Spring 2023 Conference CFP


Victorian Experiments: Science, Technology, and Art

The nineteenth century saw the invention of the steam locomotive, the internal combustion engine, the first mechanical computer, the electric telegraph, practical photography, the telephone, the phonograph, the lightbulb, the bicycle, the zipper, and the x-ray, to name just a few technological innovations. As Victorian scientists and engineers changed life for most people, writers, musicians, and artists responded in multitudinous ways. The experimental model began to shape both the creation and consumption of art and literature. How did inventions like the telegraph and the telephone affect communication? How were communities altered by steam travel and the coming of early automobiles? What were the effects of photography and the development of moving pictures on the culture and social formation of Victoria’s Britain and its imperial holdings? VSAO invites proposals for papers on Victorian science and technology and their relationship with the arts and with daily life.

Papers might consider topics including, but not limited to:

  • Domestic life changes through technology
  • Servants and technology
  • Political cartoons, photographs, paintings, or other visual representations of technology
  • Sound reproduction, art, and literature
  • Gender, science, and technology
  • Photography and the fine arts
  • Steam travel and art
  • Leisure time and technology
  • Metaphors of technology and/or science
  • Spectacle and science or technology
  • Dangers of new technology
  • Embracing of or resistance to science and new technologies
  • Inventors and authors, artists, or musicians
  • Monarchy, science, technology
  • Literary or artistic movements related to science and technology
  • Fantasy, speculative fiction, and technology
  • Book production and technology
  • Empire and science and technology
  • Marketplaces and science and technology
  • Study of science and technology in schools, colleges, universities
  • Technological manuals and/or scientific texts

The one-day conference will be held on Saturday 29 April 2023, at Glendon College, York University.

Please send a 300-word proposal and 50-word bio (as MS Word documents) by 15 January 2023, to Jo Devereux: jdevereu@uwo.ca