ACCUTE

2007 Saskatoon

ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) occurs from May 26 to May 29, 2007 at the U of Saskatchewan, Canada

CFP: Size Matters: Scale and Proportion in Victorian Literature and Culture (11/15/06; NAVSA/ACCUTE, 5/26/07-5/29/07)

Panel organized by Christopher Keep (U of Western Ontario)

Selected Panel Members (Size Matters I: The Management of Growth):

  • James Buzard (MIT), "The Mid-Victorian Drama of Management"
  • Juliette Atkinson (UC London), "Appreciable Magnitude or Little Morsels of Oddity: Size and Proportion in the Dictionary of National Biography"
  • Grace Kehler (McMaster), "The Technological Sublime versus the Industrial Gothic"

Selected Panel Members (Size Matters II: Taking the Measure of Bodies and Books):

  • Michael Tavel Clarke (Calgary), "The Height of Civilization: Victorian Science and the Management of Stature"
  • Ryan Stephenson (Ottawa), "Desultory Reading in the 'Overgrown Jungle of Information': Frederic Harrison, George Gissing, and the Threats to Victorian Knowledge"
  • Lisa Surridge & Mary Elizabeth Leighton (Victoria), "Great Expectations: Pregnancy, Illustration, and Serial Reading in Wilkie Collins' The Law and the Lady"

In a culture turned increasingly toward the outward and the material, the Victorians often took measurable quantities as indices of value. From the sheer heft of the three-decker novel to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern, the largest steam-powered vessel in the world at the time of its launch, from the mass of manufactured goods assembled at the Crystal Palace, to the ever more numerous colonies that made up the British Empire, the English took enormous pride in the scale and proportion of their artistic, technological, and political achievements. But while ?the bigger the better? might have become a rule of thumb for many, others saw the glorification of largeness as a cause for concern. Thomas Malthus raised alarms concerning the untrammeled growth of the population, while poets and painters pursing the doctrine of art for art’s sake produced exquisite miniatures in reaction to the bourgeois taste for the massive and heavy. Size mattered for the Victorians, and matter itself was a question of size.

Proposals are invited for this joint NAVSA/ACCUTE session. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

* the three-decker format for novels
* the long narrative poem
* the discourse of growth in the natural sciences
* urban sprawl
* population growth
* the information explosion
* imperial expansion
* mass social movements
* civic architecture and statuary (train stations, city halls, public memorials, etc.)
* civil engineering (railways, telegraphs, steam ships, suspension bridges, etc.)
* furniture and interior decoration
* the physical culture movement
* the rational clothing movement