Victorian Ecocriticism: The Politics of Place and Early Environmental Justice

deadline for submissions: 
July 16, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Dewey W. Hall, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
contact email: 

Victorian Ecocriticism: The Politics of Place and Early Environmental Justice

Dewey W. Hall, Editor

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


Call for Papers


Lawrence Buell’s The Environmental Imagination (1995) explains: “Place being by definition [is] perceived or felt space, space humanized, rather than the material world taken on its own terms” (253). Victorian Ecocriticism invites article-length papers (e.g., 20-25 pages and/or abstracts) that examine the influence of socio-political factors on “space humanized” discussed by seminal writers during the Victorian era.  For example, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote “The Cry of the Children” (1842) in response to dire working conditions children experienced while laboring in factories; George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) chronicled the trappings of working-class life in The Mill on the Floss (1860), highly autobiographical; Charles Dickens depicted northern English mill-town life in the fictitious Coketown in Hard Times (1854). Possible topics may include:

  • Mill Towns: working-class conditions, child labor, Chartist movement, Luddites, Hygeia, disease, sanitation (e.g., Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskill, Charles Dickens, etc.)
  • Mining Camps: domestic (i.e., United Kingdom) and abroad (i.e., Australia), indentured servitude (e.g., William Howitt, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anthony Trollope, etc.)
  • National Parks: neo-Romantic naturalism, anti-industrialism, and the open space movement leading to the National Trust (e.g., John Ruskin, Hardwicke Rawnsley, and Octavia Hill)
  • Transnational Spaces: British and American authors, eco-historical continuity, early environmental links, Darwinism and naturalists
  • Biotic Communities and beyond: ecology and literature, ecosophy, biocentrism, biodiversity, sustainability, biomes and ecosystems, etc.

Submissions must include the paper title, abstract (200 words), c.v., and, if possible, an initial draft of a paper (15-20 pages) sent to by 7.16.16 for consideration. If accepted, then typescripts of the paper will be due by 1.15.17.