Monday, 22 October 2012

Calls for papers: a weekly round up

'Affect and Environmentalism in the Nineteenth Century': Tenth Biennial Conference, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE)
28 May - 1 June 2013, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Love plays a central role in the British Romantics' nascent environmentalism, from Erasmus Darwin's loves of the plants to William Wordsworth's love of nature (leading to love of humanity) to Percy Shelley's love of and secret correspondence with the natural world. But what exactly is the relationship between love, affect, and environmentalism during the Romantic period and throughout the nineteenth century? What shape do these relationships take in literature, theory, and experience? What can love and environmentalism in the nineteenth century tell us about current conceptions of environmentalism and ecology? Please email 250-500 word abstracts examining these issues in relation to nineteenth-century literature (British and/or American) to Seth Reno (renos@wittenberg.edu). Please include your email address and institutional affiliation. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2012. More information on the conference can be found here.

“We Are Not Amused”: Victorian Comedy and Humour



Victorian Studies Association of Ontario's ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) member-organized panel: “We Are Not Amused”: Victorian Comedy and Humour
1-4 June 2013, University of Victoria, BC

Comedy is under-explored in Victorian literary criticism, but it is pervasive in the texts of the era, from brief moments—Dickens’ caricatures and Thackeray’s asides—to more extended treatments, in Lear’s nonsense verse and Jerome K. Jerome’s widely popular Three Men in a Boat.

This panel invites papers that explore comedy, humour and laughter in Victorian literature and cultural productions. What functions did comedy serve in Victorian texts? When is its humour riotous and anarchic, and when does it reinforce norms? How comfortably did comedy sit alongside the period’s idealization of moral and artistic solemnity? What effect does laughing at, or laughing with, texts and characters have upon our understanding of them? Why are the comic features of a scene or moment important?

Papers may consider such topics as:

-Parody, burlesque, farce and satire
-Ditties, jokes, word-play, wit and puns
-Black humour and the grotesque
-Clowning, the circus, and comic performance
-“Serious cheerfulness” and the mixing of wit and gravity
-Savoy Operas and the music hall
-Eminent Victorians and depictions of Victorian earnestness
-Failed humour or humourlessness
-Caricatures and stereotypes
-Comedy as social critique or subversive force
-Sentimental humour
-The science and philosophy of Victorian laughter

The date for submissions is 1 November 2012. Information on submission guidelines can be found here. The email address for submissions is VSAOatACCUTE@gmail.com

AVSA 2013: "The Victorian Environment"



Australasian Victorian Studies Association Conference: 'The Victorian Environment'
6-8 February  2013, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


With the pressures of industrialism and the clustering of workers in urban centres, the Victorians were acutely aware that their environment was changing. Torn between nostalgia for a countryside that was in jeopardy and exhilaration at the rapidity with which their surroundings altered, Victorian literature and culture reflects a world undergoing radical change. Colonization and assisted emigration schemes expanded the scope of the environment still further, pushing the boundaries of the home environment on an unprecedented scale. These untamed physical environments enabled new freedoms, but also posed hostile challenges that invited attempts to control the natural world.

We seek papers of no more than twenty minutes in length, which consider any aspect of how the Victorians engaged with or sought to retreat from their environment. Note that submission of an abstract signals an intention to attend the conference and that absentee papers will not be permitted.

Topics might include:

-Landscape/cultivation of the land
-Natural disasters and responses to them
-Pollution, industrialism and place
-The weather/climate
-The country versus the city
-The natural world
-Sanitation, health, and disease
-Fire
-Water
-The colonial environment
-Emigration
-Seascapes
-Animals
-Science and the classification of nature
-Exploration and mapping
-Visualizing the Victorian environment
-Soundscapes and noise pollution
-Smells
-Excavation and archaeology
-The environment of Victorian studies in the present
-Nostalgia/the sense of an elsewhere
-Heritage/conservation

Please email abstracts of 200 words maximum and a brief biographical note to AVSA-2013@unimelb.edu.au by no later than 30 November 2012.

Further information about the conference can be found here.

Alternative Enlightenments: An interdisciplinary conference in the humanities
26-28 April 2013, Ankara (Turkey)


From Kant’s seminal essay “What is Enlightenment?” through the manifold critical responses of the twentieth century, the ambiguity of a term designating both a paradigmatic approach to human thought or autonomy, and a specific historical period, remains. How distinct is the concept of Enlightenment from the era of European history long taken to have discovered or invented it? This symposium proposes an examination of Enlightenments in the plural, welcoming both revisionary accounts of the Age of Enlightenment and explorations of Enlightenment in other times and places.

With an eye to translating the idea of Enlightenment, scholars have traced its many national and regional varieties. Discussions of an Ionian or an Athenian Enlightenment, of movements of Enlightenment in the medieval caliphate or the Ottoman Empire, share the contemporary intellectual landscape with debates on the continuing relevance of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment to the current global order. We are interested in the way the term has been borrowed and translated, creating a constellation of “Enlightenments” bound together by family resemblances. Is there still a singular project of Enlightenment (i.e. the critique of received ideas and inherited values, in particular religious ones; the promotion of rational or empirical methods; the creation of cosmopolitan and secular spaces), or has the term broken out of its historical mold to designate a more fluid set of cultural projects and practices?

Where do we stand today with regard to the Enlightenment? After all, the continuation of a politics and practice of Enlightenment may depend on the spatial and temporal translations we propose to explore. Such displacements give new life to the idea of Enlightenment, even as the term is contested, criticized and transformed.

Topics of interest include:

-Ionian / Athenian Enlightenment
-Secularism, materialism, the immanent frame
-Literatures of Worldliness in East and West: Renaissance, Tanzimat, Arab and
-Near Eastern Enlightenments
-Orientalism and Occidentalism
-Diplomacy, correspondence, the figure of the court philosopher
-What is Enlightenment: Kant, Foucault and beyond
-(The) Enlightenment in the Americas
-The public and the private: cross-cultural studies of an Enlightenment distinction
-Travel literature, satire, and utopian fiction
-Nineteenth century national Enlightenments, nationalism vs. internationalism
-Enlightenment and Empire
-The rhetoric of Enlightenment in geopolitics, the claims of the West
-Material culture, exchange, circulation, accumulation, dispersal
-Enlightenment and its others: mysticism, hermeticism and the arcane
-The metaphorics of Enlightenment: illumination, dawn, twilight and dusk
-Where do we stand today with regard to (the) Enlightenment? Critical theory / social and political practice

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to wcoker@bilkent.edu.tr by 1 December, 2012.

A seminar at the Gothic Technologies/Gothic Techniques: Biennial Conference of the International Gothic Association, 5-8 August  2013, University of Surrey, United Kingdom:
“If Walls Could Scream: Gothic Houses Across Media”


As famously put by Roderick Usher in Poe’s masterpiece short story, Gothic houses have an influence on their dwellers, shaping their bodies and destinies to the point that not only the physique but also the life stories of the house and its inhabitants merge and intertwine. From “The House and the Brain” to The Cabin in the Wood, along an architectural route winding by castles, birthing houses, caves, and dens, attics and cellars, panic rooms and haunted apartments, via Bedlam Heights and the Overlook Hotel, dwellings are ubiquitous signifiers of Gothic across media. The convenors of the Seminar welcome proposals addressing the forms, significance and the multiple transmediations of Gothic houses and dwellings, from the Early Modern period to contemporaneity. Proposals systematizing the topic from transdisciplinary and theoretical standpoints are particularly welcome.

Please address proposals (max. 300 words) to both Francesca Saggini fsaggini@unitus.it and Anna Enrichetta Soccio esoccio@unich.it enclosing current position, affiliation, a brief bio-blurb, and a working email address. Proposals should indicate clearly texts discussed and the main argument pursued. Deadline for submission is 31 December 2012. Acceptance communicated in line with the 2013 IGA Conference schedule. For further information on the IGA Conference please see here.

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