Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Victorian Systems and Standardization (11/15/2009)

Congress 2010: Victorian Studies Association of Ontario/ Association of Canadian
College and University Teachers of English Joint Session


Our little systems have their day…
Tennyson, In Memoriam, Prologue, st. 5

From the factory to the railway, the telegraph to the postal service, the growth of empire to the establishment of national educational curricula, the nineteenth century was marked by large-scale impositions of system, and by a concurrent emphasis on the standardization of objects, concepts, and people. This panel seeks to explore the imbrications of system and standardization throughout the Victorian era, and to examine how the concept of rationalized organization was imagined and understood by Victorians. How did the generalized abstraction inherent in the process of standardization shape the lived experience of individuals? What supra-individual needs were anticipated in the construction of various kinds of system? To what extent did the Victorians envisage a connection between systematization and knowledge production?

Papers may focus on any occurrence of system or standardization during the
Victorian period, such as:
- Genre as artistic standardization
- Disciplines (scientific and otherwise)
- Domestic conventions
- Bodies in systems
- Heterodox and orthodox belief systems
- Formal and informal economies
- The aesthetics of system

We are also interested in events and ideas that were explicitly figured as
resistances to system, such as:
- Works of genius or inspiration
- Free love
- Anarchy
- Mutiny

For more information see http://www.accute.ca/2010cfp.html#jo. Please send your
700-word proposal (or 8-10 page double-spaced paper), a 100 word abstract, a 50
word biographical statement, and the ACCUTE submitter information form, to
VSAOatACCUTE@gmail.com by November 15th.

Image by flickr user British Postal Museum and Archive / CC licensed

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