The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals holds its annual conference each summer or early fall at a different location in North America or Europe, on a theme relating to Victorian culture and society as reflected in its periodicals. RSVP offers a limited number of travel awards for graduate students and independent or retired scholars to assist with the costs of presenting at the conference. All those giving a paper at the RSVP conference are required to be members of the Society.
RSVP 2022 CFP
International Online Conference
September 15-17, 2022
Proposals accepted January 15 through February 14
‘How are we to think of the edge of a given landscape or seascape? Assuming it exists – something we cannot take for granted – is it a limit, a perimeter, a periphery? What is it and how are we to think of it?’
-Edward Casey, The Places of a Landscape (2011, p. 91)
This conference builds on the ongoing work in nineteenth-century studies that challenges and extends the spatial, temporal and conceptual limits of what we understand by the Victorian period, Victorian studies, the British Empire, and centre/periphery models and practices. Through a focus on the matter of the long nineteenth-century’s pervasive mass medium, the periodical press, we ask participants to consider how the press in its multiple genres, iterations, networks, materialities, and practices reinforced, resisted or extended margins, limits, and edges.
We invite individual papers, panels or roundtables that might consider some of the following questions:
- How does a focus on the blank space of margins or press ‘marginalia’ help us rethink or reframe histories of the press and print culture studies?
- How do the taxonomy-driven or categorical practices of the press or press economies deal with the volatility of margins?
- How does the ‘margin’ operate in methodological/conceptual approaches to newspaper history and print culture studies? What is the relationship between the margin and the dynamics of the ‘trans’ or ‘inter’: e.g., transimperial; transnational; transhistorical; transhuman; translation; trans/inter-disciplinary; intertexual; intersectional; interspecies?
- How does the press operate as an agent or structure of marginalisation of BIPOC and those othered by age, class, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexuality, species? How is such marginalisation challenged or resisted within the press?
- What is the relationship between the marginal or marginalised and processes of becoming, resurgence, the nascent, and the speculative that reshape the nineteenth-century press?
- Is it useful to differentiate between margins, borders, edges and perimeters in relation to press genres (e.g. articles; illustrations; essays; leaders; editorials; middles; serial fiction; travel writing; poetry; notices; occasional or miscellaneous notes; reviews; illustrations; jokes; competitions etc.)
- What are the limits or uses of periphery/semi-periphery/centre models (spatial; geographical; historical; socio-political; cultural) in our understanding of the operations and influence of the nineteenth-century press?
- How does the press shape boundaries of the urban; suburban; regional; national; imperial? Of landscapes; gardens; domestic and public spaces?
- What forms of periodical media emerge from the (apparent) geographical margins of the nineteenth-century British world-system?
- What alternative mappings, prosthetic-enhanced redefinitions, or extractive transformations/subjugations emerge in the nineteenth-century press in relation to physical geography; biological matter; virtual space; actual or affective networks; public or private spheres?
- What is the relationship between market limits and marginalisation/margins?
What is the relationship between ideas of the marginal and the liminal? How do we conceptualise the margin/ ‘penumbra’ of a periodical text or event? Methods and conceptions of ‘offline penumbra’?
- What new understandings of genres, genre transgressions, emerging genres are shaped by considerations of limits?
- What limits shape our teaching of the nineteenth-century press? Which limits are useful? Which need extending and how do we do this work?
- Framing, layout, paratextual matter: their aesthetics, economies and creators?
- What ‘messy’ methodologies extend the received limits of periodical and print culture studies?
The RSVP conference committee invites individual proposals (abstracts 200-300 words max.), as well as panel proposals (3-4 presenters, 200-word panel rationale + abstracts 200 words per presenter) and roundtables (300-word rationale, max. 6 people).
Please submit your abstracts plus a biographical note (100 words max.) via our online portal between 15 January and 14 February 2022. Applicants will learn of the acceptance decisions by approximately 31 March 2022.
Flexible Presentation Formats
RSVP’s online conference will offer different delivery modes to facilitate discussion and collaboration. On acceptance, presenters will be asked to choose a format such as:
- Paper (max. 2,500 words)
- 15-minute recorded PowerPoint presentation
- One-page poster
All materials must be submitted by 1 September 2022 to facilitate audience engagement and feedback. The conference’s live panel sessions will comprise panelist synopses (each 5 minutes or less) followed by dialogue and exchange, which will be the main focus of the panel.