Victorian Re-Encounters (Special Issue of Victorian Poetry)
Special Issue of Victorian Poetry, Summer 2023
Guest Editors: Dominique Gracia (University of Oxford) and Fergus McGhee (University of Cambridge)
Deadline: 31 December 2021
‘The world’, wrote Robert Browning, ‘is not to be learned and thrown aside, but reverted to and relearned.’ Victorian poetry bristles with, and inspires, re-encounters of every kind: with people, places, objects, texts, and ideas. Such encounters may be scenes of recognition or déjà vu, enmeshed in the psychology of forgetting and remembering, but they may also be sites of conflict, recommitment, or re-appraisal. From nostalgic revivals and revisitings to Gothic rendezvous with doubles and the dead, re-encounters sprang up in every sphere of life and every poetic genre, calling into play a wide spectrum of aesthetic, moral, and emotional dynamics. How might the idea of re-encounter offer a new conceptual resource for thinking about Victorian poetry and poetics?
We are interested in contributions that explore the idea of re-encounter from a wide range of perspectives: how re-encounters of all kinds are represented in Victorian poetry; how the formal structure of re-encounter is pursued and explored through style (including but not limited to echoes, refrains, allusions, revisions, and recyclings); re-encounters with poems and other works of art across time, in different settings or editions, or through forms of mediation such as translation and ekphrasis; ways of re-encountering Victorian poetry as a field (including pedagogically and through undisciplining the classroom); and the politics and power dynamics of re-encounter—is it an essentially backward-looking, conservative gesture, or an engine of reinvention and renewal?
Abstracts of 2-300 words, along with brief biographical notes, are requested by 31 December 2021, directly to both editors at dominique.gracia[at]icloud.com and rfm30[at]cam.ac.uk. Full articles of 6,000–8,000 words will be due in September 2022. The editors are happy to answer any queries by email.