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CFP: “The Materials of Mourning: Death, Materiality, and Memory in Victorian Britain,” (York, December 2011)

Call for Papers

‘The Materials of Mourning: Death, Materiality and Memory in Victorian Britain’

3 December 2011, Centre for Modern Studies, University of York

Proposals due: 15 September 2011

Timed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Prince Albert’s death, this one-day symposium seeks to investigate how grief was manifested and mourning facilitated in the Victorian period through literature, music, performance and the visual arts. Often satirised but rarely understood, this symposium aims to recover the rich culture of mourning in the Victorian period by showcasing current research and encouraging conversation, debate and interdisciplinary exchange.

The day will conclude with a roundtable to which delegates are invited to bring an object or picture related to Victorian death culture, prompting discussion about the tangibility of grief and mourning and the impact of material culture on our own research.

We warmly invite proposals for twenty-minute papers from postgraduates and early-career researchers with backgrounds in history of art, history, literature, music, performance studies and other related humanities.

Topics for discussion may include but are not limited to:
* Ritual: ceremonies, funerals, masses, cremations.
* Commercialisation: dark tourism, souvenirs, celebrities and villains.
* Spaces of Mourning: cemeteries, churchyards, death chambers, mausolea.
* Craft and Fashion: embroidery, needlework, mourning costume and jewellery.
* Representations: death and mourning in literature, music, performance and the visual arts.
* Objects: how objects and texts were used in the mourning process (annotations, keepsakes, scrapbooks.)
* Class, Gender, Nationality: aberrant and conventional accounts of mourning from different social perspectives.

Please submit abstracts limited to 250 words to the conference organisers, Eoin Martin and Claire Wood, at by 15 September 2011.

CFP: “The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts” (University of Portsmouth, July 2012)

CFP: “The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts”

International Conference:

6-8 July 2012
Centre for Studies in Literature,
University of Portsmouth

Keynote Speakers: Professor Jay Clayton (Vanderbilt University), Professor Ann Heilmann (University of Hull), Professor Cora Kaplan(Queen Mary, University of London), Professor Lillian Nayder (Bates College) and Professor Gail Turley-Houston (University of New Mexico)

“The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts” is an interdisciplinary conference which will form part of Portsmouth’s bicentenary celebrations of Dickens’s birth in the city on 7 February 1812. We invite scholars working in the fields of literature, film, history, cultural and media studies to consider the other Dickens – those aspects of Dickens (both of his life and work) that remain relatively unexplored, or require re-evaluation. Our objective is to foster interaction between Victorian and contemporary scholars in order to re-examine Dickens in his Victorian context; to assess his continuing importance in contemporary culture, in film and television adaptations, on the internet, and as a character in neo-Victorian fiction; and to explore the rising interest in Dickens’s family members and associated figures (e.g. Ellen Ternan, Catherine Dickens, née Hogarth) in biography and biofiction. Conference

participants will be invited to challenge popular perceptions of Victorian Dickens and to explore his cultural impact on new genres andtechnologies.

Papers will be selected with these criteria in mind and possible topics may include:

  • Dickens and journalism
  • Dickens and performance
  • Dickens and the internet
  • Dickens and adaptation
  • Dickens and biography
  • Dickens and biofiction
  • Neo-Victorian Dickens
  • Dickens as a character in fiction, film and TV
  • Postcolonial Dickens
  • Dickens’s family in fiction and biography

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a brief biographical note listing your affiliation, to The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2011.



CFP: “‘Hard Times’ or ‘Great Expectations’? How Victorians Saw Themselves,” (MVSA, April 2012)

Midwest Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference

Bloomington, Indiana, April 20-22, 2012

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth, we invited papers on his writings and influence, but the conference will also consider issues of Victorian reflexivity and self-representation. Among topics to be considered might be: Victorian ideas of progress and degeneration; social commentators, ethnologists and journalists; parliamentary reports and reform movements; mirrors, disguises, and masquerades; visions of heaven and hell; utopias/dystopias; photography and portraiture; autobiographies, biographies and histories; museums and exhibitions; and Victorian psychology and theories of identity.  The conference will include a panel on teaching the Victorians, and proposals for topics and speakers are also invited.

Our keynote speaker will be John R. Reed, whose many academic publications include Dickens and Hyperreality (2011), Victorian Conventions (1975), The Natural History of H. G. Wells (1982), Decadent Style (1985), Victorian Will (1989), and Dickens and Thackeray: Punishment and Forgiveness (1995).

Held on the beautiful campus of Indiana University, the conference will include unique evening entertainment honoring Dickens, including a special film screening of the 1917 A Tale of Two Cities with live piano accompaniment, and a “Charles Dickens Variety Show” including music and magic lanterns.  Accommodations will be on campus in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Please submit an abstract!  Papers or full panels are welcome, and should include 500-word abstracts and 1-page (only) vitas by November 1, 2011to

For more information, see our website