CFP: Ragged London: The Spectacle of Crime and Degeneracy in the Victorian Capital (4/1/06; MMLA, 11/9/06-11/12/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Swafford, Kevin

For the 48th Annual Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association November 9-12, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois


CFP: Special session at the Midwest Modern Language Association, Chicago 2006; entitled: "Ragged London: The Spectacle of Crime and Degeneracy in the Victorian Capital."


>From the sensational "Newgate Novels" of the early Victorian period to the spectacle of the "Ripper Murders" during the so-called "Autumn of Terror" (1888), the Victorian middle-class was deeply fascinated by the seeming degeneracy and pervasive criminality of London's lower class. Narrative, journalistic, and investigative accounts of London's "low life" and rookeries were, in fact, part of the mainstay of middle-class popular culture. But what other function, beside lurid entertainment, did slum narratives provide? What were the discursive intersections of Victorian culture and class that seemingly necessitated the production and consumption of slum narratives and tales of urban degeneracy, crime, and decay?


Please send a brief abstract via email or regular mail by April 1, 2006 to


Kevin R. Swafford

Department of English

Bradley University

Peoria Illinois 61625


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Received on Thu Mar 02 2006 - 11:45:08 EST