Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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Reminder: Other Worlds (9/14/2012; 12/3/2012)

Other Worlds
Victorian Network Conference
3 Dec 2012, Senate House, University of London

Keynote Speakers: Dr John Holmes (Reading) and Professor Cora Kaplan (KCL)

From other lands to other planets to other dimensions, the nineteenth-century imagination thrived on the idea of ‘elsewhere’. Alongside a developing rhetoric of geographically and intellectually bounded identities grew a fascination with alterity. Other Worlds seeks to explore the many ways in which Victorians looked beyond their quotidian spheres to imagined alternatives. We invite submissions which explore nineteenth-century modes of thought which position themselves as other, alternative, transcendent, secret or hidden.

This conference also seeks to explore how we, as a network of Victorian scholars, construct the ‘other Victorian’. We use ‘Victorian’ to denote a period of time, describe our research, talk of a people and a nation. Yet this casual use is juxtaposed with a tacit recognition of the instability of the term and its homogenizing tendency as it collapses differences to construct an ideologically seamless era. Abandoning the quest for what ‘Victorian’ really means – an inevitable failure – this conference seeks to embrace the multiplicity of worlds that the term denotes and inhabits and the rebellious tendencies of the ‘Victorians’ themselves towards the idea of a single world.

Other Worlds aims to bring together scholars working in a wide range of disciplines to explore in greater depth the many fields of thought covered by the conference theme.  Papers might deal with some of the following topics:

  • Private worlds; confessional writing; secrecy
  • The spiritual world; prayers, religious writing; heaven, hell and purgatory
  • Fantastical and imaginary worlds
  • Children's writing; childhood fantasy
  • Marginal or subversive communities
  • Travel, exploration, unknown countries
  • Alternative histories
  • The Victorians as ‘other world’

Please send abstracts of around 250 words to otherworldsconference@gmail.comalong with a brief biography by 14th September 2012.

Other Worlds is a joint conference between King’s College London and Victorian Network and is organised by Sarah Crofton, Melissa Dickson and Fariha Shaikh. It is supported by the AHRC.

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