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The next conference of the International Federation for Research in Women's History will take place in Amsterdam in late August, in conjunction with the International Congress on the Historical Sciences.

For further information, please visit the website, where you can find details and copies of the latest (40+ page) IFRWH newsletter, which contains the conference program.

For additional information on the ICHS, please visit their website



A one-day conference at Keele University

Saturday 11th September 2010

Plenary Speakers: Howard J. Booth (Manchester) and Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck)

Interest in John Addington Symonds has revived in recent years due to the 1984 publication of his Memoirs (edited by Phyllis Grosskurth), a unique and important record of Victorian homosexuality. He has since become an important figure for historians of sexuality and queer criticism. Despite this resurgence, Symonds has remained a marginalised figure; his participation across multiple academic and creative disciplines is largely excluded from the canon of nineteenth-century cultural criticism. This has prompted John Pemble to write: '[Symonds's contemporary readership] kept his reputation alive and most of his books in print until the 1930s; but his prestige faded as they aged and died off.'

Interest in Symonds has grown and diversified during the 2000s. This one-day conference will provide a forum within which to assimilate and evaluate this new and emerging work; it will offer a wide ranging re-assessment of Symonds, exploring his contribution to multiple disciplines and his significance for current fields of academic study.

More information can be found at the conference website:

This conference is generously supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies, The London Library, and the Research Institute for Humanities, Keele University.



42nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
SESSION ID : 11267 Areas: Women’s and Gender Studies; Comparative Languages

New Brunswick, NJ, Hyatt New Brunswick - Host Institution: Rutgers University April 7-10, 2011

Between 1780 and 1914, the ‘theatre woman’ (including all female performers: actresses, singers, or even dancers) gradually achieved everything: first of all, the female performer upgraded her male counterpart in terms of wages and fame; and secondly she became a fictional heroine. During the period indeed the female performer truly bewitched European authors. One can even suggest the gradual emergence of several sub-genera -- the ‘actress novel,’ (see The Tragic Muse, Graf Petöfy, La Faustin..), the ‘dancer novel’ (see La Fanfarlo), or even the female singer novel (Consuelo). One could even go as far as suggesting a whole network of genera, with for instance, the ‘female dancer poetry’ (Paul Verlaine or Arthur Symons), or the ‘actress play’ (Tosca and Adrienne Lecouvreur)?

This «upgrading» first bears testimony to the growing popularity of the theatre, the actor, and, more significantly, the actress, in the society of the time; it also points to the widespread interest shown in fiction for the feminine as a whole. We would like to investigate the haunting presence of the ‘female performer’, in late 18th, 19th and early 20th century European fiction (plays, novels, poetry). We would like to see, for example, whether the female performer figure is different in ‘Latin’ or ‘Germanic’ countries. We would also like to raise some questions about gender: does the actress embody womanhood as a whole? In which terms? And is the writing of the female performer ?gendered?, that is to say, can we notice differences between male and female writers writing about female players?

Please submit 300-word abstracts in English or French to Corinne François-Denève, Publication of the proceedings of the conference is possible. Corinne François-Denève, UVSQ,, CHCSC, EA 2448, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin.


Category: Victorian

Few critics have addressed fully the various models of masculinity extant in British Victorian women’s writings. How are men ‘constructed’? Do these women writers adhere to the same ideals of Victorian manliness as male authors? This panel will focus on Victorian women writers’ representations of masculinity in the mid to late nineteenth-century. We welcome abstracts on British authors ranging from Elizabeth Gaskell to Florence Nightingale. Please email 250-500 word abstracts to and


Category: Victorian Sensation Fiction at the Fin de Siecle

This panel will examine the ways in which Victorian Sensation Fiction interacted with Modernity. We will ask: How did the genre anticipate and respond to late 19th century Parliamentary activity? In what ways did sensation fiction challenge or reflect evolving ideas about gender and identity? Panelists will interrogate sensation fiction’s relationship to art and aestheticism movements, advances in technologies including “iron horses,” commercial culture, and Modernity’s historical and political events, including Britain’s empire project. We will discuss the ways in which sensation fiction seeded later literary movements such as the “New Woman” novels.

Panel participants should examine specific text(s) that demonstrate literary, historic and cultural links between Sensation Fiction and Modernity (for example: changing gender roles, commercial culture, technology, the arts and the Empire project). 500 word Abstract/bio to Sophie Lavin, NeMLA Women’s Caucus Rep, SUNY Stony Brook: Abstracts that explore underrepresented texts and/or authors are especially encouraged.

Deadline: September 30, 2010



18th and 19th Century Women Writers Association (BWWA)

The 19th Annual 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference The Ohio State University Columbus, OH "Curiosities" March 31- April 3, 2011 Call for Papers: The theme for this year’s conference is “Curiosities.” We encourage submissions that consider how the concept of curiosity—in its dual meaning of intellectual pursuit and particular material objects—influenced the lives and work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women writers, and continues to drive our scholarship today. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches to this topic, and are especially interested in both the ways in which women of this period expressed curiosity about their world through science, politics, philosophy, travel, religion, and art, and the ways in which these same questing, curious women became the subjects and objects of inquiry themselves.

Proposals for panels and individual papers might consider, but are not limited to, the following issues in women's writing of the "long" eighteenth and nineteenth centuries:

• Curious Explorations
• Travel writings/art; ethnographies
• Colonialism and Empire
• Immigration and emigration
• Adventure storiesv • Self-exploration: memoir, autobiography, biography
• Imaginative Exploration: fantasy, dreams Curious Bodies
• Maternity; Sexuality; Race and ethnicity
• Women and disability
• “Freak” studies
• Bodies on display: actresses, dancers , “public women” Morbid Curiosity
• The Gothic
• Supernatural investigations; spiritualism; afterlife
• Scandal; roman à clef
• Bluebeard Tales: the “dangers” of female curiosity Shameful Curiosities & Curious Feelings
• Suspense and Sensation
• Affect; Desire; Disgust
• Forbidden Texts/ Banned Books
• Pornography Curiosity vs. Privacy
• Voyeurism and eavesdropping
• Gossip
• “Private” Genres: letters, diary, closet drama
• Epistolary novels
• The private sphere
• Private legacies: wills, estates, inheritance Cabinets of Curiosities
• Collections and collectors
• Women and/as commodities
• Domestic objects
• Consumerism; shopping; possessions
• Exhibitions and museums Curious Inquiries
• Science and medicine; The Case Study
• Education/ the pursuit of knowledge
• Philosophical and religious investigations
• “The Woman Question”
• Journalism
• Crime and investigation: women’s crime fiction; mystery writing; the female detective
• Experimentation (artistic, scientific, personal)

Note: The journal Prose Studies will be publishing a special issue based upon papers presented at this conference; therefore, we especially encourage proposals focusing on forms of non-fictional prose in addition to work on poetry, drama, fiction, etc. Individual proposals should be two pages: a cover sheet including name, presentation title, university affiliation, address, e-mail address, phone number, and brief biographical paragraph; and a 500-word abstract. Panel proposals should include a coversheet—including panel title, presenters’ names, presentation titles, university affiliations, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, brief biographical paragraphs, and the name of a moderator—followed by separate abstracts (500-word) that describe the significance of the panel topic and each presentation. Please do not include any identifying information on the abstracts.

Proposals must be submitted electronically as an attachment in .doc or .rtf format by Nov. 1, 2010 to the conference e-mail address at:


Panel: "Formal Curiosities"

Paper proposals are invited for a panel-submission on 18th- and 19th-century British women poets and their experimentations with poetic form. How did women poets negotiate form as self-exploration and (how) was form gendered? Papers may examine a single work, the formal development of a single poet or the evolution of a form in the hands of several poets. 500-word abstracts due October 15, 2010; email to Prof. Noah Comet, Please submit proposals in .doc format and attach a c.v.

Note that paper selections will be made very soon after the 10/15 deadline so that papers not accepted for this panel may still be submitted to the general BWWC call (deadline Nov. 1). See above.



Centre for Victorian Studies | University of Exeter

1 – 2 July 2011

Keynote speakers: Stephen Arata | Joseph Bristow | Regenia Gagnier | Catherine Maxwell

The initial reception of ‘decadent’ writing in both France and England was characterized by a focus on form and the importance of the poets of the late Roman Empire. From Theophile Gautier’s Preface to the 1868 edition of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal to Arthur Symons’s ‘The Decadent Movement in Literature’ and Paul Borget’s famous delineation of decadent writing attempts to articulate a ‘decadent poetics’ were central to the definition of this new literature. Yet in recent years our understanding of decadence has been occluded by the focus on cultural politics and sexual transgression, which continue to dominate academic criticism of the fin de siècle. This conference seeks to return to the Victorian interest in language, poetics and form as the key to understanding decadence and aestheticism as literary phenomena. The focus here will be on both poetry and prose of the period and we particularly encourage those interested in marginal and forgotten writers of the period, along with the debates on the relationship between poetics and a culture in decline. In an attempt to outline a decadent poetics, we also seek to expand and complicate the canon of ‘decadent’ writers who dominate prevailing versions of the Victorian fin de siècle.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • education and language
  • Victorians and Roman literature
  • Decadent prosody
  • Decadent and Modernist poetics
  • Aestheticist poetics
  • transatlantic Decadence
  • fin-de-siècle philology/linguistics
  • politics of Decadence and Aestheticism
  • satires of Decadent form
  • print/visual cultures of Decadence
  • Decadence and new technologies
  • genetic readings of Decadence
  • archival Decadence
  • material Decadence

Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent to Dr Alex Murray and Dr Jason Hall via email at by 10 November 2010.

Proposals for panels (comprising three speakers) are also welcome—please submit the title and a brief description of the panel as well as abstracts for the individual papers. Speakers (whether part of a proposed panel or not) are asked to include a one-page CV with full contact details, institutional affiliation (where applicable) and a list of relevant publications. Please bear in mind that final papers should take between 15 and 20 minutes (maximum) to deliver.