CFP: Image, Sound, & Touch in the Nineteenth Century (7/31/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Margaret Linley
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Image, Sound, & Touch in the Nineteenth Century (Collection)

We are seeking submissions for a collection of previously unpublished
essays on Image, Sound, and Touch in the Nineteenth Century.

How might the image look if we approach it through the sensations and
technologies of sound and touch? What can the nineteenth century teach us
about the inter-related and remedial qualities of media? In what ways do
we reproduce the apparent ocular-centrism of the nineteenth century in our
current critical practices?

Critical investigation into nineteenth-century visual culture has not been
lacking. Over the last few decades, there have been significant and
groundbreaking studies on the material book, image-text relations,
commodity culture, visual pleasures and anxieties, spectacles and the
carnivalesque, museums and collections, visual geographies, and the history
of the observer. More recent studies of the visual have expanded the field
by focusing on adaptation and the period's new image-making media:
photography, stereography, early cinema. Visuality was central in a period
distinctive for its salvo of new encounters with images; however, the
critical focus on the visual has become somewhat entrenched in
nineteenth-century studies, isolating the image and obscuring historical
research on other forms of mediation in the period. This essay collection
proposes a new life for the image through a renewed dialogue with sound and
touch in the nineteenth century, potentially suggesting other expressions
of the body and reshaping our current understanding of visual culture.

Although the image remains central to scholarship, there has been a recent
turn to sound in the nineteenth century. This work has drawn our attention
to urban soundscapes, new forms of recorded voice, print culture and sound
technology, and, finally, prosody. In adding to earlier, albeit
overshadowed, research on literacy and orality as well as the printed
voice, this emerging field of inquiry promises to take the study of
nineteenth-century media in new directions and finally address the sounds
of Victorian literature, neglected even by the New Critics when Victorian
literature was out of fashion and deemed unworthy of close listening. The
editors encourage submissions of original research in this field,
especially the kind of work which incites us to rethink visual culture,
media and mediation, and corporeal practices.

The nineteenth-century body remains radically inaccessible because of the
critical dominance of the Freudian repressive hypothesis and Foucauldian
discourse analysis. While the nineteenth-century body has remained in our
critical "field of vision," repeatedly figured, for instance, in studies of
gender and sexuality, it has remained suppressed, abstracted, or
objectified. Research on spasmodics, sensation writing, shopping, and
urban flanerie, however, offers opportunities to explore the feeling and
sensing nineteenth-century body and to foreground haptic experiences after
the blinding effect of visual theory. Submissions to the collection may
build on this work to stimulate a rethinking of the nineteenth-century body
in the realm of the visual and acoustic.

The collection's overlapping focus on image, touch, and sound in the
nineteenth century is enabled by emerging interdisciplinary scholarship on
print and media culture. We invite historical and theoretical approaches
to nineteenth-century visual, acoustic, and haptic practices and encounters
in the nineteenth century, particularly in relation to their complex
intersections and negotiations with concepts of old and new media and
mediation/remediation. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, historical
case studies, various national locations, and diverse theoretical

Our collection aims to move our understanding of nineteenth-century media
culture in new directions with a combination of historical studies and
theoretical reflections that will not only add to historical conversations
about the nineteenth-century "media explosion," but also speak to ongoing
conversations about new media and mediation today. Because of the
interdisciplinary nature of this collection, it will have wide appeal to
scholars interested in print and media culture, visual culture and theory,
women's studies, and cultural studies.

Potential paper topics will include, but are by no means limited to:

History of Mediation/Remediation
Old Media
New Media
Media Interfaces
Medium of Theory
Media & Cities
Media & Empire
Ideal Book
Recorded Voice
Media & Metrics
Radical Media
Crimes of Writing
Cultures of Collection & Display
Media & the Production of Knowledge

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words. Please ensure that a title,
your name, affiliation and email address are included with your abstract.

Abstracts are to be submitted to Colette Colligan ( and
Margaret Linley ( by July 31st, 2006. Final papers are due
by October 1st, 2006.

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Received on Sat May 27 2006 - 13:27:38 EDT