CFP: “Novelties” in 19thC Literature and Culture (York, November 2010)

Call for Papers –

Novelties: A One-Day Postgraduate Symposium on Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Keynote speaker: Regenia Gagnier

Saturday 27th November 2010, The Humanities Research Centre, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

The nineteenth century is frequently characterized as a period of extraordinary change, but Novelties asks what is still surprising about its literature and culture. The word ‘novelty’ has resonances in the modern and the unfamiliar, the innovative and the unusual; it expresses an ingenious solution, a remarkable device, a newsworthy occurrence, and everything that is frivolous, fashionable and disreputable. Novelties will showcase research that explores a ‘novel’ aspect of nineteenth-century Britain from anywhere on this spectrum, whether it’s political activism and social revolution, or public scandal and social climbing; scientific invention and pioneering travel, or phantasmagoria and commercial tourism. Novelties is a celebration of all things ‘new’ in the field of nineteenth-century literature and culture, from the freshly-decorated interior of the suburban villa to the darkest corners of the Victorian underworld. The symposium will also reflect our changing research culture by encouraging original and unexpected connections between disciplines.

Novelties will take place in the University’s brand-new Humanities Research Centre located on the main campus, just a short distance from York’s historic city centre. The city has excellent transportation links and is less than two hours from London by train.

We warmly invite proposals for 20-minute papers from postgraduates and early career researchers from literature, history, history of art, and any other branch of the humanities. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

•       Material culture
•       The news and newspapers
•       Advertising, the ‘commodity fetish’ and consumerism
•       Popular art forms and new genres
•       Sensations on the page and stage
•       Victorian invention and inventions
•       Space and architecture
•       Sexualities and psychologies
•       Victorian modernities and technologies

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to Kate Compton ( by 15th October 2010. Any other enquiries should be
sent to

For updates and further information, visit Registration will open from Monday 25th October.


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