Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies (Abstracts due: 15 April 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Meagan Timney/Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, University of Victoria
contact email: 

The proposed multi-disciplinary collection seeks to illuminate connections between Victorian and twenty-first-century technologies, as well as ask how we might consider "virtuality" in relation to Victoriana. It will explore the networks and connections facilitated by technology by combining close reading, broad theoretical questions, project descriptions, and pedagogical methods.

I invite proposals for original essays on Victorian art, literature, and history that answer such questions as, How does the "digital revolution" replicate technological developments in the Victorian era? What Victorian innovations most resemble twenty-first-century networks and connections? How can we best represent Victorian literature electronically? What new reading practices are facilitated by current (and emerging) digital technologies? How does the virtual world change the way we teach Victorian history and literature?

Consider John. A Walsh's "Multimedia and Multitasking: A Survey of Digital Resources for Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies":

The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century is the closest analog to the rapid technological and social change of the digital age. And many features of the nineteenth century — increased literacy rates, the beginnings of mass media, the decreasing costs of publishing — led to ever-increasing volumes of information and the need for ever more sophisticated and flexible technologies for representing and managing that information. Chronologically, technologically, and figuratively, the nineteenth century and the industrial revolution are in large part the parents of the digital age.

Suggested topics may include:

  • Victorian technologies
  • visualization techniques
  • theoretical questions on how to best represent Victoriana electronically
  • issues of remediation
  • Victorian science fiction
  • twenty-first century digital reading practices
  • pedagogies

Please send abstracts of 500 words, accompanied by a brief bio, to

The deadline for abstracts is 15 April 2010.
Completed essays will be due on 1 September 2009.

Email enquiries are welcome.

Meagan Timney
Department of English
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC