Radical Thinking in the Long Nineteenth Century

deadline for submissions: 
April 24, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Romance, Revolution and Reform
contact email: 

The Call for Submissions for Issue 5 of the interdisciplinary, nineteenth-century journal, Romance, Revolution and Reform is now live! 

For more details on the journal and our submission guidelines, please visit our website: www.rrrjournal.com

Radical Thinking in the Long Nineteenth Century

To be radical is to be ‘characterized by independence of or departure from what is usual or traditional; progressive, unorthodox, or innovative in outlook, conception, design’ (OED n.7). 

The long nineteenth century is often characterised in terms of reform – as an era defined by Abolition, Factory Acts, and the growth of democracy. Nevertheless, we might consider reform efforts to be the tip of the iceberg, as the period saw a wealth of radical thinkers, makers, and activists – from Mary Wollstonecraft to William Morris – looking outside of, or beyond, social, political and cultural norms in all areas of life. Following the work of Leela Gandhi in Affective Communities (2006), this issue is interested not only in those who garnered large followings, or made a measurable impact on society with their ideas and attitudes. Of equal interest here are those whose ideas were characterised by what Gandhi calls ‘immaturity’, whose sparks of radicalism are not always recognised in overarching narratives of progress.  

Faced with crises, social problems, and a rapidly modernising world, what radical ideas and solutions were proposed in the nineteenth century? To what extent do these ideas speak to our own times? Victorian Studies, too, is undergoing a moment of major change as long-standing conventions are unsettled and challenged. This issue of Romance, Revolution and Reform is thus also keen to showcase radical approaches to the period, as well as papers which challenge dominant readings of figures and events.  

Papers of between 4,000 and 8,000 words are invited on the broad theme of radical thinking in (or about) the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). We welcome papers from disciplines across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and from scholars at any stage in their academic careers. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Radical connections across class, national, racial, or religious boundaries 
  • Transgression from social norms around gender and/or sexuality  
  • Non-traditional configurations of household and family 
  • Unorthodox ways of living; new communities 
  • Radical affects; feeling differently 
  • Innovations in modes of expression, aesthetics, genre 
  • Progressive movements and campaigns; (proto)feminism, anti-Imperialism 
  • Radical Liberalism; Socialism; Anarchism 
  • Utopias; future imaginaries 
  • Radical afterlives of nineteenth-century ideas or works 
  • Environmentalism; approaching the natural world differently 
  • Innovations in language, communication, publishing practices 
  • New perspectives on radical figures 
  • Radical scholarly approaches to the long nineteenth century 

The closing date for submissions is Sunday 24th April 2022.To submit a paper, or to discuss an idea for a paper, please email rrr@soton.ac.uk.