Thursday, 25 June 2015

CFP: Texts and Contexts: The Cultural Legacies of Ada Lovelace (Deadline 28 Aug 2015)

Texts and Contexts: The Cultural Legacies of Ada Lovelace

“That brain of mine is more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

A workshop for graduate students and early career researchers
Tuesday 8th December 2015, Mathematics Institute and St Anne’s College, Oxford

The mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of poet Lord Byron, is celebrated as a pioneer of computer science. The notes she added to her translation of Luigi Menabrea’s paper on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine (1843) are considered to contain a prototype computer program. During her short life, Lovelace not only contributed original ideas to the plans for this early computer; she also imagined wider possibilities for the engine, such as its application to music, and meditated on its limitations. Lovelace leaves a legacy not just as a computer scientist, but also as a muse for literary writers, a model to help us understand the role of women in science in the nineteenth century, and an inspiration for neo-Victorian and steampunk traditions.

As part of the University of Oxford’s celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Lovelace’s birth, this one-day workshop will bring together graduates and early career researchers to discuss the varied cultural legacies of this extraordinary mathematician. The day will feature an expert panel including graphic novelist Sydney Padua and biographer Richard Holmes.

The day will conclude with a reception and buffet when there will be opportunities to meet with speakers from the Ada Lovelace 200 Symposium, which will also take place in the Mathematics Institute on the following two days (9th-10th December). Researchers from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for papers on the influences of Lovelace’s work, on topics including, but not limited to, literature, history, mathematics, music, visual art, and computer science. This might include:

Lovelace’s place in the study of the history of science.
Lovelace and women in science in the nineteenth century
Early nineteenth-century scientific networks, including Lovelace’s relationship with such individuals as Charles Babbage and Mary Somerville.
Lovelace and discussions about the role of the imagination in scientific practice in the nineteenth century.
Lovelace as translator and commentator.
Mathematics and music, and the musical possibilities Lovelace envisaged for Babbage’s engine.
Lovelace’s own textual legacies, such as her correspondence, childhood exercises and mathematical notes held in the Bodleian.
Lovelace’s technological legacies, from her seminal work on Babbage’s Analytical Engine to her impact on computer programming today.
Lovelace’s role in the steampunk tradition, from Gibson and Sterling’s The Difference Engine to Sydney Padua’s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, and neo-Victorian fashion.
Efforts and activities to commemorate and memorialise Lovelace, from the recent Google Doodle to the annual Ada Lovelace Day.

Proposals, not exceeding 250 words, for 15-minute papers should be submitted to by 5pm, Friday 28th August 2015. Those who are accepted to speak at this graduate workshop will also be offered free registration for the Ada Lovelace 200 Symposium taking place on the following two days. For more information, please visit

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Conference news: The Arts and Feeling in 19th-Century Literature and Culture, Birkbeck College, 16-18 July 2015

The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Birkbeck College, University of London 16th – 18th July 2015

Keynote Speakers: Caroline Arscott, Tim Barringer, Meaghan Clarke, Kate Flint, Hilary Fraser, Michael Hatt, Lynda Nead, Jonah Siegel, Alison Smith

This conference will explore the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors and musicians imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. It aims to map the state of the field in this growing area of interest for nineteenth-century scholars by locating recent interdisciplinary work on sentimentality and art and writing and the senses within wider debates
about the relationship between psychology and aesthetics in the long-nineteenth century.

Speakers will investigate the physiology and psychology of aesthetic perception and the mind/body interactions at play in the experience of a wide range of arts. Key questions include: How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions? The conference includes a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Curating Feeling’ with speakers Michael Hatt, Lynda Nead and Alison Smith.

To register for the conference, please visit:

Places are limited.

Please address any questions to Dr. Victoria Mills at

More information will be available soon at

Thursday, 30 April 2015

CFP: Special issue of Victorian Network on the Victorian Brain (Deadline: 15 Aug. 2015)

Victorian Network is an open-access, MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best postgraduate and early career work across the broad field of Victorian Studies. We are delighted to announce that our eleventh issue (Winter 2015) will be guest edited by Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), on the theme of the Victorian Brain.

In the nineteenth century, the discipline of psychology, or the science of the mind, underwent a profound reorientation: a reorientation which was both fuelled by contemporary literature, and which influenced that literature’s form and content. Investigating the mind’s workings was the joint project of such diverse parties as authors and poets; natural scientists and doctors; but also the public, as citizen scientists. Phrenology and the legibility of physiognomy remained central concerns. Simultaneously, medical research created a counterweight to eighteenth-century folk psychology and pseudoscience. Observation of mentally-ill asylum inmates offered another route into the human psyche. These asylums in turn experienced restructuring, turning from spaces of “[chains], straw, filthy solitude, darkness and starvation” (Dickens) in the eighteenth century, to institutions implementing “moral management” by 1900.

Mid-Victorians discussed the human brain extensively in both popular literature and specialized periodicals, ranging in disciplines from natural and medical sciences to literature and philosophy. The Journal of Mental Science and Dickens’s Household Words are but two examples from different sides of that spectrum. As these widespread discussions destabilized longstanding convictions including the supremacy of the mind and the integrated self, these convictions’ intricate connections to cultural concerns including gender and class grew evident. Investigations in all possible directions proliferated, bringing (especially in the century’s closing decades) rapid disciplinary changes in neuroscience (e.g. through the work of William Richard Gowers), psychology and psychotherapy.

The examination of human consciousness also occurred in the nineteenth-century novel. The period’s novelists had such a significant part in shaping the discourse on the mind not least because, in the words of Karen Chase, they “did not inherit a supple and illuminating picture of the mind, but […] had to construct it for themselves, taking insights where they found them.”

We invite submissions of around 7,000 words on any aspect of the theme. Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:

•    The novel as shaping and shaped by discourses on psychology, the mind, and the brain.
•    Mental science and poetry; the “psychological monologue”.
•    Animal dissection and vivisection.
•    The brain as central organ of the nervous system, mind and body as connected; the concept of the mental faculties; the soul as (no longer) extra-corporeal; religion vs scientific psychology. The senses.
•    The mind as culturally formed; national and international conceptions of psychology.
•    The gendered brain and its implications (gender as a universal taxonomy).
•    The Victorian mind in childhood.
•    The theatrical brain: displaying thought and memory on the Victorian stage; depicting mental illness and madness; character interiority; psychology and actor training.
•    Altered states of mind: drug use; mesmerism, hypnosis and trance; dreams and daydreams; somnambulis.
•    Memory and/or trauma; memory and objects (from diaries to post-mortem photography). Sites and cultures of remembering and forgetting.
•    Different disciplines and disciplinary developments: evolutionary and developmental psychology. Psychoanalysis: pre-Freudian concepts of the psyche.
•    Mental illness: asylums, “moral management”; depression; delusions; puerperal disorders; links between mental and bodily health.
•    Insanity and the law  (criminality, legislation, fitness to stand trial); the development of forensic psychology; insanity and sensation.
•    Automatism and volition: new conceptions of the unconscious (e.g. as possessing agency); the unconscious vs habit and self-discipline: automatism, responsibility and accountability.
•    4e cognition (embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition) and Victorian literature and culture.
•     “wound culture”: its roots in the industrial nineteenth century, and the attendant renegotiation of private identity in public terms.
•    Neo-Victorian representations of any issue outlined above.
All submissions should conform to MHRA house style and the in-house submission guidelines. Submissions should be received by 15 August 2015. Contact:

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

CFP: 'The Victorians and Memory', AJVS special issue (Deadline: 10 Aug 2015)

AJVS is a refereed multi-disciplinary journal published by the Australasian Victorian Studies Association (AVSA), with articles in Victorian Studies welcome from any disciplinary or cross-disciplinary area of the humanities, particularly from Australasian scholars or on topics relating to the region. While this call is for a special issue, papers on other topics/themes for general issues may also be submitted via the OJS system (see below for link to register, login, and submit).

Special Issue, 'The Victorians and Memory'. Deadline 10 August 2015

Following on from the recent AVSA Conference in Auckland, and inspired by the great range of papers given there, the Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies is calling for papers relating to this theme. Topics may include but are not limited to print culture, poetics, museums, science, hauntings, historiography, memory (and forgetting), colonial and post-colonial memory, politics, memorials, biography, memoir, art, film, theatre.  Authors need not have presented at the conference, and any papers that were delivered should be reworked as scholarly articles before submission to the Journal - please see the ‘Author Guidelines’ at the AJVS website.

Papers should be 5-7,000 words in length, be accompanied by an abstract, and use MLA style citations. Please register and submit via the online journal’s website.

Co-editors for this issue will be Professor Joanne Wilkes, University of Auckland and Assoc. Prof. Meg Tasker, Federation University Australia,  If you have any problems with the online registration or submission process, you may email the Journal Manager, Dr Kris Moruzi or Meg Tasker as General Editor.  Please note that the Journal will be moving to a new publishing system at the end of the year, so submissions after August may not be able to be lodged online. The new server/host will be announced once confirmed. We expect to use the same software and will continue to operate as a free open-access journal.  All back issues will be preserved.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Extended CFP: ICVWW, From Bronte to Bloomsbury (6-7 July 2015)

The deadline has been extended for the ICVWW From Bronte to Bloomsbury
Second International Conference: Reassessing Women Writers of the 1860s and 1870s.

Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th July 2015, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
Keynote speakers: Prof Lyn Pykett (Aberystwyth) and Prof Adrienne Gavin (ICVWW)

Including the work of canonical authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, the project is also significantly concerned with rediscovering and repositioning the lives and work of neglected female authors.

Following the project's very successful first conference in 2014, devoted to women's writing of the 1840s and 1850s, this call for papers seeks proposals for papers that explore the range and vitality of British women's writing from 1860-1879. Particularly welcome are papers which encourage new perspectives on literary genre, the critical reception of women writers, or canon formation.

The 1860s and 1870s saw the beginning of an organised 'Women's Movement' and a heightened awareness of the subversive potential of female authorship. Fears for the moral health of the nation were exacerbated by the Girl of the Period and the explosion of 'sensation' novels in the wake
of Lady Audley's Secret and East Lynne ; respectable women campaigned against The Contagious Diseases Acts, Queen Victoria was widowed and the Married Women's Property Act was passed.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  *   Sensation fiction and crime writing
  *   Novels of the 'neglected' 1870s
  *   Literary censorship
  *   Journalism and periodical writing
  *   Letters, diaries and memoirs
  *   Children's literature
  *   Lesser known women writers such as Rhoda Broughton, Anne Thackeray Ritchie etc

2015 marks the centenary of the death of Mary Braddon, Queen of the Circulating Libraries and key popular writer of the 1860s. Material from the Braddon Archive, held privately from her death until it was deposited with the ICVWW in 2012, will be displayed during the conference, which will also include a round table in collaboration with the Mary Elizabeth Braddon Association.

300 word abstracts and a 100-150 word biographical note can now be sent to the organisers Adrienne Gavin, Carolyn Oulton and Alyson Hunt at <> by the new deadline: 30 April 2015.

CFP: Neo-Victorianism and Discourses of Education, Special issue of Neo-Victorian Studies

Special Issue of Neo-Victorian Studies – extended deadline: 15 October 2015

The nineteenth century saw the beginnings of mass education in Britain and elsewhere, while the more recent millennial turn has seen a range of reforms and ‘revolutions’ within educational systems world-wide, not least the insistent commercialisation of universities and a concomitant move to redefining educators and students as ‘service providers’ and ‘customers’ respectively. A large number of neo-Victorian novels are set in or engage with educational contexts, including universities, libraries, anatomy schools, private tutoring/governessing, ragged schools, and art colleges, mirroring the settings and concerns with Bildung in canonical works by Victorian writers such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and others.

Just as significantly, however, are contemporary self-conscious engagements with inherited nineteenth-century ideas regarding the purposes and ethos of education, such as character building, civic identity formation, the connection between personal and societal development, issues of widening access, the inculcation of moral values and national ideologies, and the perception that education systems serve as ‘engines’ of the economy. Then as now, however, prevalent concerns and anxieties about the achievements and failings of education hardly constituted a monolithic uncontested discourse; rather they divided public opinion and provoked continuous political and societal debate, much as these same concerns continue to do today.

This special issue will explore how neo-Victorian works contribute to this on-going debate by foregrounding the ‘origins’ of modern-day educational systems and approaches. What particular aspects of nineteenth-century education are highlighted and why? What are the main points of contention? How do today’s politicians appropriate (past) educational discourses for party-specific agendas? To what extent are nineteenth-century educational models proposed as alternatives to present-day problems in education? What nineteenth-century educational aims and ideals are depicted as still unfulfilled and unrealised? Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following:
·         the discourse of universal access and the move to ‘mass’ higher education
·         education as a means for national progress and economic development
·         Gradgrindean echoes of educational utilitarianism and measurable outcomes (performance statistics, league tables, proportional admission targets for economically disadvantaged groups, etc.)
·         representations and biofictions of educators and students past and present
·         curriculum changes and modifications, including tailoring courses to ‘consumer’ demand, the high proportion of nineteenth-century content (e.g. slavery, the British Empire, the US Civil War), links to conservative political agendas, targeted funding, and the recent valorisation of  Science and Technology over the disparaged Arts and Humanities
·         higher education, universities,  and the growing centrality of research and publication to institutional identities since the nineteenth century
·         Bildung and the Bildungsroman tradition (the idea of character formation, education in civic responsibilities, education as nation-building, etc.)
·         desired outcomes (the ideal of rational autonomy, personal development, societal prosperity and progress, production of a skilled workforce, national and international competitiveness, graduate attributes, etc.)
·         the emergence of disciplines at the nineteenth-century fin-de-siècle vs. more recent moves towards interdisciplinary teaching and research
·         the ethos of future pasts: nineteenth-century models, unrealised ambitions, and anticipated trajectories in education systems
·         discourses of liberal humanism and neo-liberalism, the impact on education of laissez-faire economics, and the revitalisation of (Smiles’) ‘self-help’ discourse
·         education and creativity, including Ruskinean notions of curiosity, mystery and wonder, discursive constructions of creativity, and the harnessing of creativity for  capitalism
·         education, industry, and the shift to a knowledge-based society in the information age

Please address enquiries and expressions of interest to the guest editors Frances Kelly at and Judith Seaboyer at Completed articles and/or creative pieces, along with a short biographical note, will be due by 15 October 2015 and should be sent via email to the guest editors, with a copy to Please consult the NVS website (‘Submission Guidelines’) for further guidance.

Friday, 6 March 2015

New Issue of The Eighth Lamp: Ruskin Studies Today

The ninth issue of The Eighth Lamp: Ruskin Studies Today (ISSN 2049-3215) is now online.
The new home of the journal is
and the latest issue is available here. Current and past issues can now be downloaded directly.

Some highlights are:

─ Cynthia Gamble, Review of Marriage of Inconvenience by Robert Brownell. London: Pallas Athene, 2013… 33
─ Anita Grants, Review of Building Ruskin's Italy: Watching Architecture by Stephen Kite. London: Ashgate, 2012… 37
─ Rachel Dickinson, Review of Novel Craft: Victorian Domestic Handicraft & Nineteenth-Century Fiction by Talia Schaffer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011… 40
─ Anita Grants, Review of Exhibition, John Ruskin: Artist and Observer. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 14 February–11 May 2014 [Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh 4 July–28 September 2014], curated by Christopher Newall and Conal Shields… 43
─ “Swift visions of centuries”: Langdale Linen, Songs of the Spindle, and the Revolutionary Potential of the Book by Patrick Mcdonald… 46
─ John Ruskin and the characterisation of ‘word-painting’ in the nineteenth century by Marjorie Cheung… 62

The Eighth Lamp: Ruskin Studies Today (ISSN 2049-3215) invites contributors to submit scholarly papers (8,000-10,000 or 3500-4000 words), ideas for book reviews, exhibition reviews, news and events, titles of publications and projects in progress, and creative work and abstracts related to John Ruskin and related nineteenth century scholarship. Scholarly papers should be submitted at least six to eight months in advance to allow for the refereeing and revisions process. Please email submissions directly to the editors at

The Eighth Lamp is an online and double blind refereed journal led and managed by Professor (Dr) Anuradha Chatterjee (Founding Editor and Co-Editor), and Dr Laurence Roussillon-Constanty (Co-Editor), Senior Lecturer in English, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France. The journal is also complemented by a ten strong Editorial Board that provides intellectual and pedagogical support and leadership to the journal. The scope of The Eighth Lamp is multidisciplinary and it welcomes submissions related to art, religion, historiography, social criticism, tourism, economics, philosophy, science, architecture, photography, preservation, cinema, and theatre. The journal is circulated to over 100 scholars and academics internationally. The journal is listed in key Victorian studies and nineteenth century literature, culture, and visual studies forums. The Facebook page is

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

MA Scholarships in British Romanticism at the University of Otago

Applications are now being accepted for two Marsden-funded MA scholarships on the topic of British Romanticism. Candidates will write a thesis under the supervision of Dr Thomas McLean at the University of Otago. Scholarships are for one year, include fees and thesis costs up to NZ$6750 for domestic students (New Zealand and Australian), and carry a stipend of NZ$16,000.

Dr McLean’s Marsden Fund project focuses on the Porter family: historical novelists Jane and Anna Maria Porter and their brother the artist and traveller Sir Robert Ker Porter. He especially welcomes projects that focus on the Porters’ writings or associated topics: the historical novel; Romantic-era travel in Russia, Persia, or South America; the literary family as global network.

Interested students should write to Dr McLean:
with a brief introduction and a possible topic.

Further information about the Otago Research Master’s is available at the following links: