Archives par mot-clé : victorien

Appel à contributions : Penny Dreadfuls and the Gothic: Edited Collection

Penny Dreadfuls and the Gothic: Edited Collection, Call for Papers

Famed for their scandalous content and supposed pernicious influence on a young readership, it is little wonder why the Victorian penny dreadful was derided by critics and, in many cases, censored or banned. These serialised texts, published between the 1830s until their eventual decline in the 1860s, were enormously popular, particularly with working-class readers. As Judith Flanders has highlighted in The Invention of Murder(2011), for every publisher of “respectable fiction”, there were ten for penny fiction. However, despite their evidential popularity, these texts have fallen into obscurity; this could be accounted for perhaps due to their ephemeral nature with many titles being lost or incomplete, alternatively this could be the effects of literary criticisms from writers such as Charles Dickens and James Greenwood overspilling into contemporary scholarship. Neglecting these texts from Gothic literary criticism creates a vacuum of working-class Gothic texts which have, in many cases, cultural, literary and socio-political significance. This collection aims to redress this imbalance and critically assess these crucial works of literature.

Continuer la lecture de Appel à contributions : Penny Dreadfuls and the Gothic: Edited Collection

Victorian Encounters and Environments

12th Annual VPFA Conference
‘Victorian Encounters and Environments’
15-17th July 2020
University of Greenwich, London


The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular.

We invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation on the topic of ‘Victorian Encounters and Environments’ and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which addresses literal or metaphorical representations of the theme. Inter- and multidisciplinary approaches are welcome, as are papers which address poetry, drama, global literature, non-fiction, visual arts, historical and social contexts. Papers addressing works from the “long Victorian period” (i.e. before 1837 and after 1901) are also welcome.

Continuer la lecture de Victorian Encounters and Environments

Appel : Fantasy victorienne

Revue Fantasy Art and Studies n°4, “Victorian Roots/Racines victoriennes”

Réponses attendues avant le 10 janvier

Dans son ouvrage pionnier dans l’étude de la Fantasy en France (La Fantasy, Paris, Klincksieck, 2007), Anne Besson réfute l’idée selon laquelle la Fantasy serait aussi ancienne que les épopées d’Homère – une idée souvent défendue par les auteurs de Fantasy dans une stratégie de légitimation du genre –, et considère au contraire que le genre n’a commencé à se développer qu’à partir de l’époque victorienne, en Grande-Bretagne. Elle réaffirme cette position dans le MOOC consacré à la Fantasy qu’elle a lancé à l’Université d’Artois, et dont le sous-titre est « De l’Angleterre victorienne au Trône de fer ».

On peut difficilement nier que la Fantasy, comme les autres genres de l’imaginaire, a en effet commencé à émerger pendant l’ère victorienne, une période où le surnaturel fascinait aussi bien les écrivains que les peintres. On peut ainsi voir un lien entre la vogue de la peinture féerique au 19e siècle, étudiée par Nicola Bown Continuer la lecture de Appel : Fantasy victorienne

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives An essay assemblage (30 juin 2012)

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives An essay assemblage

(abstracts for june 30 2012)

full name / name of organization:
Mark Houlahan/ University of Waiakto, Hamilton, New Zealand
contact email:

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives
An essay assemblage
Edited by Mark Houlahan, Kirstine Moffat and Fiona Martin

In these the best of times (and the worst), the age of wisdom (and the age of foolishness), the epoch of belief and incredulity, the season of darkness and light, the spring of hope and the winter of despair, steampunk has flourished. Airships circle the globe; clanking machines haunt the ocean’s deeps. Fractals of history merge and re- combine. Babbage’s quaint math reinvents the computer a century before its prime; of necessity, as the neo-Victorian knows no silicon chip, steampunk computers gleam and creak with wooden stylings and mechanically wrought interiors.

K.W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk” as an offhand phrase in 1987, but the name has stuck, for it evokes well a diverse range of cultural, textual, material practices; there have been many attempts since to rename these formats, but none has supplanted the rhythmically trochaic force of steampunk.

Jeter used his catchphrase to evoke the crossover, transhistorical, mechanical and mythical fictions he, among many others, had been concocting. His Morlock Nights for example, flinging Merlin reborn against the Morlock’s from The Time Machine, is strongly influenced by 1970s precursors, such as the apocalyptic Londonist fantasies of Michael Moorcock. The burgeoning steampunk archive traces these energies further back, claiming the sci fi of H.G. Wells and, in particular, Jules Verne as proto-steampunk. Their machines are weirdly credible, described with loving detail (the time machine is as seducing as the Tardis to enter), and yet the futurist past in Verne and Wells is high fantastical. The 2012 film Mysterious Island visualises this beautifully. The battery of Captain Nemo’s sunken Nautilus has gone flat after 150 years in the sea. Throw a spear in to the mouth of a galvanic electric eel, and, huzzah, the re-energised ship will take you home.

Steampunk fantasies are intricate and beguiling, throwing adventure, wonder, industrial age grime and glamour into the history blender. Often these are remade Victorian worlds, but need not be. In Link and Grant’s exuberant 2011 anthology Steampunk!, M.T. Anderson describes a fate machine with a computer’s number crunching powers, and then sets it loose on the violent history of Ancient Rome.

Steampunk clothing and texts, websites and anthologies, steampunk conventions and capitals (such as Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand) have been with us for decades; yet steampunk is just now emerging as a subject of academic interest, intertwining cultural, historical, textual and media studies approaches. There are numerous essays on steampunk writers, and in 2010 Neo-Victorian Studies devoted a whole special issue to the field. Much of this focuses on canonical texts, such as Gibson and Sterling’s Difference Engine, and such is the speed with which steampunkers have recreated various pasts, that any one snap shot needs rapid updating.

We propose then a new collection reframing the field, and invite abstracts on any aspect of steampunk. Who are the texts and who the authors that really matter? If it’s not neo-Victorian, does it still count? Tell us about steampunk in other media and other ages, in machinist art and machinist clothes. Steampunk on screen and on the page. Are steampunk stories good beginnings that can never quite finish, like the long tales of H.G. Wells, which dwindle to feeble conclusions after tremendous beginning?

If you are keen, please contact us: by cyber age computing is best. We need your abstracts by July 1, 2012. We will package the best of these for an international publisher—there are several who are keen to see the collection. We’d then like final copy of the chosen essays by February 1, 2013. If we all survive the Mayan apocalypse, you should have plenty of time to frame your piece.

Send further inquiries, great new reads and of course your abstracts by July 1, 2012 to:

Mark Houlahan (
Senior Lecturer, English Programme
School of Arts
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand

Kirstine Moffat (
Senior Lecturer & English Programme Convenor,
School of Arts
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand

CFP: A New Look at the Gothic Monster (SAMLA, Durham, North Carolina. Nov. 9-11, 2012)

A New Look at the Gothic Monster

(SAMLA, Durham, North Carolina. Nov. 9-11, 2012)

South Atlantic Modern Language Association
contact email:

A New Look at the Gothic Monster

This panel explores the cultural roles that monsters inhabit in Gothic fiction. Since the late-Victorian period, popular fiction has featured a panoply of monsters—vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, mummies, shape-shifters, unknowable, and amorphous “things,” and a variety of other undeads. The evolution of monsters, what they represent, and why audiences need them are subjects of interest for this panel. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following areas: psychology and the monster; the abhuman; the post-human and the monster; the monster in imperial Gothic fiction; popular fiction and the monster; cultural transformations of the monster.

By May 30, 2012, please submit 300-word abstracts to Sharla Hutchison, Fort Hays State University, at