‘Victorian manhood was by definition a state of permanent crisis, a site of anxiety and contradiction as much as a source of power.’
(Phillip Mallett, The Victorian Novel and Masculinity)
After the success of the inaugural Anxious Forms conference in 2014, we are pleased to announce a second one-day conference which will consider the construction of masculine identities – both individual and collective – in the long nineteenth century. In a period which witnessed major conflicts, from the French Revolution to the First World War; the birth of mass culture and new print media; the emergence of new professional classes; the expansion of empire; the rise of the New Woman; and the extension of laws against male homosexuality, Victorian masculine identities became increasingly pluralised and fragmented. This interdisciplinary event will explore crises and contradictions in Victorian notions of manliness across a range of media including fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, photography, visual arts and material culture.
We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels. Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Class readings of masculinity
- ‘Styles’ of masculinity: the Byronic male, the dandy, the muscular Christian etc.
- Genre, narrative and male narrators
- Military masculinity
- Professional men
- Primogeniture and masculinity in the law
- Statesmen, radicals and reformers
- Masculinities in nature or the urban space
- The male body and standards of male beauty
- Men’s diseases
- Homosexuality and Queer theory
- Imperial and oriental manliness
- Darwinism and evolving manhood
- Neo-Victorian manliness
We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers from postgraduate and early career researchers as well as more established academics. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words together with an academic CV and a 50-word biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th August. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of August.
We are able to award a number of postgraduate travel bursaries. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please include a 200-word explanation about how the conference relates to your research, along with a breakdown of your expenses.