NAVSA 2017

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Of Victorian Interest

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NAVSA 2017


The 2017 NAVSA annual conference will be held from November 16-18 in Banff National Park, Alberta at the Banff Centre. Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada's first national park and encompasses 6,641 km2 of jaw-dropping mountain landscapes, pristine wilderness, and abundant wildlife. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff is easily accessible and chock-full of exciting activities and cultural events.

The Conference Committee invites proposals for papers, panels, and special sessions on the theme of “Victorian Preserves.” What did the Victorians preserve, transform or conserve? How were spaces & objects, forms, energy & capital, practices and lives, set aside for regulation, exploitation, study, emulation, or posterity and why? Keynote speakers include Coll Thrush from the University of British Columbia on “Indigenous London,” and Elizabeth Carolyn Miller from University of California, Davis on “extraction ecology.”

The deadline for paper and panel submissions is January 8, 2017. For individual papers, submit 250-word paper proposals, along with a one-page CV. For entire panels, submit the above for each paper, as well as a one-page summary of the panel. Submission should be sent to:
Topics might include:

Preservation/Conservation: Space

• Identifying unique eco-systems, conservation areas; National Parks
• Concepts of wilderness/wildness
• Social space, eg. Class as preserve (a sphere of activity regarded as reserved to a particular group as in 'the preserve of the upper classes')
• Practices and spaces of preserving, including cemeteries, conservatories, and schools
• Land ethics; Land banks
• Lands set aside, allotments, home gardens; marginal lands (borders, hedges, waste); Commons/enclosure lands
• Impact of industrialisation
• The changing Victorian farm; agriculture;
• Dominions and Colonies: Preserving British ways of life in colonial space (e.g. through “portable property”); Cantonments and Enclaves
• Preserving British Hegemony: Ideas of “Greater Britain” and Imperial Federation
• Urban preservation & creation: model villages; garden cities; urban parks; the invention of the suburbs; architectural/built landscapes; Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings; concept of the local
Preservation/transformation: Forms
• Genre as a preserve (maintaining epic, lyric, the novel, etc. )
• The preserve of Victorian studies: approaches, strategies, and methodologies
• Canon formation, tradition; the recovery/contesting of literary tradition
• arts and crafts – preserving the artisanal
• Victorian uses of the past: Victorian medievalism, the historical novel
• Neo-victorianism; renovation of Victorian culture
• Museums, collections; antiquities; folklore; music
• Victorian historicism; conceptions of history
• Memorials and memory culture: commemoration and remembrance: monuments, heritage projects, civic ceremonies
• architecture of remembrance: museum design; Concert halls
• Dictionaries, encyclopedias
Preservation/Conservation: Life
• Collection & Extinction: conserving animals: zoos, menageries, pets, big game and other animal reserves
• taxidermy, the farmed animal
• Fossils : collection, display, analysis
• preserving settler culture through reserves
• Europe’s “natural people”: collecting and preserving folk culture
• Preservation of the Dead: spirit photography; embalming; memorabilia, locks of hair, momento mori; elegies
• Food Culture: Victorian foodways; preserving as precondition for imperial adventures and exploration (i.e. the Franklin expedition; preserved foodstuffs as preserved culture & history (what and how did the Victorians eat as they traversed the globe?)

Preservation/Conservation: Energy
• Energy: conservation, consumption, production, entropy, dissipation
• Theories of waste in literary labour, forms, style
• Decline/decay; destruction/abandonment

• Commodification of indigenous cultures and subjects
• The “Reserve” and reservation culture
• Preserving local and regional identities
• preserving indigenous culture through reserves
• Preserving sovereignty through colonial treaties and legislation (e.g. Treaty of Waitangi; Canada’s Indian Act)
• Assimilation
• English indigeneity and the threat of the cosmopolitan

Preservation: Capital
• Preserving national interests within 19thC globalization
• Preserving Capital (the Funds; securities; the Consols)
• Preserving Credit (reputation; financial “backers”)
• Limited liability corporations
• The emergence of the “risk society” (financial speculation; debt; bankruptcy)

Preserving Victorian Archives and Digital Culture
• digital humanities and digital archives
• cultural/historical/literary preservation and open access
• preserving print and the codex
• Victorian recording and information storage technologies (phonographs, cameras, photography, early cinema)

Special thread on “1867”/Sesquicentennial
• Second Reform Bill: preserving conceptions of citizenship;
• Creation of Canada
• Celebrations and/as conserving traditions

Special thread on mountains and/as the natural
• the advent of mountain literature(s) and mountain studies; mountains in the literary (and national/nationalist) imagination
• steam and coal: the technologies of transport, travel, tourism
• exploring and opening up mountains (to tourists, alpinists, hikers, adventurers, travelers)
Spa culture: health, nature and self-preservation; medical science; recreation, and entertainment (popular music, fashion, holidays, etc.)