Friday, 8 June 2012

Calls for papers: a weekly round up

Victorian Review Hamilton Prize

Victorian Review invites applications for the Hamilton Prize for the best graduate student paper submitted to the journal in a given year. The annual award honours the effort and achievements of Susan Hamilton, editor of Victorian Review from 2000 to 2006.

Papers should be 20-25 pages in length and should not have been previously published. The winner must have been registered as a graduate student in the six months preceding the competition deadline. Winners will receive an award of $250 CAN and publication of the winning essay in Victorian Review. The deadline for submissions for the competition will be 30 June 2012.

The winning essay will be selected according to three criteria: contribution to Victorian studies; quality and originality; and style and clarity. The award will be judged by the editorial team of the journal in consultation with Advisory Board members.

Please send entries to:
ATTN: Mary Elizabeth Leighton
Submissions Editor

Nineteenth-Century Philanthropy: Poverty, Giving, and the Culture of Altruism

Given the pervasive nature of private philanthropy during the long nineteenth century, its influence on the basic institutions of society was inescapable. In the uneven march toward the modern welfare state, fluctuating government policy dictated the scope of the public sector and the space for private volunteerism, and philanthropists became increasingly effective at shaping policy debates. With the growth of charitable organizations came the development of presumably scientific and disinterested methods of coordinating and systematizing relief, often in order to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Examining the discourse involved in these methods illuminates the complex motives behind charity work and the ways in which nineteenth-century philanthropy worked hand-in-hand with the other institutions of its day.

Literature of the period both reflected these issues and sought to influence debates over the nature and function of philanthropy. While some social reform writers adopted philanthropy as the figure for their own artistic endeavors, others militated against its rising influence—Carlyle characterized the new phenomenon of “philanthropology” as a “sugary, disastrous jargon.” Many writers, understanding its polarizing energy, made it a central theme of their works.
We propose a collection of essays addressing the function of philanthropy in British and American writing of the long nineteenth century. Essays should explore the multi-faceted nature of philanthropic discourse and try to account for its prominent and dynamic role in the literature of the period. Possible topics include:

  • Philanthropy as social classification: modes of discrimination, the “deserving poor,” detecting pauperism
  • the science of charity: ethics, altruism, philanthropy in evolutionary thought, moral and social psychology - Darwin, Spencer, Bain etc
  • The economics of philanthropy: business models, paving the way for the welfare state, criminal philanthropists
  • Lady Bountiful: women’s contributions to charity work and philanthropic constructions of gender
  • Imperial philanthropy: transnational exchange, colonial subjects as philanthropists, negotiating competing ideologies of race and nation, abolitionist discourses
  • The “Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists”: self-help societies, the poor as philanthropists, reverse philanthropy
  • Educational philanthropy: ragged schools, Sunday schools, working men’s institutions
  • Competing ideologies of philanthropy: political economy, religion, socialism, utopianism
  • Philanthropic fiction: authorship as philanthropy, depictions of charity in mass media, philanthropic print culture, satirical portraits

Please send a 500-word proposal and 1-page vita by 10 August 2012 to:
Associate Professor of English
Brigham Young University

Leslee Thorne-Murphy
Associate Professor of English
Brigham Young University
Essay drafts (7-10,000 words) will be due by 1 August 2013.


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