2017 VICTORIANS INSTITUTE CONFERENCE
OCTOBER 13-14, 2017
“The reaction of joy was as passionate as his grief had been, and he hugged his recovered gems to his bosom.” The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”
“…Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” Great Expectations
Recovery is a central desire of Victorian culture and literature. The ailing seek their former vigor: from Dickensian convalescents to the hopeful purchasers of patent concoctions. The grieving aspire toward their former faith: as with the Tennyson of In Memoriam, and the countless wearers of mourning jewelry. From popular ballad to fine art painting, “fallen” women vainly attempt to recover honor and social inclusion. Antiquarians and archeologists strive after the glories of lost civilizations, and grown men grasp at the evanescent innocence of childhood. Sometimes novels figure the restoration of lost property as necessary to individual or community harmony, as when Daniel Deronda claims his grandfather’s chest and connects with his heritage; but some eagerly sought family treasures are better left missing, like the Verinders’ ill-gotten diamond.
As a scholarly field, Victorian studies itself has been shaped by an impulse toward recovery: from historicist and archival work, to restoring the discourse of marginalized peoples or forgotten writers, or reclaiming and reimagining critical methods of prior generations. For the 46th annual meeting of the VICTORIANS INSTITUTE, we invite papers that thematize any aspect of recovery, either within the Victorian era, or within interdisciplinary Victorian studies and related university pedagogy.
Please send 300 word abstract and brief CV to Gretchen Braun at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 2, MS Word or PDF format. Proposals should include contact information. Panel proposals should include contact information for all participants, a synopsis of the panel, and abstracts for all papers.
The conference will feature a keynote address by Dr. Pamela Gilbert of the University of Florida.
VI offers limited travel subventions for graduate students whose institutions provide limited or no support. More information about travel awards and the application process will be posted to www.vcu.edu/vij. Please visitwww.vcu.edu/vij for information about the conference as it becomes available, the Victorians Institute, and the Victorians Institute Journal.