Law and Gender in Nineteenth-Century England, May 15, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Summer 2012 Issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies
contact email: 
kgilbert@drury.edu

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies
http://www.ncgsjournal.com/

Special Issue: Gender and the Law in Nineteenth-Century England (Summer 2012)

Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2012

The nineteenth century was a period rife with watershed moments in the history of law and gender in England. It is also a period marked by contradictions: legislation that granted women greater rights under the law took place in fits and starts, and was never unaccompanied by cultural and social backlash. The period began, in 1801, with a national census that revealed women outnumbered men by 400,000, and ended with the repeal of the discriminatory Contagious Diseases Acts and the passage of the First Married Woman's Property Act. Debates about the relationship between women and the law, and their attendant questions (e.g. Were women legal persons? Could they be?), permeated the legislation, court cases, newspapers, serials, and novels of the day. The roles, and legal power, of English men were also in flux during the period. The rise of industrialism, as well as the middle class, challenged the masculinity of the landed and leisured male aristocrat. Laws that granted women greater rights in marriage, divorce, and ownership of earnings and property served to challenge the centrality of the male patriarch in traditional family structures. In turn, masculinity became increasingly defined by both state-sponsored and independent imperial ventures in the colonies. And by the end of the nineteenth century, a new version of manhood came into being. The rise of the aesthetes, as represented by the publicity surrounding Oscar Wilde, and the criticism of the aesthetes, as symbolized by his rather public trial, serve as the most infamous example of events that brought to light growing anxieties about masculinity, sexuality, and the law.

This special issue of NCGS invites scholars from across the arts and humanities to contribute their work on the intersections between law, gender, femininity, masculinity, and sexuality. Topics that might be addressed include:
• Queen Victoria
• Marriage, Motherhood, and/or Families (including the Child Custody Act, the Matrimonial Causes Act, and the Married Woman's Property Act)
• Governesses and their relationship to legal families
• Property and inheritance
• Authorship and the International Copyright Act
• Education (including the establishment of Queen’s College, London; Bedford College; and Girton College)
• The “odd” women (singletons)
• Women and reform movements (including the Voting Act and the Equal Franchise Act)
• Labor laws (including the Ashley’s Mines Act and the Factory Acts)
• Health Care and the Contagious Diseases Act
• Criminal Justice (including Prostitution, Sodomy Trials, and Prisons)
• Imperialism, colonialism, and gender
• Masculinities
• Performance

Please send complete papers (of between 5,000 and 8,000 words) electronically for consideration to the guest editors of the special issue (Prof. Katherine Gilbert and Prof. Julia Chavez) at the following email addresses: kgilbert@drury.edu and JChavez@stmartin.edu

Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2012

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is a peer-reviewed, online journal committed to publishing insightful and innovative scholarship on gender studies and nineteenth-century British literature, art and culture. The journal is a collaborative effort that brings together scholars from a variety of universities to create a unique voice in the field. We endorse a broad definition of gender studies and welcome submissions that consider gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies publishes two regular issues a year, in addition to a specially-themed summer issue, and accepts submissions year-round.

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
victorian