What would Victorian studies
be like if we took seriously the discoveries that don't fit in?
Most active Victorianists come across in their research inconvenient
facts, haunting or strange incidents or people or passages that if
taken seriously would disrupt or complicate the versions of
Victorianism our colleagues or editors or students have come to
expect. We invite proposals for 20 minute papers that report such
disruptive discoveries, on any author or on any aspect of Victorian
culture, and then briefly relate in what ways the discovery upsets
conventional professional expectations--proposals grounded in some
specific but unanticipated Victorian oddity, strangeness, quirk,
scandal, or outrage; in some unknown or little-known piece of
writing by an author we all know too well; in a long-ignored writer;
or in a long misprinted or misread passage or text.
Keynote Speaker and
keynote speaker is Ian Duncan, of UC Berkeley, whose publications
include Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: the
Gothic, Scott, and Dickens (1992), Scott's Shadow: the Novel
in Romantic Edinburgh (2007), and editions or essays on Scott,
Hogg, Dickens, Ruskin, Borrow, Darwin, Conan Doyle, and others.
There will also be a special panel marking republication by the
University of South Carolina Press of a long-lost Victorian novel,
William North’s The City of the Jugglers, or, Free-Trade in Souls
(1850). The 2008 planning committee includes Patrick Scott,
William B. Thesing, Anthony Jarrells, and Rebecca Stern, with Maria
LaMonaca (Columbia College).
Making a Proposal:
Proposals (2 page maximum) should include proposer's name,
proposed title, 1-2 page abstract, 2-3 line bio note, and contact
information. Proposals for panels should include include this
information on each of the planned papers and participants, as well
as a brief explanation for grouping them together. Proposals may be
sent by July 30, 2008, to Patrick Scott, Department of English,
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 or (preferably)
emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
University, Hotels, Transport: This
year's Institute is hosted by the University of South Carolina's
flagship campus, in Columbia, the state capital, and is cosponsored
by the Department of English and Thomas Cooper Library. Most events
(beginning midday on Friday October 3 and concluding about 5:30 p.m.
on Saturday October 4) will be held in Thomas Cooper Library. Rooms
have been reserved at the recently-renovated Courtyard by Marriott,
Assembly St., close by the library. To get the conference rate,
book by September 3 and say you are attending the Victorians
or tel: 1-803-799-7800).
Columbia is at the intersection of I-20,
I-77, and I-26, and Columbia Metropolitan Airport has direct flights
from many major cities, as well as connections through Charlotte and
Victorians Institute: Founded in 1971,
and sponsoring its own journal, Victorians Institute Journal,
since 1972, the Victorians Institute has grown into a major annual
forum for Victorian studies, attracting participants not only from
its original home region in the mid-Atlantic and south-east, but
nationally and internationally. For further information, see
for proposals: July 30, 2008
Contact for proposals: