Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Special Issue of Victorian Review on Victorian Posthumanism (3/31/2021)

CFP for the Victorian Review



Victorian Posthumanism


Editor and Contact E-mail:

Lara Karpenko, Associate Professor of English, Carroll University: lkarpenk@carrollu.edu


Submission Date:

Please send articles of 5,000-8,000 words to lkarpenk@carrollu.edu  by March 31st 2021. Articles should be in MLA format and not under consideration at any other journal. Early submission is welcome as are queries or letters of interest.


Issue Description:

Victorian Review invites submissions for a special issue devoted to the topic of Victorian Posthumanism. While many prominent theorists of the posthuman associate the plastic and prosthetic posthuman human body with mid-to-late twentieth-century scientific and aesthetic productions, such genealogies miss the visionary, surprising, and sometimes disconcerting aspects of much nineteenth-century literature, art, and science. As concurrent scientific advancements (such as evolutionary theory or early experimentations in robotics) emphasized the uncertain delineations of the very category of the human, Victorian literature featured boundless, pliable, and liminal bodies ranging from androids that would pass any Turing test to murderous plants to nightmarish animal hybrids.


This journal issue will not only provide a forum for discussing these fascinating yet overlooked cultural and aesthetic productions, but will also offer an alternate history of posthumanism, one that promises to nuance our understanding of Victorian and postmodern subjectivities.


Potential Topics (others welcome):

  • Androids and robotics.
  • Animal-human, plant-human, or animal-plant hybrids.
  • Industrial utopias and dystopias.
  • Tech-human fusions.
  • Mind-body cohesions and fractures.
  • Non-human sentience.
  • Technology as entertainment and spectacle.
  • Evolutionary and devolutionary theories and cultural representations.
  • Technological innovations and failures concerning embodiment, sentience, and/or ways of knowing.
  • Non-normative or extraordinary bodies, minds, and subjectivities.
  • Disability / ability.
  • Popular cultural responses to technological and scientific innovations/crises.
  • Technology and its intersections with gender, race, and/or national identity.
  • Bodily plasticity and transformation.
  • Prosthesis and prosthetic imaginings.

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