Thursday, December 29, 2011

CFP Neo-Victorian Studies


Note: Neo-Victorian Studies accepts submissions for forthcoming general issues throughout the year. Please see the general CFP that follows the special issue CFPs below. For forthcoming special issues, please observe the relevant posted deadlines.

permanent Call for Papers (General Issue):

NVS invites creative and scholarly submissions from established and early career researchers and creative artists on any topic related to the exploration of the nineteenth century from a twentieth/twenty-first century perspective. Contributions on the period’s cultural legacies in non-British contexts, e.g. Asian, African, North and South American frameworks, are equally welcome. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- theorising the neo-Victorian novel
- intertextual / intervisual negotiations with the past
- cultural traumas and practices of commemoration
- refracting or ‘queering’ narratives of nation and empire
- tracing patterns of environmental impact and destruction
- the legacies of nineteenth century sexual politics
- the heritage of Victorian law and social policy
- rewriting histories of science and medicine
- the biographical imagination/bio-fiction
- re-conceptualising children and childhood
- the fascinations of criminality
- spectrality, spiritualism, and the occult
- the space of cultural memory / the sense of place

Submissions may include:

- scholarly theoretical/critical articles of 6000-8000 words (plus bibliography)
- creative pieces (any genre of creative writing or creative arts)
- polemical pieces
- interviews
- notices of work in progress
- reviews of relevant critical/creative publications in the field
- (for future issues) critical/creative responses to previous contributions

Please direct enquiries and send electronic submissions via email with Word Document attachment to the General & Founding Editor, Marie-Luise Kohlke, at Please consult our submission guidelines, prior to submission.

Special Issue 5:1 (2012)
The Child in Neo-Victorian Arts and Discourse: Renegotiating Nineteenth-Century Concepts of Childhood
Guest Editors: Claudia Nelson and Anne Morey

Neo-Victorianism has become a major trend in contemporary literature and culture. Novels, motion pictures, documentaries and TV series have all contributed to the persistent re-imagination of the nineteenth century. While neo-Victorianism in fiction and film has sparked off a lively academic industry, its impact on children’s literature and contemporary discourses on childhood has not yet been fully addressed. The Victorians were obsessed with the Romantic ideal of the innocent child of nature, an innocence that was thought to be perennially at risk; witness the centrality of the child victim in Victorian melodrama and the astonishing popularity of orphan narratives. Victorian constructions of childhood were also intimately linked to empire. Pauper children were frequently orientalised as ‘street Arabs’, while the indigenous inhabitants of the colonies were often portrayed as children, imposing various forms of maternalism and paternalism upon the coloniser. Both pauper children at the metropolitan centre and indigenous children at the outskirts of empire were frequently construed as orphans, even if their parents were still alive. Orphan narratives framed trafficking in children from the outskirts of empire to the centre and vice versa, as pauper children were sent abroad to the settler colonies as cheap labour hands, while ‘orphans’ in the colonies were removed from their parents in order to be raised at missionary homes or by Anglo-parents who could not conceive themselves.
This special issue of Neo-Victorian Studies will explore how Victorian constructions of childhood are re-mediated and renegotiated in contemporary arts and discourse, from neo-Victorian children’s literature and/or fiction featuring children, heritage film and television, the media, social policy making and family politics, to present-day legal frameworks. In particular, how do revisionary fiction and other contemporary cultural discourses for/about children and/or young adults rejuvenate, modify, and assist us in re-thinking the Victorians and associated themes of temporality, cross-generational continuities, and urgent social issues such as child labour, trafficking and paedophilia?
 Contributions, both academic articles and creative pieces, are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

• rewrites and film adaptations of Victorian children’s/young adults’ classics and/or child-focused fictions (The Little Princess, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, The Turn of the Screw, etc.)
• re-imaginings of stock child characters from Victorian melodrama and other popular genres (orphans, street Arabs, innocent angels, feral and criminal children, etc.)
• re-inventions of Victorian narrative and dramatic genres for children (e.g. the adventure story, fairytale, moral tract, Bildungsroman, puppet play, and pantomime)
• adaptations of neo-Victorian genres for juvenile audiences (cf. steampunk or graphic novels for children and adolescents)
• continuities/discontinuities between contemporary narratives about adoption and migration and nineteenth-century orphan narratives
• imagined child readers/viewers
• child illness/death; children and medicine
• neo-Victorian vs. neo-Edwardian children’s fiction and other art forms
• the child victim in socio-legal and political discourse
• colonial vs. postcolonial representations of the child

Please address enquiries and expressions of interest to the guest editors Claudia Nelson at and Anne Morey at by 31st January 2012, including a 200 word proposal with draft bibliography and brief biographical details. Completed articles and/or creative pieces will be due 1st April 2012 and should be sent via email to the guest editors, with a copy to Please consult the NVS website (submission guidelines) for further guidance.

Special Issue 5:2 (2012)
The Other Dickens: Neo-Victorian Appropriation and Adaptation
Guest Editors: Elodie Rousselot and Charlotte Boyce

As part of the bicentenary celebrations of Dickens's birth, the editors of a special issue of Neo-Victorian Studies on 'The Other Dickens: Neo-Victorian Appropriation and Adaptation' invite contributors to consider the 'other' Dickens - those aspects of Dickens's life and work that have been the subject of recent revision, reappraisal, and transformation in contemporary culture. The special issue will aim to critically assess our persisting fascination with this canonical Victorian figure and, more generally, the 'Dickensian' cultural legacy of the Victorian age in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We would especially welcome papers and creative pieces which address the continued influence of Dickens on neo-Victorian studies, in literature, in bio-fiction, as well as in film and television adaptations of his novels. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Dickens and adaptation/re-writings
• Dickens and the legacies of Empire
• International/trans-cultural Dickens in the age of globalisation
• Dickens and contemporary politics (social reforms, the 'Big Society', philanthropy)
• Dickens and twenty-first-century material/commodity culture and consumerism
• Dickens and revisions of gender in the private and public spheres
• Dickens and neo-Victorian nostalgia
• Gothicised Dickens/Dickens's ghosts
• Dickens and Dickens's women in bio-fiction
• Dickens and (self-)performance/performing the past

Please send a 500 word proposal for a 6,000-8,000 word chapter to the guest editors Elodie Rousselot ( and Charlotte Boyce( by 29 February 2012, adding a short biographical note. Completed articles and/or creative pieces will be due by 15 July 2012 and should be sent as a Word.doc attachment via email to the guest editors, with a copy to Please consult the NVS website (submission guidelines) for further guidance.

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