Call for Papers – RSVP 2017


We are delighted to announce that the call for papers is now open for our next conference Borders and Border Crossings (website link to follow). The conference will take place at Freiburg University, Germany, 27th – 29th July 2017.

Call for Papers

Victorians reached out not only to rule the world but even more so to explore it in travel, scientific endeavour or in search of new experiences. Victorian periodicals reported on these experiences, and gave advice or warnings. As the 2017 conference is taking place in the border country of Germany, Switzerland and France, its special interest will be on borders and border crossings. Though geographically part of Europe, Britain has always seen the continent very much as ‘beyond’ its borders and travels to the continent, as much as travel around the globe, as a form of ‘border crossing’. Papers might explore engagements with the continent as explorations of a culturally superior or fascinating as well as repelling or perhaps threatening foreign ‘other’ and in connection with national self-perceptions as much as attempts to understand other cultures. Of particular interest for this conference are:

  • explorations of the European continent in travel reports,
  • historical accounts,
  • discussion of political systems,
  • report on revolutions (f. ex. in France, Germany, Italy),
  • war correspondence,
  • descriptions of national character,
  • the continent as location in fiction,
  • engagement with continental literature,
  • fine arts and music,
  • experiences of continentals in Britain,
  • fashion reviews,
  • visual depictions of the continent,
  • reports on royal houses
  • comparisons between Britain, Europe and other continents
  • American/European relations and American views of Europe in periodicals

Papers might also address

  • gender boundaries and their transgression
  • genre borders and border crossings (within periodicals as well as between periodicals and other media)
  • contacts and exchanges between British and foreign periodicals.

The programme committee invites proposals for a special session on women’s history and Victorian periodicals in memory of Sally Mitchell, a longstanding member of RSVP and pioneer in this field.

Suggestions for papers of a more general nature will also be considered.

RSVP is an interdisciplinary and international organization welcoming all scholars interested in the richly diverse world of the 19th-century British press. Please send a proposal (250 words maximum) and a short CV (no more than 200 words) to by 31st January 2017. Individual presentations should be fifteen to twenty minutes, and proposals for panels of three are welcome. Please include a brief rationale for the panel along with an abstract and CV for each presenter.

Of particular interest to graduates – A limited number of travel grants will be awarded to graduate students; please indicate in your email if you would like to be considered for one of these grants.


Prof. Dr. Barbara Korte, Dr. Stefanie Lethbridge. Both lecturers at the English department of Freiburg University.

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