“Victorian Work and Labor”
“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.” -- Thomas Carlyle
“Work is the curse of the drinking class.” -- Oscar Wilde
The concept of personal, as well as societal, industry was essential to the Victorian sense of self. The idea of work as a virtue, a duty, and a privilege was widespread (and sometimes mocked). For the 44th annual meeting of the Victorians Institute, the conference organizers invite proposals from a variety of disciplines addressing issues of Victorian work and labor. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- magic/invisible/fairy workers
- illegal work and black markets
- labor in public and private spheres
- new professions and professionalization
- middle-class work and occupations
- play and amateurism in an age of work
- art and authorship as labor
- intellectual vs. physical labor
- Crystal Palace: showcasing production
- the work of conquering the Empire
- the work of teaching Victorian literature and culture
- work in the Empire
- work and gender
- child labor
- calling vs. toil
- servants and servitude
- the work of childbirth
- work and welfare of animals
- agrarian vs. city labor
- man and machine
- disabled bodies and work
- industry and environment
- the work of criminals
- “dirty” work
Papers or panels on poetry, prose, nonfiction, visual art, or historical context are welcome, as are presentations on the pedagogy of teaching Victorian literature.
Selected papers from the conference will be refereed for the Victorians Institute Journal annex at NINES.
Please visit www.vcu.edu/vij for information about the conference as it becomes available, the Victorians Institute, and the Victorians Institute Journal.
Send 200 – 250 word proposals and a brief one-page CV to Anita Rose, email@example.com, by June 1, 2015. Proposals should include contact information. Panel proposals should provide contact information for all participants, a synopsis of the panel and abstracts of all papers to be included.
Limited travel subventions will be available from the VI for graduate students whose institutions provide limited or no support. More information about the travel awards and the application process will be posted to www.vcu.edu/vij.