Call for Submissions: Labour in the Long Nineteenth Century

deadline for submissions: 
April 7, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Romance, Revolution & Reform
contact email: 

Issue 7: Labour in the Long Nineteenth Century

The study of labour in the long nineteenth century has enjoyed a rich critical history, guided by the twentieth century’s New Left focus on class formation and experience, and extended by recent scholarship which has diversified traditional and non-traditional categorisations of ‘labour’. Scholars working within the postcolonial and ecocritical ‘turn’ have called for a re-imagining of the structures of labour, resource consumption, and value production, looking to the nineteenth century for its complexly-interwoven transfers of labour value across domestic and imperial boundaries.

This issue of the Journal seeks to question the thinking by which we identify forms of labour in the first place: who, both in the nineteenth century and now, is allowed to decide what counts as labour? Which voices of the long nineteenth century emerge if we diversify our definition(s) of labour? And, how can the scholarship of labour – or the labour of scholarship – help us navigate the nature, purpose, and value of labour in a mid- and post-Covid era?

Papers of 4000-8000 words are warmly invited on the topic of labour in the long nineteenth century between 1789-1914. We welcome multi- and inter-disciplinary papers from a variety of fields and approaches including the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, and encourage applications from those at any stage in their careers, including PGRs and ECRs.


Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical labour
  • Mental, emotional, and cognitive labour
  • Rural and urban labour
  • Political labour and political speech: socialism: protest and reform
  • Imperialism, empire building, and the slave trade
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare
  • Healthcare, illness, and disability
  • Animal studies and the labour of non-human species
  • Cultural labour: writing, reading, photography
  • Musical and theatrical performance
  • Scholarly and academic labour
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Sex and sex work
  • Energy consumption and transfer
  • Raw materials: identification, extraction, and transformation
  • The language and terminology of labour
  • Marxist and neo-Marxist criticism and theory
  • The poetics of labour


The closing date for submissions is 23:59 on Sunday 7th April 2024. Papers should be submitted via email to Early expressions of interest are welcomed.