The Victorian age saw the emergence of ‘modern’ consumer culture: in urban life, commerce, literature, art, science and medicine, entertainment, the leisure and tourist industries. The expansion and proliferation of new mass markets and inessential goods opened up pleasurable and democratising forms of consumption while also raising anxieties about urban space, the collapse of social and gendered boundaries, the pollution of domestic and public life, the degeneration of the moral and social health of the nation. This conference is concerned with the complexity and diversity of Victorian consumer cultures and also seeks to consider our contemporary consumption of the Victorian/s.
We welcome proposals for individual papers, and encourage proposals for panels (3-paper sessions), on, but not limited to, the following topics:
Urban spaces and city life: the flâneur/flâneuse, the steam/trolley bus, the rise of suburbia, street cultures
Transformations of the countryside: the Victorian pastoral, the country retreat, the farm, garden cities and model villages, alternative communities
Commerce: the department store, fashion, retail and advertising
Politics: new political mass movements, Chartism, feminism, Fabianism, ‘Victorian values’ in the present
Art: Pre-Raphaelitism, Impressionism, arts and crafts, photography, illustration
Science and technology: the railway, the Great Exhibition and exhibition cultures, the lecture, the gramophone, physics, biology
Science, spectacle and performance: taxidermy, the magic lantern, the diorama, the cinematograph
Literature: the magazine, newspaper, sensation, railway, crime and other popular fiction markets, self-help, religious tracts
Consuming life styles: the Girl of the Period, the Aesthete, the Dandy, the Decadent, the New Woman, the Lion/ess, the fashionable author, interview cultures
Cultures of entertainment and leisure: oper(ett)a, theatre and melodrama, the recital, music halls and concert halls, sheet music and instrument manufacture, the amateur, the club and associational culture, the bicycle, sports, boating
The tourist industry: sightseeing, the preservation of and popular attraction to historical buildings (e.g. National Trust), Baedeker, new (imperial) travel cultures
Medicine and the market place: medical treatments and therapeutics, medical advertising, professional practices, public and private treatment practices, institutional medicine, alternative therapies
The pleasures and perils of consumption: music, food cultures, cooking, chocolate, alcohol, addiction, opium, fashion, smoking, sex
Consuming bodies, moral contagion, social reform and the law: the city at night, prostitution, homosexuality, pornography, the ‘Maiden Tribute’ and trafficking; censorship, temperance, Obscene Publications Acts, Contagious Diseases Acts, National Purity Association, social purity activism, feminism, social welfare movements
The ‘other’ Victorians: the Victorians through the lens of their 19th-century contemporaries; the Victorians and 19th-century Europe; European Victorians
The Victorians and their pasts/Victorian consumption of earlier periods: Victorian medievalism in art and architecture, the Victorian Renaissance
Victorian afterlives: how the Victorian/s have been consumed by subsequent periods, such as the Modernists, Leavisites, faux/retro/post- and neo-Victorianism, heritage film and costume drama, the Victorians in contemporary architecture, art, interior decoration, music
Reception in the Impressionist galleries, with access to the Victorian art gallery, followed by an organ recital and conference dinner, National Museum Cardiff.
House tour of Cardiff Castle, with interior decoration by Victorian architect William Burges.
For further details consult our website: BAVS2016.co.uk
All conference presenters are required to be members of BAVS or an affiliated organisation (e.g. AVSA, NAVSA).
Please submit an individual proposal of 250-300 words OR a 3-4 page outline for a 3 paper panel proposal (including panel title, abstracts with titles, affiliations and all contact details, identifying the panel chair), to BAVS2016@cardiff.ac.uk by the deadline of 1 March 2016. Papers will be limited to 20 minutes. All proposals should include your name, academic affiliation (if applicable) and email address.
Enquiries should be directed to Professor Ann Heilmann (BAVS2016@cardiff.ac.uk).
Conference organisers Megen de Bruin-Molé (PGR, Cardiff), Rachel Cowgill (Music, Huddersfield), Daný van Dam (PGR, Cardiff), Holly Furneaux (English, Cardiff), Kate Griffiths (French, Cardiff), Catherine Han (PGR, Cardiff), Ann Heilmann (English, Cardiff), Anthony Mandal (English, Cardiff), Akira Suwa (PGR, Cardiff), Julia Thomas (English, Cardiff), Keir Waddington (History, Cardiff), Martin Willis (English, Cardiff)