Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NCSA reviewers sought

Please consider writing a review for the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s online

NCS forum. As we've done in the past, we’ve posted a list of possible review titles related to

both our previous and our upcoming NCSA conference themes. If you are interested in

reviewing a title to maintain momentum engaging with the topic of materiality, or if you want to

start thinking about “the new,” check out for

guidelines and the review lists. Contact Jennifer Hayward ( with ideas.

Friday, October 16, 2015



 Interdisciplinary Conference 18 June 2016
Newcastle University

Call for Papers

‘Sciences we now retrospectively regard as heterodox or marginal cannot be considered unambiguously to have held that status at a time when no clear orthodoxy existed that could confer that status upon them’ (Alison Winter, 1997). The nineteenth century witnessed the drive to consolidate discrete scientific disciplines, many of which were concerned with the body. Attempts were made to clarify the boundaries between the ‘scientific’ and the ‘pseudoscientific’, between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. This conference asks what became lost in separating the orthodox from the heterodox. What happened to the systems of knowledge and practice relating to the body that were marginalised as ‘pseudoscience’? Was knowledge and insight into the human condition lost in the process? Or is it immortalised within the literature of ‘pseudoscience’?

This interdisciplinary conference considers how different discourses of the body were imagined and articulated across a range of visual and verbal texts (including journalism, fiction, popular science writing, illustration) in order to evaluate how ‘pseudoscience’ contributed both to understandings of the body and what it is to be human and to the formation of those disciplines now deemed orthodox.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
·      Acting on the body – the body as a site of experimentation and scientific contestation
·      Pseudoscience and the gendered body
·      The entranced body as the conduit for knowledge of the self
·      The ‘scientifically’ prescribed body – an attempt to rationalise the irrational?
·      ‘Pseudoscience’ and the speculative nature of ‘science’
·      Scientific disciplines – a move towards self-authentication and professionalization or a loss of universal truth?
·      Pseudoscience and abnormality
·      The discourse of gender in the séance room
·      Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’
·      Victorian periodicals / popular science journals and ‘pseudoscience’ of the body
·      Reading the body – fiction immortalising the pseudoscientific
·      The attraction of the ‘pseudoscientific’ for C19 poets and novelists
·      Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’

Please submit a 250 to 300 word abstract, together with a brief biography, by 31 January 2016 to

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

INCS 2015 Essay Prize

INCS 2015 Essay Prize

  • The $500 award recognizes excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship on any nineteenth-century topic.  See below for eligibility rules.
  • We encourage members of INCS to nominate an essay written by a current member of INCS or to submit their own work. 
  • The winner will be announced at the 2016 conference, sponsored by Appalachian State University in Asheville, NC, from March 10-13, 2016. The winner will be invited to put together a panel for the 2017 INCS conference.
Please send an electronic copy of the nominated essay (PDF preferred) to Professor George Robb (William Paterson University) at no later than January 22, 2016 in the case of an essay that appeared only online, a durable link is acceptable in lieu of a PDF. Specific questions about the 2015 essay contest may be directed to George Robb at

Eligibility Rules
  • Only current (2015) members of INCS are eligible (membership is for the calendar year).
  • Articles that appeared in print in a journal or an edited collection in 2015 are eligible; if the date of publication is not 2014, but the essay appeared in 2015, it is eligible. Essays published in online, peer-reviewed journals are considered to be “in print” and are thus eligible.
  • The essay must make a significant contribution to the field of nineteenth-century studies.
  • Current INCS Board Members’ essays are not eligible for consideration.
  • Former INCS Board Members’ essays are not eligible until five years have passed since their service.
  • Those not yet members who wish to have their essays considered are permitted to join INCS for the year of the essay’s nomination up until just before judging commences a week or so into the new year.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The NCSA 2016 Conference Call for Papers

The New and the Novel in the 19th Century/New Directions in 19th-Century Studies
April 13-16, Lincoln, Nebraska
Nineteenth Century Studies Association
We invite papers and panels that investigate any aspect of the new and the novel in the long 19th century, including forms and genres (song cycles, photography, “loose baggy monsters”), fashions and roles (the dandy, crinoline, Berlin wool work), aesthetics (Pater, panoramas), the old made new (Graecophilia, dinosaurs), crimes and vices (serial murder, racial science), faiths (Mormons, Positivists), geographies (frontiers, the source of the Nile), models of heroism (Custer, Byron, F. Nightingale), times (railroad tables, the eight-hour-day), psychologies (phrenology, chirology, Freud), attractions (the Great Exhibition, sensation fiction, Yellowstone), and anxieties (Chartism, empire). Recent methods in 19th-century studies (digital humanist approaches and
editing, “surface,” “suspicious,” and “deep” reading) are invited, as are theorizations of novelty itself or epistemologies of the new, and alternate, interdisciplinary, and trans-Atlantic interpretations of the theme.
Please email 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers along with one-page CVs to the program chairs by September 30, 2015, to Abstracts should include author’s name, institutional affiliation if any, and paper title. We welcome panel proposals with three panelists and a moderator, or alternative formats with pre-circulated papers and discussion.

 Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference if the proposal is accepted. All proposals will be acknowledged, and presenters will be notified in December 2015. Graduate students whose proposals are accepted may submit complete papers in competition for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging. Scholars who live outside the North American continent, whose proposals have been accepted, may submit a full paper to be considered for the International Scholar Travel Grant.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Call for Papers

Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film Special Issue on Early Film

Early film provides a wealth of information about Victorian performance practices, and Victorian theatre greatly influenced the development of film.  Both points have been well documented by David Mayer, among others, as exciting new work continues to demonstrate.  But there is much more to be learned and said about the reciprocal relationship between early cinema and nineteenth-century performance. Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film seeks submissions for a special issue on early film and its antecedents, including optical and narrative forms such as magic lantern shows, panoramas, silent films, and other visual or theatrical illusions.  All approaches to this capacious topic are welcomed (theoretical, technical, archival, historical, or hermeneutic), including considerations of the connections between early film and other arts (theatre, music, visual art, literature) as well as its links to print culture, history, philosophy and politics. 

Essays should be approximately 6,000 to 8,000 words, formatted according to the submission guidelines available on our website:  Submit online by 30 November, 2015 via the Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film ScholarOne website:  Essays not selected for this special issue will be considered for future issues of NCTF.  Questions may be addressed to one of the NCTF’s four Editors:  Jim Davis, University of Warwick; Janice Norwood, University of Hertfordshire; Patricia Smyth, University of Warwick; Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Louisiana State University.

For nearly half a century, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film has stood at the forefront of research in nineteenth-century performance of all kinds, construing theatre and film comprehensively. The journal welcomes discussion on any topic within the wide variety of theatrical arts that emerged from the Age of Revolution to the advent of sound motion pictures, as well as all ‘pre-cinema’ optical and narrative forms, ‘silent’ motion pictures and illusions. Considering narrative or variety entertainments from all countries and regions, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film embraces not only drama and film but also dance, opera, music hall, circus, fairground entertainment, puppetry and other forms which implicate live audiences (actual, potential or imaginary). The journal regularly publishes essays, book reviews and review essays. Documents in photographic or critical facsimile and in annotated critical editions are also published, providing valuable primary material for the working scholar.

Monday, June 1, 2015


12 March 2016
Durham University, UK

Keynote Address: Professor Bernard Lightman (York University, Canada) ‘The term ‘discipline’ has two principal modern usages: it refers to a particular branch of learning or a body of knowledge, and to the maintenance of order and control amongst subordinated groups . . . From the beginning, the term ‘discipline’ was caught up in questions about the relationship between knowledge and power.’ (Interdisciplinarity, Joe Moran) Philosophically intractable and educationally contentious, the concept of a discipline haunts modern academe with a long Aristotelian shadow, but how did Victorians define a discipline? What factors impinged upon that definition; how did they respond to disciplinary understanding; and why did Victorian disciplinarity exert such defining influence on its own and later generations of thinkers? 
This one-day interdisciplinary conference aims to address these questions by focusing on Victorian culture and its creation, maintenance and promulgation of disciplines, covering the period of the long nineteenth-century. The conference will address Victorian disciplinarity from as many perspectives as possible from the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences; for example: architecture, musicology and art history; classics, history, religion and theology; anthropology, law and psychology; and biology, mathematics and physics. Speakers are free to explore the relationship between Victorian culture and all disciplines of the time. 
We invite academic and institutional staff, postgraduates and other researchers to submit abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute individual papers, and 500 words for panels (three papers). Topics might include, but are not limited to: 
 Who were the most influential people creating, maintaining, or transforming a discipline; what were their motivations, approaches and significance? 
 What were the social and cultural channels of communication reflecting and promulgating the disciplinary agendas of important individuals and groups, and what role did popular and elite culture play? 
 What disciplines were already established in this period, how did they evolve, and what new disciplines were founded? 
 What role did the British empire play in crystallizing disciplines, and what European and other trans-continental intersections influenced the creation of disciplines? 
 What, if any, was the relationship between professionalization and the founding of new disciplines? 
 How were Victorian disciplines defined: through their presence in academic institutions (through professorship, degrees, or departments); through professional institutions (such as societies, associations, or institutes); through literary institutions (such as professional journals, handbooks, or textbooks); and/or through cultural institutions (such as shared histories and disciplinary creation myths or shared methodologies)? 
 What impact did the creation of disciplines have, and how and why did it challenge pre-disciplinary ideologies? 
 What were the relationships between Victorian disciplines and how did they function; what is the place of interdisciplinarity in discussions of Victorian disciplinarity? 

Please send abstracts to Andrew Moss at by Monday 3 August 2015. Confirmation of acceptances will be made by Tuesday 1 September 2015. For more information, please contact Bennett Zon at or visit the conference webpage: Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies Durham University | Department of Music | Durham | DH1 3RL Tel +44(0)191 334 4381 | Web: 

Twitter: @Durhamcncs | Facebook: 

Friday, May 29, 2015

 Itinerant Theatres Workshop • German Historical Institute London • 18-19 November 2015 

Emotional Journeys 
Itinerant Theatres, Audiences, and Adaptation in the Long Nineteenth Century 
— Call for Papers — 
In the nineteenth century, theatre was one of the most popular and important means of entertainment. Although only major cities could sustain more than one playhouse, theatrical touring companies brought successful plays to smaller towns and sometimes even performed in the countryside. Most of these troupes stayed within their country of origin, but some ventured further afield and performed before audiences of other cultural backgrounds. For instance, British touring companies travelled throughout the entire British Empire, while Parsee itinerant theatres performed before diverse audiences all over India and as far away as Southeast Asia. 
This raises some interesting questions, not least for the history of emotions. Popular theatre entertained by addressing the emotions of its audiences: comedies appealed to humour, melodramas to fear and compassion. Emotions being culturally constructed, what happened when a play was performed in a different cultural context? How were humour, melodrama, and other genres translated? And what were the local (perhaps vernacular) idioms that mediated the feelings that genres are (in theory) supposed to make legible to an audience? How did touring companies adapt their repertoires? And if they did not, what kinds of cultural work were they doing by expecting audiences to comprehend their plots, idioms, and, of course, genres? 
The workshop wants to address these questions by looking specifically at touring companies that crossed cultural borders, like, for example, European companies in Asia and South America, Parsee companies in India and Asian companies in Europe. It asks how these troupes were set up, which audiences they catered to and how these audiences perceived the performances. 
We welcome proposals for twenty-minute presentations. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a short CV, by 30 June 2015 to both Kedar Kulkarni (Max Planck Institute for Human Development) at and Tobias Becker (German Historical Institute) at Accommodation during the conference will be covered. Up to 200€ for airfare will be reimbursed to those traveling within Europe; 800€ for those traveling from elsewhere. 
German Historical Institute 
17 Bloomsbury Square 

London WC1A 2NJ

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