CFP: “Sex, Courtship, and Marriage in Victorian Popular Culture,” London, July 2011

Victorian Popular Fiction Association
3rd Annual Conference, 18th & 19th July 2011
Institute for English Studies, University of London

Theme:  Sex, Courtship and Marriage in Victorian Popular Culture

Keynote speakers: Andrew King (Canterbury Christ Church University) and Jennifer Phegley (University of Missouri-Kansas City)

After our very successful conferences of 2009 and 2010 the Victorian Popular Fiction Association announces its third annual conference to be held 18th – 19th July 2011.

The  themes we would like to develop are ideas of sex, courtship and marriage, and the ways in which they are explored and represented in Victorian popular culture. This theme enables us to develop our interdisciplinary interests in nineteenth-century culture, and our understanding of the many and varied attitudes towards relationships throughout the Victorian period.

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speakers will be Jennifer Phegley and Andrew King, both of whom will be addressing aspects of the conference theme.

Papers relevant to the conference theme may be drawn from any aspect of Victorian popular culture and may address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.

We remain committed to promoting research in any aspect of Victorian popular fiction, and the revival of interest in understudied male and female popular writers from this period will again be pivotal to this conference, as we look to build on the foundations we established at our conferences in 2009 and 2010.  We invite proposals for 20 minute research papers on any aspect of the above theme.  Topics might include, but are not restricted to:

•       Sex and marriage in the periodical press
•       The circulating libraries and their attitude to sex and marriage in Victorian fiction
•       Sex and marriage on the Victorian stage
•       Social codes governing courtship
•       Courtship protocol and etiquette
•       Physical relationships and intimacy
•       Sex, marriage and emigration
•       Taboos related to sex, courtship or marriage
•       Sex, marriage and death
•       Medical attitudes towards sex and marriage
•       Unconventional or transgressive relationships
•       Marital harmony and the professional man or woman
•       Representations of divorce, separation or the legal position of married women in popular culture.

Postgraduate students are particularly welcome.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to either Jane Jordan ( or Greta Depledge ( by: Thursday 31st March 2011.

For further information about the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, see:


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