[UPDATE] Afterlives of the Nineteenth Century (ACLA 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Criscillia Benford, Marty Gould, Rebecca Mitchell
contact email: 

UPDATE: ACLA has extended the deadline for submissions to November 23.

The buzz surrounding recent Austen adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies captures the ambivalence — equal parts horror and delight — evoked by the perpetual resuscitation of the nineteenth century. Leaving others to fight Austen's zombies, this seminar sets its historical sights slightly later, taking the figure of the zombie as a point of departure. Does Victorian Britain, like the zombie, refuse to remain quietly dead and buried? Or do we keep digging it up?

We invite papers that consider a wide array of nostalgic reconfigurations arising from points of contact between the nineteenth century and contemporary culture. We will explore the ways that retrospective invocations of the nineteenth century — from steampunk technologies to text-based theme parks, literary mash-ups to revisionist cinema, postcolonial negotiations with Victorian antecedents to neo-Victorian inventions – revive the past through anachronism, adaptation, and the mad fusing of genre. These composite creations leave us wondering which is the originary and which the adaptation, which the cultural colonizer and which the colonized, which the controller and which the controlled?

To this end we wish to consider adaptations variously as translations of the Victorian into a modern idiom, as acts of cultural colonization, and as newly-created hybrid structures. Can we consider adaptation as an act of translation or creolization? Is the Victorian a cultural zombie, mindlessly stalking the present as a terrifying spectacle of the past? Or is it resurrected by contemporary writers to fight the perceived evils of modernity

Please see our original CFP for complete submission information: http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/node/34684