Call for Papers

Join us to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the British Association for Victorian Studies!
20-22 July, 2020, in Birmingham.

Founded in 2000, the British Association for Victorian Studies has grown in both numbers and reach to provide researchers in Britain and beyond with an important forum through which to promote and advance Victorian Studies. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Association, BAVS travels to Birmingham: the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Aston University and Newman University welcome delegates to a city steeped in Victorian history and brimming with Victorian resources and archives. Surrounded by Art and Industry, we will celebrate how the field has developed over the last two decades and look forward to how it will continue to innovate in the years ahead. 

We’re delighted to share our keynotes:
Professor Joseph Bristow (UCLA), “‘Death Recorded’: On Making Mistakes and Committing Errors in Victorian Studies,” and
Professor Jane Hamlett (RHUL) & Professor Julie-Marie Strange (Durham), “The Wild Indoors: Pet Keeping in the Victorian Age”

For the first time in its history, the conference will not have a theme. We invite submissions for papers, panels (3-4 speakers) and roundtables (5-7 speakers) from across the disciplines that address any aspect of Victorian Studies, its past, and its future; those that are related to the strands listed at the bottom of this CFP are especially welcome. We also invite participants to develop their own call for papers for panels or roundtables, which will be posted on the BAVS 2020 website. 

We encourage submissions to two new Forums: the Digital Forum and the Pedagogy Forum. The Digital Forum, curated by Professor Michaela Mahlberg (UoB), will include a session of flash-talks followed by digital presentations of leading Digital Humanities projects in the field of Victorian Studies today. The Pedagogy Forum is a dedicated space to share good practice, reflect on contemporary challenges in teaching Victorian Studies, and develop collaborative teaching opportunities and programmes. 

Topics could include:

  • Authorship and Reception; Form and Genre; Publishing and Reception
  • Capitalism, Crashes & Speculation
  • Biography, Celebrity & Childhood
  • Colonial Aesthetics; Cosmopolitanisms; Race & Victorians
  • Disability & the Victorians
  • Fake News; Victorian Mistakes
  • Forbidden Desires; Gender, Sex & Bodies
  • Forgotten Victorians
  • Journalism & the press
  • Architecture;  Materiality and aesthetics
  • Medicine, Science and Technology
  • Music, Noise & Theatre; Visual & Popular Culture
  • Natural History; Time & the Past; The Future, Utopias & Dystopias
  • Technologies of Seeing; Spectacles of Desire & Fantasy 
  • Transatlantic, Transnational & Transregional Victorians; Europe & the Victorians
  • Travel & Tourism; Victorian Seas & Oceans
  • Victorian Afterlives & Neo-Victorianisms; The Supernatural
  • Victorians & their Animals
  • Victorian Birmingham
  • Victorian Studies Then and Now: 20 years of BAVS
  • Victorian Sustainability

Post Your Own Panel/Roundtable CFP:

To post a CFP for a panel or roundtable, click here. Deadline: 7 February 2020. Calls will be posted on the BAVS2020 website. Final panel or roundtable proposals will be submitted via usual process, below.

Submit Your Paper/Panel/Roundtable Proposal:

Please submit the following to the BAVS2020 submission portal by 1 March 2020:

  • Paper: 250-word abstract for 15-20 minute paper
  • Panel (3-4 speakers): max 1000-word abstract, describing all papers for 1.5 hour session
  • Roundtable (5-7 speakers): max 1000-word abstract, describing all topics for 1.5 hour session
  • Pedagogy Forum: 250-word abstract for 10-20 minute papers
  • Digital Forum: 250-word abstract for 5-7 minute “flash” talk during roundtable session, followed by hands-on digital presentation

Have an idea for a session-type not listed here? Have any other questions? Please get in touch with the organisers.