CFP: “Victorian Systems and Standardization” VSAO/ACCUTE, Montreal, May 28-31, 2010

Call for papers: “Victorian Systems and Standardization”

Joint Session: Victorian Studies Association of Ontario (VSAO) at the
Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)
Conference 2010

Montreal, QC, Canada

May 28-31, 2010


Our little systems have their day.

– Tennyson


From the factory to the railway, the telegraph to the postal service, the
growth of empire to the establishment of national educational curricula, the
nineteenth century was marked by large-scale impositions of system, and by a
concurrent emphasis on the standardization of objects, concepts, and people.
This panel seeks to explore the imbrications of system and standardization
throughout the Victorian era, and to examine how the concept of rationalized
organization was imagined and understood by Victorians. How did the
generalized abstraction inherent in the process of standardization shape the
lived experience of individuals? What supra-individual needs were
anticipated in the construction of various kinds of system? To what extent
did the Victorians envisage a connection between systematization and
knowledge production?

Papers may focus on any occurrence of system or standardization during the
Victorian period, such as: genre as artistic standardization; disciplines
(scientific and otherwise); domestic conventions; bodies in systems;
heterodox and orthodox belief systems; formal and informal economies; the
aesthetics of system.

We are also interested in events and ideas that were explicitly figured as
resistances to system, such as: works of genius or inspiration; free love;
anarchy; mutiny.

Following the ACCUTE submission instructions (which can also be found at, please send your 700 word proposal
(or 8-10 page double-spaced paper), a 100 word abstract, a 50 word
biographical statement, and the submitter information form to by November 15th. You must be a current ACCUTE member
or a member of VSAO to submit to this session.

This panel is being organized by Fiona Coll (University of Toronto) and
Constance Crompton (York University/Ryerson University). Please feel free to
send any panel-related questions you might have for us to the following


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