CFP: Special Issue of Victorian Periodicals Review: The Material Culture of Victorian Domestic Life and the Press

The Material Culture of Victorian Domestic Life and the Press

The Victorian press actively shaped Victorians’ notions of domestic life around several topics: material culture, architecture, interior design, and the gendering of domestic space. In addition to the many studies of Victorian domestic life and coffee table books on Victorian interiors and furnishings are new readings of Victorian authors Isabella Beaton, Charles Eastlake, and Mary Eliza Haweis on domestic taste and furnishings, as well as a neo-Victorian fascination with Victorian design, food, cooking culture, and household management.

Despite this literature, there are many still-understudied areas that are addressed in the periodical press:

  • working-class domestic lives
  • rural home decoration and furnishing in relation to urban design and furnishings
  • the ways Britons recreated British domestic life in the colonies
  • the physical organization of domestic space
  • changes in laws, aesthetics, and gender and class relations (e. g., the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act, the 1870 Education Act, Aestheticism, the department store, the New Woman) that introduced new objects, designs, family relations, gender roles and spatial structures in homes
  • advertising and illustrations of furnishings and the material page

This list is not meant to restrict, but to suggest topics. This CFP seeks to elicit essays on the press’s role in the production of domestic life as an ideal and a set of practices, including across class and the geography of Britain and the colonies. We encourage authors to address the texture of conflicting views on how to conduct and represent domestic life within individual periodicals and across periodicals that contained different ideologies, intentions and readerships in a range of periodicals—the women’s press, architecture journals, general periodicals, the art press and other specialized or trade periodicals.

Please submit a 300-word abstract outlining your proposed contribution and a CV by September 15, 2017 to our guest editor Julie Codell at: Julie.codell@asu.edu Final drafts of essays selected for inclusion in the special issue will be due January 5, 2018. These essays should be 5,000-9,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography) and formatted in Chicago style.


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