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CFP: Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture (10/11/2019; 5/9/2020)

Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture

Victorian Popular Fiction Association

University of Sheffield, UK

May 9, 2020

Announcing ‘Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture’, a Victorian Popular Fiction Association Study Day taking place on Saturday 9 May 2020 at the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield.

 Keynote: Dr Anne-Marie Beller and Dr Kerry Featherstone (Loughborough University), ‘“No greater spiritual beauty than fanaticism”: Women Travellers' Encounters with Islam in the Nineteenth Century’

Workshop: working with rare nineteenth-century texts on religion, led by Dr Naomi Hetherington (University of Sheffield), Dr Clare Stainthorp (UCL) & Dr Rebecca Styler (University of Lincoln)

 The category of the popular has played a significant role in the ‘religious turn’ in Victorian studies over the last two decades. Historians of Victorian religion have turned to popular culture and folklore to challenge traditional paradigms of decline and secularisation. Amongst scholars of Victorian literature and visual culture, there has been an upsurge of interest in the influence of new religious movements on popular literary and visual forms. This study day aims to extend our understanding of the relationship between religion and popular culture in the Victorian period by bringing together scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including literature, history, art history and religious studies, to explore popular manifestations of religion and the expression and representation of religion in popular culture texts of all kinds.

The organisers seek proposals for 20-minute papers, or a themed panel of three papers, from scholars at all levels including undergraduate and postgraduate students, ECRs and independent researchers.

Topics can include, but are by no means limited to:

  • the popular religious novel
  • religion, magic and folk beliefs
  • religious typology in popular art and literature
  • spiritualism, esotericism and occultism
  • religion and the popular press
  • religion, horror and the Gothic
  • hymns, sermons and liturgies
  • religion and popular science writing
  • popular freethought and blasphemy
  • archaeology and the Bible
  • religious feeling
  • religious revivals and utopias
  • religion and the life cycle
  • religion and children’s literature and culture
  • missionary and travel writing
  • religion and popular imperialism
  • decolonising Victorian popular religion
  • religion in neo-Victorian fiction, film and television

Alongside two postgraduate bursaries kindly funded by BAVS and VPFA, there is an ECR/precarious worker bursary in memory of Dr. Nickianne Moody who was to be a keynote at the study day (£10 fee + £20 travel each). More information about applying for these, and registration, will be supplied closer to the event.

Please submit a 300-word proposal and a 50-word biography in Word format to the organisers Dr Naomi Hetherington and Dr Clare Stainthorp at vpfareligion@gmail.com by 11 October 2019.

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