CFP: ‘Britain Afraid: Imperial Insecurities and National Fears, 1798-1945’

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Britain Afraid: Imperial Insecurities and National Fears, 1798-1945

Liverpool John Moores University

11-12 June 2020

Keynote Speaker: Professor Kim Wagner (Queen Mary, UCL)

LJMU History, in partnership with the Invasion Network, invites papers discussing the interplay between cultures of anxiety and fears in British national and imperial life, for presentation and discussion at a two-day conference at Liverpool John Moores University, 11-12 June 2020.

The study of imperial anxieties, fears of radicalism and invasion scares in Britain has long fascinated scholars, producing a rich corpus of material on late Victorian and pre-1914 panics, in particular those connected to espionage, terrorist attacks and the rise of rival powers. This conference seeks to expand the discourse on British anxieties outwards chronologically. In doing so, we aim to identify continuities and fractures in beliefs and fears from the period of the empire-shaking Irish Rebellion of 1798 through to the end of the Second World War. Continue reading

Edwardian Encounters: C.J. Holmes’s ‘Red Ruin’

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Fig 1    Charles John Holmes, The Red Ruin, Lucerne, 1906, 46 x 81, Private Collection

Samuel Shaw is right to remind us of the neglected Edwardian and inter-war landscape painter, Charles John Holmes. As a clever artist occupying panjandrum positions in the art world his work was arguably hidden in plain sight. Rediscovering his pictures is a bit like finding, years from now, that Sir Nicholas Serota had been quietly exhibiting all along in the New English Art Club.

Holmes began to show at the NEAC in 1900 and continued every year thereafter until his death in 1936. In the mid-eighteen-nineties he was ‘discovered’ by Charles Ricketts and Charles Haslewood Shannon, a ‘power couple’ in the art world who published his early essays in the little magazines with which they were associated. Short books followed on Hokusai (1899) and Constable (1902), with a perceptive account of contemporary collecting (1903). Continue reading

CFP: Kipling in the News – Journalism, Empire, and Decolonisation

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Kipling and John Bull, Westminster Gazette, 30 July 1900

17-18 April 2020
City, University of London
Supported by the Kipling Society

Returning to the imperial metropolis as a young writer recently graduated from his apprenticeship on Indian newspapers, Rudyard Kipling began to consolidate his literary career in London as a late Victorian man of letters. As he wrote his verses and stories, he did so ‘with a daily paper under my right elbow’, wielding this symbol of journalism as a talisman of his writerly authority. And understandably so; Kipling owed much to his years on the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and the Allahabad Pioneer, where he had documented the daily routines, social stratifications, and political tensions of colonial India under the rule of the Raj. His experience as a journalist and colonial correspondent honed his distinctive, concise prose style, and it is this pithiness that accounts for his enduring legacy in the twenty-first century as a writer often in support of – but also sometimes critical of – first British and then US Empires. Continue reading

CFP: The Threatened Child in 19th-Century Popular Fiction and Culture

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Victorian Popular Fiction Association Study Day:

The Threatened Child in Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and Culture

Friday, 20th September 2019

Humanities Institute, University College Dublin

Keynote Speaker: Professor Kathryn Hughes (University of East Anglia)

Walking Tour: Victorian Gothic Dublin, followed by dinner

VPFJ Special Issue: Following the Study Day, we will be inviting delegates to submit journal articles based on their respective papers for publication in a special issue of the VPFA journal, Victorian Popular Fictions.

www.victorianchildren.home.blog   @VPFA1    #VPFAChildren

Call for Papers:

Owing to rapid population growth coupled with high mortality rates, nineteenth-century Britain was a young society, with those under fourteen constituting from between a third to forty percent of the population. While the romantic conception of childhood as an ideal, innocent state gained widespread acceptance during the nineteenth century, at the same time the realities of child neglect, exploitation, physical and sexual abuse were well known. Across the century, legislation was enacted to address child maltreatment – improving working conditions, ensuring primary education, raising the age of consent for girls, and producing the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act in 1889. But the lived reality for many children remained grim and the resulting social issues were frequently taken up in the era’s popular fiction and culture. Continue reading

CFP: Women’s Spaces, Pleasure, and Desire in the Belle Époque

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3-4 June, 2019. St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Convenors: Sasha Rasmussen (St Hilda’s), Rhiannon Easterbrook (Women in the Humanities Post-doctoral Writing Fellow) and Mara Gold (St Hilda’s).

Even as women asserted their presence in universities and the new department stores that proliferated to cater to their desires, at the turn of the century many still imagined feminine space in traditional archetypes: the tranquillity of the home, or the exoticism of the harem. To speak of women’s spaces during the Belle Epoque, then, calls forth a host of simultaneous possibilities, ranging from the archaic to the shockingly modern, from the sensual to the cerebral. In public or in private, this conference seeks to examine the relationships between women, space, pleasure, and desire. We invite submissions that explore how different forms of women’s space competed and co-existed around the world at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, and how these represented, structured or suppressed women’s experiences of desire and pleasure.

Topics could include, but are naturally not limited to:

Continue reading

CFP: Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture

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Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s 11th Annual Conference

‘Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture’

8-10 July 2019, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London

Keynote: Chris Louttit, ‘Capturing the Spirit of Bohemia: The Life of the Artist in 1860s Popular Fiction’

Keynote: Beth Palmer, ‘Sensation Fiction and the Theatre: Braddon, Boucicault and Matters of Adaptation’

Keynote: Christopher Pittard, ‘Vanishing Points: Sidney Paget, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sherlock Holmes’

Exhibition: ‘Late-Victorian & Edwardian Paperback Fiction’, curated by John Spiers

Reading Group: ‘Altered States of Mind and Body’, hosted by James Green and Henry Bartholomew

 

Call for Papers

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular. Continue reading

Rebellious Writing: Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power (Call for Chapters)

Rebellious Writing

CALL FOR CHAPTERS FOR EDITED VOLUME

Rebellious Writing:
Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power

Edited by Lauren O’ Hagan, Cardiff University

This volume will explore ‘ordinary writing’ – that is, ‘writing that is typically unseen or ignored and is primarily defined by its status as discardable’[1] – as an important new way in which to approach the power and identity of marginalised groups in Edwardian Britain (1901-1914). The Edwardian era is often described as a period of intense social conflict and upheaval marked by a heightened awareness of class consciousness, inequality and poverty. Vast social, political and economic changes led to an increasing mobilisation of the lower classes and women, while also bringing about a rise in the number of anarchists and revolutionaries. Many of these changes, in turn, created an increasing distrust of and hostility towards the ‘other’: foreigners, Catholics, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the poor were all the target of widespread discrimination. Despite their internal differences, all of these groups had one thing in common: they used writing in a bid to voice resistance and obtain symbolic forms of power.

The editor invites chapter proposals involving high quality research drawing on diverse methodologies that advance the study of ordinary writing as a rebellious act of power in Edwardian Britain. In particular, research related to any of the following groups or inscriptive acts are welcomed:

  • The working classes; Irish nationalists; suffragettes; children; prisoners; socialists/communists; workhouse poor; Catholics; Jews; foreigners, particularly Germans and Eastern Europeans; gypsies; homosexuals; black people
  • Postcards; coins; schoolbooks; graffiti; marching banners; political posters; diaries; autograph books; calling cards; visitors’ books; scrapbooks; embroidery

Continue reading