Call for Papers
Special Issue: "Victorian Pedagogies"
Submissions Due: 3 March 2024
Victorian Network is an open-access, MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best work across the broad field of Victorian Studies by postgraduate students and early career academics. The editors are delighted to announce that their sixteenth issue (2024) will be on the theme of “Victorian Pedagogy” guest edited by Kevin A. Morrison.
Pedagogy is an exciting topic within Victorian scholarship that has attracted new critical focus in recent years. This issue seeks to include themes relating to the history and depiction of education in the nineteenth century, but also the ways in which Victorian Studies are being taught to students today.
As Elizabeth Gargano summarises in Reading Victorian Schoolrooms: Childhood and Education in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (2008), ‘education became increasingly institutionalised throughout the century, [and] numerous Victorian school narratives portrayed harsh, excessively regimented classrooms, contrasting the looming spectre of educational standardisation within a supposedly nurturing tradition of domestic instruction […]’ (Gargano, 1). Schooling was therefore pertinent in the Victorian literary imagination and often depicted negatively in mid-century novels such as Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby (1839) and Hard Times (1854), or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1848). In the nineteenth century, education underwent rigorous transformation through numerous parliamentary reforms, and led authors to document their concerns about the moral standards of educational institutions and the instructors within them. As a central preoccupation of the Victorian mind resulting in the first British education mandate, the topic of education in the long nineteenth century continues to garner scholarly interest.
Recently, however, the ways in which students learn about the Victorian period has also been reinvigorated with new research. For instance, Teaching Victorian Literature in the Twenty-First Century: A Guide to Pedagogy (2017) and Kevin A. Morrison’s Victorian Culture and Experiential Learning: Historical Encounters in the Classroom (2022) have recognised latent pedagogic shifts whereby Victorian Studies are becoming inclusive of experiential learning and non-restrictive approaches to teaching. More university courses than ever before are now tailoring their teaching of Victorianism to the diverse research interests of students, to embrace student diversity and virtual learning in a post-pandemic educational climate. The prioritisation of globalised historical narratives, decolonised curriculums, and historical encounters beyond text-based study are also now recognisable in the study of the nineteenth century. By developing pedagogic awareness in academic subjects relating to the Victorian period, researchers can help future students to better harness a conceptualisation of the period that has moved beyond the tropes of ‘imperial aggression and conservatism’, to also generate progressive ways of engaging with the colonial past though new modes of teaching (Shields Jenkins, ‘Global Victorians’, 5).
“Victorian Pedagogy” aims to explore scholarly, multidisciplinary narratives about the history of Victorian education and the contemporary teaching of Victorian Studies.
The editors invite submissions of approximately 7,000 words on any aspect of the theme. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:
- The education acts
- The Victorian schoolroom
- Parish schooling vs public schooling
- Female education
- School life as depicted in Victorian literature
- Barriers to learning
- The history of teaching Victorian literature
- Experiential learning/teaching
- Approaches to teaching and methodologies
- Digital methodologies
- Political pedagogies and self-development
- Decolonising the Victorian curriculum
All submissions should conform to MHRA house style and the in-house submission guidelines. Submissions should be received by 3 March 2024 through the Victorian Network website.