Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: 2020 MMLA Conference, “Cultures of Collectivity” (4/30/2020; 11/5-8/2020)

2020 MMLA Conference

Dickens Society

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

November 5-8, 2020

The Dickens Society invites paper proposals for a sponsored panel at the 2020 Conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association in Milwaukee, WI. Papers on any aspect of Dickens works will be considered, but we are especially interested in proposals that engage the broader MMLA conference theme, “Cultures of Collectivity”—a theme with particular resonance at a time when collective action(s) of many kinds (in the form of labor unions, civic activism, political factionalism, social justice movements, social media forms, etc.) punctuates our daily lives. And what might we make of “cultures of collectivity” during the nineteenth century in particular, a time when the formation of certain kinds of collectives – geographic, literary, and otherwise -- were counterpoised with concerns about the unwashed masses, the tyranny of the majority, and the possibility of individual ambition and self-help?

Topics related to Dickens might include, but are not limited to: his interest in labor unions and workers’ collectives; his work on behalf of the Guild of Literature and Art, international copyright, and other author interests; his portrayal of forms of local community and social solidarity, from those among the working class to those pertaining to Parliamentary cliques; his representation of organized religion and philanthropic societies; his work on behalf of, and his portrayals of, institutions such as orphanages, hospitals, and other benevolent institutions; his sense of his reading public, and/or the public who attended his public readings; his editorial framing and shaping of Household Words and All the Year Round, and the forms of collectivity that shaped his relations with the young writers on his staff; his sense of communities of racial and colonial others; collective responses to his work, his separation from his wife, his death, or other events.

Please send 350-word (maximum) abstract and brief (1-page) CV to Adrianne Wojcik at mmladickens2020@gmail.com. Proposals are due April 30, 2020, and authors will be notified of decisions by June 1, 2020.

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