Wounded Bodies, Tortured Souls: Narratives of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Trauma.

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Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth.
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Postgraduate Conference, University of Portsmouth, 14th June 2012

Keynote Speaker: Dr Marie-Luise Kohlke, University of Swansea

In recent years the study of trauma has become central to contemporary conceptualisations of personal and collective narratives of pain and loss. Often identified as a 'modern' phenomenon, a product of industrialisation and modernisation, trauma emerged as a distinct pathology alongside the rise of a middle-class readership, and accounts of physical and psychological wounds abound in Victorian fiction. In turn, Victorian tropes of trauma have been appropriated by the neo-Victorian novel, often in ways which offer a self-conscious or critical engagement with past representations.

This conference seeks to examine the intersection between the physical and psychical representation of trauma in both Victorian and Neo-Victorian literature. It aims to explore the importance of the relationship between the mind and the body, as well as the relationship between Victorian literary representations and neo-Victorian appropriations. We welcome papers examining representations of trauma in Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, as well as contributions from the fields of literary theory, cultural studies, and the visual arts.

Possible areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

•Victorian trauma narratives
•Pain in Victorian art, literature and culture
•Neo-Victorian traumatic appropriations
•'Wound Culture'
•Traumatic performances (race/gender/sexuality, etc.)
•Imperial trauma

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers lasting 20 minutes, and a brief biographical note (100 words) to cslpgconf@port.ac.uk for the attention of Alex Messem or Emily Hunt by 16th March 2012.