CFP: [Victorian] Street Life: Victorian Culture at the Crossroads

full name / name of organization: 
Katharina Boehm

Street Life: Victorian Culture at the Crossroads
A Symposium at King's College London, 9 May 2008

The study of nineteenth-century urban culture has undergone many
transformations since the publication of H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff's
groundbreaking The Victorian City (1973). These have been generated by
a series of key theoretical and philosophical works, including Walter
Benjamin's Arcades Project, and Michel de Certeau's and Henri
Lefebvre's influential theorisations of urban space. The impact of
these new works has been to introduce the idea that urban life has an
unconscious, and that the city is a stage of desire. In this symposium
we will explore the dream life of the city in the nineteenth century,
and analyse the ways in which the city both shapes and is shaped by
the imaginative works of the period. Street life, with its freer
desires and promiscuous traffics offers an alternative to the values
of domesticity that much Victorian literature has traditionally been
seen to espouse. We want to reread Victorian literature and culture by
bringing them out into the streets. The Victorian streets are free
spaces of social and cultural contamination: it is here that the
social and financial networks of the age meet and mix, producing some
of the most daring and innovative ideas of nineteenth-century culture.

Speakers include:
Matthew Beaumont (UCL), Katharina Boehm (KCL), James Grande (Oxford), Greg
Kucich (Notre Dame), Tom Marks (Oxford), David L. Pike (American
University), Sadiah Qureshi (Cambridge), John Stokes (KCL), Ana Parejo
Vadillo (Exeter)

For Registration and Programme:

The conference is jointly organised by the English Department
at King's College London and the English Faculty, University of Oxford,
with the support of the 'Past versus Present: Abandoning the Past in an Age
of Progress' Project at Cambridge University.

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Received on Thu Apr 03 2008 - 03:25:16 EST