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
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
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:
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
Harold Gilman, Canal Bridge, Flekkefjord, c.1913
Edwardian scholars – including not one, not two, not three, but four of the contributors to our recent book – will be out in force at Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide, a two-day international and interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Birmingham on the 9th and 10th of April. We will be hosting a panel in the afternoon of the first day called ‘Locating Edwardian Culture’, and enjoying all the other panels on what promises to be a really stimulating event. Read more about the conference here. There are only two days left to register, so if you are thinking of attending (only £10 a day), do so sooner rather than later!
Registration is now open for our fourth annual conference – ‘The Spirit of Speed: Edwardian Culture on the Move’, which will be held at the University of Lancaster on the 9th September. The conference is being held in association with the wonderful Edwardian Postcard Project and has been kindly supported by the Centre for Mobilities Research. Registration costs only £15, which includes lunch and tea on the day.
You can register for the event here. Please e-mail email@example.com with any queries. A draft programme will be circulated shortly.
The Spirit of Speed: Culture on the Move in Edwardian Britain
University of Lancaster, 8th-9th September, 2017
‘Before us stretched the deserted road; we could trace it for miles and miles, a long line of grey in a vastness of green space that faded into blue, rising and falling with the rise and fall of the hills. Then the spirit of speed took possession of us, the fascination and the frenzy of speed for speed’s sake […] We had escaped from the fetters that bind man to earth; we were intoxicated with a new-born sense of splendid freedom; without exertion or effort we lightly skimmed the ground […] We were rushing into infinity.’ (James Hissey, An English Holiday with Car and Camera, 1909)
The fourth annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network will be held at the University of Lancaster this coming September, in association with the Edwardian Postcard Project. Taking our lead from James Hissey’s 1909 evocation of travelling in a motor car, or H.G. Wells’s equally-breathless sea-bound finale to Tono-Bungay – we will be exploring the ‘spirit of speed’, as represented, reflected, challenged or wilfully ignored by British culture c.1895-1914. We invite 300-word proposals for papers on any aspect of this theme. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
- Culture on the move: the significance of postcards, advertisements, newspapers, travelling exhibitions, etc.
- Reactions to new technologies: motor cars, steam turbines, radio, film, etc.
- Speed and freedom: travel, independence and access.
- Rushing into infinity: Speed and the representation of time in art.
- Placing the brakes on speed: antidotes to the quickening pace of life: stillness, slowness and spirituality.
- Speed and exchange: The impact of Atlantic crossings on Anglo-American culture.
We will accept proposals for 15 minute presentations and panels; we are also happy to consider experimental approaches and poster ideas. Please e-mail proposals (not exceeding 500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications is June 4th, 2017. Participants from inside and outside academia are equally welcome!
“There is a kind of turn in our sentences which is alike but that is because we are worms of the same family.” (Katherine Mansfield)
Recent scholarship on the complicated friendship between Katherine Mansfield and her bestselling author cousin, Elizabeth von Arnim, has done much to shed light on the complex literary and personal connections between these unlikely friends. In spite of their difference in age and outlook on life, von Arnim and Mansfield shared more than just antipodean family connections. Mansfield’s narrator in her early collection of short stories, In a German Pension, bears marked resemblances with the protagonist of Elizabeth and Her German Garden, and von Arnim’s most radical novel, Vera, was written at the height of her intimate friendship with Mansfield. John Middleton Murry dedicated his posthumous collection of Mansfield’s poems to ‘Elizabeth of the German Garden’. Continue reading
Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910, Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art – the largest collection of British art outside the UK – reopened this week after a sixteen-month building conservation project. The re-installation of the collection tells the story of British art from the sixteenth century to the present day, while a special exhibition focuses on the collection of the late Rhoda Pritzker, who purchased a wide range of twentieth-century paintings and sculpture. Several works from the long Edwardian era can currently be seen in the galleries, including the ten images listed below:
- Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910
- Walter Sickert, Carolina dell’Acqua, 1903-4
- Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell at her Easel, 1914
- Augustus John, Dorelia in the Garden at Alderney Manor, Dorset, c.1911
- Roger Fry, The Artist’s Garden at Durbins, Guildford, c.1915
- Alfred Munnings, Gypsy Life — The Hop Pickers, 1913
- Frank Brangwyn, Departure of the Bucintoro, 1910
- Charles Ginner, Design for Tiger Hunting Mural in the Cabaret Theatre Club, 1912
- Gwen John, Study of a Nun, Seated at a Table, c.1915
- Spencer Gore, Cambrian Road, Richmond, 1914
Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:
Modernity and the Shock of the Ancient:
The Reception of Antiquity in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century
June 10th, 2016, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Two personalities fought for possession of his soul, and he could not always keep back the lower of the two. They interpenetrated…something very, very old projected upon a modern screen. (Algernon Blackwood, The Wave: An Egyptian Aftermath, 1916)
The ancient world was vital to what it meant to be ‘modern’ at the turn of the last century. Yet antique reception in this period is vastly understudied in all areas except that of classical Greece and Rome. At a time when the looting or wholesale destruction of non Graeco-Roman ancient sites is creating new public interest in their importance to modern cultures around the world, it is crucial that this narrow picture is reconsidered.
We invite abstracts for a one -day interdisciplinary conference at the Ashmolean Museum on June 10th, 2016. This conference will re-evaluate the reception of the ancient past in the late 19th and early 20th century, and its relation to constructions of ‘modernity’. It will explore the reception of a geographically diverse antiquity – from Greece and Rome to Egypt, Mesopotamia and East Asia – in a variety of spheres including literature, public art and architecture, museum exhibitions, cinema, and consumer goods. As a new century began, the ‘ancient’ was signalling the ‘modern’ in both popular and high avant-garde culture, and was harnessed to a range of (often opposing) political agendas. In the process, a ‘new’ antiquity was born, the study of which illuminates what it means to be both ‘modern’ and ‘Western’, today as much as in the early 20th century. Continue reading