CFP: [Science] Darwin, Tennyson and their Readers: A Bicentenary Celebration, 1809-2009

full name / name of organization: 
Zoe Jaques
contact email: 


A one-day conference to be held in Cambridge,
Saturday October 17th, 2009. 10am-6pm.

2009 will mark the bicentenary of the births of both Alfred
Tennyson and Charles Darwin. Our one-day conference will
celebrate this event by exploring the interaction of literature
and science in the Victorian period, mining the rich vein of
research opened up by Professor Dame Gillian Beer in Darwin’s
Plots (1983) and continued by Professor George Levine in
Darwin and the Novelists (1988). Professors Beer and Levine
will both present plenary papers at the conference, outlining
their latest thinking and building on the central insight that ‘the
cultural traffic ran both ways’. Short Papers are therefore
invited, exploring the links not only between Tennyson and
Darwin, but more generally between the writings of nineteenth
century scientists and of nineteenth century poets or novelists
â€" evidence that they were reading each other. A paper on
Thomas Huxley’s reading of Tennyson would be especially
welcomed; some more obvious subjects might be: George
Eliot’s reading of Darwin; Darwin and Myth; Darwin reading
Dickens; ‘Optimistic Materialism’ - in the light of George Levine’s
latest book, Darwin Loves You (2007); ‘Condition of England
novels and Evolutionary Theory: Kingsley, Disraeli and Darwin’;
‘Tennyson and Browning: two responses to evolutionary debates’;
‘Growing Younger with the Years: the reputations of Tennyson
and Darwin reconsidered’; or ‘A Passion for Fabulation: Darwin,
Tennyson and Autobiography’.

Proposals for papers (20mins long), including a 300-word summary, should
be sent to:
Dr Valerie Purton
Department of English
Anglia Ruskin University
East Road
Tel: 011-44-(0)845-196-2496

Deadline for proposals: 16th January, 2009.

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Received on Mon Nov 03 2008 - 05:30:03 EST