CFP: [Victorian] Tipping Points: Pivotal Moments in Victorian Culture, April 17-19, 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Linda K. Hughes
contact email: 

2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the
Origin of Species. In commemoration of that epochal event, the Midwest
Victorian Studies Association invites proposals for 20-minute conference
papers that explore events or works that signal profound shiftsâ€"“tipping
points”â€"in one or more elements of the artistic, literary, musical,
political, social, religious, or intellectual life of Britain and its
empire during the long nineteenth century. Because MVSA includes
representatives of several disciplines among its active members, our
conference is particularly welcoming to interdisciplinary approaches.

Participants may wish to reconsider a moment traditionally thought to be
emblematic of such changes (the Peterloo massacre, the Reform Bill of
1832 or 1867, the opening of the Crystal Palace, the publication of the
Origin) or to make a case for a hitherto unrecognized tipping point (a
year, a war, a political or social figure, an educational or religious
movement, an act of Parliament, a political protest, a mode or moment of
publication, the premier of a musical work or opening of an art
exhibition) that marked a sea-change in some aspect, large or small, of
Victorian life and thought.
The 2009 conference will be held in Richmond, Indiana. Founded in 1806
and situated along the historic “Old National Road,” Richmond was pivotal
in the nineteenth-century American expansion to the west. Part of the
conference will be held in a nineteenth-century Quaker meeting house (now
a historical museum), the rest on the campus of Indiana University East,
the newest regional campus of IU. Richmond is situated along I-70 near
the Ohio border and therefore accessible to most Midwestern car
travelers, as well as convenient to the Dayton, Ohio, airport 36 miles
away. We will feature two keynote speakers: Jonathan Smith, author of
Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture (Cambridge UP, 2006) as well
as guest editor of a forthcoming 2009 special issue of Victorian Studies
entitled “Darwin and the Evolution of Victorian Studies”; and Ivan
Kreilkamp, co-editor of Victorian Studies and the inaugural winner of the
MVSA First Book Prize.
Submissions: By October 31, 2008, please email a 500-word (max.)
abstract and 1-page c.v. to
Please include your own name, title, institution, email and snail mail
addresses, a phone number, and the abstract itself in the text and/or
attachment. If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt,
please re-submit.
About MVSA: Victorianists studying and working in the midwestern or
southern United States will want to make a home in this long-standing
scholarly organization. Graduate students are particularly welcome as
attendees and presenters at MVSA conferences: conference fees are
adjusted to make attendance more affordable, MVSA annually awards the
Bill and Mary Burgan Prize for an outstanding paper by a graduate student
at the conference, and the prestigious Arnstein Prize supports
interdisciplinary dissertation research. A new annual award for a first
book by a Victorianist in the Midwest was inaugurated in 2008. News of
this conference and other MVSA matters will be found on our website at

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Received on Sun Sep 21 2008 - 23:32:31 EDT