CfP: Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users: Studying Victorian Print Consumption in 2014, 16-17 June 2014, National University of Ireland, Galway

Call For Papers

 Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users: Studying Victorian Print Consumption in 2014

 16-17 June 2014

Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies,

National University of Ireland, Galway

Deadline for Proposals: 16 April 2014.

 Plenary speakers

Dr Stephen Colclough, Bangor University.

Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin, National University of Ireland, Galway.

 Nineteenth-century studies continues to engender some of the most dynamic scholarship in the study of historical readership with works like Leah Price’s How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (2012) featuring some of the most thought-provoking commentary on reader encounters with print to emerge in recent times.   

Conceptualisations of the functions print commodities served for various groups of nineteenth-century consumers grow increasingly nuanced.  Much of this research into the history of reading has been fuelled by mass digitization endeavours like Google Books and digital humanities projects like The Reading Experience Database. However, while such resources offer significant possibilities, the conditions under which one now engages with this primary material can give rise to questions of context, materiality, and access.  Accordingly, this two-day conference will seek to appraise the current state of the field and offer a forum for twenty-minute papers that address any aspect of the consumption and production of Victorian print culture matter, historical or contemporary.  It is also envisaged that an edited collection published by an international academic house will result from the conference.

Possible topics upon which submissions are welcome include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Historical readers and reading practices of the Victorian period
  • Readership and issues of gender and/or sexuality: e.g. constructions of “the woman reader”; “masculine” reading matter; and “queer” reading experiences.
  • Periodical and/or serial circulation and consumption in territories like nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia
  • The publication, dissemination, and consumption of books and/or series in nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia
  • Transnational print culture in the nineteenth century: national and global identities
  • Methodological concerns in the study of the history of reading
  • Consumers, producers, and Victorian visual culture
  • Disposable literature and ephemera of the Victorian age
  • Scholarly editing projects and nineteenth-century culture
  • The planning, design, and use of digital resources in the study of nineteenth-century print culture, including debates surrounding open access and paywalls.

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words together with a short biography (c. 100 words) to victorianprintconsumption2014@gmail.com by 16 April 2014. Decisions will be announced in early May.  Postgraduates and early career scholars are particularly welcome.  Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to victorianprintconsumption2014@gmail.com

This conference is made possible by the generous support of The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing and The Digital Arts and Humanities Programme at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway.

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