CALL FOR ARTICLES: Materiality in Wilkie Collins and his Contemporaries

deadline for submissions: 
July 27, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Laura Eastlake, The Wilkie Collins Journal

 GUEST EDITORS: DR KYM BRINDLE, DR LAURA EASTLAKE ‘I prophesy that we shall see ghosts and find treasures, and hear mysterious noises –and, oh heavens! What clouds of dust we shall have to go through’ (The Dead Secret) Wilkie Collins’s fiction depicts a rich cabinet of material curiosities. His novels evidence the wealth of objects with which the Victorians surrounded themselves in everyday life. This special issue looks to explore the entanglements between object and subject in Collins’s work. We seek proposals exploring the ways in which aspects of identity in Collins’s novels are articulated through forms of material culture. What is the significance of property and personal possessions for identity formation? In her work, Material Identities, Joanna Soafaer suggests that two approaches to materiality ‘what one might broadly categorize as the aesthetic and the social – are not necessarily mutually exclusive’, and this issue will focus on intersections between material aesthetics and their social implications and consequences.  In what ways do the curiosities and clutter of Victorian life contextualize debates about issues of authenticity and disguise? What are the consequences of things for the Victorian body and its sufferings, pleasures, and performances? What social impact do material objects have for characters (and readers) in the quest for meaning? Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Property and property law
  • Wills, records, ledgers, testimonies, documents
  • Collecting and collections
  • Thing theory
  • Art, decoration, and ornamentation
  • Dress, fashion, and fabric
  • Publication, printing, print culture
  • Letters, diaries, and narrative
  • Embodying the materiality of the body
  • Appearance and disguise
  • Nineteenth-century burial practices and relics of dearh
  • Memory and materiality
  • Neo-Victorianism and Wilkie Collins

Please email 500 word abstracts to and by Friday 27th of July

Full articles of 5-8,000 words in MLA format due: Monday 22nd October.

Further information is available at the journal site:

The Wilkie Collins Journal is an online, peer-reviewed academic journal committed to publishing innovative and rigorous research into one of the most successful and important authors of the nineteenth century, as well as his related authors, periodicals and genres broadly defined.