Victorian Network Conference
3 Dec 2012, Senate House, University of London
Keynote Speakers: Dr John Holmes (Reading) and Professor Cora Kaplan (KCL)
From other lands to other planets to other dimensions, the nineteenth-century imagination thrived on the idea of ‘elsewhere’. Alongside a developing rhetoric of geographically and intellectually bounded identities grew a fascination with alterity. Other Worlds seeks to explore the many ways in which Victorians looked beyond their quotidian spheres to imagined alternatives. We invite submissions which explore nineteenth-century modes of thought which position themselves as other, alternative, transcendent, secret or hidden.
This conference also seeks to explore how we, as a network of Victorian scholars, construct the ‘other Victorian’. We use ‘Victorian’ to denote a period of time, describe our research, talk of a people and a nation. Yet this casual use is juxtaposed with a tacit recognition of the instability of the term and its homogenizing tendency as it collapses differences to construct an ideologically seamless era. Abandoning the quest for what ‘Victorian’ really means – an inevitable failure – this conference seeks to embrace the multiplicity of worlds that the term denotes and inhabits and the rebellious tendencies of the ‘Victorians’ themselves towards the idea of a single world.
Other Worlds aims to bring together scholars working in a wide range of disciplines to explore in greater depth the many fields of thought covered by the conference theme. Papers might deal with some of the following topics:
- Private worlds; confessional writing; secrecy
- The spiritual world; prayers, religious writing; heaven, hell and purgatory
- Fantastical and imaginary worlds
- Children's writing; childhood fantasy
- Marginal or subversive communities
- Travel, exploration, unknown countries
- Alternative histories
- The Victorians as ‘other world’
Please send abstracts of around 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief biography by 14th September 2012.
Other Worlds is a joint conference between King’s College London and Victorian Network and is organised by Sarah Crofton, Melissa Dickson and Fariha Shaikh. It is supported by the AHRC.