Rethinking the Nineteenth Century - 24th August 2013

full name / name of organization: 
University of Sheffield, UK

The University of Sheffield
School of English

Rethinking the Nineteenth Century

Saturday 24th August 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Mark Llewellyn (University of Strathclyde: Director of Research at the AHRC)
'On Reciprocity, Trust and the Gift'.

This one day conference will address a central question: what constitutes nineteenth century studies today? Recent years have witnessed significant shifts in the historical range and content of the long nineteenth century as the result of emerging critical approaches, historiographical debates, and the advancing claims of interdisciplinary analyses. The conference will provide a forum for taking stock of where we are now and trace possible future developments within the area. It will explore how specific engagements with a range of critical theories have developed an understanding of the nineteenth century as well as examining how the development of new cultural forms, including contemporary adaptations of the nineteenth century (on stage, film, and television), have conditioned public perceptions of the period. The conference will also address the challenges (and possible limitations) of discussing the nineteenth century as opposed to the Victorian period as well as exploring the distinctions and continuities between Romanticism and Victorianism. The conference will also reflect on how recent developments in the neo-Victorian novel have contributed to new debates about the relationship between the Victorian novel and contemporary culture, and how this enables us to reread and rewrite the Victorians.
We thus invite contributions which reflect on how texts, approaches, and concepts have enriched our understanding of the nineteenth century. We also welcome contributions which consider future developments for nineteenth century studies by plotting ways of ensuring a positive and vibrant future for our past.
Discussions are underway with a University Press with a view to publishing a collection based on extended versions of a selection of papers.
Papers might wish to address topics such as:
• Rethinking the parameters of the nineteenth century – The Romantics and the Victorians.
• New interdisciplinary approaches.
• Recovering the lost: voices, texts, artefacts.
• Theorising the nineteenth century.
• Keywords – then and now?
• The international context and transnational approaches
• Representing the nineteenth century – TV, film, galleries and museums, the neo-Victorian.
• Where next for nineteenth century studies?
• Canon formation in a digital age.
• The Digital Humanities and Social Media.

Please submit 250 word abstracts for 20 minute papers to the conference organizers (Dr Andrew Smith, Dr Anna Barton, Dr John Miller and Dr Amber Regis) at by March 18th.