cfp Margaret Oliphant in Context 6 July 2015

Margaret Oliphant in Context

6 July 2015

Victorian Studies Centre

University of Leicester



A conference on the Victorian novelist, biographer, literary critic and historian Margaret Oliphant (1828-97) is being held at the Victorian Studies Centre, University of Leicester, to celebrate the publication of the 25 volume Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant, (Pickering and Chatto, 2011-16) under the general editorship of Joanne Shattock and Elisabeth Jay. See

Margaret Oliphant was a Victorian woman of letters, who wrote across multiple genres: fiction, literary criticism, history, travel writing, and biography. Her Autobiography (1899) is justly celebrated as a unique writing life. In her reviewing and in her wider journalism, her subjects included literature in English and European languages, philosophy, theology, art and current social issues, especially those affecting women. She was also a translator and a series editor.

Papers are invited on all aspects of Oliphant’s writing from her subject matter to her use of a variety of genres. Comparisons with other Victorian writers are encouraged.  Topics might include but are not confined to:

serial fiction; the short story ; life writing; journalism; reviewing ; travel writing; translation; literary history; social history; the supernatural; independent women; Scotland; the prolific writer; the professionalization of literature

Deadline for paper and panel proposals 2 March 2015

Please submit a 250-300 word proposal to . Papers will be limited to 20 minutes. Proposals for panels of two or three papers are welcome.

Cfp Networks of Media and Print in the Age of Imperialism

23 April 2015, University of Warwick

This conference will examine the means by which imperial networks of print and media helped fashion individual and collective identities across national and proto-national boundaries in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Aiming to be a comparative conference, it will consider the ways in which media and publishing networks connected European and Japanese colonial powers to their respective colonies in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas, forging and extending imperial ideologies. While reader demand, as well as the changing colonial power dynamic, played a part in determining representations of imperialism and the colonized ‘other’, the conference aims at exploring how such print technologies and networks were used conversely by colonized peoples in efforts to formulate national or transnational identities, as well as to imbibe, renegotiate or contest matrixes of imperial power. Additionally, it will address how media and print produced by various imperial powers and their colonized subjects transcended their specific regional contexts by interacting with and informing other imperialisms or colonized regions, and by extending to what were considered non-colonized and non-imperial power spaces.

Papers are welcome on the following topics:

  • Visual representations of empire/imperialism
  • Imperialist and anti-imperialist print culture
  • Material aspects of colonial and anti-colonial literature (book design, illustration, publication, posters and advertising)
  • Newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and ephemera
  • Colonial editions; colonial libraries/imperial club libraries
  • Imperial adaptations and appropriations
  • Technologies of print in colonies
  • Long-distance correspondence between authors, editors, agents, and publishers
  • Post-colonialism and book history

Please send an abstract of up to 500 words and a brief biographical note (100 – 150 words) to: Tara Puri ( and/or Ashok Malhotra (

Two travel bursaries are available for postgraduate students. If you would like to be considered, please submit a short outline of your research along with the abstract.

Deadline for abstracts: 16 January 2015. Decisions will be announced at the end of the month.

CFP: Media 19 Conference. The press and journalists in the 19th century: identities and modernities (Paris, 8-12 June 2015)

The French-Quebecker Media 19 project, funded by the Agence nationale de la recherche (France) and the Fonds de recherche québécois – Société et culture (2011-2015) is now completing its first phase. Devised around the digital platform, the project serves as a frame for developing critical thinking on journalistic practices in the 19th century, on the promotion and analysis of corpuses, as well as on the study of media culture development within the Francophone space. This conference is an opportunity to both assess past activities (using the Medias 19 platform data) and to invite researchers to discuss ongoing projects. The conference will last five working days and revolves around five main axes, which have determined scientific research as conducted by Medias 19.

The conference will be in Paris, at the Canadian Cultural Center (5, rue de Constantine, 7th arrondissement). Paper presentations are 20 minutes long. Proposals (250 words, a short bio, full contact addresses, home institution) must be sent to by January 1, 2015.

CFP Workshop: Dissecting Society. Periodical Literature and Social Observation (1830-1850)

New York University (Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences), 20th of March 2015

Between 1830 and 1850, on a rapidly expanding print market, a vast amount of short literary pieces on cultural manners, social types and societal developments appeared on the European press and beyond. These “protosociological sketches“ (M. Lauster) or “panoramic literature“ (W. Benjamin) were published in the periodical press as well as in serial collections frequently illustrated with engravings. Assembling an extensive array of urban and rural types, these literary and visual sketches, commissioned to writers, aimed at constructing a total view of a city or of a nation, and were later to appear in compilations such as Paris, ou le livre des cent-et-un, Heads of the People or Los españoles pintados por sí mismos, to name just a few. In trying to reveal outer appearances and inner logics of their period, these sketches involve reflect on concepts such as “culture”, “society” and “nation”. Even though there has been a considerable amount of studies about “panoramic literature“ in terms of literary criticism, its alliances with the emerging humanities and social sciences has rarely been studied. Hence, this workshop aims to stimulate an interdisciplinary and transnational approach to this literary corpus, in order to reconsider it vis-à-vis the emergence of the social sciences.

The workshop will be held on the 20th of March 2015 at the Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at New York University. It will bring together researchers from any discipline related to panoramic literature (and its visual production) as early forms of sociological observation within a history of knowledge. Comprised by 15-20 minutes papers integrated into panels, the workshop will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas, to advance work in progress and nourish new collaborations.

We encourage the submission of papers, especially of those sharing work in progress. Topics covered may include:


  • Delimiting “proto-sociological“ or “panoramic“ literature in an interdisciplinary perspective: borders, overlaps, modes of definition (e.g. interdependencies with statistical, economic or antiquarian works, with urban portrait and reportage, political journalism, or travel literature)
  • Recurrent lines of discourse of social observation (social classes and money as structuring features, the rise of “new“ values, new technologies, declining customs and professions).
  • Conditions of reception: readership and social/political impact of the sketches
  • National/regional differences and interregional/transnational circulations/ adaptations of sociological knowledge
  • Text-image relationships in relation to emerging forms of sociological and ethnographical representation.
  • Epistemology: scientific currents and the adaptation of patterns of knowledge (zoology, botany, medicine, physiology, physiognomy, biology…)
  • Evaluations of societal questions and ideologies
  • The city as context and content of social observation, institutions of knowledge, and the rise of social science


Please send your abstract by November 30, 2014 (400 words maximum) to The conference language will be English. You will be notified about your participation by December 10.

We will ask the participants to submit a one-page paper containing the thesis of their presentation by March 1. We will then distribute these papers among the rest of the participants.

CFP Making It New: Victorian and Modernist Literature and Periodicals, 1875-1935

This conference aims to suture the ‘divide’ between ‘Victorian’ and ‘Modernist’ literature, to explore the ways in which they dovetailed and overlapped, shared ideals and textual practice. We seek papers exploring novels, poetry, periodicals, little modernist magazines and other textual ephemera.

Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted by 5 January 2015 to:

Deborah Mutch,
Louise Kane,