CFP: [Victorian] Victorian Rules and Regulations

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Burke
contact email: 

CFP: Victorian Rules and Regulations
Victorian Association of Western Canada (VSAWC) Conference 2008
University of Winnipeg
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
October 16-18, 2008

Keynote Speakers: Lynne Vallone (Rutgers University) and Christopher Otter (Ohio State

How is Victorian culture characterized by the making and breaking of rules? This conference
invites proposals that consider the many ways in which the Victorians crafted and constructed
regulations at the same time that they challenged and contravened them. From the laws of
nature to the rules of art, from the statutes of parliament to the codes of social behavior, the
Victorian era can be understood as an immense effort to bring things under control through the
imposition of standards and conventions, norms and expectations, prohibitions and restrictions,
and laws and principles. Yet, despite this compulsion to codify and constrain, the Victorians were
also driven by their desire to contest and query laws, conventions, rules and restrictions. Given
these contradictory and conflicting impulses, how might we understand the role, purpose, and
efficacy of rules and regulations in the Victorian period?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

literary standards and generic conventions
formal conventions and their contravention
prosody, its rules, and their undoings
censorship and regulation
stage regulation and dramatic form
the stamp tax and the state of the press
copyright laws and international copyright piracy
the limits of free speech; obscenity trials
the rules of art and limits of the aesthetic
gendered norms and expectations, gender radicals
sexual taboos and transgressions
the rules of childhood and the regulation of youth
school curricula, textbooks, and pedagogical methods
imperial governance; colonial regulation and self-regulation; colonial resistance
revolts and revolutions; reformers, revolutionaries, anarchists, and nihilists
class boundaries and their transgression
regulating subjectivity: the biography; the case study; the psychiatric profile
health regimes and bodily discipline
sportsmanship and the rules of the game, the Football Association and Rugby Union rulebooks
rules of etiquette, codes of behavior, principles of conduct
the laws of nature, the principles of culture
the standards of rational inquiry, the principles of scientific method
violations of nature: supernatural occurrences, occult practices, and mystical events
the unruly: the freakish, fantastical, and fantasized; nonsense and carnival, the idiosyncratic and
laws, by-laws, statutes, and rulings; law reform and protest
business practices and commercial integrity
club rules, house rules
moral precepts and ethical practices
dogma and doctrine

Please send 300 word proposals to Andrew Burke ( by March 1, 2008 and
include with your proposal a one-page curriculum vitae. Please submit electronically as an
attachment in .doc or .rtf format.

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Received on Wed Feb 06 2008 - 12:10:06 EST