CFP: C19 Neologism SEL Special Issue
Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2022
Romantic and Victorian neologisms were as much a product of world-conquering as world-creation. Scholars have grown increasingly interested in exploring how unprecedented imperial expansion of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries introduced a wealth of new words, while back in Britain, English’s internal multilingualism was a source of both anxiety and pride. This special issue features understudied Romantic and Victorian coinages to prioritize the cultural and aesthetic politics of a less-nationalized history of the nineteenth century’s lexical richness.
Aside from imperial traffic, an increased intellectual interchange between Britain and the Continent, as well as revolutionary and social upheaval all contributed to linguistic borrowing in this period. David Simpson’s Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger details Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s dream of a new Greek lexicon, combining English, German, French, and Latin terms to better capture human experience. On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Louis-Sébastien Mercier’s massive Neology: or Vocabulary of Words that are New or Renewed (1801) was a linguistic reflection of the revolutionary ideal, an attempt to create an entirely new language to reflect unparalleled historical change. This project aims to reflect these interwoven historical and philosophical developments as Anglophone and non-Anglophone C19 writers prove once again that in unprecedented times, new words are required.
Please send 2-page CVs with 350-word abstracts by February 28, 2022 for ~5000-word papers on the creation, significance, and afterlives of neologisms, calques, and loanwords during the nineteenth century to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Studies of non-Anglophone words are welcome but not required. Full drafts due for editorial review January 2023. Pending positive external peer review, papers will be published in 2023 in Studies in English Literature for SEL’s autumn 1800-1900 issue.