Monday, 17 September 2012

Calls for papers: a weekly round up

VSAWC 2013:  “Victorian Humanity and its Others”
Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, 27-28 April 2013

The Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada invites proposals for a conference on Victorian Humanity and its Others. The conference, hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley and Douglas College, will take place 27-28 April 2013 at the Coast Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, located right near English Bay and the beautiful Stanley Park seawall walk.

We seek proposals for papers that examine the theme of humanity and its others in Victorian culture and society. We warmly welcome papers from the perspectives of history and art history, literary studies, gender studies, race and ethnicity studies, animal studies, and science. Papers will address Victorian definitions, expressions, and contestations of humanity and its others, as well as the way these definitions and debates were shaped by new developments in natural science, anthropology, religion, technology, and industry.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • human others/other humans
  • the animal/human divide
  • technologies of the human
  • human/gender rights
  • the divine vs. the human
  • philanthropy
  • the (in)humanity of imperialism/colonialism
  • reproductivity
  • (un)dignified labour
  • human-machine relationships
  • visual representations of the human
  • human environments
  • human (dis)ability
  • human improvement and perfectibility
  • disciplinary histories
  • Sciences vs./and Humanities

Please submit proposals of not more than 500 words plus a 75-word biography and 100-word abstract to by 1 October 2012.

The conference will also feature a publishing workshop entitled “How to Get Published: Top Ten Tips from Two Editors.” Victorian Review co-editors Lisa Surridge and Mary Elizabeth Leighton will offer a Saturday panel on publishing advice for graduate students and recently minted PhDs, followed by a 3-hour workshop on Monday 29 September (9-12 a.m.). Participants will submit a draft article (on any Victorian topic) via email a week before the conference, receive 20 minutes of individual oral feedback during the conference plus written editorial advice, and revise part of their own article during the 3-hour workshop. Their names will appear in the conference programme. The workshop will be limited to 10 participants and will run on a first come, first served basis; all participants must register for the conference. To participate, send an email to with “Victorian Humanity and its Others Conference” in the subject heading.

Victorian Poetry: Forms and Fashions
A Conference in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Victorian Poetry
19-20 April 2013, West Virginia University

Please send 300-500 word proposals for papers and a 1-page curriculum viate via email to by 15 November 2012. Papers on any aspect of Victorian Poetry and Poetics are invited, especially those devoted to: the reconsideration of poetic forms and formal innovations; fashions, trend, and modes in poetry; the publication and commerce of poetry; poetry book history; and Victorian prosody and stanzaic forms.  Papers devoted to the “fashions” of scholarship on Victorian poetry for the last fifty years are also invited.

Interiority in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain: Beyond Subjectivity
Rutgers British Studies Center, April 12, 2013

The potential for discovery of what is or was “interior” fires the curiosity of scholars of British history and culture, whether the subject of investigation is the parlor of a middle-class Victorian family or the emotional life of an eighteenth-century Methodist.  The Rutgers British Studies Center will hold a one-day interdisciplinary conference on April 12, 2013 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey on interiority in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain.  Broadly understood, "interiority" might include any topic that concerns mental or material phenomena that are conceived to be interior, internal, inner, or inward, often but by no means always in explicit distinction from what is exterior, external, outer, or outward. We encourage topics that in some fashion reflect on historical changes in the concept of interiority.

Why “beyond subjectivity”?  A great deal of excellent work has been done in these period fields on the idea of interiority as psychological subjectivity. We value this work. At the same time—and with no intention of proscribing papers  that thoughtfully extend it —we’re  especially interested in papers that go beyond this focus and that allow relations and correlations to be drawn between different senses of interiority. In this spirit we also aim to bring together a range of interdisciplinary scholarship.

We invite those interested to submit proposals of about 250 words by December 15, 2012 to Kathryn Yeniyurt.A full call for papers can be found here.

On Liberties: Victorian Liberals and their Legacies
Gladstone Library, University of Liverpool,  3-5 July 2013

What did it mean to be liberal, or even ‘a’ liberal in the Victorian period? Lord Rosebery said he called himself a liberal because he wanted to be associated with ‘the best men in the best work’; but this rather Arnoldian ideal of ‘the liberal’ wasn’t even shared by Arnold himself, who qualified his own position by calling himself a liberal, but a liberal ‘tempered by experience, reflection and renouncement.’ The nineteenth-century may have seen the publication of one of political liberalism’s ur-texts in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, and the founding of the modern Liberal party, but the Victorian idea of the ‘liberal’ was always wider, more conflicted, more capacious, more difficult. Religious liberals, for example, were re-defining the fundamentals of belief; writers and poets used a devotion to ‘liberty’ to support various radical causes at home and abroad; some like Swinburne were rendering a devotion to liberty and an avowed sexual libertinism uneasily indistinct.

Liberal impulses remain firmly with us. Indeed, it is worth asking why the Victorians still to some extent remain the benchmark against which we measure our own liberation, our own modernity; when we look to see how far we’ve come (or not), and what liberties we’ve secured (or not), it is to the nineteenth-century that we frequently look - often to the Victorians’ disadvantage. Or, conversely, we might ask whether we perhaps ‘take liberties’ with the Victorians when trying to re-positioning them against this myth - are we simply re-writing, revising and re-fashioning them in our own ‘liberal’ image?  

Hosted at Gladstone’s Library on 3rd-5th July 2013, and part of Gladstone’s Library’s broader ‘Re:defining liberalism’ project over 2013, this two day conference (presented by Gladstone’s Library in association with the Gladstone Centre at the University of Liverpool) intends to explore the various implications of the idea of the ‘liberal’ in the Victorian period, but also its multifarious legacies: its legacies for modern politics, for the ways we conceptualize the Victorian period today, and most fundamentally for our notions of broader categories and concepts we still associate with ‘the liberal’ and with liberalism: knowledge, licence, education, and human freedom.    

Papers may consider:

  • sexual liberation in the Victorian period
  • religious and theological liberalism, then and now
  • Literary liberalism – the political purposes of contemporary literature
  • Liberalism with a big ‘L’, the Liberal Party and its politicians
  •  ‘Victorian values’ in political discourse today
  • The modern Liberal Democrats and nineteenth-century ideas of liberalism
  • liberal enactments: what does it mean to be liberal today?
  • John Stuart Mill
  • Campaigns for ‘liberty’ abroad in the Victorian period
  • The figure of the libertine in the Victorian period
  • Limited liberalism – problems of liberal representation and subjectivity
Please send proposals of between 250-300 words to Dr. Matthew Bradley or Dr. Louisa Yates by Wednesday 27th February 2013. Completed papers should be approximately 20 minutes in length.

NeMLA 2013 panels

Additional panels which may be of interest to NENC members have been added to the NeMLA call for papers, including panels on green Romanticism, Dickens, Victorian poetry and Victorian literature and the female body. The full list can be found here.


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