ACCUTE Joint Session “Victorian Fun, Amusement and Delight”
Sponsored by the Victorian Studies Association of Ontario
For the Humanities Congress at the University of British Colombia
June 1-7, 2019
From Edward Lear’s nonsensical limericks, the Queen’s laughable rage in Wonderland, to illustrations by Phiz and the Punch artists, the Victorian era was no stranger to merry-making. In one sense, the Victorian era was a bastion of prudish puritanical “no nonsense,” of earnest rationalism, but in another, it saw the flowering of imaginative merriment through the emergence of leisure time for all classes. The result was a rich and complex tapestry of paradoxical fun: fashionable séances, pulp novels, picnicking in garden cemeteries, vaudeville and mannered drawing room revels. This panel invites papers that examine the ways in which fun was imagined and represented in this era. In addition, papers might inquire as to how the imagined and lived amusements of Victorians could be seen as cultural representations of the following: their hidden anxieties, their emotional histories, their desires for escapist revelry (and, for some, a fleeting chance to seek moments of agency), of carnivalesque fun.
Possible themes might include but are not limited to:
- print culture and humour writing, editorials and illustration
- theme parks, circuses, concert halls, cartographies of fun and amusing voyages
- literary representations of fun, leisure, laughter, play, silly joy, wordplay, nonsense, absurdity, puns, or the amusingly bizarre
- imperial amusements
- erotica, celebrity, pulp, children’s fiction, detective, romance, and speculative fiction
- interior design, design print culture and spaces of fun in domestic and childhood culture
Please send an email attachment of your 300-to-500-word paper proposal, without personal identifying marks, and the 2019 Proposal Info Sheet available on the ACCUTE website to Emily Rothwell and Lin Young c/o ACCUTE’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by November 15, 2018.
To read more about the Victorian Studies Association of Ontario, please visit: http://vsao.apps01.yorku.ca