Wednesday, 13 March 2019

CFP: AVSA 2019, 25-29 September, Otago University (deadline 1 April)

The University of Otago was founded in 1869. This was a year in which many scientific, political, commercial, cultural and medical milestones were also recorded, including the first issue of Nature, the opening of the Suez Canal, the publication of the Periodic Table, Paul Langerhans’s discovery of pancreatic islets and the appearance of “The Subjection of Women” by John Stuart Mill.

The Centre for Research on Colonial Culture and the Australasian Victorian Studies Association warmly invite you to join them in critically reflecting on these various approaches to knowledge creation and production during the 1860s and beyond, and across disciplines as well as cultures in all areas of human endeavour. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Marion Thain (King’s College London) and Megan Potiki (University of Otago), alongside invited speakers Dr Tina Makereti (Massey University), Lisa Chatfield (Producer, The Luminaries) and Professor Liam McIlvanney (University of Otago), with more to be announced!

The conference will combine a traditional academic programme with a range of public heritage festival events, special forums and social  engagements. We invite paper, panel and poster proposals from researchers, policy makers, industry and anyone with an 1869-related story to tell that addresses the conference theme from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Cross-disciplinary panels would be particularly welcomed.

Topics linked to the legacies of Victorian scientific and cultural production include:
• Indigenous knowledges;
• Literary production;
• Colonialism and its legacies;
• Museums, archives and collecting;
• Medical innovation;
• Ecology and the environment;
• Migration, movement, and mobilities;
• Artefacts and archaeological records;
• Mass tourism and popularisation of leisure;
• Scientific advancements;
• Commercial and economic development;
• Art, fashion and design;
• Architecture and built environments;
• Conflict, contestation and resistance;
• Crime and sensation.

Papers: 250-300 word abstract, up to 5 keywords and 50-word biographical statement.
Panels: Panel proposals for three linked papers are encouraged to include presenters from more than one disciplinary background, and from different career stages. 250-300 word individual abstracts, 50-word biographical statements for each presenter, accompanied by a 200 word summary of the overarching theme(s) of the panel.
Posters will be on display for the duration of the conference and there will be a timetabled slot for contributors to stand by their  posters so that participants can come and discuss the research.
250-300 word abstract, up to 5 keywords and 50-word biographical statement

Please submit proposals as Word attachments to the conference email address: by 1 April 2019.
Decisions on acceptance will be made by early May, with registration opening in June.

Keep up to date with the latest news and announcements via our Twitter account: @Otago1869

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

CFP: Visual Theology II, Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, 22-22 September 2019

Visual Theology II:
Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites: Sacre Conversazioni
St Michael and All Angels Chapel, Marlborough College
21- 22nd September 2019

‘All great art is praise’ John Ruskin

This conference aims to celebrate the life and work of John Ruskin during his bicentenary. This two day event will create a space for theologically engaged conversations about Ruskin, religion and the arts. We seek to focus on Ruskin’s religious and aesthetic writings informed by his relationship with Christianity, as well as examine his influence on those within the Victorian art world, specifically the Pre-Raphaelites.

Whilst Ruskin can be said to be a major proponent of Victorian art writing, with religion underling his mode of approach to many areas of nineteenth century public life and thought, in the twenty-first century we have somewhat of a reversal: our interpretation of religion in the arts challenges the very competencies of disciplines such as art history. Resisting attempts to historically confine Ruskin’s religious aesthetics to the nineteenth century alone, this conference suggests that Ruskin’s voice offers clear and often prophetic insight into many facets of modern image interpretation. Ruskin’s formulations, albeit many faceted, provide not only a means of examining nineteenth century religious dialogues about accessing the divine, modes of prayer, and about public art and public spaces, but also offer a linguistic opportunity for us to take Ruskin into growing scholarship studies such as biblical reception, and into contemporary art practice that draws on the spirituality he invested in visual media.

Approaches are sought that analyse specific Ruskinian or Pre-Raphaelite pictorial representations as they relate to modes of Ruskinian religious art writing and / or theological engagement. We encourage critical questions of the Sacre Conversazioni held between Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites: how did they collectively or individually respond to and reshape religious imagery, what is the significance of their chosen media, what new covenants of image interpretation did they seek and successfully employ, and how critical and conversational were they? Furthermore, we seek to discuss the transference of religious symbols and threads of Catholicism from Italy to Britain, via Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites who helped make Venice and Florence a ville toute anglaises. We also ask how best to curate Ruskin’s contribution to the nineteenth century, and in what sense we or other artists receive its Christian perspective as significant?

With this in mind, we anticipate a wide and varied body of visual and theological conversations about sacred art with Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites at the core. Proposals might include, but are not limited to:

Divine Designs: art writing in relation to God, faith, and unbelief; seeking truth through representation and naturalism, as well as architecture; explorations of biblical symbols and the iconographic, e.g. Pre-Raphaelitism’s engagement with devotional art.
Responding to and Reshaping Religion: aesthetically confronting theological fluctuations; locating new representations of the faithful and the ‘faithless’; churchmanship and liturgical contexts for visual engagement.
Curating Ruskin, Curating Religion: negotiating desires to neutralise visual representations of the divine in public spaces; Ruskin from the perspective of ‘post-secular’ image practice and criticism; making Ruskin accessible and deconstructing his understanding of divinity for the next generation.
From the Sacred to the Secular: Visualising Discord: the visual record of discordant faith; identifying evocations of spirituality without a faith – e.g. the numinous light filled work of J.M.W. Turner; interpreting anxieties through symbology or biblical reception.
Media Hermeneutics: Ruskin on daguerreotypes, painting, stained glass, etc.; media positioning and their implied or explicit morality; pictorial naturalism and theologies of realism.
Institutional Theologies; exploring frameworks of institutional platforms such as state commissioning of religious art, church commissioning of stained glass, the acceleration of church building, and conscious formulation of national collections.
Conversing with Italy; locating the inheritance of European religious imagery amidst the Ruskinian and Pre-Raphaelite lexicon; extracting Catholic and / or Protestant liminality in symbology, architecture and fresco.

Monday, 7 January 2019

AVSA Conference 2019: 25-29th September, University of Otago, New Zealand

Advance notice that AVSA 2019 will be hosted at the University of Otago (Dunedin) in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture as part of the "1869 Conference and Heritage Festival". Professor Marion Thain (King's College, London), Dr Tina Makareti (Massey University) and Megan Potiki (University of Otago) confirmed as invited speakers.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

CFP: Australian Historical Association 2019 Conference (Deadline: 28 February 2019)

‘Local Communities, Global Networks’: Australian Historical Association 2019 Conference
8-12 July 2019, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba

How have the local and the global intersected, inspired and transformed experiences within and from Australia’s history? How do the histories of Indigenous, imperial, migrant and the myriad of other communities and networks inform, contest and shape knowledge about Australia today? The conference theme speaks to the centrality of History for engaging with community and family networks. Constructing livelihoods within an empire and a nation that have had a global reach, local communities have responded in diverse ways. The varieties of historical enquiry into this past enrich our understanding of Australian and world history.

We welcome paper and panel proposals on any geographical area, time period, or field of history, on the conference theme ‘Local Communities, Global Networks’.

Abstracts due 28 February 2019

Conference website

Saturday, 6 January 2018

CFP: BAVS 29-31 August 2018, "Victorian Patterns", Exeter (Deadline 3 April)

Call for Papers: BAVS Annual Conference 2018
"Victorian Patterns"
University of Exeter, Streatham Campus
29-31 August 2018
Organised by the Centre for Victorian Studies, University of Exeter

Keynote Speakers: Professor Jason W. Moore (Sociology, Binghamton University); Professor Grace Lees-Maffei (Design History, University of Hertfordshire); Professor Marion Thain (Liberal Studies, NYU)

Global Victorians Roundtable Speakers: Professor Robert Aguirre (Wayne State University); Professor Nicholas Birns (NYU); Dr. Paul Young (University of Exeter)

Pattern in the nineteenth century was a much-debated topic. The execution of repetitive forms of design became both industrialized and institutionalized thanks to new techniques of mechanized production. Everywhere the surfaces of material culture were alive with a profusion of ornamental patterns. An insatiable appetite for pattern affected the appearance of public spaces, domestic interiors, clothing and the objects of everyday life. At the same time, revolutions in science and technologies, in the global circulation of people, commodities and ideas, and in the conception and creation of new forms explored and exploited the ways in which patterns, both cultural and natural, shape and organize experience and subjectivity. Pattern was (and is) often seen as repetitive, constraining, unimaginative, and dead, but patterns also live, energizing, structuring, and acting both within and beyond the reach of human intentionality and subjectivity. This conference will explore the life of pattern in the nineteenth century and the way in which in its contradictions, its reproducibility and its close connections with materiality and the everyday, pattern can be seen as a representative natural, aesthetic, cultural and techno-scientific mode.

We invite proposals for individual papers of 15 minutes or 3-paper panel sessions, and we would particularly welcome alternative session formats designed to foster discussion or pose research problems for discussions (eg poster presentations, 3×5 minute position papers, roundtables or working groups, etc) on, but not limited to, the following topics:

Patterns in nature: temporal (geologic, seasonal), energy, physics, evolution.

Scientific and technological patterns: mathematics, markets, engineering, textiles, city-planning.

Patterns of imagery: language, style, and genre.

Design and decorative patterns: arts, crafts, ornament, textiles, The House Beautiful, book design.

Music and metrical patterns, poetics, performance.

Global patterns: travel and circulation; settlement and empire; inheritance.

Repetitions, replications, rhythm, habits, habitus, disruption of pattern, linearity, circularity, randomness, emergence, chaos.

Patterns of behaviour and mood.

Please submit an individual proposal of 250-300 words or a group proposal of 1000 words to by the deadline of Tuesday 3rd of April. All proposals should include your name, email address and academic affiliation (if applicable).

Sunday, 17 December 2017

CFP: NAVSA 2018, "Looking Outward", St Petersburg, Florida 11-14 October 2018

NAVSA 2018 will be held October 11-14, 2018 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel.

We are excited to announce our three plenaries: Erika Rappaport, Belinda Edmondson, and Sally Shuttleworth. These keynotes anchor three foci of the conference, and we hope there will be lively conversations on Caribbean Studies, Global Victorians, and Science/Medicine, even as the conference overall ranges more widely.

Deadline for paper and panel sessions on the theme "Looking Outward" is 4 March 2018.

Full details at the conference site:

Monday, 6 November 2017

Extended CFP: 'Forgery and Imitation', Victorian Network, Deadline 15 December 2017

Victorian Network is an open-access, MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best work across the broad field of Victorian Studies by postgraduate students and early career academics. We are delighted to announce that our twelfth issue (Summer 2018) will be guest edited by Aviva Briefel on the theme of Forgery and Imitation.

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the increase in art and literary forgery in the nineteenth century, and to the preoccupation with themes of illicit imitation in the Victorian cultural zeitgeist. Critics have highlighted the manifold, intricate, and sometimes surprising ways in which forgery was woven into the social and cultural fabric of the era. The forged, the fake, and the imitative became pressing issues for artistic reproduction as growing demand and changing technology shaped the way in which texts, images, and objects circulated. The spectrum encompassed forged and imitative objects faked with criminal intent, as well as cultural and economic productivity.

Anxieties surrounding the concepts of originality and fakery also permeated nineteenth-century discussions of social authenticity – did forging an identity in a changing world open the door to faking social class, race, or gender? Did cleaving closely to imitate cultural peers maintain the status quo, mask individual dishonesty, or constitute plagiarism? Frauds, cheats, liars, and copycats of every ilk caught the public imagination. The range of depictions was broad and ambivalent. From villainous cheats like Count Fosco to romantic depictions of Chatterton, forgery and imitation marked for the Victorians a point of uneasiness that called for intricate negotiation. Furthermore, as channels of patronage and influence became increasingly fragmented, new ways of conceptualising artistic indebtedness were required. Here, too, forgery and imitation did moral battle. Appropriation, pastiche, and homage had their dark doubles: deceit, plagiarism, and hack work. Navigating intertextuality meant gauging where boundaries of influence could be crossed and where they should be policed.

We invite submissions of approximately 7,000 words on any aspect of the theme in Victorian literature and culture. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

Fakery and cultural identity, the (cultural and/or economic) value of forgeries and imitations
Fakes as cultural participation
Identities of forgery and forged identities (individual, cultural/national)
Illegitimacy, genealogy, and heredity theory
Imitation in nature and evolutionary or scientific theory
Artistic reproduction (eg. photographs, prints, and casts), copying, and forgery: the original versus the copy
Forgery and imitation as gendered activities
Public persona: masks and makeup
Fashions, trends, and crazes
Acting as imitation; theatricality versus authenticity
Fraud, counterfeit money, financial corruption, white-collar crime
The forgery of memory; history-writing; misremembrance
Originality, the Romantic genius, and Victorian imitation
Imitation as literary practice: (mis-)quotation, adaptation, plagiarism, piracy
Literature as imitation: re-creating other mediums in words (ut pictura poesis)
Imitating the Victorians: the re-creation of Victorian texts in neo-Victorian writing and fan cultures

All submissions should conform to MHRA house style and the in-house submission guidelines. Submissions should be received by 15 December 2017.