CFP: [Science] Darwin and the Evolution of Victorian Studies

full name / name of organization: 
Jonathan Smith
contact email: 

Victorian Studies will mark the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and
the 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species in 2009 with a special issue
on “Darwin and the Evolution of Victorian Studies.” Essays of not more than
8,000 words (including endnotes), prepared in MLA Style, are invited on all
aspects of Darwin and Darwin studies in the Victorian period from scholars
working in a range of areas, including literary and cultural criticism,
history and history of science, art history, and history of the book. The
deadline for submissions is July 15, 2008, to guest editor Jonathan Smith.

Since the publication of VS’s first Darwin issue in 1959, the study of
Darwin and the relationship of his life and work to Victorian culture has
become an industry. In the past twenty-five years alone we have witnessed
the publication of the first fifteen volumes of the Darwin correspondence,
Darwin’s 1836-1844 notebooks, major Darwin biographies by Janet Browne and
Adrian Desmond and James Moore, and important books by such scholars as
Gillian Beer, Bert Bender, Peter Bowler, Sandra Herbert, George Levine,
Ronald Numbers, Robert Richards, Rebecca Stott, and Robert Young. In recent
years, the study of Darwin has begun to take new directions through
examinations of Darwin’s writings beyond the Origin and the Journal of
Researches, investigations of Darwin’s impact on previously overlooked
areas (e.g., art and visual culture, psychology and the emotions), and new
approaches to Darwinism’s impact on Victorian attitudes to gender and
courtship, race and empire, literature and publishing. The fact that
Darwin’s complete writings and 5,000 pieces of his correspondence have been
made available in searchable online databases promises to open up Darwin
scholarship even further.

Where is the study of Darwin and Darwinism in Victorian culture heading?
This special issue will attempt to showcase work that pursues these new
approaches or offers even newer ones.

Jonathan Smith
Humanities Department
University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128

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Received on Thu Aug 23 2007 - 09:51:22 EDT