Transporting Bodies and Minds: 18th- and 19th-Century Travel 15 September 2012, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, travelers of all kinds documented their experiences in private letters and diaries, official correspondence, life writing, spiritual and religious narratives, and ethnographic accounts. Furthermore, these experiences were often transformed into works of art, with real and imagined moments of contact serving as the inspiration for painting, music, poetry, prose fiction, photography, and other creative ventures. These aesthetic productions transformed the foreign into the national, the known into the unknown, appearing to expand access to other cultures—a model of cultural transportation that recent criticism is troubling.
Scholarship drawing on theories of post-colonialism, gender, material and visual culture, cognitive studies, posthumanism, and other critical paradigms has challenged our understanding of the impact—not just aesthetic, but also commercial, martial, and religious—of travel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This work has made strides in elucidating a more dynamic picture of the way travel and cultural encounter could transform (or fail to transform) prior understandings of both time and space. Moreover, it has allowed for a more capacious appreciation of how influence happens, extending beyond more uni-directional, Eurocentric approaches.
The University of Michigan’s Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and Nineteenth-Century Forum will co-host an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on these topics,to take place in Ann Arbor on September 15, 2012. Graduate students are encouraged to submit papers that explore the implications of travel, tourism, boundary crossing, exploration, and other related topics—from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Submissions of either individual papers or full panels are welcome. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Karen McConnell by 1 May 2012.
Victorian Network - Sex, Courtship and Marriage across the Nineteenth Century
Victorian Network is an MLA-indexed (from 2012) online journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best postgraduate work in Victorian Studies.
The sixth issue of Victorian Network, guest edited by Dr Greta Depledge (Royal Holloway), is dedicated to a reassessment of nineteenth-century constructions and understandings of sex, courtship and marriage. Although the heteronormative and companionate marriage was vital for economic and reproductive reasons - as well as romantic impulses - recent scholarship has illuminated its status as but one of several diverse paradigms of marriage/sexual relationship accessible to the Victorians.
Across the nineteenth century, profound crises of faith, extensive legal reforms and the new insights afforded by the emergent discipline of anthropology all contributed to a culture of introspection about the practice of marriage, at the same time as advances in science and medicine opened up new interpretations and definitions of sexual practices and preferences.
Submissions, of no more than 7000 words, on any aspect of the theme, should be received by 30 May 2012. Further information can be found here.
Writing Mothers\Daughters: 1780-2012, 28 June 2012, Newman University College, Birmingham
Women’s writing owes its current prominence to the major achievements of second-wave feminist scholars who sought to recover its past and shape its present. They articulated a ‘political need’ to establish a female literary history as well as a ‘continuing need’ for women to ‘claim cultural legitimacy through authorising themselves’ (Eagleton, 2005). This project placed particular emphasis on the Romantic period as an age of proto-feminist activity and established a literary line between these foremothers, their nineteenth-century daughters, and an emerging body of contemporary women writers.
The legacy of this literary line can be seen in the tendency of writers and critics to privilege women who identify as daughters, thus examining post-war female subjectivity in terms of an often fraught relationship with the mother. Recent writing and criticism has begun to reverse this perspective by prioritising the mother’s point of view and the examination of maternal subjectivities.
This one day conference seeks to examine representations of mother\daughter relationships – past and present – and to show that by attending to these narratives we can more acutely assess the varied and shifting dynamics between mothers and daughters as they exist within a range of historical, cultural and spatial contexts.
Abstracts of 250 words and a short biographical note should be emailed to both K.Myler@staff.newman.ac.uk and J.Banister@leedsmet.ac.uk before Friday 30th March. More information on the conference can be found here.