Monthly Archives: January 2013

NAVSA 2013: Evidence (3/1/2013; 10/23-27/2013)

30 January 2013

The North American Victorian Studies Association Conference for 2013, in Pasadena, California, October 23rd-27th, invites papers on the theme of evidence.

Evidence is central to all our work: we use texts, images, objects, the built environment to support our arguments. We also interpret, select, arrange, and juxtapose such evidentiary material. The Victorians strenuously looked for evidence to support their assumptions, beliefs, and investigation. Our program will include optional workshops at the Getty Research Institute and material culture sessions at the Huntington. Conference attendees will be able to enter the Huntington and its wonderful gardens free of charge.

Proposals for individual papers or panels should be submitted electronically by March 1, 2013. Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 500 words; panel proposals should include 500-word abstracts for each paper and a 250-word panel description. Applicants should submit a one-page cv.

Conference threads might include:

What is evidence? How do different disciplines identify and use evidence? How does the use of
evidence draw boundaries and bridges between disciplines? How does interdisciplinary work deal
with evidence?
How has the use of evidence changed (new evidence and new ways to use old evidence)?
Evidence and the humanities: interpretation, analysis, scientific and historical method,
supporting arguments
Digitization and the changing nature of the archive, museum and library
Teaching and evidence: sources, assessment, pedagogies
Lost evidence: wars and other research inconveniences
Imagined evidence and historical fictions
Science: method, demonstration, essentialism/Social Darwinism
Religion: belief, faith and intuition
Personal evidence: autobiographies, letters and diaries
Visual evidence: photography, painting, theater, film and other displays
The building, the city and the village: architecture, urban planning and historic preservation
Archaelogy, fossils, bone, tracks, spoor
The body as evidence
Material culture: clothes, pottery, and other everyday objects
Crime and Justice: police, detectives, witnesses and the press
Politics: parliamentary inquiries, select committees
Ghosts and revenants: evidence of the supernatural and of the afterlife
The press: scandal and public opinion
Evidence and the colonial project


VISAWUS 2013: Victorian Modernities (3/15/2013; 11/14-16/2013))

30 January 2013
Victorian Modernities:
Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States Annual Conference

Nov. 14-16, 2013 at the Courtyard by Marriott, Portland City Center in Portland, Oregon

“Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old fashioned quite suddenly.” – Oscar Wilde

VISAWUS 2013 explores the Victorians’ enthusiasm and apprehension regarding modern progress and innovation.We encourage papers across all disciplines, including (but not restricted to) art history, literature, gender, history of science, history, material culture, political science, performance, life writings, journalism, photography, popular culture, and economics.

Keynote Speaker: Joseph Bristow (English, UCLA), author and editor of numerous works on Victorian and modern literature and theories and histories of sexuality, including Effeminate England: Homoerotic Writing after 1885 (1995), Sexuality (1997), The Fin-de-Siècle Poem: English Literary Culture and the 1890s (2005), and Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend (2009), is currently working on a project on “The Sex of Victorian Poetry” and editing the Journal of Victorian Culture and the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture series. 

Papers are solicited for topics such as:
  • Urbanization, urbanity, and the flux of modern life
  • New nationalisms
  • Modern understandings of the global and the cosmopolitan
  • Class mobilities and new professions
  • Progressive Victorian social reform movements
  • New Victorian types: New Women, dandies, Decadents, swells
  • Anticipations of modernist formal styles
  • New media: audio and visual technologies
  • Advances in Victorian drama
  • New sciences and pseudo-sciences
  • Modern illnesses and modern medicine
  • The novel and novelty
  • Commodity culture and consumerism
  • Modern understandings of sexuality and desire
  • Resistances to modernity: nostalgia, pastiche
  • New religions
  • The apex of empire
  • Modern warfare
  • Neo-Victorianism and steampunk aesthetics

To submit: By March 15, 2013, email 300-word abstracts and a 1-page CV (name on BOTH) to

Please note: Graduate student papers are eligible for the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award ($300.00).

The most up-to-date information about the 2013 Conference can be found on our Facebook page:

Victorian Review special issue on “Victorians and Risk”

16 January 2013

Victorian Review seeks proposals for articles for a special issue on “Victorians and Risk,” to be published in Fall 2014 and guest edited by Dr. Daniel Martin.

Since the publication of Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (1992), sociologists and historians have interrogated the frequency of risks of all kinds in modern life: railway accidents, colliery explosions, natural and industrial catastrophes, spills, fires, and collisions, among countless others. However, the emergence of risk as a sociological and economic reality of everyday life in the nineteenth century still lacks significant scholarly theorizing in the humanities. Current scholarship about Victorian contributions to a modern “risk society” requires a sustained dialogue about how the Victorians conceived of accidents, disasters, catastrophes, and risks of all kinds beyond the limited scope of the local. For this issue, we seek papers that address such a dialogue through analysis of Victorian culture’s fascinations with and anxieties about risky activities, behaviors, industries, legalities, philosophies, and forms of expression.

In general, risks have a peculiar temporality. To “run a risk” is to operate in that space between the historian or statistician and the prophet or sage, to exist in a present moment that requires a continual reconsideration of simple linear or chronological time. Risks mark themselves off against past accumulations of data and past accidental phenomena, but they also anticipate spaces and developments for future prevention. We seek original essays that attempt to situate such theoretical and abstract notions of risk within literary, historical, and cultural contexts. We are especially interested in essays that draw connections between specific risk events and Victorian theorizing about the constantly accumulating risks and accidental phenomena of modern life.

Interested scholars may wish to develop their ideas according to the following topics:

Risk and the Victorian railway network

Representations of accidents in the Victorian press

Risk and Victorian theories of temporality

The subjectivity/performance of risky activities and behaviors

Victorian insurance and the origins of risk management

Insurance frauds and risky business

The phenomenology of bodies at risk

Risk, athletics, and bodily performance/techniques

Risk and the limits of the body

Risky bodies and the origins of statistical personhood

Rethinking, revising, reevaluating the notion of a “risk society”

Risks in their local and global contexts

Genres of risks and genres of the accidental

Risk and the periodical press

Danger, affliction, and disability

Transformations in Victorian concepts of space and time

Industrial or human-made disasters and catastrophes

Risk and catastrophic thinking in Victorian social theory

Risk and decadence/ the aesthetics of risk

Please submit abstracts of 500 words or address enquiries to Dr. Daniel Martin ( by Sept 1, 2013. Final essays will be due by Feb 1, 2014.