Call for Papers: The Past, Present, and Future of Victorianist Activism

VLC is soliciting short essays (2,000-5,000 words) on the past, present, and future of Victorian and Victorianist activism. Victorianists have a particularly strong history of political engagement in our scholarship, academic workplaces, and communities. Meanwhile, much politically engaged scholarship—and many politically engaged scholars—manifest a particular interest in the history, literature, and culture of the middle and late nineteenth century. Feminist, queer, trans, postcolonial, antiracist, Marxist, ecocritical—as well as neoconservative–scholarship (a partial list) that engages the nineteenth century has had demonstrable political consequences.

We invite essays that address any of the following questions:

· What aspects of Victorian literature and culture encourage, demand, inspire, or model political activism in the present day—or, alternately, discourage such activism or model “How Not to Do It”?

· What role have political activism and commitments played in the formation and development of Victorian studies, and what role should or could they play going forward?

· Are there particular Victorians or Victorianists whose example might be especially productive for politically engaged scholars today?

· What kinds of activist work are Victorianists already doing, and what kinds of work might we seek to engage in going forward? (Please feel free to discuss any activism you are personally involved in: we are very interested in sharing concrete examples.)

· How are these issues inflected by specific local, institutional, and national settings and contexts?

Looming over all these questions is the existential threat that not just our field but our disciplines face from declining enrollments, the replacement of tenure-track faculty with underpaid and overburdened adjuncts, and political attacks on progressive scholarship. We are thus particularly interested in essays that address the question what now?

Please direct queries and proposals to the editors at victorianlitandculture@gmail.com. The submissions portal can be accessed at our website: www.cambridge.org/vlc. Information about formatting can be found here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/victorian-literature-and-culture/information/instructions-contributors.

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2023.

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