CFP: [American] Journal issue on Steampunk

full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Bowser
contact email: 

Steampunk, Science, and (Neo)Victorian Technologies

Neo-Victorian Studies invites papers and/or abstracts for a 2009 special
issue on neo-Victorianism’s engagement with science and new/old
technologies, especially as articulated through the genre of Steampunk. As
a lifestyle, aesthetic and literary movement, Steampunk can be both the act
of modding your laptop to look like and function as a Victorian artefact
and an act of (re-)imagining a London in which Charles Babbage’s analytical
engine was realised. Steampunk includes applications of nineteenth-century
aesthetics to contemporary objects; speculative extensions of technologies
that actually existed; and the anachronistic importation of contemporary
science into fictionalised pasts and projected futures. In all cases,
Steampunk blurs boundaries: between centuries, between technologies, and
between “those” Victorians and “us” neo-Victorians. This special issue will
explore why particular scientific and technological developments are
revisited at particular historical moments and trace Steampunk’s importance
to neo-Victorianism, as well as its wider cultural implications.

Deadline for submissions of completed papers: 1 June 2009

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
* Steampunk and the importation/transformation of Victorian aesthetics
•Changing narrative “technologies” in Victorian/neo-Victorian fiction
•markets and economics of the Steampunk universe
•science and environmental politics
•Steampunk and the myths of the Industrial Revolution
•redefining the human: intersections with cyberpunk
•Steampunk and old/new/lost world empire(s)
•the terrors of Steampunk in a post-9/11 world
•historicising the Steampunk phenomenon
•gender constructions in Steampunk art, literature, and practice
•mad geniuses: scientists, inventors, doctors, engineers
•Steampunk pasts and futures (e.g. The Difference Engine vs. The Diamond Age)
• modding and maker practices: objects and (neo-)Victorian materialism
•real and imagined difference engines
•scientific (im)practicalities of Steampunk contraptions
•visual Steampunk vs. narrative Steampunk (e.g. graphic novels or movies
vs. novels)
•cosplay and conventions

Articles and/or creative pieces between 6000-8000 words should be submitted
by email to the guest editors Rachel A. Bowser ( and
Brian Croxall ( For submission guidelines, please
consult the journal website at

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Tue Dec 02 2008 - 16:17:36 EST