CFP: “Romanticism and Philosophy,” SERA (Paris, Sept 28-29, 2012)

CFP: “Romanticism and Philosophy”

An international conference
co-organized by the SERA (Société d’Etude du Romantisme Anglais), by the Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot and the Université Lille 3 – Charles de Gaulle
to be held at Université Lille 3 – Charles-de-Gaulle on 28-29 September 2012

The modern concept of literature first emerged in the writings of the Jena Romantics. In L’Absolu littéraire, Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe suggest that Romanticism is the moment when philosophy invested literature, defining it as an object of speculation, and when writers strongly asserted the reflexive dimension of their practice, opening up the field of literary theory. Romanticism has redrawn the boundaries of genres and disciplines, and blurred the line that separates literature from philosophy and from the other arts, thereby widening the possibilities for crossovers and raising the issue of hybridization. As Shelley points out in A Defence of Poetry, Plato and Bacon were essentially poets, and Shakespeare, Dante and Milton were philosophers in their own right. During the Romantic era, art was defined as a major object for speculative thinking, but it also turned into an alter ego and a rival for philosophy, as it strove to offer thought experiments that could sublate the inner contradictions of philosophical systems from the outside.

The “philosophical poem” Wordsworth calls for in The Prelude, “yearning toward some philosophic song / Of truth that cherishes our daily life”, is part of that endeavour. Truth, as well as life, can no longer be the objects of philosophy alone but also, perhaps above all, of art. As Emerson reminds us in “Experience”, “Life is not dialectics”, suggesting that life cannot be fettered by the constricting chains of philosophical systems but can be embraced by the supple and shifting lines of literary texts, in order to unfold, experience, test and understand itself. “Tell the truth but tell it slant”, Emily Dickinson later wrote, as a tribute to the indirection and obliquity of poetic writing, in stark contrast to the so-called rectilinear catenations of philosophical thinking, as a celebration of the revealing opacity of tropes and figures, set against the misleading transparency of concepts. “A philosopher must be more than a philosopher” (Emerson again, in “Plato, or the Philosopher”), he must be a poet, because art also thinks, in its own terms and figures. A mutual relationship emerges as art vies with philosophy, while it opens up new speculative fields for later thinkers to elaborate some of their distinctive concepts, such as Heidegger’s meditation on “poetic dwelling”, inherited from Hölderlin’s poetry, or what Stanley Cavell calls “the ordinary”, after Wordsworth, Emerson and Thoreau.

The conference will explore the kinship and the conflicts, the elective affinities and the dangerous liaisons which bind art to philosophy during three major phases of Romanticism, in Germany, England and the United States. Papers on all art forms are invited. Topics may include but are not limited to:

The philosophy of Romanticism
Romanticism and the philosophical tradition
Romantic legacies in philosophy and literary theory
The philosophy of poetics / the poetics of philosophy
Tropes and concepts
The Romantic subject
Romanticism and literary theory
Romantic aesthetics

Abstracts (300-500 words) should be submitted, together with a CV, to Thomas Constantinesco ( and Sophie Laniel-Musitelli ( before 15 September 2011.

Presentations will be expected not to exceed 30 minutes. Most presentations and papers will be in English. Final papers will be considered for publication following a peer-review process.

Scientific committee:
Prof. Mathieu Duplay, Université Paris 7 – Charles de Gaulle
Prof. Thomas Dutoit, Université Lille 3 – Charles de Gaulle
Prof. Jean-Marie Fournier, Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot
Prof. Marc Porée, Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle
Dr. Thomas Constantinesco, Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot
Dr. Sophie Laniel-Musitelli, Université Lille 3 – Charles de Gaulle


Summer Issue of Victorian Poetry Available: On Prosody, Paired with Hopkins Quarterly Issue

Victorian Poetry

Volume 49, Number 2, Summer 2011

This issue is paired with the Spring-summer 2011 issue of Hopkins’ Quarterly (XXXVIII), which is also organized around the subject of Prosody.



Victorian Prosody: Measuring the Field
pp. 149-160
Ironizing Prosody in John Davidson’s “A Ballad in Blank Verse”
pp. 161-178
Materializing Meter: Physiology, Psychology, Prosody
pp. 179-197
Polymetrical Dissonance: Tennyson, A. Mary F. Robinson, and Classical Meter
pp. 199-216
Eye Rhyme: Visual Experience and the Poetics of Gerard Manley Hopkins
pp. 217-233
Rhythms, Poetic and Political: The Case of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
pp. 235-252
Manifest Prosody
pp. 253-266
Poetic Data and the News from Poems: A For Better for Verse Memoir
pp. 267-281

Hopkins Quarterly (XXXVIII) Spring-Summer 2011

Hopkins’s Prosody
pp. 1-30
Patmore, Hopkins, and the Problem of the English Metrical Law
pp. 31-49
Thronging the Ear: Hopkins and the Counterpoint of Prosody
pp. 51-72
Good(s) Sonnets: Hopkins’s Moral Materiality
pp. 73-92
“Opening” the Pentameter: Hopkins’s Metrical Experimentation
pp. 93-110

CFP: “Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies,” NVSA (Columbia University, April 2012)

CFP: NVSA 2012 “Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies” (10/15/2011; 4/13-15/2012)

CFP: “Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies,” NVSA (Columbia University, April 13-15, 2012)

People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something  heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.

-G. K. Chesterton

NVSA solicits submissions for its annual conference; the topic this year is Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies.  The conference will be held at Columbia University on April 13-15, 2012, and will feature a keynote panel including Nicholas Dames, Yopie Prins, and Jim Secord as well as a visit to the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The text of the official CFP follows below. If you’d like a PDF copy of the call for papers emailed to you in order to post it in your department, please contact this year’s program committee chair, David Kurnick, at

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association calls for papers on cliché and orthodoxy in and about the Victorian period. We encourage papers that reflect on Victorian conceptions of conventional thinking, practice, and expression as well as on the critical orthodoxies that govern contemporary approaches to the period. How did the Victorians understand cliché—a term that comes into its current use only in the 1890s—in literary culture, or in aesthetics (art, music and theater) more generally? What orthodoxies organized scientific inquiry, and what was science’s relation to religious orthodoxy? How do we understand the marriage of heterodoxy and orthodoxy in religious movements as various as the Oxford movement and low-church revivalism? How did orthodoxy regulate education and domestic life? While the supposed political stability, liberalism, and realistic aesthetics of the Victorian period have often been contrasted with the social and artistic experimentation of Romanticism and modernism, such features of the period have been both vigorously debunked and vigorously defended as more dynamic than previously thought. We invite papers that reflect on the status of those critical shibboleths (and on the catch-phrases used to express them: “age of equipoise,” “the marriage plot,” “the gospel of work”) as well as on the literary touchstones that the nineteenth century seems to have produced in higher volume than any other. We also invite reconsiderations of older and newer critical texts—from The Victorian Frame of Mind to Culture and Imperialism and beyond—that have set the terms of debate for generations of scholars.

Topics for consideration:

Form and Cliché

–  Victorian melodramas and tearjerkers

–   ideology and form

–  “normal literature” and extraordinary texts

–  the invention of genre fiction

–  readers’ pleasures in repetition and recognition

–  canonicity as critical orthodoxy

–  poetic and prosodic orthodoxies

–  parody as ridicule of literary convention

Religious and Scientific Orthodoxies

–  religious authenticity and belief

–  religious orthodoxy as an adventure

–  Christian orthodoxy and its opponents (atheism, agnosticism, free thinking, spiritualism, etc.)

–  revivalism and the Oxford movement

–  scientific naturalism’s attack on orthodoxy

–  science as orthodoxy

–  scientific orthodoxies

Victorian Cliché

–  “We are not amused”

–  “Spare the rod, spoil the child”

–  “The angel in the house”

–  “The dismal science”

–  “Lie back and think of England”

–  clichés in Victorian advertising

–  cliché and mass media (cliché as a function of printing technology)

–  the history of clichés; how do innovations become clichés?

–  ready-made phrases, generic expressions

Victorian Social and Cultural Orthodoxies

–  political and economic orthodoxies

–  were the Victorians sexually orthodox?

–  unspoken orthodoxies; what goes without saying in the Victorian period?

–  orthodoxy as truth and as convention: did the valence of orthodoxy change in the period?

–  orthodoxy and authority

–  conduct manuals, self-help, etiquette guides

–  educational orthodoxies

Our Critical Orthodoxies

–  separate spheres

–  “Always historicize!”

–  prudery and repression

–  the marriage plot

–  the ideology of progress

–  liberalism and individualism

–  the hermeneutics of suspicion

–  modernist clichés about the Victorian period

–  angel/whore view of women

–  round vs. flat characters

–  the Bildungsroman

Critical Stock Phrases

–  “the crisis of faith”

–  “the gospel of work”

–  “the age of equipoise”

–  “the age of doubt”

–  “the age of compromise”

–  “the Victorian sage”

–   “the two nations”

Canonical Critical Texts

–  Buckley’s Victorian Temper

–  Armstrong’s Victorian Poetry

–  Langbaum’s Poetry of Experience

–  Trilling’s Sincerity and Authenticity

–  Marcus’s Other Victorians

–  Gilbert and Gubar’s Madwoman in the Attic

–  Williams’s Culture and Society

–  Houghton’s Victorian Frame of Mind

–  J. Hillis Miller’s Disappearance of God

–  Levine’s Realistic Imagination

–  D. A. Miller’s Novel and the Police

–  Sedgwick’s Between Men

–  Said’s Culture and Imperialism

Literary Touchstones

–  “Reader, I married him.”

–  “Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die.”

–  “Why always Dorothea?”

–  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

–  “The Everlasting Yea/Everlasting No”

–   “nature red in tooth and claw”

–  “sweetness and light”

–  “How do I love thee?”

–   the “Dickensian” and Dickens’s characters’ tag-lines

–   Trollope’s titles

Deadline: Proposals (no more than 500 words) by Oct. 15, 2011 (e-mail submissions strongly encouraged, in Word format):

Professor David Kurnick, Chair, NVSA Program Committee (

English Department, Rutgers University, 510 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Please note: all submissions to NVSA are evaluated anonymously. Successful proposals will stay within the 500-word limit and make a compelling case for the talk and its relation to the conference topic. Please do not send complete papers, and do not include your name on the proposal. Please include your name, institutional and email addresses, and proposal title in a cover letter. Papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion.

Travel Grants: The Coral Lansbury Travel Grant ($100.00) and George Ford Travel Grant ($100.00), given in memory of key founding members of NVSA, are awarded annually to the graduate student, adjunct instructor, or independent scholar who must travel the greatest distance to give a paper at our conference. Apply by indicating in your cover letter that you wish to be considered. Please indicate from where you will be traveling, and mention if you have other sources of funding.

CFP: “Dickens and the Visual Imagination” (University of Surrey, July 2012)

CFP: Dickens and the Visual Imagination: an international two-day conference to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens in 2012

This conference, hosted by the Paul Mellon Centre in London and the University of Surrey in Guildford, will explore the interfaces between art history and textual scholarship through the work of Charles Dickens.

Plenary speaker: Professor Kate Flint (Rutgers University). Other speakers to be confirmed.

Dickens is renowned for the richness of his visual imagination and his publications encouraged readers to interpret his words with and through their accompanying illustrations. Not only was Dickens deeply engaged with ideas of the visual in his writing, but his work has also provoked responses from artists across multiple disciplines within the Victorian period and beyond. The conference seeks to build on recent interdisciplinary work (such as that of Kate Flint and Isobel Armstrong) that illuminates nineteenth-century understandings of visual culture. By focussing the conference through a writer whose work is embedded in the visual imagination, Dickens will provide a test case for examining and theorising the connection between text and image across two hundred years of cultural history.

We invite proposals for panels and individual papers from scholars across disciplines. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Dickens and illustration

• The visual arts in Dickens’s work

• Responses to Dickens in the visual arts

• Dickens and performance

• Dickens in the press

• Dickens and new media

• Sciences of vision

• Dickens and commodification

• Dickens and aesthetics

• Observation and spying

• Perspective

• Blindness and the difficulties of representation

Please submit proposals (of up to 250 words) by Friday 30 September 2011to:

CFP: “Picturing the Nineteenth Century,” INCS (University of Kentucky, March 2012)

CFP: “Picturing the Nineteenth Century,” INCS (University of Kentucky, March 22-25, 2012)

Though its title foregrounds art and visual culture, this conference will treat “picturing” in all its many senses: imagining, representing, framing, mapping. We invite papers and panels that consider how the nineteenth century represented itself to itself – through depictions of subjectivity, history, and culture; through emerging technologies and disciplines; through self-conscious “meta” attempts to understand methods of representation – and how our own technologies and disciplines create multiple pictures of “the nineteenth century.” Interdisciplinary papers and panels are especially welcome.

Featured speakers include Nancy Armstrong (English Department, Duke University),  Julie Codell (Art History Department, Arizona State University), and Shawn Michelle Smith (Visual & Critical Studies, Art Institute of Chicago).

Themes include but are not limited to

  •  “The visual turn” and its technologies
  • Canons, institutions, and practices of art and literature
  • The materiality of the literary: illustrations, cover designs, advertising, publication
  • Display, exhibition, and spectatorship
  • Cartographies, real and imagined
  •  Urban geographies and ethnographies; mapping and tracking people
  • Imperialism as visual practice; global mappings and re-mappings
  • Representations of  selves and bodies; life writing
  • Modes of representation: narrative, image, statistics, chronology
  • Archives, libraries, and their histories
  • Digitizing the nineteenth century
  • Teaching the nineteenth century  

Deadline: October 17, 2011. For individual papers, send a 250-word proposals;  for panels,  send individual 250-word proposals for each paper plus a 250-word panel description. Please include your name, affiliation, and e-mail address on the proposals.

Contact for more information.

New Ashgate Titles in 19th-Century Studies (2011)

Ashgate Publishing is pleased to present its most recent titles in Victorian scholarship.

Please visit for more details.

  • Jane Austen’s Anglicanism, by Laura Mooneyham White, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

February 2011     228 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-1864-1

  • The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857: Entrepreneurs, Connoisseurs and the Public, by Elizabeth A. Pergam, Dian Woodner Collection, New York

Includes 12 color and 53 b&w illustrations

May 2011              396 pages              Hardback

  • Media, Technology, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century: Image, Sound, Touch, edited by Colette Colligan and Margaret Linley, both at Simon Fraser University

The Nineteenth Century Series
Includes 45 b&w illustrations

March 2011          316 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-3113-8

  • Pirates and Mutineers of the Nineteenth Century: Swashbucklers and Swindlers, edited by Grace Moore, University of Melbourne, Australia

Includes 10 b&w illustrations

March 2011          314 pages              Hardback

  • Poetics of Luxury in the Nineteenth Century: Keats, Tennyson, and Hopkins, by Betsy Winakur Tontiplaphol, Trinity University, Texas

The Nineteenth Century Series

May 2011              222 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-0490-3

  • Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890, by Joselyn M. Almeida, University of Massachusetts,Amherst

Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies

June 2011             294 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-0-7546-9761-9

  • Sir John Gilbert: Art and Imagination in the Victorian Age, edited by Spike Bucklow and Sally Woodcock

A Lund Humphries Book

Includes 100 color and 75 b&w illustrations

March 2011          264 pages              Hardback

  • Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture, by Jean Arnold, California State University, San Bernardino, California

Includes 10 b&w illustrations

June 2011             182 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-2128-3

  • Victorian Transformations: Genre, Nationalism and Desire in Nineteenth-Century Literature, edited by Bianca Tredennick, SUNY College of Oneonta

The Nineteenth Century Series

Includes 4 b&w illustrations

April 2011             214 pages              Hardback

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-1188-8

CFP: English special issue: Charles Dickens Bicentenary (2012)

2012 is the Bicentenary of Dickens’s Birth.

To celebrate, English: the Journal of the English Association is dedicating a special issue to his work and influence.

Topics covered might include:

  • Dickens and adaptation
  • Dickens and illustration
  • Dickens and the Gothic imagination
  • Dickens and the city
  • Reading Dickens in the twenty-first century

But submissions on any topic connected to his work are encouraged.

Potential contributors should send essays of between 5,000 and 9,000 words to the journal editors via the English website at:

The deadline for submission is 1 September 2011.

Dr Stephen Colclough
English: the Journal of the English Association, School of English,
Bangor University