Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Draft Programme: AVSA 2017 Conference, 14-16 June, Melbourne, Australia

Draft AVSA programme – Victorian Materialities 14-16 June 2017

Deakin University, Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street

DAY 1 –


Keynote speech
Alexis Easley

10:45 – 12:15


12:15 – 1:15
1:15 – 2:45


2:45 – 3:15
Afternoon tea
3:15 - 4:45


DAY 2 –

Plenary session

11:00 - 11:30

Morning tea
11:30 - 1:00
1:00 - 2:00
2:00 - 3:30


Afternoon activity: TBD

Conference dinner: Melba's, Langham Hotel

DAY 3 –




Morning tea


1:00 – 2:00
2:00 - 3:00
Conference close and AVSA AGM

1A: Collections and Collecting
George Isaacs’ Collection
Anne Black
Browning’s Curiosities
Jennifer McDonell
Iron, China, and Art:  Production, Consumption, Exhibition, and the Imperial Project
Dianna Vitanza

1B: Popular Fiction
‘The Inevitable White Man’: Slavery and Indenture in Jack London’s South Sea Tales
Mandy Treagus
Recalcitrant Particulars and the Probabilistic Form of the Sherlock Holmes Stories
Adam Grener
Men Blowing Hot Air: Wonder Woman: Amazonia, Feminism and Steampunk
Matthew Thompson

2A: Lives and Biographies
The Unwitting Life of Things: Reactions in Melbourne to Tolstoy’s Reading of Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata
Suzanne Robinson
‘Inlaid and Extended’: The Material Forms of Victorian Biography
Lucy Whitehead
Uncertain Provenance: Pseudo-relics and Life Writing in Serena Partridge’s ‘Accessories’ and Brontë Biographical Fiction
Amber Pouliot

2B: The Victorian Press: Past and Present
The strange case of the Queen’s etchings and the commodification of ‘intimate’ information
Ainslie Robinson
A Writer with a View:  Louise Mack on Florence, the Italian Gazette, and the English-speaking community that supported it.
Meg Tasker
Contextualising the production of the Dickensian periodical for today’s digital serial.
Susannah Oddi

3A: Science and Spirituality
Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders (1887) and The Value of Brains
Sara Lyons
The Materiality of Poetic Form and Catholic Ritual: Challenging the Social Order in the Works of Adelaide Procter and Alice Meynell
Lesa Scholl
The Devil and the Table-Spirits: A Mid-Victorian Controversy
Sarah Bartels
3B: The Emotion of Things
Setting sail into the midnight: Branwell Bronte’s Dunedin Fragment
Grace Moore and Tom McLean
‘Heavy with watching and weeping’: The eyes and emotions of The Old Curiosity Shop
Megan Nash
“The little daisy … knew that if she were torn out she would die”: Environmental
Empathy in English Versions of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale Literature
Victoria Tedeschi
4A: Making and Selling the Colonial Book
‘Marvellous Melbourne’ and its Publishers
Lucy Sussex
E.W. Cole: Cosmopolitan things and thoughts
Tanja Luckins
Negotiating the (im)material: Editorial Practice in Nineteenth-Century Australia
Jocelyn Hargrave
5A: Recording and Memorialising
Keeping Records on Women: Prisoner Registers in the Victorian Colony
Vicky Nagy
Where the Dead Men Lie: A Case Study of a Rural Community's Commemorative Response
Lynne Dore
Soldiers of the Queen: Remembering and Forgetting
Bronwyn Hughes

5B: The Materiality of the Book
Victorian Madurai Illustrated: The Cultural Logic and Commodity of Victorian India
Divya Athmanathan
'Chaste and Rich': Gender and the Victorian Material Book
Maura Ives
The Owner Bound Volume: Collector’s Album, Family Artefact or Cultural Object?
Clare Gleeson
 6A: Literary Objects
Isabel Archer acquires an expatriate husband: objects, acculturation and marriage in Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady

Claire Thomas
Squirreling heart-beats and leather-clad books: the materiality of George Eliot’s Middlemarch and contemporary speculative realism
Susan Pyke
Intimacy and Exchange: Affective Objects in George Eliot’s Middlemarch
Francesca Kavanagh
Thomas Carlyle and the Significance in Things: Victorian Materiality and the Romance of the Real
Lowell T. Frye

6B: The Domestic Interior
A Queen Made Material: The Powerful Place of Queen Victoria's Image in the Nineteenth-Century Australian Domestic Interior
Kim Clayton-Greene
‘Investigation: Travels in the Boudoir: Permeable Boundaries of a Material World’
Judith Johnston
"To touch for a moment, the lustrous past": household objects, furnishings and space, and the Victorian country house servant.
Ellen O’Brien

7A: Art and Culture
Seeing, Reading, Understanding: The Role of Art in Victorian Literature
Elizabeth J. Deis
Stretched on an ottoman’: Representations of Turquerie in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Ann Erskine
British Goths and British Romans at Beijing’s Summer Palace

Chris Murray

7B: Childhood
'Teaching by things rather than words': China in Victorian Children's Games, Toy Collections, and Picture Books
Shih-Wen Sue Chen
Thomas Barnardo, Children and Material Culture
Kristine Moruzi
The Doll Protagonist in 19th Century Literature
Fiona McDonald

8A: Visual art
“A gigantic botanical postage-stamp album”:  The Marianne North Gallery
Shale Preston
Objects Conceptualized: Reflections on James Whistler’s “Gentle Art” of Anti-Materialism
Yi-Ching Teng
Otago Ceramics in Victorian New Zealand
Moira White

8B: Clothing and Bodies
Material Maternity: The Clothes, Bodies, and 'Things' of Victorian Mothers
Catriona Fisk
“Not Always an Obvious Analogy”: Sartorial Materialities and Narratives of Illicit Sexuality in George Moore’s A Drama in Muslin
Madeleine C. Seys
Bound in the Narratives of the Past: Intersections of Transgression and Purity in H. Rider Haggard's She
Charlotte Kelso

The Gaskell Journal: Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student Essay Prize 2018

The Gaskell Journal
Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student
Essay Prize 2018

Deadline for submissions: 1st February 2018

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

The essay competition is open to all graduate students currently registered for an MA or PhD in Victorian Studies. Entries are invited that offer an original contribution to the field of Gaskell studies, whether by reading her works in relation to Victorian cultural, religious, aesthetic and scientific contexts, or through innovative close readings enlightened by critical theory, or a comparative study connecting Gaskell’s with another author’s work.  Essays will be shortlisted by the Gaskell Journal Editorial Board, with the final judgment being made by a leading scholar in Gaskell studies.

The winning essay will be published in the Gaskell Journal (subject to appropriate revisions), and its author will receive £200 from the Gaskell Society, and a complimentary copy of the Journal. High quality runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Essays should be 6000-7000 words, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please see the Gaskell Journal website for the stylesheet (MHRA with endnotes), and for the form to submit with your anonymised essay:

Please submit these directly to the Editor Dr Rebecca Styler by/on 1st February 2018, who can also answer any inquiries.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

CFP: AVSA 2017 Conference, "Victorian Materialities", Deakin University, Australia (Deadline extended: 27 Feb 2017)

Call for Papers
Victorian Materialities, AVSA Conference 
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
14-16 June 2017
Keynote speaker: Alexis Easley (University of St Thomas)
Deadline now extended to 27 February 2017.

In The Buried Life of Things: How Objects Made History in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2014), Simon Goldhill observes that the profusion of objects inhabiting a Victorian drawing room “speaks insistently not simply of a history of taste, but also of the interconnected forces of the industrial revolution, which changes the modes of the production of things, and the imperial project, which changes the modes of circulation of material objects and their owners”. This interdisciplinary conference on “Victorian Materialities” takes up the “material turn” in Victorian Studies to examine the cultural meanings and significance attached to material objects by contemporaries. It aims to explore how objects both produced and reflected Victorian culture. In an era in which the industrial revolution rapidly urbanised Britain and escalated the production and consumption of goods, “things” came to have an increasingly intimate, and sometimes porous, relationship with human experience since the material world was almost always open to self fashioning. A critical focus on material objects can reveal a wealth of information about their users.

We invite papers that explore any aspect of Victorian material culture. Possible topics include:
- The expansion of commodity culture and department stores
- The circulation of goods throughout the British Empire
- Colonialism and “portable property”
- Displays and practices of collecting
- The Great Exhibition
- Periodicals and advertising
- The book as material object
- Cosmetics, clothing and bodies
- Dirt, cleanliness, and sanitation
- The Victorian household and domestic objects
- Visual culture (photographs, paintings, illustrations)
- Representation of objects in literature
- The Victorians and industry
- Space, architecture and design
- Science and technology
- Material culture and gender
- Affect, emotion and sensation

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Michelle Smith  along with a brief biographical note of approximately 100 words. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

CFP: "Family Ties" Symposium, 12-14 February 2017, University of Otago, Dunedin

Adam Walker and  His Family by George Romney (1796-1801)
(c) National Portrait Gallery, London
Family Ties: Exploring Kinship and Creative Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain
12-14 February 2017, Dunedin New Zealand

Plenary Speakers:
Judith Pascoe, University of Iowa
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University

Conference website

In 1800, poet and playwright Joanna Baillie dedicated her Series of Plays to her physician brother Matthew Baillie for his “unwearied zeal and brotherly partiality”; Matthew himself had recently edited the anatomical research of their uncles, John and William Hunter. At century’s end, Oscar Wilde cited his mother Jane Wilde’s translation of Sidonia the Sorceress (1849) and his great-uncle Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) as his “favourite romantic reading when a boy.” Family played an important role in the literary and artistic productions of the long nineteenth century, from the Burneys to the Brontës, and the Rossettis to the Doyles. Critical approaches ranging from Noel Annan’s “Intellectual Aristocracy” to Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory have provided useful ways of assessing and contextualising the role of family in the creative production of writers and artists, but still the role of the family remains underexplored.

Invitation for submissions
We invite submissions for “Family Ties,” a three-day symposium at the University of Otago and Otago Museum focused on British literary and artistic families in the nineteenth century. Topics for 20-minute papers might include:

Interdisciplinary Influences
Collaborations and/or Dissents
Authorial Identity/ies
Communities and Networks
Families and Emotions
Redefining Family Units
Stages of Life (births, marriages, deaths)
Reimaginings of nineteenth-century families
Families, Creativity, and Empire
Economics of Family Authorship
Literary and Artistic Legacies
Little-known Relations
Generational Influences
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words by 15 November to Dr Thomas McLean and Dr Ruth Knezevich at

The symposium coincides with “Keeping it in the Family: British and Irish Literary Generations 1770-1930,” an exhibition at Otago’s Special Collections, and precedes the 16–19 February RSAA conference in Wellington, New Zealand. There are direct flights between Dunedin and Wellington, and we hope many participants will attend both events. “Family Ties” is made possible by generous support from the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. It will be an opportunity to share the first results of the three-year Marsden funded project, “Global Romantics: How the Porter Family Shaped Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature.”

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

CFP: Special Edition of AJVS: Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia (abstracts due 29 Feb 2016)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Paolo and Francesca
da Rimini
1867. National Gallery of Victoria,
CFP – Special Edition of AJVS: Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia 

The Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies is pleased to announce a Special Issue on ‘Pre-Raphaelitism in Australasia’ to be published in late 2016. Inspired by Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Exhibition and Symposium at the National Gallery of Victoria in July 2015, this Special Issue invites papers from both the Symposium and others conducting research in this field.

Australasian collections of Pre-Raphaelite works are now recognised by the wider international community as integral to the understanding of the movement. The NGV’s rich holdings are especially renowned as they include many important works by Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Ford Madox Brown, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and others.

In addition to important holdings of major British Pre-Raphaelite works, there is an increasingly well-documented body of Australasian artists and writers who knew, worked with and were inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites.  Publication of new work in this field will enhance understandings of how the concepts, techniques and ideals of Pre-Raphaelitism were interpreted and developed in the colonies.

To that end, we invite papers exploring the visual culture, literary, or historical aspects of Pre-Raphaelitism or the related Arts and Crafts movement in Australasia. Papers should be 5-7,000 words in length, and we strongly encourage illustrations, although authors will need to arrange permissions themselves and provide documentation to the editors.

The special issue is being guest-edited by Alison Inglis and Nancy Langham-Hooper together with AJVS editor Meg Tasker, and will be published on the open-access Online Journal System hosted by Sydney e-Scholarships Publishing.

Contributors are invited to send an abstract of 250-300 words to by 29 February 2016.  Full papers will be due by 4 April, and must be submitted online, with abstract. New users will need to create a login and password at:

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Call for Chapters: International Migrations in the Victorian Era (Ed. Marie Ruiz) [Abstracts due 1 April 2016]

Call for Chapters: International Migrations in the Victorian Era, Leiden: Brill, 2017.
Edited by Marie Ruiz (Université Paris Diderot, LARCA)

Migration in the Victorian era has been identified as a paramount feature of the history of worldwide migrations and diasporas. Contrary to popular belief, the Victorian era was not only marked by an
extensive exodus from Britain to the USA and the British colonies, but the Victorians also experienced a great degree of inward migration with the arrival of Catholic Irish, and oppressed Jews and Germans among others. Inward, outward and internal movements were sometimes a  response to economic hardships and employment opportunities, but this  cannot solely explain the extent of international migrations in the Victorian era.

In the Victorian period, mass migration played a significant role in shaping the nation’s identity, as well as Britain’s relationships with the outside world. This raises the question of the impact of migrations on the Motherland, as the Victorian migration trends also attracted numerous immigrants and transmigrants, who ended up remaining in Britain rather than emigrating to the USA or the British colonies. Yet, while the origins of these immigrants and transmigrants are now difficult to trace, the question of their potential impact on
the Victorian society needs to be addressed. Fears of racial degeneracy permeated the Victorian discourses on migration, and demographic and social balances were expected to be reached through people's displacements.

This edited volume aims at offering a global perspective on international migrations in the Victorian era including emigration, immigration and internal migration within Britain. Papers relating to the following themes, though not exclusively, are welcome:

Child migration
Civilising missions
Community migrations
Cultural and artistic migrations
Emigration and philanthropy
Emigration and Trade-Unions
Emigration societies
Factors determining migration
Family migration and individual migration
Female migrants and reproductive labour
Female migration in the Victorian era
Forced migration
Free passages to the New Worlds
Impact of demographics on migration
Impact of industrialisation on migration
Indentured migration
Internal migration / rural exodus
Invisible migrants
Inward migration/outward migration
Labour transportation
Land grants
Middle-class migration
Migrant stories and diaries
Migration and Empire-building
Migration and patriotism
Migration and surplus populations
Migration in the press
Migration and the Transport Revolution
Migration and xenophobia
Migration in the visual arts
Migration on screen: representing Victorian migration
Migration regulations and public policies
Migration within the British Isles
Missions and missionaries
Networks of migrations
Patterns of migration
Ports of emigration
Poverty-related migration
Promoting migration
Religious migration
Seasonal and permanent migrations
Servitude migration
Settlement patterns
Trade migration
Transmigration through Britain
Voluntary migration / involuntary migration

350-word abstracts, along with short academic biographies, should be  submitted to The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 1, 2016.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Deadline extension: AVSA 2016, "Victorian Margins", 7-9 July 2016 (17 Feb 2016)

Extended deadline: Call for papers: AVSA 2016, "Victorian Margins",  Ballarat, Victoria, 7-9 July 2016 (Abstracts now due 17 Feb 2016)
Keynote speaker:  Prof. Joseph Bristow (UCLA)

In 2016, AVSA will join the Australasian Historical Association conference in Ballarat from 5-8 July, with a stream of AVSA papers and Keynote scheduled on 7-8 July, and a program of local sightseeing on Sat 9 July.  This is a welcome opportunity to connect with Australasian colleagues in history with shared interests in the long 19th century, and for AVSA members to visit one of Australia's finest Victorian cities. The conference will be held in Ballarat's historical precinct.  Delegates may wish to allow time to explore local sites such as the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute's extensive library of 19th-century books, periodicals and newspapers.

AVSA's Keynote Speaker will be Professor Joseph Bristow (UCLA), on “Homosexual Blackmail in the 1890s,” drawing on research for his new study of Oscar Wilde’s two criminal trials.
Papers (20 minutes) or panel proposals (2-3 papers) are invited on the AVSA conference theme ‘Victorian Margins’ – some possible angles include:

geographic margins (in the UK; in the Empire; elsewhere)
marginalised groups (marginalised by ethnicity; class; sexuality; region; nationality)
temporal margins (1830s; fin de siecle)
marginalised forms of culture
economic margins (profits and losses; costs and benefits)
margins as gaps
margins as liminal spaces
marginal values
margins and centres

The AVSA stream committee welcomes papers relating to Victorian Margins from any discipline in the humanities. Proposals consisting of an abstract (400 words), together with a brief author bio/note of affiliation (particularly for postgraduates) , should be submitted to Meg Tasker by 17 February 2016.

Those who would like to have their papers considered for an issue of the Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies on the theme, please indicate this with your abstract and aim to have the paper in a suitable form for publication as well as oral delivery by the time of the conference.  Thanks!

The Australian History Association theme is ‘From Boom to Bust.’ AVSA members may offer papers on either theme, or neither, but all paper-givers must be financial members of either AVSA or AHA.  Registration details available early in 2016, and venues will be in Ballarat CBD.

Please note that this joint conference is being organised by the Collaborative Research Centre for Australian History at Federation University, with Dr Jolanta Nowak as Administrative Officer.  General enquiries to: please.