CFP: Nineteenth-Century Ghost Stories (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/07-3/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Jen Cadwallader
contact email: 

Call for Papers

"Ghosts of the Nineteenth Century"

38^th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

March 1-4, 2007

Baltimore, Maryland

The ghost story enjoyed its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century as hack
writers and esteemed novelists alike filled the pages of periodicals
with spine-tingling tales, and figures such as Dickens's Ghost of
Christmas Past and Irving's Headless Horseman became embedded in the
popular culture's imagination. However, despite its widespread
popularity and a list of authors including Scott, Irving, Dickens,
Gaskell, and James, as a genre the ghost story is often overlooked
critically or dealt with only under the aegis of scholarship on gothic
literature. As Nina Auerbach notes, "Literary critics have edited
innumerable anthologies of Victorian ghost stories, but these attract
little critical attention: either the critics use ghosts as a fulcrum
for other issues (usually the condition of women) or individual ghosts
disappear in sonorous generalizations" ("Ghosts of Ghosts," /Victorian
Literature and Culture/ 2004, p. 278). This panel seeks to help fill
this gap in scholarship by soliciting papers that critically address
specific nineteenth-century ghost stories or take nineteenth-century
ghosts as their major focus. Possible topics include the ghost story's
engagement with religious and scientific movements such as Spiritualism,
the popularity of the séance, the formation of the Society for Psychical
Research, or any aspect of the science/religion debate. Papers could
also address the place of the ghost story in a canonized writer's oeuvre
(how do ghost stories by Dickens or James, for example, help shape or
complicate our perception of these writers?), or the reception of ghost
stories in popular culture (why, for example, did the ghost story become
such an integral part of Christmas celebrations?).

Please email 300-500 word abstracts to Jen Cadwallader at

*Deadline: September 15, 2006*

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any)

For the complete Call for Papers for the 2007 Convention, please visit:

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA
panel; however panelists can only present one paper. Convention
participants may present at a paper session panel and also present at a
creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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Received on Wed Jun 07 2006 - 10:15:07 EDT