[UPDATE] Annual Conference BAVS, 1-2 Sept, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
British Association for Victorian Studies
contact email: 

Composition and Decomposition

The University of Birmingham will be hosting the 2011 BAVS Conference, 1–3 September 2011, on the Edgbaston campus. We invite papers that deal with the conference theme of

'Composition and Decomposition'

in all its various connotations.

This theme reflects Birmingham's own nineteenth-century history as the 'workshop the world.' Birmingham is a city intimately connected with industry and manufacture. However, one of its main exports in the nineteenth century was pens. Our conference thus draws on the double of meaning of composition as both artistic practice and broader industrial process. At a time when the country as a whole, and this city in particular, is reflecting upon the legacy of industrial decline, this conference also invites speakers to think about its inverse, decomposition.

We invite participants to engage with the theme widely and imaginatively. Papers might be on the following:

● Decadence, decay and degeneration
● Formal composition or simply of what things are made
● Putting things together, taking things apart
● Waste and recycling; the return of discarded things.
● Ingredients, inventories and other types of list
● The role of composition in the practice of fine art, music, literature and drama.
● Architecture and town planning
● Scientific analysis and processes
● The material culture of composition, whether draft manuscripts, laboratory equipment, or processes of manufacture
● Industrialization, industrial processes, and industrial cultures
● The importance of form and formal methodologies
● Composition and the press; printing and print culture
● The politics of deconstruction, whether as methodology or historical event (clearances, demolition etc.).

Please send proposals (500 words max) to bavs2011@googlemail.com no later than 31 March 2011. Please direct any queries about the conference to the organizers at the above address.

Conference website: http://www.drama.bham.ac.uk/conferences/bavs/