CFP (deadline approaching): “Victorian Modernities,” VISAWUS (Portland, OR), November 2013


VISAWUS, the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States, announces its 18th annual conference:

“Victorian Modernities” November 14-16, 2013

Courtyard by Marriott, Portland City Center, Portland, Oregon USA

“Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old fashioned quite suddenly.” – Oscar Wilde

VISAWUS 2013 explores the Victorians’ enthusiasm and apprehension regarding modern progress and innovation.We encourage papers across all disciplines, including (but not restricted to) art history, literature, gender, history of science, history, material culture, political science, performance, life writings, journalism, photography, popular culture, and economics.

Keynote Speaker: Joseph Bristow (English, UCLA), author and editor of numerous works on Victorian and modern literature and theories and histories of sexuality, including Effeminate England: Homoerotic Writing after 1885 (1995), Sexuality (1997), The Fin-de-Siècle Poem: English Literary Culture and the 1890s (2005), and Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend (2009), is currently working on a project on “The Sex of Victorian Poetry” and editing the Journal of Victorian Culture and the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture series.

Papers are solicited for topics such as:

-Urbanization, urbanity, and the flux of modern life
-New nationalisms
-Modern understandings of the global and the cosmopolitan
-Class mobilities and new professions
-Progressive Victorian social reform movements
-New Victorian types: New Women, dandies, Decadents, swells
-Anticipations of modernist formal styles
-New media: audio and visual technologies
-Advances in Victorian drama -New sciences and pseudo-sciences
-Modern illnesses and modern medicine
-The novel and novelty
-Commodity culture and consumerism
-Modern understandings of sexuality and desire
-Resistances to modernity: nostalgia, pastiche
-New religions
-The apex of empire
-Modern warfare
-Neo-Victorianism and steampunk aesthetic

To submit: By March 15, 2013, email 300-word abstracts and a 1-page CV (name on BOTH) to

Please note: Graduate student papers are eligible for the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award ($300.00).

Conference Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott, Portland City Center, Portland, Oregon USA


Looking for past VISAWUS conference information?

The 2005-2011 conference schedules are now archived online. Click here to view and download them, or browse the list below.


1996 – California State University, Northridge – Victorian Success – James R. Kincaid
1997 – California State University, Northridge – Victorian Sights and Sounds – Philippa Levine
1998 – Clark College (Vancouver, Washington) – Victorian Sexualities – Donald Hall
1999 – Clark College (Vancouver, Washington) – Victorianisms – Alison Winter
2000 – UCLA – Artifacts of Victorian Culture – Sally Mitchell
2001 – UCLA – The Victorian World – Chris Kent
2002 – Boise State University – Victorian Institutions – Linda K. Hughes
2003 – University of Texas (Austin) – Victorian Legacies – Martin Wiener
2004 – University of Washington (Seattle) – Victorian Innovations – Susan P. Casteras
2005 – University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) – Victorian Rituals, Celebrations, and Anniversaries – James R. Kincaid
2006 – Pepperdine University (Malibu) – The Presence of the Past in the Victorian Age – Philippa Levine
2007 – University of Colorado (Boulder) – Victorians in Motion – Lawrence Goldman
2008 – University of Washington (Seattle) – The Public and Private Politics of Victorian England – Antony Harrison
2009 – Coast Renaissance Hotel (Vancouver, British Columbia) – Victorian Markets and Marketing – Erika Rappaport – Joint Conference with the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada
2010 – University of Hawaii (Honolulu) – Oceania and the East in the Victorian Imagination – Jane Samson
2011- University of Houston-Downtown – The Vulgar and the Proper: Victorian Manners and Mores – Helena Michie



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