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CFP: Anxious Forms 2018: Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century

Friday 27th July 2018, Aston University, Birmingham

Speakers:

Professor Talia Schaffer, CUNY

Dr Kate Lister, Leeds Trinity University

 

‘The power of blood is so difficult to decipher because it is at once the foundational social metaphor and the most basic necessity for life.’
-Priscilla Wald, foreword of The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900

 

After the success of Anxious Forms: Bodies in Crisis (2014) and Anxious Forms: Masculinities in Crisis (2016), we are pleased to announce a third one-day conference which considers the construction of bodily fluids—both metaphorical and material, both abject and desirable—in the long nineteenth century. The period in question witnessed the first blood transfusion, the first English medical text on menstruation and menopause, anxieties around spermatorrhea and hysteria, the rise of vampire and werewolf fiction, and massive infrastructure reform around sewage and water to combat infectious diseases. This interdisciplinary event will explore the advancements, crises, contradictions, and understandings of bodily fluids in the long nineteenth century across a range of media, including fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, photography, visual arts, material culture, and medical and scientific texts. The event will also explore the challenges of critical discussions of topics traditionally considered taboo or hampered by the dynamics of disgust. Topics may include but are not limited to: Continue reading “CFP: Anxious Forms 2018: Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century”

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CFP: ‘Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald: An Influential Friendship’

Saturday, 1 September 2018 

The Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, University of Chichester.

Call for Papers – deadline Friday 30 March 2018

“While Dodgson, the … mathematician who hated inaccuracy, loved to question the very multiplication table’s veracity, my father, the poet, who hated any touch of irreverence, could laugh till tears ran at his friend’s ridicule of smug formalism and copy-book maxims.”

Greville MacDonald, George MacDonald and his Wife, 1924.

The works of the Scottish author, poet and minister George MacDonald and the English polymath Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) have been among the strongest of influences on writers of fantasy for the past 150 years. The relationship between these two Victorians is both deep and fascinating and a close examination of that friendship reveals the significant influence they had on each other’s work.

Continue reading “CFP: ‘Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald: An Influential Friendship’”

CFP: Decadence, Magic(k) and the Occult

Another fantastic Decadence conference for 2018. Submit your papers now!  

Victorian Snark Theatre 3000: Little Women

Little Women (1994) is the most fun yet that we’ve had reviewing dubious 19thC adaptations. So here – just in time for Christmas and courtesy of the ever-awesome @bizarrevictoria, whose original post and blog you’ll find here – is our final snark of 2017:


It’s time for another installment of Victorian Snark Theatre 3000! And this time we’ll be discussing Little Women (1994). As you guys know, I watch a lot of shitty long nineteenth century-inspired films with my good friends @VictorianMasc and Dr Douglas Small, so we decided to turn them into blog posts.

Previous posts on VST3K include:

Dracula 2000

Vanity Fair (2004)

The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

The Raven (2012)

Titanic (1997)

Fievel Goes West (1991)

Warning for Spoilers and Lots and Lots of Swearing

Continue reading “Victorian Snark Theatre 3000: Little Women”

CFP: “A Sudden Swift Impression”: Re-Examining the Victorian Short Story

 

A Victorian Popular Fiction Association – Short Story Network Study Day
Hosted by the University of Brighton
Saturday 27th January 2018
Keynote Speaker: Dr Emma Liggins (Manchester Metropolitan University)
on ‘Victorian Women’s Ghost Stories and the Haunted Space: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Margaret Oliphant’
The Victorian Popular Fiction Association and the Short Story Network invite you to submit proposals for this Study Day on the short fiction of the long 19th century.
Scholarship is increasingly recognising the short story as a form that, far from being the inferior relation of the novel, has its own distinctive aesthetic and discursive possibilities. This Study Day will explore the contention that precisely the qualities that led to the short story’s marginal status – its brevity, immediacy, and possible ephemerality – provided writers scope for formal narrative experimentation and for exploring different ways of representing social reality. The conference organisers welcome proposals for 20 minute papers. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The ghost story and Gothic fiction
  • The short story, crime and detection
  • The short story and humour
  • The short story and romance
  • Imperial short stories
  • Short fiction and the periodicals market
  • The short story and women writers
  • The New Woman
  • Children’s literature / juvenile story papers
  • The short story and sensation
  • The serial short story
  • The short story and science fiction
  • Medicine and the short story
The Study Day will also include a Reading Group (story to be circulated in advance) and the first AGM of the Short Story Network (https://www.facebook.com/shortstoryuk/)
Please submit a 300 word proposal and a 50 word biography to Dr Lucy Andrew and Dr Vicky Margree at shortstorynet@gmail.com by Monday 2nd October, 2017.

CFP: Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s 10th Annual Conference ‘War and Peace’

 
3-7 July 2018, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London
 
 
Keynote: Mariaconcetta Costantini, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara
 
Keynote: Carolyn Oulton, Canterbury Christ Church University
 
Keynote: Cathy Waters, University of Kent
 
Round Table on the State of the Field:
Juliet John, Andrew King, Julia Kuehn, Kate Newey, Catherine Pope
 
Exhibition: ‘How Novel Was the Novelette? Fiction, Gender and Popular Nineteenth-Century Periodicals’, curated by John Spiers
 
Reading Group: ‘Invasion Fiction’, hosted by Andrew King and Beth Gaskell
 
Call for Papers
The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular. Our annual conference is now in its tenth year and aims to celebrate with a five day extravaganza! Alongside the usual keynotes, special panels, reading group and exhibition, there will be trips out to different events around London.
The organisers invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation on the topic of ‘War and Peace’ and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which might address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.
We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, panels of three papers affiliated with an organisation or a group of scholars and non-traditional papers/panels, on topics which can include, but are not limited to:

War:
  • War: colonial wars, war heroes, battles, war poetry, staged battles, invasion and conflict, violent death, war reportage and illustration/photography, war painting, medicine, infirmaries, surgery
  • Material culture of war
  • Britain vs the Continent: conflicts of views, customs, civilizations
  • Us versus Them: Empire and colonialism, ‘otherness’, abject, uncanny
  • Wars of ideas
  • Class war: Chartism, war on poverty, socialism
  • War between the sexes: The New Woman, women as workers and consumers
  •  Science and technology: Darwinism, technological advances, train travel
  • Religious controversies and crises of faith: Darwin, religion vs science, Higher Criticism
  • War is personal: personal rivalries, the threat of crowds and mobs, anarchism, nihilism, terrorism, assassination plots
  • War of mind and body: disease, nervousness, phobias, anxieties
  • Violence: crime and punishment, domestic and sexual abuse, child abuse
  • News and print culture: professional rivalries, periodical debates, book sales, the best seller
  •  Genre wars: realism, sensationalism, Gothic, detective, science fiction
  • Travel writing/writing travel in times of war and conflict
  • Conflict as a narrative force
  • Exclusion of popular fiction from the canon/struggle for recognition in the academy
Peace:
  •  Domestic harmony: love, romance and sex
  • Childhood innocence: the ‘romantic child’ and the Golden Age of children’s literature
  • Anniversaries: birthdays, weddings, christenings, deaths
  • Peace of mind/finding peace: religious movements, beliefs, spirituality/Spiritualism
  • Peace of body: rest cures, convalescing, R.I.P.
  • Social reform: global treaties, armistices, resolution, utopian communities, Pax Britannica, Britain as a guardian of the peace
  • Enforcing the peace: police, legislation, army, suppressing rebellion
  • Design reform movements: Arts and Crafts, the Victorian home, collections and collecting
  • Peace with our neighbours: the Great Exhibition, the grand tour, cosmopolitanism,  relations between countries, food, animals
  • Material culture of peace
  •  News and print culture: literary networks, co-operations, collaborations, authors, publishers and printers, image and text, the development of the book market: triple decker, single volume, yellowback, French novels
  • Narrative and poetic harmony: plot vs. character, poetry vs. prose, the art of the novel
  • Harmony and discord: music in popular fiction
  • Victorian values and nostalgia/costume drama
  • Republication of popular fiction/increasing recognition in the academy
 
Special topic panels: following our successful formula, we are continuing the special panels which will be hosted by guest experts; therefore we especially welcome papers about the following topics:
Topic 1: ‘Class War, Conflict and Reconciliation’ hosted by Tara Macdonald
Topic 2: ‘Religious Controversy and Reconciliation’ hosted by Naomi Heatherington
Topic 3: ‘The First War of Indian Independence’ hosted by Éadaoin Agnew
Please send proposals of no more than 300 words and a 50 word biography in Word format to Drs Janine Hatter, Helena Ifill and Jane Jordan at: vpfainfo@gmail.com
Deadline for proposals: Friday 2nd March 2018

 

Napoleon Sarony: Victorian Celebrity Photographer

I wanted to write a quick post in celebration of a nineteenth-century gent whose photographs you’ll probably be familiar with, but whose fabulously flouncy self is far less known than he deserves to be. Meet Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896)

 

Sarony self portrait
Sarony. Self Portrait.

Born in Quebec in 1821, Sarony moved to New York in 1836 to pursue a career in lithography and photography. It was in 1867 that he established the famed photography studio at 37 Union Square which Walt Whitman described as ‘a great establishment’ in which he ‘had a real pleasant time’ when he was invited to sit for Sarony in 1878.[1]

Sarony Whitman
Walt Whitman ‘had a real pleasant time’ at Sarony’s studio, not that you’d know it.

Continue reading “Napoleon Sarony: Victorian Celebrity Photographer”

CFP: Special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review: The Strand Magazine

Described by Reginald Pound as a ‘national institution’, the Strand Magazine (1891–1950) was the foremost British New Journalistic fiction paper of the 1890s. This heavily illustrated monthly promised its readers ‘cheap, healthful literature’, including short and serial fiction, factual articles, human-interest features and celebrity items, by some of the best-known authors of the time. Yet, in spite of its popularity, the Strand has attracted limited scholarly attention and is often dismissed as a prime example of the Victorian middlebrow. This special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review seeks to elicit original essays assessing the nature, role and significance of the Strand in the period 1891–1918. Possible contributions might address, but are not limited to, topics such as: Continue reading “CFP: Special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review: The Strand Magazine”

Review: Castlevania

** Warning: Here be plot spoilers **

OK, I’ll admit, the only things that are strictly (neo)Victorian in Netflix’s new Castlevania series are Dracula himself and an occasional Tesla coil. But I had a damn fine time with this series and I make the rules around here, so we’re going with it.

The series is adapted from Konami’s epic Castlevania series of videogames, which first appeared in 1986/7 on the Nintendo NES, to be followed by around 30 more titles over the next three decades and across multiple gaming platforms. Yet short of playing Symphony of the Night (which pioneered the ‘Metroidvania’ gaming style and adopted a cool, Yoshitaka Amano-inspired art style by Ayami Kojima) with school friends in the 90s, it’s safe to say my knowledge of the Castlevania franchise was limited and my expectations of an adaptation low.

SYmphony
Ayami Kojima, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
Continue reading “Review: Castlevania”

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