Northeast Victorian Studies Association 2004 Conference
CALL FOR PAPERS
THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE
30th Annual Meeting: April 16-18, 2004 at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Our topic looks not only at religion but at all
facets of the nineteenth-century world as religion
sees it. The profane differs from the secular in that
it connotes not merely a material world, but a merely
material one: ordinary language may be secular, but
blasphemy is profane. We are interested in looking
into nineteenth-century attitudes toward religion,
nineteenth-century religious movements, but also the
workings of religion in culture and society. Many of
the topics suggested below also lend themselves to
the question of why this issue was once so important
to Victorian Studies, why it went out of fashion, why
it is coming back into fashion.
Topics include (but are not limited to):
Religion and Culture: Connections between religious
attitudes and beliefs and class and gender. Atheism,
agnosticism, the Charles Bradlaugh case. Jews and
anti-semitism. Religion and social work: the
Salvation Army, temperance and anti-vivisection
movements. Material manifestations of religion.
Science and Religion: Darwin, alternative
cosmologies, pre-histories, anthropology.
Eschatological thought in general.
Religion and other Cultures: Islam and Orientalism.
Missionaries, going native. Religion and imperialism.
Exposures to non-Western religions, traditions,
beliefs. Victorian explorers and religious issues:
Richard Burton, Henry Stanley.
The Profane and the Secular: Profanity, blasphemy,
sexuality, pornography. Oppositions between the
material and the spiritual. Sacred cows and sacred
truths. Sacred and profane blood: transfusions and
vampires. Demons and exorcism.
Religion, art and literature: The useful, the
aesthetic and the religious. Commercial religious
literature. Devotional literature. Religious poetry
and fiction. Secularism and the clergy in the novel.
Sacred music. Religious art. Religious rhetoric.
Relics. Gothic revivalism. Religion and the Higher
Criticism. Hermeneutic theory. Fin-de-siècle art and
And, of course, you could write about god.
Paper Proposals (no more than two double-spaced
pages) by Oct. 15, to the address below.
Please do not send complete papers. Please do not
include your name on your proposal: we review
proposals anonymously. Please do include your name,
institutional and email addresses, and proposal title
in the cover letter that accompanies the proposal.
Finished papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes
maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion
following each panel.
Roundtable: In an attempt to allow more participation
in the program, and to augment the conference’s
interest in teaching, we are continuing the
roundtable discussions on pedagogy that we initiated
five years ago. This year’s topic is Integrating the
Study of Religion into the Teaching of Victorian
Literature and Culture. If you would like to make a
presentation, please contact Professor Don Ulin,
Division of Humanities, University of Pittsburgh at
Bradford, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA, 16701 (fax:
814-362-5094; email: email@example.com), describing
briefly (no more than one double-spaced page) the
aspects of pedagogy that you would like to share.
Keep in mind that being a presenter means creating an
atmosphere for stimulating discussion rather than
presenting a paper.
The Coral Lansbury Travel Grant ($100.00) and George
Ford Travel Grant ($100.00) given in memory of key
founding members of NVSA are awarded annually to the
graduate student, adjunct instructor, or independent
scholar who must travel the greatest distance too
give a paper at our conference. Apply by indicating
in the cover letter of your proposal that you wish to
be considered . Mention also if you have other
sources of funding.
All who wish to join NVSA, and all members who have
not yet paid their dues for the 2002-03 membership
year should return the attached tear-off. And Dr.
Hartley Spatt (24 Center Street, Woodmere, NY,
111598) urges all members to send him a note
subscribing to the Victorian Studies Bulletin ($7.00
a year; $15.00 for three years).
Finally, as many of you know, our Vice-President for
Information Services, Professor Glenn Everett has
established a NVSA list (NVSA-L) on email and NVSA
Home Page on the World Wide Web (www.stonehill.edu/
nvsa). The Web site offers items of interest to NVSA
members. NVSA-L is a place to summarize and share
conference activities and logistics, and to conduct
NVSA business. It’s used mainly around conference
time, so don’t worry that it will clutter up your
mailboxes. To subscribe, send a message to
ListProc@utm.edu. Leave the subject line blank; on
the message line write SUB-NVSA-L, your first and
Professor Jonathan Loesberg, President, NVSA
Dept. of Literature
Washington, DC 20016
To: Professor Joan Dagle, Secretary/Treasurer. NVSA
Dept. of English, Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908
I wish to renew my dues or become a member of the
Northeast Victorian Studies Association. I have
enclosed a check to NVSA for ---$15 in U.S. dollars
(regular membership) or ---$10 (student)
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