CFP: Queen Victoria’s contemporaries: born in 1819

Friday 17th May 2019, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies and BAVS workshop

Keynotes: Dr Trev Broughton (University of York) on contemporaneity among Victoria’s Victorians, and Dr Gregory Tate (St Andrews) on Arthur Hugh Clough.

2019 marks the bicentenary of Queen Victoria’s birth, as well as those of her many notable contemporaries. Among the 1819 cohort are writers George Eliot, John Ruskin, Charles Kingsley and Arthur Hugh Clough; painters William Powell Frith, Gustave Courbet and Lowes Cato Dickinson; photographer Roger Fenton and civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette, to name a few. These eminent, mid-Victorian figures are rarely recognised as contemporaries, but this conference and workshop will explore how investigating their similarities, differences and relationships as part of their generational identity may recast our sense of periodization and allow us to quantify and define ‘Victorian’ in new ways.

Emerging from the ‘Born in 1819’ research project led by Helen Kingstone and Trev Broughton, this workshop collaborates with Glasgow Museums Resource Centre to investigate how generational identities – particularly that of the 1819 cohort – might look different when we view them through the lens of the material culture they generated and left behind. The workshop is organised by and particularly designed with PGR/PGT and ECR researchers in mind, allowing for networking within the environment of Scottish Victorian Studies. The afternoon will include keynote discussions from experts on notable 1819 figures, an object handling session and tour of the GMRC, and a selection of papers: we invite proposals for these.

We aim to explore the interdisciplinary nature of Victorian Studies through the lens of one diverse Victorian generation and its material culture. We welcome proposals for ‘snapshot’ 10-minute papers that relate to any figure born in or significant to 1819 and the mid-Victorian generation, including but not limited to such topics as:

* The 1819 cohort

* The career trajectories, triumphs and failures of figures born in 1819

* Relationships between members of the 1819 cohort

* The mid-Victorian generation, their culture, and ‘Victorian’ identity

* The 1819 cohort as establishing or destabilising ideas of ‘Victorian’

* Periodization and being ‘Victorian’

* Alternative definitions: what does it mean to be Victorian?

* Victoria’s influence on her generation

* Exploring Victorianism through material culture, objects and institutions

* Being Victorian in different professions and places

* Scotland’s Victorian identity

* ‘Innovative’ papers

* Posters displaying material culture or art from 1819 and the 1819 cohort

* Musical performances as part of relevant papers

* Interdisciplinary takes on any of the above topics

We invite proposals of 150-200 words for 10-minute papers. Send proposals and any queries to, by a deadline of 10th March 2019.

Event co-organisers: Lindsay Middleton, Louise Creechan, Danielle Schwertner and Helen Kingstone (University of Glasgow) Supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS): and the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo Victorian Studies (SCVS):


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