British Association for Victorian Studies Annual Conference
University of Sheffield, 2012
Victorian Value: Ethics, Economics, Aesthetics
I suppose the persons interested in establishing a school of Art for workmen may in the main be divided into two classes, namely, first, those who chiefly desire to make the men happier, wiser and better; and secondly, those who desire them to produce better and more valuable work (John Ruskin).
The 2012 conference of the British Association for Victorian Studies will be held in Sheffield, the thriving heart of the Victorian Steel Industry. In 1875, on the outskirts of the city, John Ruskin established the Museum of St George, a collection of art objects and natural artefacts displayed for the aesthetic education of the city’s workers. Inspired by Ruskin, the theme of this year’s conference aims to explore the relationships between different kinds of value in the Victorian period, to return to the period’s central debates about how to measure, establish and uphold value in the emergent modernity of Victorian Britain, and to think about the representation and legacy of those values both in and beyond the field of Victorian Studies.
Papers may address, but are not limited to, to following topics:
· The representation and circulation of different kinds of currency
· Aesthetes in the marketplace
· Critical/cultural evaluation, from Ruskin and Arnold to Leavis and beyond
· The ethical turn in Victorian Studies
· Political economy and the art of government
· The transmission of value at home and abroad
· Value rewritten, from Woolf to Waters
· Domestic economy and the aesthetics of the home
· Ethical dilemmas, aesthetic solutions
· Value on display: collection and exhibition
· New economies, from Cobden to Carpenter
· Commodity culture and the value of ‘things’
· Sincere characters: the ethics of self and text
· Work ethics: Madox-Brown, Marx and Morris
Please send the title of your paper and an abstract of around 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st March 2012.