Wednesday, 25 September 2013

CFP: NAVSA/ACCUTE, Victorian Uses and Abuses of History (15 Nov 2013)

Joint North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA)/Association  of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) sessions 2014
May 24 – 27th 2014
Brock University,St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Victorian Uses and Abuses of History

What were the uses of history in the Victorian period? The period saw the publication of numerous historical novels  following the success of Sir Walter Scott’s “Waverley.” Many novelists, including Charles
Dickens, Charles Reade, William Makepiece Thackery, Charles Kingsley, George Eliot and Robert Louis Stevenson all addressed history in their novels. The French Revolution figured largely as a historical warning
against revolution in the minds of many Victorian sages, while the Fall of Rome could be used to warn against overweening pride in the Empire. History could figure as nightmare in Gothic novels. Inspired
by Ruskin and Morris, many looked back to the Medieval period as a source of values and an alternative to industrialized Britain. This call for papers invites proposals for individual or collaborative papers on the theme of "Victorian Uses and Abuses of History.”
Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

•       The Victorian Historical Novel
•       Victorian Medievalism
•       "The Renaissance" according to Victorians
•       Victorian Historians and Historiography
•       Historical Time vs. Geological Time
•       Past and Present Contrasts
•       "Neo" Architecture and Literature of the Victorian Period
•       Historical Self-Consciousness
•       History and Aesthetics
•       Historical Utopias and Dystopias

Send 250 word proposals or completed papers for 15-20-minute talks to
Martin Danahay <>.   Deadline: 15 November 2013

Neo-Victorian Uses and Abuses of History

In the relatively new field of Neo-Victorian studies the status of history is the focus of much debate. Is the recourse to the Victorian period necessarily nostalgic? Can the Victorian period be used to critique racism, violence and homophobia? And what of imaginative reconstructions of the Victorian period in genres such as Steampunk: are novels that reconfigure the Victorian period with contemporary technology and issues “historical” or do they call into question totalizing historical narratives?

Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:

•       History, collective memory and nostalgia
•       The commodification of the Victorian period
•      Retro-futurism and the status of history
•       Refiguring colonialism in Neo-Victorian texts
•       Ecohistory and Neo-Victorianism
•       Play and history in Neo-Victorian texts
•       The Victorian period as utopia/dystopia
•       Race, history and Neo-Victorianism
•       Subverting the “Victorian” in Neo-Victorianism

Send 250 word proposals or completed papers for 15-20-minute talks to
Martin Danahay <>.   Deadline: 15 November 2013

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