CFP: Victorian Senses, April 11-13, 2014
NVSA solicits submissions for its annual conference.
The topic this year is Victorian Senses.
The Northeast Victorian Studies Association calls for papers that treat the Victorians and the senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
We invite papers from all disciplines on topics ranging from the representation of individual sense experience to the scientific, psychological, and philosophical study of the senses; from the sensory impact of mechanization, industry, and the urban city to the extrasensory world of the Victorian séance and spirit rapping. How were the senses categorized and conceptualized in the period? How did Victorian writers and artists understand and represent the sensations of living in their world? What role did capitalism or politics play in the transformation of the Victorian world of the senses—the rise of consumer culture or the publication of Chadwick's 1842 Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population, for instance, or Victorian censorship? How did the ascendancy of empiricism shape the ways in which Victorian scientists and writers experienced and described the world? In what ways were the senses regarded as unreliable or inadequate for a full understanding of reality? How did the Aesthetic and Decadent movements define or exploit sensory experience? In what ways were sensory interactions with the world enhanced, complicated, or compromised by new communication and sensory technologies? How were sensory deficits—blindness, deafness—understood? What explains the cultural popularity of sensation fiction and public spectacle in Victorian culture?
Topics to be considered can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Senses and the Body:
sensory deficits (blindness, deafness)
mesmerism and hypnotism
drugs and alcohol
the senses and evolution
insanity and nervous disease
Communication, Optical, and Acoustic Technologies:
photography and its predecessors
extending the senses through technology
Senses and the Victorian World:
factories and industrialization
the sensory overload of the metropolis
consumerism and the senses
History, Method, and Philosophy:
empiricism—sense experience as the origin of knowledge
the unreliability or inadequacy of the senses
sense experience and consciousness
social and cultural history of the senses
sociology and anthropology of the senses
the hierarchy of the senses: vision as the highest sense
Culture and the Arts:
the representation of sense experience in fiction, poetry, and art
literary realism and empiricism
the poetry of sensation, spasmodic poetry, the "fleshly school" of poetry
Decadence and Aestheticism
Proposals (no more than 500 words) by Oct. 15, 2013 (email submissions only, in Word format): Erika Behrisch Elce, Chair, NVSA Program Committee:
Please note: all submissions to NVSA are evaluated anonymously. Successful proposals will stay within the 500-word limit and make a compelling case for the talk and its relation to the conference topic.
Please do not send complete papers, and do not include your name on the proposal.
Please include your name, institutional and email addresses, and proposal title in a cover letter. Papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion.
The Coral Lansbury Travel Grant ($100.00) and George Ford Travel Grant ($100.00), given in memory of key founding members of NVSA, are awarded annually to the graduate student, adjunct instructor, or independent scholar who must travel the greatest distance to give a paper at our conference. Apply by indicating in your cover letter that you wish to be considered. Please indicate from where you will be traveling, and mention if you have other sources of funding.
To join NVSA, or to renew your membership for 2013-2014, please return the form below to Prof. Joan Dagle at the address indicated on the attached form.
Suzy Anger, President, NVSA
Department of English
University of British Columbia
397 - 1873 East Mall (Buchanan Tower)
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
phone: (604) 822-4539
fax: (604) 822-6906
To: Professor Joan Dagle, Secretary/Treasurer NVSA
Arts & Sciences
Rhode Island College
600 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Providence, RI 02908
I wish to renew my dues or become a member of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. I have enclosed a check to NVSA for ___ $15 in U.S. dollars (regular membership) or ___$10 (student)