CFP: Science in 19th-Century Britain (grad) (11/30/05; 4/7/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Erin Evans
contact email: 

CFP: Science in Nineteenth-Century Britain
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference at the
University of Chicago
April 7, 2006
Keynote speaker: George Levine, Rutgers

In the early 1800’s William Blake issued his declaration of
intent “To cast off Bacon, Locke & Newton,” a post-
Enlightenment voice of indignation against the permeation of
scientific rationality into British religious, political,
economic, and social life. Subsequent nineteenth-century
British Romantics, Pre-Raphaelites, and Gothic Revivalists
engaged in a new quest for the “natural” and interest in the
mysterious. The conflict between empiricism and faith
continued as science (and pseudo-science) progressed, and
the latter half of the century might be described simply as
the aftermath of the publication of Darwin’s theory of
evolution. The Victorians grappled with both the empowering
and dehumanizing effects of scientific progress, and
capitalism and empire, products of scientific development,
created a nation which was ostensibly the ‘fittest’ but
fundamentally in crisis.

This interdisciplinary conference will engage the question:
how did nineteenth-century British men and women gain or
lose ‘mastery’â€"in terms of both possession of knowledge and
dominion or superiorityâ€"through science? Submissions for
papers should discuss science in the Romantic and Victorian
eras throughout the British Empire, especially relating to
the theories, practices, and effects of evolution, medicine,
and science of the mind. Papers from all relevant
disciplines are encouraged, including the arts, literature,
religion, history, philosophy, and race, gender, and
sexuality studies.

Please submit an abstract of 400 words or less by November
30, 2005 to Erin Evans at Please include
your name, institution and program, and any A/V needs.

This event is co-sponsored by the Nicholson Center for
British Studies and the Department of English at the
University of Chicago.

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:46:27 EST