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. For this year's Institute, we sought papers that report such
disruptive discoveries, on many authors and aspects of Victorian
culture, and which explain 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.
The 2008 planning committee includes
Patrick Scott, William B. Thesing, Anthony Jarrells, and Rebecca Stern, with Maria
LaMonaca (Columbia College).
We welcome as this year's keynote speaker Ian Duncan, of the
University of California at Berkeley, speaking on "The Great Book of
Nature: the Novel and the Science of Man." Ian Duncan's 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.
This year's keynote address will be on Friday, not Saturday.
Sessions and Events: Along with a full range of regular
sessions, the program also includes a reception and library exhibit
opening ("The Shapes of Victorian Literature") on Friday; the
conference lunch on Saturday; a special session
marking republication by the University
of South Carolina Press of a long-lost
and highly original Victorian novel,
William North’s The City of the Jugglers, or, Free-Trade in Souls
(1850); and an opportunity to meet the editors of three
Victorian scholarly journals.
the deadline for submitting proposals is now past. Inquiries
or offers to chair panels should be emailed to
Patrick Scott at email@example.com.
Program: the full
program is not yet available. When available, it will be
register, please print out the registration form linked here, and
mail to Patrick Scott, Victorians Institute, Thomas Cooper Library,
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. Registration
includes the reception, luncheon, and membership in the Institute,
with Victorians Institute Journal. A reduced preregistration
rate applies to registrations received by September 17.
Friday evening dinner
groups: Some participants will know friends or colleagues with
whom they plan to eat out on Friday evening after the reception. For
those who are new to the Institute or wish to widen their Victorian
acquaintance, Rebecca Stern will be arranging dinner groups of six
to eight. See registration form.
Parking: Most events
(beginning about 10:30 a.m. on Friday October 3 and concluding about 5:30 p.m.
on Saturday October 4) will be held in Thomas Cooper Library, near
the centre of campus. For those staying away from the campus,
the nearest visitor parking is in the upper levels of the Bull St
garage, immediately east of the library: enter by driving up
Bull St from Blossom St, or down Bull St from Greene St, and then
turning at the stop sign to go along the uphill side of the garage
towards the entrance nearest the library.
Hotel Reservations: Rooms
have been reserved at the recently-renovated Courtyard by Marriott
(Downtown at USC), 620
Assembly St, Columbia, 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; be
sure to specify the Courtyard Downtown, as other Marriott hotels are
at a distance).
The hotel runs a shuttle from Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
Other nearby hotels include the Inn
at USC (Pendleton St and Pickens), Claussen's Inn (Greene St near
Five Points), and the Clarion Town House (Gervais St at Pickens). For
more information, click
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