Thursday, 20 June 2013

Gaskell Journal Graduate Student Essay Prize: Deadline 10 January 2014

The Gaskell Journal
Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student Essay Prize 2014

Deadline for submissions: January 10th 2014

The Gaskell Journal runs a biennial Graduate Student Essay Prize in honour of Joan Leach MBE, founder of the Gaskell Society.

Aims of the Prize
The essay competition is open to all graduate students currently registered for an MA or PhD in Victorian Studies. Entries are welcome which consider Gaskell's writings within Victorian cultural, religious, aesthetic and scientific debates, and which have an inter-disciplinary aspect. Also welcome are essays which offer innovative and focused close readings of Gaskell's works, including those enlightened by critical theory.
In all cases, clarity of argument and control of expression are paramount, and the essay must clearly offer an original contribution to the field of Gaskell studies.
The Prize
The winning essay will be published in The Gaskell Journal and its author will receive £200 from the Gaskell Society, and a complimentary copy of the Journal. High quality submissions other than the winner will also be considered for publication in the journal.
Essays should be no longer than 7,000 words, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. We request that you use the MHRA system of referencing, with endnotes rather than footnotes.
Essays will be judged by members of The Gaskell Journal Editorial Board, with the final decision being made from a shortlist by a leading scholar in Gaskell studies.

IMPORTANT: All judging will be anonymous. Please keep your name and affiliation separate from your article. Complete the below form, and send with your anonymised essay to The Gaskell Journal editor, Rebecca Styler by/on January 10th 2014. All entrants will be informed of the outcome of their submission. These details are also available though the journal

Friday, 14 June 2013

Call for Abstracts: 'Fire Stories' Symposium, University of Melbourne, 4-6 December 2013

Call for Abstracts: 'Fire Stories' Symposium presented by The Australian Centre, The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800) and The University of Melbourne.

Full-size PDF of poster available here.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Dr Danielle Clode (Flinders University), Professor Bill Gammage (Australian National University), Associate Professor Alan Krell (College of Fine Arts, UNSW), Associate Professor Pablo Mukherjee (University of Warwick).

A source of survival, comfort and terror, humans have struggled to control and harness fire since its discovery tens of thousands of years ago. This symposium will address emotional responses to fires in literature and history, looking particularly at how the fleeting destruction of a blaze is conveyed in narrative terms. Participants will be invited to consider a dialogue between ancient and modern representations of fire (including the mythical) and the affective responses that they evoke. Speakers are also encouraged to address the role that fictional representations of burning landscapes or cityscapes can play in the aftermath of a major disaster.

Topics may include:
• fire and mythology
• disaster narratives/environmental  catastrophe
• The ecology of fire
• Representations of bushfires/wildfires
• Climate change
• performing fire/ the aesthetics of fire
• The poetics of the flame
• fire in the colonies
• sati
• fire and colonial settlers
• indigenous representations of fire
• fire and childhood
• fire and folklore
• fire and national identity
• firescapes and emotions
• psychological responses to fires
• survivor stories
• fire and memory
• Artefacts/conservation
• Trauma
• Arson/pyromania
• Campfires
• The domestic hearth
• destruction/reconstruction

Please send abstracts to:  by no later than August 31st 2013.

Please note that the conference will  incorporate a symposium to be convened by the Australian Centre, on species:  ‘Narrative, Indigeneity, Ecology’. This  symposium will take place on Wednesday December 4 and a program will be released  in due course. Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Ursula Heise (UCLA).

Monday, 10 June 2013

CfP: Special Issue of Victorian Review, "Victorians and Risk" (Deadline 1 Sept. 2013)

Victorian Review seeks proposals for articles for a special issue on “Victorians and Risk,” to be published in Fall 2014 and guest edited by Dr. Daniel Martin.

Since the publication of Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (1992), sociologists and historians have interrogated the frequency of risks of all kinds in modern life: railway accidents, colliery explosions, natural and industrial catastrophes, spills, fires, and collisions, among countless others. However, the emergence of risk as a sociological and economic reality of everyday life in the nineteenth century still lacks significant scholarly theorizing in the humanities. Current scholarship about Victorian contributions to a modern “risk society” requires a sustained dialogue about how the Victorians conceived of accidents, disasters, catastrophes, and risks of all kinds beyond the limited scope of the local. For this issue, we seek papers that address such a dialogue through analysis of Victorian culture’s fascinations with and anxieties about risky activities, behaviors, industries, legalities, philosophies, and forms of expression.

In general, risks have a peculiar temporality. To “run a risk” is to operate in that space between the historian or statistician and the prophet or sage, to exist in a present moment that requires a continual reconsideration of simple linear or chronological time. Risks mark themselves off against past accumulations of data and past accidental phenomena, but they also anticipate spaces and developments for future prevention. We seek original essays that attempt to situate such theoretical and abstract notions of risk within literary, historical, and cultural contexts. We are especially interested in essays that draw connections between specific risk events and Victorian theorizing about the constantly accumulating risks and accidental phenomena of modern life.    

Interested scholars may wish to develop their ideas according to the following topics:
* Risk and the Victorian railway network
* Representations of accidents in the Victorian press
* Risk and Victorian theories of temporality
* The subjectivity/performance of risky activities and behaviors
* Victorian insurance and the origins of risk management
* Insurance frauds and risky business
* The phenomenology of bodies at risk
* Risk, athletics, and bodily performance/techniques
* Risk and the limits of the body
* Risky bodies and the origins of statistical personhood
* Rethinking, revising, reevaluating the notion of a “risk society”
* Risks in their local and global contexts
* Genres of risks and genres of the accidental
* Risk and the periodical press
* Danger, affliction, and disability
* Transformations in Victorian concepts of space and time
* Industrial or human-made disasters and catastrophes
* Risk and catastrophic thinking in Victorian social theory
* Risk and decadence/ the aesthetics of risk

Please submit abstracts of 500 words or address enquiries to Dr. Daniel Martin ( by Sept 1, 2013. Final essays will be due by Feb 1, 2014.