CFP: [Victorian] Interdisciplinary Education in Nineteenth-Century Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Kate Ashley
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“The Paradise of the Learned”: Interdisciplinary Education in Nineteenth-
Century Literature

‘The remark was sufficient to withdraw Jude’s attention from the
imaginative world he had lately inhabited, in which an abstract
figure ... was steeping his mind in a sublimation of the arts and
sciences, and making his calling and election sure to a seat in the
paradise of the learned’ (Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure).

The nineteenth century marks a turning point in the history of education.
The birth of so-called universal schooling and the advent of new
universities broadened participation, changed the curriculum, and became
a topic of literary exploration. As seen in works as diverse as The
Professor, Middlemarch, Hard Times, Nicholas Nickleby, Louis Lambert, and
Bouvard et Pécuchet, the fiction of the time is full of portrayals of
schools, students, teachers, universities, scholars, and the quest for
intellectual illumination. The nineteenth century also marks a turning
point in the history of the disciplines: the arts, humanities and
sciences, hitherto joined, began to separate and be re-evaluated amidst
debates on democracy and access to education, as utilitarianism became an
educational criterion.

The proposed volume intends to explore representations of education in
nineteenth-century British and European literature, with a particular
emphasis on questions of interdisciplinarity. Questions that might be
asked include: How are the disciplines represented in nineteenth-century
literature, and how is education conceptualized? What value is placed on
the various disciplines? What is the relationship between the arts, the
humanities and the sciences in the literature of the period? In what ways
did literary representations of the disciplines change over the course of
the century, from country to country, genre to genre, author to author?
What constitutes the ‘paradise of the learned’ in nineteenth-century
literature? Chapters may deal with individual works / authors or with
comparative studies or national traditions. Abstracts of 300-400 words,
together with a brief biography, should be sent to Dr. Kate Ashley
( by 1 April 2009.

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Received on Sun Nov 23 2008 - 13:24:45 EST

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