CFP: Victorian Cosmopolitanism (10/15/06; NVSA, 3/30/07-4/1/07)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

UPDATE: Please note added information below for
graduate student travel grants and registration
for NVSA.


Harvard University: March 30-April 1, 2007

"A certain attenuated cosmopolitanism has
replaced the old home feeling."
--Thomas Carlyle, Letters, 1828.

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association (NVSA) solicits submissions for its annual conference; the topic this year is Victorian Cosmopolitanism.

The conference will feature a special presentation of rare Victorian holdings at the Houghton Library as well as a keynote panel including Antoinette Burton and Bruce Robbins.


Historically used variously as a term of opprobrium for individuals lacking in loyalty or deep-seated emotional ties to a particular location -- or as a badge of pride assumed by those aspiring to escape the limits of parochial concerns or provincial taste -- cosmopolitanism has recently been proposed as an ethical category offering alternatives to constraining concepts of individual or national identity, on the one hand, and the destructive effects of globalization, on the other. Generally associated with either the Enlightenment or Modernism, cosmopolitanism has often seemed antithetical to such nineteenth-century concerns as the national and the local. This conference aims to give cosmopolitanism in the Victorian period its due. We invite submissions that illuminate the historical and conceptual implications of the topic:


- Is there a particularly Victorian cosmopolitanism? If so, what are its characteristics, if not, why not?
- How does cosmopolitanism vary over the century? Is there any reason to periodize cosmopolitanism?


- Rootedness and detachment as ethical or political virtues.
- Liberalism and its discontents, the legacy of Positivism.
- Religion and cosmopolitanismâ€"universal churches, conversion, the elect.
- Cosmopolitanism as a way of life, as a form of perception.


- The relation among nationalism, free-trade, and cosmopolitanism.
- Empire and cosmopolitanism: imperialism, colonialism, and war.
- Are expatriates and exiles cosmopolitan?
- Are international political movements cosmopolitan--is capitalism?
- Utopian elements of cosmopolitanism: universalism, socialism, international brotherhood and/or sisterhood.
- Cosmopolitan races.
- Cosmopolitan classes.
- Cosmopolitan desire and sexuality.


- Form, taste, and cosmopolitanism; are there genres of cosmopolitanism?
- The cosmopolitanism of aestheticism/the aestheticism of cosmopolitanism?
- Culture and cosmopolitanism: the grand tour, media, fashion, music, literature, art museums.
- Consumerism and/as cosmopolitanism: collections, souvenirs, modes of consumption.
- The Great Exhibition: a model for cosmopolitanism, or its opposite?
- The emergence of comparative literature.
- Translation, reprinting of texts, nationalism and copyright debates.
- Philistinism and culture.


- Science in the service of cosmopolitanism/the scientist as cosmopolite.
- Technologies that facilitate cosmopolitanism: the train, the telegraph, printing, etc.
- Cosmopolitanism and the rise of the Victorian disciplines: sociology, ethnography, anthropology, etc.


- The sea, the empire, the nation, the province, the city, the classroom, the salon.


Proposals (no more than two double-spaced pages) by Oct. 15, 2006 (e-mail submissions encouraged):

Professor Jason R. Rudy, e-mail:
Chair, NVSA Program Committee
English Department
3101 Susquehanna Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Please note all submissions to NVSA are evaluated anonymously. Successful submissions will 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 your proposal.

Please do 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 (and mention if you have other sources of funding).

To join NVSA, or to renew your membership for the 2006-2007 membership year, please return the attached tear-off to Prof. Joan Dagle. Dr. Hartley Spatt (24 Center Street, Woodmere, NY 11598) urges all members to send him a note subscribing to the Victorian Studies Bulletin ($5.00 a year).

Jonah Siegel, President, NVSA
Department of English
phone: (732) 932-7679
Rutgers University
fax: (732) 932-1150
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


To: Professor Joan Dagle, Secretary/Treasurer. NVSA
Dept. of English, Rhode Island College
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)









Jason R. Rudy
Assistant Professor of English
University of Maryland, College Park

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 22:01:57 EDT