ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) occurs from May 28 to May 31, 2005 in London, Canada
CFP: Nervous Reactions: Romantic Heterologies and Victorian Hegemonies
Panels organized by Joel Faflak (U of Western Ontario)
These two proposed panels explore the ‘Victorianization’ of Romantic writers, texts, and ideas, and the construction of ‘Romanticism,’ by Victorian and Romantic writers alike. Nineteenth-century (re)appropriations of Romantic identities frequently inscribed a dominant ideology of later Victorian insight over an earlier Romantic blindness. As Matthew Arnold writes, there was something about the “first quarter of this century” that was “premature” because it “didn’t know enough” about itself. What did the Victorians know, or pretend to know, that the Romantics didn’t, and that they used as a way of buttressing their own literary, social, political, economic, sexual, and cultural hegemonies? Victorian attempts to regulate Romantic issues of class, gender, sexuality, aesthetics, politics, nationality, and/or the body are often simultaneously unsettled by these issues in ways that exacerbate nineteenth-century anxieties about (Romantic) heterodoxy. In Victorian attempts to appropriate Romanticism’s cultural legacy, how does Romanticism displace a later Victorian legacy in which Romanticism’s children become its admonitory parents? How is Victorianism a “nervous reaction” to Romanticism?
1. Victorian Romanticism
Selected Panel Members:
- Julia Wright (Wilfrid Laurier U), “‘I See Dead People’: The Banims’ Gothic Revisioning of Romanticism”
- Daniel Martin (U of Western Ontario), “From Traveller to Living Parcel: Post-Romantic Bodies-in-Motion in the Age of the British Railway System”
- Dino Franco Felluga (Purdue U), “Lord Byron, George Eliot, and the Novel Romantic in Felix Holt”
This panel seeks papers that explore the legacy of Romanticism, Romantic writers, and Romantic cultural currents in Victorian England. To what extent did Victorian England rely on earlier Romantic ideas when fashioning its own aesthetics, culture, politics, psychology, science, the public sphere, sexuality, etc.? Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Victorian responses to Romantic representations of nationality and nationhood; auto/biography and the refashioning of Romantic subjectivity; Romantic sexuality/the body/Victorian discipline; Romanticism and the gendering of the separate spheres; re-imagining Romantic economics and consumerism for the Victorian marketplace; the canonization and/or mourning of Romantic authors/Romanticism through “recollections,” “reminiscences,” and “literary remains”; editorial and/or critical reconstructions of Romanticism and Romantic writers; Victorian psychology’s debt to Romanticism’s science of the mind; Victorian science’s debt to Romantic science.
2. Victorian Misprisionings/Romantic Resistances
Selected Panel Members:
- Rebecca Gagan (U of Western Ontario), “Blame it on his Youth: Mistranslations of Shelley’s Adolescence”
- Mark McCutcheon (U of Guelph), “‘These mysteries of the underground’ in Victorian Scientific Romance”
- Lauren Gillingham (U of Ottawa), “Thackeray, Gore, and the Temporality of Fashion”
This panel seeks papers that address how Victorian refashionings of Romanticism are challenged by it. To what extent do earlier Romantic ideas unsettle later Victorian ideologies that seek to contain them? How is Victorianism a “nervous reaction” to Romanticism? Possible topics here include, but again are not limited to: the breakdown and/or tenuousness of traditional chronologies between the Romantic and the Victorian; later nineteenth-century and twentieth-century debates about “the Romantic” and “the Victorian”; Romantic writers as “already Victorian” or “self-Victorianizing” (Wordsworth, De Quincey, Hemans, Coleridge and his heirs, the Darwins, Shelley and his heirs, etc.); the emergence of Victorian imperialisms (political, encyclopedic, economic, cultural, intellectual empires) already in Romanticism; Victorianism’s incomplete conservation of Romantic radicalism; the construction (as opposed to reconstruction) of “Romanticism” in the Victorian period (Romanticism as a Victorian concept that lasts into the twentieth century).