Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: “C21 Global Victorians: When East Meets West” (11/10/2018; 02/15/2019)

C21 Global Victorians: When East Meets West

University of Warwick, the United Kingdom

February 15, 2019

Keynotes: Professor Regenia Gagnier, University of Exeter
Professor Stefano Evangelista, University of Oxford

Sponsored by: Humanities Research Centre, and the Department of English and Comparative Studies, at University of Warwick

Conference Organiser: Dee Wu, University of Warwick

Register Fees apply (TBA)

The images of the Other usually stage the national consciousness of the native/Self. Each society imagines the other based on its own social, political, religious and ethical tradition, spiritual paradigms, and perspectives on humanity and the world. The description of foreigners touches on the things that are most intrinsic and most fundamental to any society or culture. “A societyʼs view of foreigners may at times be one of disinterest, or curiosity, or rapturous approval, or unjust condescension or hatred. But the reasons for this infatuation or repulsion are in themselves always enlightening.” The problematic term “Oriental” abounds fascinating arguments, and have already developed into an established school in post-colonial studies since the publication of Edward Saidʼs Orientalism (1978). It seems that the Western images in Eastern context, however, comparatively received less scholarly attention. Therefore, while exploring the Asian images in the long 19th century art and literature, this conference also wishes to address a reversed gaze at the “exotic” Occidental Other to present that such intercultural exchanges between the two are in fact mutual. The Victorian style is also a major commercial inspiration in the creative industry in the 21st century. The increasingly popular Neo-Victorian trend in films and fashion arena is encouraging an examination of such “exotic” images in modern interpretation.

This event aims to create a multi-disciplinary forum where Victorianists and scholars interested in material culture of the Victorian era in general to discuss different approaches to study the cultural interchanges between the two sides of the globe – with a focus on East and South East Asia – within the framework of the long 19th century and its legacy in the 21st, highlighting the interconnections between the “Oriental” and the “Occidental."

Publishing opportunities
This conference is funded by the Humanities Research Centre and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. The outcome of this project will be considered for the Warwick Series in the Humanities (with Routledge) publication. In addition, senior publisher Mr. Langham with Routledge has already directly sent an invitation to us to make this project into a book.

Possible themes, approaches and topics might include:

  • Otherness and diaspora
  • Orientalism in Aestheticism
  • Neo-Victorian Aestheticism in Asia
  • Victorian Material Cultures
  • Chinoserie
  • Japonism
  • Wildeana
  • Beardsleyana
  • Sexuality and gender
  • Consuming the Victorians
  • Dandyism and Fashion
  • Neo-Victorian in manga/anime

The conference welcomes expressions of interest for papers of 15-20 minutes long. Please send your abstracts (of up to 250 words) to c21globalvictorians@gmail.com by Nov 10th 2018.


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