Friday, December 18, 2015

Use of Religion Conference

You are invited to attend "The Uses of 'Religion' in 19th-Century Studies" Conference at Baylor University, which will be held in the Armstrong Browning Library from March 16-19, 2016. A list of panels, speakers, and presentations is below.

The conference features an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars who will participate in a variety of panels to examine how the category "religion" was constructed and deployed in nineteenth-century literature and culture, and to reflect self-critically on how scholarship invokes that category now. The conference will feature presentations by literary scholars, historians, art historians, and scholars of religion and theology that will extend our understanding of the uses of "religion" as a category and inform future academic conversation.

"The Uses of 'Religion' in 19th-Century Studies" Conference, including a special conference concert on Friday, is free to all who wish to attend. Registration is only required for those who are not on the program and plan to eat meals on Thursday and/or Friday (March 17 and/or March 18). The registration fees are $90 for meals on both days and $50 for meals on one day. Conference registration is now open and can be accessed from the conference website

If you plan to stay overnight in Waco during the conference, a block of rooms has been set aside at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, which is just a few minutes from campus by car, for $109 per night. To register a room, please use the special link provided on the conference website (browninglibrary.or/ablrel2016) or call (254) 732-1038 and indicate that you would like a room in the Uses of Religion Block. To ensure you obtain a space, please make your reservation before February 16, 2016.

We look forward to seeing you here at Baylor in March 2016. For more information about "The Uses of 'Religion' in 19th-Century Studies" Conference, please visit, email, or call Christi Klempnauer at (254) 710-4968.


Panels, Speakers, and Presentations

The following presentations were selected out of a highly competitive field of proposals:

1. Concepts of Religion(s)
  • "'We are not the only people who have a Bible.' The Impact of Max Müller’s Sacred Books of the East Series on the Conceptualization of 'Religion'" -- Prof. Arie Molendijk, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • "Religion and Empire: Loisy’s Use of 'Religion' Prior to his Correspondence with Cumont" -- Dr. Jeffrey L. Morrow, Seton Hall University
  • "Conjunctive Religion, or, How Keshub Chunder Sen Rewrote the Grammar of Modern Theology" -- Dr. J. Barton Scott, University of Toronto, Canada
2. Religion, the Secular and Reform
  • "Karl Marx and the Invention of the Secular" -- Dr. Dominic Erdozain, Visiting Scholar, Emory University
  • "'Little Liberty on Earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven' (Robert Ingersoll). Nineteenth-Century Secularists in Britain and America and Implications of Constructing 'Religion' as Anachronistic Repressor" -- Prof. David Nash, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  • "God's Insurrection: Politics and Faith in the Revolutionary Sermons of J.R. Stephens" -- Dr. Mike Sanders, University of Manchester, UK
3. Mediums and Practices of Religion
  • "From Treasure to Trash, or, the Uses of Nineteenth-Century 'Family Bibles'" -- Dr. Mary Wilson Carpenter, Queen's University, Canada
  • "Dye, Ink and Paint: Manufacturing 'Religion' in Victorian Britain" -- Prof. Dominic Janes, Keele University, UK
  • "Wilde's Uses of Religion (De Profundis)" -- Dr. Mark Knight, University of Lancaster, UK
4. Reframing Religion and the Body
  • "The New Woman of New Faith: Narratives of Doubt and Refashioned Faith in New Woman Novels" -- Dr. Shuhita Bhattacharjee, Presidency University, India
  • "Finding the Frame: Religion, Science, and Sexual Dissidence in Late-Victorian Britain" -- Dr. Joy Dixon, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • "Embodied Theology: Disability and Illness in Mid-Victorian Christian Periodicals" -- Dr. Kylee-Anne Hingston, University of Victoria, Canada
5. Forms of Conversion and Sanctity
  • "Thinking with Saints in Nineteenth-Century Britain" -- Dr. Gareth Atkins, Cambridge University, UK
  • "Converting Towards or Away: The Case of George Eliot and Modern Ethics" -- Dr. Ilana Blumberg, Bar Ilan University, Israel
  • "Psalms, Sonnets and Conversionary Poetics in Nineteenth-Century England" -- Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg, Mills College
6. Reframing Religion and Literature
  • "Hybridous Monsters: Constructing 'Religion' and 'the Novel' in the Early Nineteenth Century" -- Prof. Miriam Burstein, SUNY, College of Brockport
  • "Everybody Expects the Spanish Inquisition: Restoring Surprise to Nineteenth-Century British Catholicism" -- Dr. Patrick R. O'Malley, Georgetown University
  • "Memories, Dreams and Selections: Airbrushing Nineteenth-Century Religion" -- Prof. Stephen Prickett, Kent University, UK
7. Reading Religion
  • "Jewish Women’s Writing as a New Category of Affect" -- Dr. Richa Dwor, Douglas College, Canada
  • "Reading Queen Victoria's Religion" -- Dr. Michael Ledger-Lomas, King's College, London, UK
  • "The Importance of Being Ezra: Canons and Conversion in The Moonstone" -- Dr. William R. McKelvy, Washington University in St. Louis
8. Faith in Poetry
  • "Nineteenth-Century Faith in Poetry--Blake, Rossetti, Hopkins, Tennyson" -- Dr. Michael D. Hurley, Cambridge University, UK
  • "Post-secular English Studies and Romantic Cults of Authorship" -- Dr. Charles LaPorte, University of Washington
  • "William Blake, the Secularization of Religious Categories, and the History of Imagination" -- Prof. Peter Otto, University of Melbourne, Australia
Graduate Student Travel Award Recipients
  • Amy Coté, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Charles McCrary, Florida State University
  • David Reagles, Drew University
  • James Van Wyck, Fordham University
  • Mimi Winick, Rutgers University 
Conference Archivist

Dr. Winter Jade Werner, Wheaton College, MA

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: 

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