Fall 2020 Newsletter

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I hope you are all well in these difficult times. Like so many other associations, the VSAO has had to postpone or alter planned events, including our annual spring conference for this year. Optimistic Victorianists all, we hope to be able to hold the conference in April 2021 at Glendon College. We think that the conference theme, “Victorian Animals and Human Interventions,” will be just as relevant in 2021—perhaps even more!—than in 2020.

During registration for the spring 2021 conference, members will be able to renew their membership and new members to join the association via Eventbrite. Please stay tuned for more information!

The fall 2020 evening lecture will be moving to an online format. This year, it will be long-time member Martin Danahay, who will be talking about “Arts and Crafts as a Brand.” His lecture had been planned for March and since it had to be cancelled then, we are pleased to be able to present the lecture via Zoom on Thursday, November 19th, at 7 PM. More information on how to join the meeting will be coming soon.

Thank you as always to the brilliant and kind VSAO executive for all their help and support. I am so honoured to be part of this great association and look forward to some wonderful events in the coming months.

All the very best,
Jo Devereux
Assistant Professor, Department of English and Writing Studies, Western University
President, Victorian Studies Association of Ontario

Winter Evening Lecture 2020

Link

Please save the date for our winter VSAO Evening Lecture! We are so pleased that long-time VSAO member Professor Martin Danahay (Brock University) will be speaking about “Arts and Crafts as a Brand” on Thursday 12 March 2020, 6:30 pm. Room 1210, Bahen Centre, University of Toronto.

 

Here is the abstract for his upcoming talk:

 

Arts and Crafts designs, especially prints designed by William Morris, have been adopted by contemporary companies, most notable by H & M in their “Morris & Co x H& M” line of clothing. The H & M web site refers to the “Arts and Crafts brand” which raises the question whether this term can legitimately be applied to the original nineteenth-century movement. Was Arts and Crafts a “brand”? If so, how does Morris’s political agenda coincide or conflict with the idea of a “brand”? And what happens to the political aspects of Arts and Crafts when original Morris designs are repurposed as shirts? Finally, is there an indissoluble connection between and arts and crafts design and politics?

Image result for morris and company"

 

CFP: Victorian Animals

Please find below details of a call for papers for the upcoming Victorian Studies Association of Ontario conference,

“Light in Dark Places: Victorian Animals and Human Interventions,” to be held at Glendon College, Toronto, 25 April 2020.

Keynote Speakers:

Jody Berland, York University

Susan Hamilton, University of Alberta

 

From Queen Victoria’s beloved dachshund, Dash, to Lewis Carroll’s furry feline, Dinah, pets were an integral part of the Victorian domestic world, while thousands of working animals laboured outside the home in transportation, farming, mining, and other industries. As the century went on, the rise in animal welfare agencies and the anti-vivisection movement focused the public’s attention on the exploitation of and cruelty to animals. Imperialist and colonialist big game hunters killed hundreds of animals for trophies to display back home in Britain. A burgeoning reading public reacted in various ways to Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Descent of Man, both of which suggested deep connections between humans and other species. As a result, there was a shift in Victorians’ perceptions of animals and their relationship(s) to human beings. Ever since Harriet Ritvo’s The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in Victorian England (1989), scholars have increasingly looked at questions surrounding animal rights, the consumption and representation of animals, and changing attitudes towards animals in the nineteenth century.

We welcome papers that explore Victorians and the biological creatures that inhabited their historical moment. How did Victorians understand and represent animals in popular culture and in various media, including the fine arts, literature, advertising, and political cartoons? What effects might we trace in the use of animals for entertainment: on the stage, in zoos and circuses, and on the street? How did Victorians consume animals and animal products for food, fashion, and housewares? What role did animals play in constructing both British colonialist and imperialist agendas?

 

Possible themes might include but are not limited to:

 

  • fictional representations of animals
  • anthropomorphism
  • evolutionary, post-humanist, and Anthropocene theories and studies
  • print culture and animals, illustrations, cartoons, poetry
  • consumption of animal and animal products
  • animals in visual culture, paintings, sculpture, advertising
  • children’s literature and animals
  • anti-vivisection
  • photography and animals
  • taxidermy
  • animals and natural history museums and museum studies
  • zoos, circuses, and menageries
  • hunts and hunting cultural histories
  • animals in sport
  • anatomical studies
  • capitalism, empire, and animal labour
  • animals and colonialist and imperialist histories and representations
  • medical and scientific discourses involving animals
  • veterinary practice
  • animal products in the fashion industry
  • endangered and extinct animals of the era

 

Please send an email attachment of your 300-to-400-word paper proposal, and 100-word biographical statement to: Lin Young (l.young@queensu.ca& Emily Rothwell (ejrothwell@gmail.com) by 5 February 2020.

 

CFP: VSAO-Sponsored ACCUTE Joint Session–“Eco-Victorians: Water, Land, and the World” for Congress 2020

CFP: VSAO-Sponsored ACCUTE Joint Session–“Eco-Victorians: Water, Land, and the World”–for the Humanities Congress at the University of Western Ontario, May 30th-June 5th, 2020.
From Charles Dickens’s ecopoetical rivers, to the wondrous route across the sea to Treasure Island, the Victorian era was resplendent with images of water, seafaring, and global travel. At the same time, as J.M.W. Turner’s visceral abolitionist painting Slave Ship attests, society was literally kept afloat by the oceanic trade routes which forcibly moved both human (slaves) and inhuman cargo (colonized resources) throughout what Paul Gilroy has famously coined “the Black Atlantic.” The word “ecology” was coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1866, ushering in the formal study of diverse ecosystems, terrain sites and watery worlds which were then being transformed by industrial capitalism and imperialism. Indeed, Victorians saw the power of “the Anthropocene” unleashed during that grave epoch in which the human species became, and has remained, the dominant influence on our planet’s climate and environment.

This panel invites papers that examine the way in which water, land, and the ecological world connecting them was constructed in this era.

Possible themes might include but are not limited to:

  • representations of seas, landscapes, and ecosystems
  • eco-writing, eco-criticism, print culture, illustration
  • tourism, parks, maritime histories, leisure activities
  • decolonial representations, anthropocene studies, global Victorian literatures
  • histories of imperialism, colonization, migration, diasporic communities and slavery
  • genre fiction and ecologies
  • spatial histories, environmental architecture in urban, rural, domestic and cultural spaces

Please send an email attachment of your 300-to-500-word paper proposal, without personal identifying marks, and the 2020 Proposal Info Sheet available on the ACCUTE website to Emily Rothwell and Lin Young by November 15, 2019:

https://accute.ca/accute-conference/accute-cfp-jointly-sponsored-panels/#VSAO

ACCUTE 2020 The following CFPs are for panels held at the ACCUTE conference that are jointly sponsored by ACCUTE and another organization. Note: You must be a member in good standing, either of ACCUTE or of the co-sponsoring organization, to present on a joint panel. However, only ACCUTE …
accute.ca
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