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1. From Brontë to Bloomsbury Third International Conference:  Reassessing Women’s Writing of the 1880s and 1890s

July 25-26, 2016, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK

Keynote speakers: Professor Ann Heilmann from the University of Cardiff and Dr. Catherine Pope, founder and managing director of the independent press Victorian Secrets.

The International Centre for Victorian Women Writers' (ICVWW) five-year project From Brontë to Bloomsbury: Realism, Sensation and the New in Women’s Writing from the 1840s to the 1930s aims to trace and reassess how women’s writing develops in the cultural context of the 1840s to the 1930s, a transformative period in women’s private, public and literary lives. While the project includes work by canonical authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, it is also significantly concerned with rediscovering and repositioning the lives and work of neglected female authors.

Now in its third year, the project’s 2016 conference builds on the success of its 2014 and 2015 conferences and seeks proposals for papers that explore the range and vitality of British women’s writing from 1880-1899.  Particularly welcome are papers which encourage new perspectives on literary genre, the critical reception of women writers, or canon formation.

The 1880s and 1890s marked a shift in women’s writing with the death of George Eliot in 1880 and the emergence of politically engaged New Woman writers such as Sarah Grand and Mona Caird and bestselling popular authors such as Marie Corelli. The nineteenth-century’s final decades brought a new generation into conflict with more conservative writers including Ouida and Eliza Lynn Linton, both of whom had made their name in the 1860s. With the collapse of the three-decker in the last years of the century, women writers were able to refashion the traditional form of fiction for their own uses.

Paper topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The New Woman and her opponents
  • Succès de scandale, e.g. Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins
  • Female aesthetes
  • The short story as a feminine mode
  • Journalism and periodical writing
  • Letters, diaries and memoirs
  • Children’s literature
  • Women and scientific literature
  • Lesser known women writers such as Annie E. Holdsworth and Netta Syrett
  • The last best-sellers of the century e.g. Mary Cholmondeley’s Red Pottage, Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler’s A Double Thread

Deadline for paper proposals is March 31, 2016.  Please send 300-word abstracts and a 100-150-word biographical note to the organizing committee – Dr. Susan Civale, Professor Adrienne Gavin, and Dr. Carolyn Oulton – at .

2. CFP: Australasian Victorian Studies Association (AVSA) “Victorian Margins” (2/3/2016; 7/7-9/2016). Ballarat, Australia, 7-9 July, 2016.

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Joseph Bristow (UCLA), “Homosexual Blackmail in the 1890s”
Deadline for Abstracts:  3 February 2016.

Papers (20 minutes) or panel proposals (2-3 papers) are invited on the conference theme “Victorian Margins” – some possible angles include:

  • geographic margins (in the UK; in the Empire; elsewhere)
  • marginalized groups (marginalized by ethnicity; class; sexuality; region; nationality)
  • temporal margins (1830s; fin de siècle)
  • marginalized forms of culture
  • economic margins (profits and losses; costs and benefits)
  • margins as gaps
  • margins as liminal spaces
  • marginal values
  • marginalia
  • margins and centers

The AVSA stream committee welcomes papers relating to Victorian Margins from any discipline in the humanities. Proposals consisting of an abstract (400 words), together with a brief author bio/note of affiliation (particularly for postgraduates), should be submitted to by Wednesday 3 February 2016.

Those who would like to have their papers considered for an issue of the Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies on the theme, please indicate this with your abstract and aim to have the paper in a suitable form for publication as well as oral delivery by the time of the conference.

The Australian History Association theme is “From Boom to Bust.” AVSA members may offer papers on either theme, or neither, but all paper-givers must be financial members of either AVSA or AHA. Registration details available early in 2016, and venues will be in Ballarat CBD. Please note that this joint conference is being organised by the Collaborative Research Centre for Australian History at Federation University. General enquiries to:

3. Victorian Popular Genres: Eighth Annual Conference of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association
14-15th July 2016, Senate House, London

Keynote speakers:  Dr. Joanne Knowles from Liverpool John Moores University and Dr. Andrew Maunder, University of Hertfordshire.

Special exhibition:  “Popular Victorian and Edwardian Fiction: From Cheaper, to Cheap, and then to Cheapest,” curated by John Spiers.

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s conference is recognised as an important event on the annual conference circuit and offers a friendly and invigorating opportunity for established academics and postgraduate students to share their current research. We remain committed to the revival of interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, which is pivotal to the reputation this conference has established.

The organisers invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation of the topic and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which might address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.  Paper topics and panels may include the following:

  • Popularity and unpopularity of different genres: genres that stand the test of time, fad genres, one-hit wonders (novels/authors), best-sellers, niche genres, cyclical process of “popularity”
  • The “popular” as a genre: how it is defined, what it is defined against (e.g. “popular” versus “canonical”/”highbrow” literature); highbrow literature as popular?
  • Teaching the “popular” as a genre
  • Genres of literature: short stories, poetry, plays, drama, novels, novellas, magazines, periodicals
  • Literary thematic genres: Tragedy, Comedy, Realism, Romanticism, Modernism, Melodrama, Gothic, Sensation, Detective, Historical, Children’s Literature, Penny Dreadfuls
  • Literary non-fiction genres: auto/biography, travel, true crime, cookery, craft books, self-help books
  • Interactions with non-literary genres: art, illustrations, painting, photography, music, theatre, circus, freak shows
  • Hybridity, blurring genre boundaries, affinities between different genres
  • The role of Victorian critics in defining and promoting genre boundaries
  • Approaching the popular through theories and theorists of genre
  • Updating Victorian popular genres and making Victorian genres popular: Neo-Victorianism, adaptation, film
  • Print culture and the literary marketplace
  • Readership and Authorship: expectations, intertextuality, target markets, age boundaries
  • Genres' reflection of or effect on Victorian culture, politics, history, geography, and science
  • Victorian popular genres in relation to sex, gender, class, race, disability, nationality, and empire

The organisers especially welcome papers for the conference’s three special topic panels which will be hosted by guest experts:

  • Topic 1: Short Stories, hosted by Vicky Margree
  • Topic 2: Drama, hosted by Kate Newey
  • Topic 3: Poetry, hosted by Anna Barton

Deadline for all proposals is April 1st, 2016.  Please send proposals of no more than 300 words and a 50-word biography in Word format to Drs. Janine Hatter, Helena Ifill and Jane Jordan at: