CFP: [Victorian] Victorian Male Friendship (NAVSA 4/7/08; 11/14-16/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Rose Cole
contact email: 

NAVSA, Yale University, November 14-16, 2008

Please send 500-word paper proposals to Sarah Rose Cole ( by April 7.

Panel description:

In the eyes of many Victorian artists and writers, male friendship held the key to cultural
production: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Cambridge Apostles, and the Anglican literati of
the Oxford Movement are only the most famous among many possible examples. Yet, in
scholarship on Victorian masculinity, the concept of "friendship" has received less attention than
related terms such as "homosociality" and "same-sex desire." Why did so many Victorian men
see friendshipâ€"a bond ideally defined by mutual intimacy and affectionâ€"as necessary for the
role of the writer or artist? How did such an affective relationship support or subvert the
gendered norms of cultural authority? While exploring such questions, this panel also seeks to
address how male friendship itself functioned as an art or a culture. What were the "arts"â€"the
techniques of self-fashioning or interpersonal attentionâ€"that male friendship required in the
Victorian period? What were the cultures and subcultures of Victorian male friendship among
men of different social classes and professions, among the colonizers and the subjects of the
empire, and among men who identified themselves through their sexual relationships with
women or with other men?

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Received on Tue Apr 01 2008 - 22:54:25 EST