George Eliot: Reimagining Liberation and the Future of England

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Panel for MVSA Conference--deadline: October 15, 2012
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Born into a family of evangelical Protestantism that she would later renounce, George Eliot exemplifies Victorian England's increasing tensions between religious claims and secular doubts. This panel for the Midwest Victorian Studies Association (MVSA) will examine the works of George Eliot and the ways in which her writings reflect the era's debates on the validity of religion. In particular, the panel will explore the ways in which Eliot invokes the notions of liberation and assimilation in her works.

Sample topics that the panel will consider include the broad categories of self-doubt, humanism, science, evolution, Protestantism/Christianity and Judaism; and, more specifically addressing questions surrounding:
• Eliot's use of science as a belief system;
• Eliot's response to the Jewish question;
• Eliot's reimaging of origins and the destiny of humanity.

Please send 500-word abstracts and 1-page vitas to the panel organizer, Heather Bozant Witcher (, by October 15, 2012.

The deadline for all submissions to the MVSA Conference is October 31, 2012.