Midwest Victorian Studies Association: Political Violence at Home and Abroad
Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference
April 11-13, 2014
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Political Violence at Home and Abroad
Seminar Leader: Dr. Bill Meier, Department of History, Texas Christian University
Violence harnessed to political programmes mushroomed in the 19th century alongside the growth of '-isms': socialism, conservatism, trade unionism, nationalism, terrorism, anarchism, and the like. Yet the distinction between "ordinary" crime and "political" crime was a blurry one, and governments, police, journalists, even "political criminals" themselves attributed divergent meanings to their menacing behavior.
This seminar seeks participants who wish to explore such dimensions of "political crime" as its motivations, representation, public perception, and legal definition, among other themes. We also wish to examine the language Victorians used to discuss political violence, including "outrage," "terrorism," "atrocity," and "frightfulness." We are especially interested to compare political violence in Britain to its manifestations throughout the empire in order to assess how the location of violence shaped Victorians' understanding of such behavior.
Participants will write 5-7 page papers that are pre-circulated to the other participants prior to the conference. During the two-hour conversation the seminar leader and participants will identify important points of intersection and divergence between the papers and identify future areas of inquiry and collaboration. The seminar format allows a larger number of scholars to participate in MVSA and seek financial support from their respective institutions as they discuss a shared area of scholarly interest. Seminars are limited to 10 participants.
Send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (both as MWord documents) by October 31, 2013, to Bill Meier:
The Midwest Victorian Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming scholars from all disciplines who share an interest in nineteenth-century British history, literature, and culture.
For more on this year's conference: