Sunday, 16 July 2017

Reviews Editor Position at The Gaskell Journal (15 Sept. 2017)

The Gaskell Journal seeks a new Reviews Editor. As well as publishing peer-reviewed articles, this annually produced academic journal features 2-4 book reviews, of works focused on Elizabeth Gaskell but also on Victorian literature and culture more generally. The reviews editor’s role is to identify suitable books for review, contact publishers to request a complimentary review copy, and appoint appropriate reviewers. As well as engaging with our regular reviewers, this also involves making new contacts in relevant scholarly fields. The reviews editor must then keep in contact with the reviewer to ensure that the review is completed in good time, and meets house requirements, to be forwarded to the journal editor. This role might particularly appeal to research postgraduates or early career scholars in the field of Victorian studies, as a way to gain editorial experience and build academic contacts. Some familiarity with Gaskell’s works is an advantage.

Please send your 250-word statement of interest to Dr Rebecca Styler,, no later than Friday September 15th 2017.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

CFP: Victorian Network journal, "Forgery and Imitation" (1 Nov. 2017)

Call For Papers: Forgery and Imitation

Victorian Network is an open-access, MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best work across the broad field of Victorian Studies by postgraduate students and early career academics. We are delighted to announce that our twelfth issue (Summer 2018) will be guest edited by Aviva Briefel on the theme of Forgery and Imitation.

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the increase in art and literary forgery in the nineteenth century, and to the preoccupation with themes of illicit imitation in the Victorian cultural zeitgeist. Critics have highlighted the manifold, intricate, and sometimes surprising ways in which forgery was woven into the social and cultural fabric of the era. The forged, the fake, and the imitative became pressing issues for artistic reproduction as growing demand and changing technology shaped the way in which texts, images, and objects circulated. The spectrum encompassed forged and imitative objects faked with criminal intent, as well as cultural and economic productivity.

Anxieties surrounding the concepts of originality and fakery also permeated nineteenth-century discussions of social authenticity – did forging an identity in a changing world open the door to faking social class, race, or gender? Did cleaving closely to imitate cultural peers maintain the status quo, mask individual dishonesty, or constitute plagiarism? Frauds, cheats, liars, and copycats of every ilk caught the public imagination. The range of depictions was broad and ambivalent. From villainous cheats like Count Fosco to romantic depictions of Chatterton, forgery and imitation marked for the Victorians a point of uneasiness that called for intricate negotiation. Furthermore, as channels of patronage and influence became increasingly fragmented, new ways of conceptualising artistic indebtedness were required. Here, too, forgery and imitation did moral battle. Appropriation, pastiche, and homage had their dark doubles: deceit, plagiarism, and hack work. Navigating intertextuality meant gauging where boundaries of influence could be crossed and where they should be policed.

We invite submissions of approximately 7,000 words on any aspect of the theme in Victorian literature and culture. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

Fakery and cultural identity, the (cultural and/or economic) value of forgeries and imitations
Fakes as cultural participation
Identities of forgery and forged identities (individual, cultural/national)
Illegitimacy, genealogy, and heredity theory
Imitation in nature and evolutionary or scientific theory
Artistic reproduction (eg. photographs, prints, and casts), copying, and forgery: the original versus the copy
Forgery and imitation as gendered activities
Public persona: masks and makeup
Fashions, trends, and crazes
Acting as imitation; theatricality versus authenticity
Fraud, counterfeit money, financial corruption, white-collar crime
The forgery of memory; history-writing; misremembrance
Originality, the Romantic genius, and Victorian imitation
Imitation as literary practice: (mis-)quotation, adaptation, plagiarism, piracy
Literature as imitation: re-creating other mediums in words (ut pictura poesis)
Imitating the Victorians: the re-creation of Victorian texts in neo-Victorian writing and fan cultures

All submissions should conform to MHRA house style and the in-house submission guidelines. Submissions should be received by 1 November 2017.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Draft Programme: AVSA 2017 Conference, 14-16 June, Melbourne, Australia

Draft AVSA programme – Victorian Materialities 14-16 June 2017

Deakin University, Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street

DAY 1 –


Keynote speech
Alexis Easley

10:45 – 12:15


12:15 – 1:15
1:15 – 2:45


2:45 – 3:15
Afternoon tea
3:15 - 4:45


DAY 2 –

Plenary session

11:00 - 11:30

Morning tea
11:30 - 1:00
1:00 - 2:00
2:00 - 3:30


Afternoon activity: TBD

Conference dinner: Melba's, Langham Hotel

DAY 3 –




Morning tea


1:00 – 2:00
2:00 - 3:00
Conference close and AVSA AGM

1A: Collections and Collecting
George Isaacs’ Collection
Anne Black
Browning’s Curiosities
Jennifer McDonell
Iron, China, and Art:  Production, Consumption, Exhibition, and the Imperial Project
Dianna Vitanza

1B: Popular Fiction
‘The Inevitable White Man’: Slavery and Indenture in Jack London’s South Sea Tales
Mandy Treagus
Recalcitrant Particulars and the Probabilistic Form of the Sherlock Holmes Stories
Adam Grener
Men Blowing Hot Air: Wonder Woman: Amazonia, Feminism and Steampunk
Matthew Thompson

2A: Lives and Biographies
The Unwitting Life of Things: Reactions in Melbourne to Tolstoy’s Reading of Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata
Suzanne Robinson
‘Inlaid and Extended’: The Material Forms of Victorian Biography
Lucy Whitehead
Uncertain Provenance: Pseudo-relics and Life Writing in Serena Partridge’s ‘Accessories’ and Brontë Biographical Fiction
Amber Pouliot

2B: The Victorian Press: Past and Present
The strange case of the Queen’s etchings and the commodification of ‘intimate’ information
Ainslie Robinson
A Writer with a View:  Louise Mack on Florence, the Italian Gazette, and the English-speaking community that supported it.
Meg Tasker
Contextualising the production of the Dickensian periodical for today’s digital serial.
Susannah Oddi

3A: Science and Spirituality
Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders (1887) and The Value of Brains
Sara Lyons
The Materiality of Poetic Form and Catholic Ritual: Challenging the Social Order in the Works of Adelaide Procter and Alice Meynell
Lesa Scholl
The Devil and the Table-Spirits: A Mid-Victorian Controversy
Sarah Bartels
3B: The Emotion of Things
Setting sail into the midnight: Branwell Bronte’s Dunedin Fragment
Grace Moore and Tom McLean
‘Heavy with watching and weeping’: The eyes and emotions of The Old Curiosity Shop
Megan Nash
“The little daisy … knew that if she were torn out she would die”: Environmental
Empathy in English Versions of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale Literature
Victoria Tedeschi
4A: Making and Selling the Colonial Book
‘Marvellous Melbourne’ and its Publishers
Lucy Sussex
E.W. Cole: Cosmopolitan things and thoughts
Tanja Luckins
Negotiating the (im)material: Editorial Practice in Nineteenth-Century Australia
Jocelyn Hargrave
5A: Recording and Memorialising
Keeping Records on Women: Prisoner Registers in the Victorian Colony
Vicky Nagy
Where the Dead Men Lie: A Case Study of a Rural Community's Commemorative Response
Lynne Dore
Soldiers of the Queen: Remembering and Forgetting
Bronwyn Hughes

5B: The Materiality of the Book
Victorian Madurai Illustrated: The Cultural Logic and Commodity of Victorian India
Divya Athmanathan
'Chaste and Rich': Gender and the Victorian Material Book
Maura Ives
The Owner Bound Volume: Collector’s Album, Family Artefact or Cultural Object?
Clare Gleeson
 6A: Literary Objects
Isabel Archer acquires an expatriate husband: objects, acculturation and marriage in Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady

Claire Thomas
Squirreling heart-beats and leather-clad books: the materiality of George Eliot’s Middlemarch and contemporary speculative realism
Susan Pyke
Intimacy and Exchange: Affective Objects in George Eliot’s Middlemarch
Francesca Kavanagh
Thomas Carlyle and the Significance in Things: Victorian Materiality and the Romance of the Real
Lowell T. Frye

6B: The Domestic Interior
A Queen Made Material: The Powerful Place of Queen Victoria's Image in the Nineteenth-Century Australian Domestic Interior
Kim Clayton-Greene
‘Investigation: Travels in the Boudoir: Permeable Boundaries of a Material World’
Judith Johnston
"To touch for a moment, the lustrous past": household objects, furnishings and space, and the Victorian country house servant.
Ellen O’Brien

7A: Art and Culture
Seeing, Reading, Understanding: The Role of Art in Victorian Literature
Elizabeth J. Deis
Stretched on an ottoman’: Representations of Turquerie in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Ann Erskine
British Goths and British Romans at Beijing’s Summer Palace

Chris Murray

7B: Childhood
'Teaching by things rather than words': China in Victorian Children's Games, Toy Collections, and Picture Books
Shih-Wen Sue Chen
Thomas Barnardo, Children and Material Culture
Kristine Moruzi
The Doll Protagonist in 19th Century Literature
Fiona McDonald

8A: Visual art
“A gigantic botanical postage-stamp album”:  The Marianne North Gallery
Shale Preston
Objects Conceptualized: Reflections on James Whistler’s “Gentle Art” of Anti-Materialism
Yi-Ching Teng
Otago Ceramics in Victorian New Zealand
Moira White

8B: Clothing and Bodies
Material Maternity: The Clothes, Bodies, and 'Things' of Victorian Mothers
Catriona Fisk
“Not Always an Obvious Analogy”: Sartorial Materialities and Narratives of Illicit Sexuality in George Moore’s A Drama in Muslin
Madeleine C. Seys
Bound in the Narratives of the Past: Intersections of Transgression and Purity in H. Rider Haggard's She
Charlotte Kelso

The Gaskell Journal: Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student Essay Prize 2018

The Gaskell Journal
Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student
Essay Prize 2018

Deadline for submissions: 1st February 2018

The Gaskell Journal runs a biennial Graduate Student Essay Prize in honour of Joan Leach MBE, founder of the Gaskell Society.

The essay competition is open to all graduate students currently registered for an MA or PhD in Victorian Studies. Entries are invited that offer an original contribution to the field of Gaskell studies, whether by reading her works in relation to Victorian cultural, religious, aesthetic and scientific contexts, or through innovative close readings enlightened by critical theory, or a comparative study connecting Gaskell’s with another author’s work.  Essays will be shortlisted by the Gaskell Journal Editorial Board, with the final judgment being made by a leading scholar in Gaskell studies.

The winning essay will be published in the Gaskell Journal (subject to appropriate revisions), and its author will receive £200 from the Gaskell Society, and a complimentary copy of the Journal. High quality runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Essays should be 6000-7000 words, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please see the Gaskell Journal website for the stylesheet (MHRA with endnotes), and for the form to submit with your anonymised essay:

Please submit these directly to the Editor Dr Rebecca Styler by/on 1st February 2018, who can also answer any inquiries.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

CFP: AVSA 2017 Conference, "Victorian Materialities", Deakin University, Australia (Deadline extended: 27 Feb 2017)

Call for Papers
Victorian Materialities, AVSA Conference 
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
14-16 June 2017
Keynote speaker: Alexis Easley (University of St Thomas)
Deadline now extended to 27 February 2017.

In The Buried Life of Things: How Objects Made History in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2014), Simon Goldhill observes that the profusion of objects inhabiting a Victorian drawing room “speaks insistently not simply of a history of taste, but also of the interconnected forces of the industrial revolution, which changes the modes of the production of things, and the imperial project, which changes the modes of circulation of material objects and their owners”. This interdisciplinary conference on “Victorian Materialities” takes up the “material turn” in Victorian Studies to examine the cultural meanings and significance attached to material objects by contemporaries. It aims to explore how objects both produced and reflected Victorian culture. In an era in which the industrial revolution rapidly urbanised Britain and escalated the production and consumption of goods, “things” came to have an increasingly intimate, and sometimes porous, relationship with human experience since the material world was almost always open to self fashioning. A critical focus on material objects can reveal a wealth of information about their users.

We invite papers that explore any aspect of Victorian material culture. Possible topics include:
- The expansion of commodity culture and department stores
- The circulation of goods throughout the British Empire
- Colonialism and “portable property”
- Displays and practices of collecting
- The Great Exhibition
- Periodicals and advertising
- The book as material object
- Cosmetics, clothing and bodies
- Dirt, cleanliness, and sanitation
- The Victorian household and domestic objects
- Visual culture (photographs, paintings, illustrations)
- Representation of objects in literature
- The Victorians and industry
- Space, architecture and design
- Science and technology
- Material culture and gender
- Affect, emotion and sensation

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Michelle Smith  along with a brief biographical note of approximately 100 words. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

CFP: "Family Ties" Symposium, 12-14 February 2017, University of Otago, Dunedin

Adam Walker and  His Family by George Romney (1796-1801)
(c) National Portrait Gallery, London
Family Ties: Exploring Kinship and Creative Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain
12-14 February 2017, Dunedin New Zealand

Plenary Speakers:
Judith Pascoe, University of Iowa
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University

Conference website

In 1800, poet and playwright Joanna Baillie dedicated her Series of Plays to her physician brother Matthew Baillie for his “unwearied zeal and brotherly partiality”; Matthew himself had recently edited the anatomical research of their uncles, John and William Hunter. At century’s end, Oscar Wilde cited his mother Jane Wilde’s translation of Sidonia the Sorceress (1849) and his great-uncle Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) as his “favourite romantic reading when a boy.” Family played an important role in the literary and artistic productions of the long nineteenth century, from the Burneys to the Brontës, and the Rossettis to the Doyles. Critical approaches ranging from Noel Annan’s “Intellectual Aristocracy” to Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory have provided useful ways of assessing and contextualising the role of family in the creative production of writers and artists, but still the role of the family remains underexplored.

Invitation for submissions
We invite submissions for “Family Ties,” a three-day symposium at the University of Otago and Otago Museum focused on British literary and artistic families in the nineteenth century. Topics for 20-minute papers might include:

Interdisciplinary Influences
Collaborations and/or Dissents
Authorial Identity/ies
Communities and Networks
Families and Emotions
Redefining Family Units
Stages of Life (births, marriages, deaths)
Reimaginings of nineteenth-century families
Families, Creativity, and Empire
Economics of Family Authorship
Literary and Artistic Legacies
Little-known Relations
Generational Influences
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words by 15 November to Dr Thomas McLean and Dr Ruth Knezevich at

The symposium coincides with “Keeping it in the Family: British and Irish Literary Generations 1770-1930,” an exhibition at Otago’s Special Collections, and precedes the 16–19 February RSAA conference in Wellington, New Zealand. There are direct flights between Dunedin and Wellington, and we hope many participants will attend both events. “Family Ties” is made possible by generous support from the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. It will be an opportunity to share the first results of the three-year Marsden funded project, “Global Romantics: How the Porter Family Shaped Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature.”

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

CFP: Special Edition of AJVS: Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia (abstracts due 29 Feb 2016)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Paolo and Francesca
da Rimini
1867. National Gallery of Victoria,
CFP – Special Edition of AJVS: Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia 

The Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies is pleased to announce a Special Issue on ‘Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia’ to be published in late 2016. Inspired by Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Exhibition and Symposium at the National Gallery of Victoria in July 2015, this Special Issue invites papers from both the Symposium and others conducting research in this field.

Australasian collections of Pre-Raphaelite works are now recognised by the wider international community as integral to the understanding of the movement. The NGV’s rich holdings are especially renowned as they include many important works by Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Ford Madox Brown, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and others.

In addition to important holdings of major British Pre-Raphaelite works, there is an increasingly well-documented body of Australasian artists and writers who knew, worked with and were inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites.  Publication of new work in this field will enhance understandings of how the concepts, techniques and ideals of Pre-Raphaelitism were interpreted and developed in the colonies.

To that end, we invite papers exploring the visual culture, literary, or historical aspects of Pre-Raphaelitism or the related Arts and Crafts movement in Australasia. Papers should be 5-7,000 words in length, and we strongly encourage illustrations, although authors will need to arrange permissions themselves and provide documentation to the editors.

The special issue is being guest-edited by Alison Inglis and Nancy Langham-Hooper together with AJVS editor Meg Tasker, and will be published on the open-access Online Journal System hosted by Sydney e-Scholarships Publishing.

Contributors are invited to send an abstract of 250-300 words to by 29 February 2016.  Full papers will be due by 4 April, and must be submitted online, with abstract. New users will need to create a login and password at: