here's an example in The Guardian of how to make your research relevant: it's all about public engagement chaps!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Smiling Victorians

There is a fantastic website to be found here which contains many, many photographs of diverse subjects ranging from Victorian Spirit Photographs through to the like of Celebrities & their Vinyl.

One of the best sets though has to be this rare thing - a smiling Victorian.

BSECS CFP deadline extended!

BSECS have extended their cfp deadline until....tomorrow! Come and join us (the 2 Helens and Chris) at their Landscapes and Environment conference.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

'Shelley's Ghost' Exhibition - Dove Cottage, Grasmere (7 July - 30 October 2011)

A fascinating exhibition of Percy Bysshe Shelley's major manuscripts from the Bodleian Shelley Collection at Oxford, also including notebooks and drafts by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. As well as Shelley's poems, such as 'Ozymandias' (1818) and the 'Ode to the West Wind' (1819), and prose, including 'A Philosophical View of Reform' (1819-20), the archive display also includes Mary Shelley's draft of 'Frankenstein' (1818), Mary Wollstonecraft's 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (1792) and William Godwin's diaries. The exhibition is orientated as an introduction to their literary dynasty, as well as their works. Well worth visiting!

Dove Cottage Link:

Bodleian Library Exhibition Link:

CFP: Locating Revolution: Place, Voice, Community 1780-1820

A conference in Aberystwyth, details here:

What is the Value of Victorian Studies?

The Journal of Victorian Culture Online have recently published a series of blog posts detailing what was said at the plenary panel of BAVS 2011. The topic was 'What is the Value of Victorian Studies?' and discussion ranged over how best to disseminate research, the role of the university post 9k tuition fees, what publishers want from nineteenth-century scholars, the future of the academic job market, and the uneasy place of postgraduates in all of the above.

For anyone interested in BAVS but who couldn't make it to this year's conference, Jim Mussell (University of Birmingham) has kindly catalogued all of the tweets relating to the event. You can find them here.

British Library National Postgraduate Open Days

The British Library is running a series of National Postgraduate Open Days which provide detailed training for first-year PhDs. 

There is a specific session for English Literature students on the 27th January 2012. The training workshop will cover all aspects of researching at the British Library, from using the catalogue to subject-specific research skills, such as working with 19th century literary archives. Also, there is a free lunch!

This is a great opportunity for first-year researchers to familiarise themselves with researching at the BL. There is also a £30 bursary to go towards travel costs. Booking is now open.