Anniversaries and Auguries: The Victorians Institute’s Golden Jubilee

Victorians Institute Conference
University of South Carolina Upstate
Spartanburg, SC
October 14-15, 2022

Submission deadline extended to June 17th!

As the Victorians Institute and the Victorians Institute Journal celebrate their 50th year/volume, this 2022 meeting of the Victorians Institute Conference invites proposals for presentations or full panels that consider the anniversary: as a moment for reflection, as a historical phenomenon, and an opportunity to consider the future. The Victorians Institute’s own “Golden Jubilee” coincides with broader conversations about the “undisciplining” of the field. Thus, we encourage participants to consider the dynamics of past and future, formation and reformation, anniversary and augury in thinking about where Victorian studies goes next. We seek dialogues that might hold these two impulses—commemoration of the past and renovation toward the future—in productive tension.

In a 2020 Los Angeles Review of Books essay and related special issue of Victorian Studies, Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff, and Amy R. Wong draw upon Christina Sharpe’s concept of “undisciplining” to exhort Victorianist scholars to remake not only the content and boundaries, but the approach, of our field. Addressing the overwhelming whiteness of the discipline demographically as well as in terms of its objects of study, they call upon scholars not simply to include and center BIPOC perspectives, but more radically to engage in “renovating the way we think of scholarly fields and of field-formation itself.” Thus, as we observe the golden anniversary of the Victorians Institute and Victorians Institute Journal and look forward to the next fifty years of our collegial exchange, we also want to encourage conversations that undiscipline, question, challenge, and radicalize the ways the Victorians have been studied and represented in the past, along with the ways Victorian studies is constituted now and in the future.

Topics can be presented in any format (interdisciplinary/undisciplinary, digital humanities, pedagogical, experiential, demonstrational, etc.), including but not limited to:

  • Victoria’s Golden Jubilee
  • Weddings, birthdays, and other Victorian celebrations
  • Honors, medals, and titles
  • Celebrations of science, exploration, and industry, like the Great
    Exhibition
  • Race, culture, and the Great Exhibition
  • Celebrations (past and present) of the 1857 Indian Rebellion
  • Celebrations of and with food and/or the undisciplinarity of food
  • Writing from or about the colonies
  • Victorian reactions to the U.S. Civil War
  • Victorians and disease
  • Victorian constructions of whiteness
  • Victorian resistance to whiteness
  • Victorian science and race
  • Representations of BIPOC Victorians
  • Interracial marriages
  • Victorians and disability
  • Queer Victorians
  • Antisemitism in Victorian culture
  • Opium and Orientalism
  • The East India Company
  • The West Indies
  • Vestiges of slavery
  • Creating an undisciplined classroom
  • BIPOC faculty in the profession
  • Gothicism and undisciplinarity
  • Representations of race in the Victorian theater
  • Race in Victorian art and visual culture

Keynote Speaker: Ryan Fong, Kalamazoo College

Please send a 250-word abstract and one-page cv to victoriansinstitute2022@gmail.com by April 30, June 17, 2022. Thematic panels are also welcome.

VI offers limited travel subventions for graduate students whose institutions provide limited or no support. If you would like to be considered, please send a brief letter explaining your request and what travel support you currently receive. The deadline for travel applications is October 1st.

Find general info about the Victorians Institute and the Victorians Institute Journal at http://victoriansinstitute.org/

Image credit: John Fergus O’Hea, “Rejoice, Oh! Greatly.” Supplement to The Weekly Freeman, June 4, 1887. [Wikimedia Commons]

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