87 Articles

CFP: Transatlantic Girlhood in Nineteenth-Century Literature Collection

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Although often dubbed “domestic” novelists, nineteenth-century women writers often featured girl protagonists who travelled, and much of the time this travel wasn’t relegated to a local or even national scale.  Rather, like Amy in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, fictional girls on both sides of the Atlantic often journeyed abroad, usually with the intent of learning more about themselves, their relationships with others, and even their country.  This collection will interrogate both literal and metaphorical exchanges of culture that happened in nineteenth-century girls’ fiction.  Creative approaches to thinking about transatlantic travel and how it had an impact on girl culture in both Europe and America are invited.  For instance, contributors could explore novels like Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, Maria Susanna Cummins’s The Lamplighter, and E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand, all of which earned popularity in both Europe and America.  Likewise, the editors are eager to read submissions centering on girls’ magazines, journals, and etiquette books, so long as these were read in both Europe and America.

The book will comprise three sections: girl characters travelling, books travelling, and girl readers travelling. The first section will focus on how young female characters in novels approach and respond to travelling abroad, the second will consider how books were received and responded to on both sides of the Atlantic by the masses and critics alike, and the third section will examine how the books inspired their young readers to travel themselves and critically examine their cultural mores.

Interested contributors should send abstracts of 500 words (as an attachment in Word) and brief CV to Robin Cadwallader and LuElla D’Amico at Abstracts are due by June 30, 2018, and authors will be notified of acceptance quickly after the deadline for submissions. Note that acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee acceptance of the article. First full drafts will be due January 15, 2019.


North American Victorian Studies Association Conference CFP

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The North American Victorian Studies Association is currently accepting proposals for the NAVSA 2018 conference to be held in St. Petersburg, FL Oct. 11-14, 2018.

From the NAVSA Website:

“The call for papers for NAVSA 2018 in St. Petersburg, Florida is now available on the conference website ( The deadline to submit proposals and panels is March 4, 2018. On the website, you will also find detailed information about St. Pete, the conference hotel, local activities, and conference updates.

The conference theme, “Looking Outward,” asks: What did the Victorians see, feel, and think as they looked beyond the borders of their time and place? We welcome broad interpretations of this theme. Our three plenaries: Erika Rappaport, Belinda Edmondson, and Sally Shuttleworth anchor three foci of the conference, and we hope there will be lively conversations on Caribbean Studies, Global Victorians, and Science/Medicine, even as the conference overall ranges more widely.

The conference will be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel. The hotel is located in downtown St. Pete’s waterfront district and is only a short drive or bus ride to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The St. Pete waterfront district features several museums, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Questions can be directed to Sarah Kniesler, conference graduate student assistant:

Finally, a reminder that all delegates must be NAVSA members, in addition to paying conference registration costs, at the time of the St. Pete conference. Please join or renew your NAVSA membership if necessary. “

Announcement: Transatlantic Anglophone Literatures, 1776-1920

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Dear colleagues in transatlantic teaching,

We are excited to share the news that Edinburgh University Press will be continuing to support growth in this exciting field of scholarship and pedagogy with publication of an anthology of primary texts.

A five-person editorial team has recently signed a contract to prepare Transatlantic Anglophone Literatures, 1776-1920. Andrew Taylor of Edinburgh University, along with Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins of TCU, with associate editors Heidi Hakimi-Hood (a current TCU Ph.D. student) and Adam Nemmers (Lamar University) are already at work, with much-appreciated guidance from a talented advisory board of scholars.

Heidi and Adam were both enrolled in the 2013 seminar offering of  Linda and Sarah  (see our 2013 syllabus here). Students in the 2017 seminar—including our new web manager Sofia Prado Huggins—have given very helpful input to our planning for the project, which has also benefited from having Andrew Taylor visit with us at TCU in spring 2017, thanks to funding from two TCU internal grants.

In addition to familiar literary texts from the Caribbean, Canada, Great Britain, and the US, less well-known genres, authors, and media will be represented, including periodical and newspaper articles, letters, and illustrations.  In all cases, selections will feature not only a transatlantic topic but also an intersection across national borders.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress in the months ahead. We are all well aware that the preparation of anthologies is ambitious and time-consuming work, but we feel fortunate in having an active network of colleagues to offer encouragement, along with our board members. We anticipate a 2020 publication date.

Meanwhile, do visit this web space for updates and, via expanded sections of the website, digital, ready-for-teaching texts that will supplement those to be included in the eventual print anthology.

Advisory Board Members:

Jocelyn Almeida-Beveridge, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Susan Castillo Street, King’s College, London
Clare Elliott, Northumbria University
Christopher Gair, University of Glasgow
Barbara McCaskill, University of Georgia
Ifeoma Nwankwo, Vanderbilt University
Clare Pettitt, King’s College, London
Jessie Reeder, Binghampton University
Joseph Rezek, Boston University
Fiona Robertson, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham
Marjorie Stone, Dalhousie University
Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia
Tom Wright, University of Sussex

The Political Poetess: Victorian Femininity, Race, and the Legacy of Separate Spheres by Tricia Lootens

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Hardcover | Published: 2016 | 344 Pages | $45.00 | £37.95 | 6 X 9.25 inches | ISBN: 9780691170312

For those whose interests center on transatlantic nineteenth-century poetry, Tricia Lootens’s The Political Poetess: Victorian Femininity, Race, and the Legacy of Separate Spheres (Princeton UP, 2016) is now essential reading, along with Meredith McGill’s The Traffic in Poems (2008) and Daniel Hack’s Reaping Something New (also 2016).  Her innovative book in fact has relevance for all those who are interested in transatlantic study and research methods.

Rather than viewing the poetess as being in retreat to an apolitical, patriotic private sphere of mourning and praise, Lootens demonstrates that the very premise of a decorous female separate sphere depends on profits resulting from racist violence (viz., slavery and imperial expansion) and is thus inherently riven, haunted, political.  Drawing upon Hegel’s theory of the internal enemy of the state (derived from a reading of Antigone), she also theorizes what she calls “suspended spheres,” “modeling,” according to the author, “a national sentimental ‘private sphere,’ conceived as a violently constructed, uneasily maintained sacred space at the heart of the State. As a realm of mortal subjection, mourning, and failed resistance, this sphere demands femininity’s protection; as a repository for eternal, individual love, it opens out onto eternity, investing feminine demands for the bodies of slain soldiers with a divine authority that supersedes statecraft” (personal communication).

Tricia Lootens also reveals the political poetess in historicist terms, by reading the pervasiveness of what she calls “Abolition time” (still ongoing because not yet fully resolved or remedied), given the deep involvement of multiracial British and American women in abolition  after the 1833 British Abolition act. Combined with her revised “sphere” theory, Lootens thus reframes affective lyrics by women poets as always intrinsically political.  As her own refrain goes, “Who made the Poetess white? No one, not ever.”  In a volume that offers as much to classroom teachers as to scholars, she opens up the poetess figure not only to transatlantic and transnational criss-crossing but also to connections with pressing issues today.

Individual chapters emphasize, among other poets, Felicia Hemans (in the contexts of race, slavery [“Bride of the Greek Isle”]), war [“Casabianca”]); Elizabeth Barrett Browning (in a bravura chapter on her “Curse for a Nation”); and—though reference to Harper threads throughout the book—Frances Harper (whose Aunt Chloe poems Lootens reads against Hemans’s “Switzer’s Wife” and whose oratory Lootens approaches as African American Poetess performance).  In every discussion throughout The Political Poetess, whether broad or highly specific, Tricia Lootens props open her own scholarly “sphere” to transatlantic literature and fundamental issues of social justice.  I enthusiastically recommend her book to all visitors to this site.

–Linda K. Hughes

The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies– edited by Leslie Eckel and Clare Elliott

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Hardcover| Published: 01 November 2016 | 512 Pages | 3 b+w illustrations | 6.69 x 9.61 inches | ISBN: 9781474402941
This Companion offers a critical overview of the diverse and dynamic field of Atlantic literary studies, with contributions by distinguished scholars on a series of topics that define the area. The essays focus on literature and culture from first contact to the present, exploring fruitful Atlantic connections across space and time, across national cultures, and embracing literature, culture and society. This research collection proposes that the analysis of literature and culture does not depend solely upon geographical setting to uncover textual meaning. Instead, it offers Atlantic connections based around migration, race, gender and sexuality, ecologies, and other significant ideological crossovers in the Atlantic World. The result is an exciting new critical map written by leading international researchers of a lively and expanding field.


Reaping Something New: African American Transformations of Victorian Literature by Daniel Hack

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Hardcover | 2016 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691169453
304 pp. | 6 x 9 | 12 line illus.

Tackling fraught but fascinating issues of cultural borrowing and appropriation, this groundbreaking book reveals that Victorian literature was put to use in African American literature and print culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in much more intricate, sustained, and imaginative ways than previously suspected. From reprinting and reframing “The Charge of the Light Brigade” in an antislavery newspaper to reimagining David Copperfield and Jane Eyre as mixed-race youths in the antebellum South, writers and editors transposed and transformed works by the leading British writers of the day to depict the lives of African Americans and advance their causes. Central figures in African American literary and intellectual history—including Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, and W.E.B. Du Bois—leveraged Victorian literature and this history of engagement itself to claim a distinctive voice and construct their own literary tradition.

In bringing these transatlantic transfigurations to light, this book also provides strikingly new perspectives on both canonical and little-read works by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Tennyson, and other Victorian authors. The recovery of these works’ African American afterlives illuminates their formal practices and ideological commitments, and forces a reassessment of their cultural impact and political potential. Bridging the gap between African American and Victorian literary studies, Reaping Something New changes our understanding of both fields and rewrites an important chapter of literary history.

The 11th Biennial Symbiosis Conference, 2017 Returns & Revisions: The Eastward Counterflow from New World to Old

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A Symbiosis, Daemen College and University at Buffalo Event

Venue: Daemen College and the University at Buffalo, Amherst, New York, USA

Dates: Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th July, 2017


Keynote Speakers:

Eve Tavor Bannet, George Lynn Cross Professor of English, University of Oklahoma

Jahan Ramazani, University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English, University of Virginia



The editors of Symbiosis, the Conference Directors, and Daemen College’s and the University at Buffalo’s Departments of English invite proposals for panels and individual papers of twenty-minute length, which engage a wide variety of transatlantic and/or transnational topics in the literatures and cultural histories of the Atlantic world. Especially welcome are presentations on the conference theme, Returns and Revisions: the eastward counterflow from New World to Old and revisionary literary texts and views on the discipline of Transatlantic Studies. Submissions are actively encouraged from all scholars and students of literary and cultural history and representation from every period from the earliest settlement right through to the present, including indigenous responses to imperial discourses.

Please submit 200–300 word abstracts with academic affiliation and contact details in Microsoft Word attachments by 3rd March, 2017 to both Conference Directors, Prof. Robert Morace (Daemen College) and Prof. Carrie Bramen (U at Buffalo): and Add ‘Symbiosis 2017 Proposal’ to the subject line of your message, an essential detail since messages will be sorted automatically using this search term.

All inquiries are welcome; early acceptance may be possible if required for institutional or similar funding to facilitate attendance. Symbiosis cannot offer bursaries or fee waivers but will offer a reduced early rate. Further details will be posted on the conference and Symbiosis websites and on the journal’s Facebook page. See variously:!/pages/Glasgow-United-Kingdom/Symbiosis-a-Journal-of-Anglo-American-Literary-Relations/313163095816

From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance

deadline for submissions:
January 31, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Pia Wiegmink, Nele Sawallisch, Frank Obenland, Johanna Seibert
contact email:

October 26-28, 2017, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.

Conference organizers: Nele Sawallisch, Johanna Seibert, Pia Wiegmink, Frank Obenland

This conference hosted by the Transnational American Studies Institute aims at assessing and theorizing past and present forms of black intellectual, political, and cultural resistance from the era of abolitionist campaigns against the transatlantic slave trade to the recent global protest formation of Black Lives Matter.

Protests against racial discrimination, inequality, poverty, and injustice not only pervade (North) American history but span the globe and cross – oftentimes multiple – borders. Building on the recent transnational turn in American Studies and de-centering American Studies’ focus on the nation as the prime focus of analysis, this workshop invites papers that trace the Atlantic routes/roots (Gilroy), the diasporic and global trajectories, as well as the movement, circulation, and dissemination of past and present forms and ideas of black resistance. The conference aims at discussing the transnational dimension of various forms of resistance that are often embedded in larger social movements such as the anti-slavery, the anti-lynching, the Civil Rights, Black Power, Anti-Apartheid, the Global Justice, the Prison Abolition, or the Black Lives Matter movements. Investigating the transatlantic significance of these movements, this conference will also address how collective or individual acts of resistance are articulated and represented in print, performance, visual art, or other media.

How do we conceptualize the connections between past and present forms of transnational black resistance? How does this relationship between the past and the present shape existing notions of resistance? How did national movements for black equality and justice impact as well as intersect with national and international forms of protest? How do forms of black resistance initiate ways to re-think forms of protest and activism outside the United States? How do protest movements intersect with scholarly and intellectual pursuits in academia? What role have different media played in and for black resistance movements throughout the centuries not only in national but also international contexts? How have the digital world and global social media changed previous forms of transnational black resistance? What could be possible trajectories of movements such as Black Lives Matter in the face of the 2016 Presidential election in the United States? How can scholars and activists collaborate in articulating critical interventions in ongoing political discussions?

Confirmed keynote speaker: Prof. Charmaine Nelson, Professor of Art History, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

We invite contributions from all disciplines, e.g. history, literary and cultural studies, visual culture/art history, political science, sociology. Potential paper topics could include, but are not limited to:

• transnational routes of political/social activism and cultural resistance/protest cultures

• transnational black intellectual histories of racial equality and justice

• methodological and conceptual perspectives that bring together approaches from transnational American Studies with African American and Black Diaspora Studies

• intersectional approaches to the study of black resistance with regard to class, gender, age, nationality, religion, etc.

• the role of women in and for black resistance movements

• Black literatures of protest and resistance

• Black resistance and cultures of performance, transnational aesthetics of protest

• Black resistance and popular culture, Black resistance and global (social) media

• Intersection of popular resistance movements and academic interventions in political discourse


Please send your paper proposal (max. 300 words) and a short bio (150 words) by January 31, 2017 to

Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference in Transnational American Studies (8th Annual)

deadline for submissions:
February 24, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Binghamton University
contact email:

Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference

in Transnational American Studies (8th Annual)

Binghamton University

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Keynote: Russ Castronovo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deadline for Proposal Submission: February 24th, 2017

“Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders” is an interdisciplinary graduate conference dedicated to exploring the changing contours of the field of American Studies. This year’s conference theme, “Globalizing the Commons, Localizing the Transnational”, focuses on the transnational turn in American Studies in an effort to re-think the field imaginary, paying particular attention to the intersecting sites of identity, community, nation, and globalization along with the methodological trajectories which make these sites legible. Keeping in mind recent anthological interventions—Globalizing American Studies (2010), Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies (2011), and American Studies as Transnational Practice (2015), to name just a few—the conference seeks to investigate the conditions through which discussions of the transnational dialectically broaden the scope of the field while underestimating the nuances of the local, and, by the same concern, how local attentiveness precludes visibility of global, coalitional resistance.

In keeping with this year’s focus, we seek papers concerned with the relationships between conceptions of the local, national, and the global, as well as the liminality inherent to the delineation of these spaces. In lieu of examining the well-trodden ground of ‘the state of the field’ and resonant attempts to redefine American studies itself, we encourage papers that attend to more interdisciplinary limits of subjectivity, the state, and global community. We seek papers that localize the transnational, totalize the provincial, and speak to the constituting horizons necessarily produced by these methodologies.

Redolent questions include: How does the global trajectory of capitalism become individualized in neoliberalism? What are the resonances between the global war on terror and the militarization of local police forces? How do identitarian frameworks potentialize coalition while restricting conditions of belonging? More broadly speaking, when considering the roots of the transnational turn are found in the transatlantic, how can we resituate and trouble Occidental cultural dialogues between the United States and Europe? Finally, how is the totalizing schema of the anthropocene configured along local and global registers?

To submit a paper proposal, send a 250-word abstract to To submit a panel proposal, include the names and email addresses of three participants, with individual paper abstracts and a 150-word abstract uniting them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Archipelagos and the Transnational Pacific
  • The Speculative Limits of Finance Capital
  • Racialized Transatlantic Histories and Communities
  • Mapping Subject and Species through Biopower
  • Relationships between Isolationism and American Empire
  • Feminist Coalition / Resistance and Co-opting Identity
  • Trauma in the Local/Transnational Sites of War on Terror
  • Localized Translations / Globalized Dialects
  • Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Individual
  • Dronification as / and Destabilized Imperial Violence

Virginia Woolf and the World: Call for Papers

deadline for submissions:
April 30, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Jeanne Dubino (Appalachian State University) and Paulina Pajak (Wroclaw University)
contact email:

Call for Papers: Virginia Woolf and the World


“As a woman my country is the whole world.” Virginia Woolf’s declaration in Three Guineas gains new meaning in the context of her increasingly global reception and legacy. To capture the many Woolfian currents now circulating around the world, we are proposing a new volume, Virginia Woolf and the World, edited by Jeanne Dubino (Appalachian State University) and Paulina Pajak (Wroclaw University).


Virginia Woolf and the World most broadly considers the global responses Woolf’s work has provoked and her worldwide impact. We are seeking essays on Woolf’s reception, her influence on literature, and her presence in contemporary (bio)fiction around the world. We envision this volume as a comparative one, incorporating both transnational and local developments insofar as they epitomize Woolf’s global reception and legacy. The collection is intended to move beyond the “center” and “periphery” binary, searching for new models of Woolfian global studies and promoting cross-cultural understandings.


We are interested not only in how social, cultural and political differences shape the ways Woolf is read and interpreted in all four corners of the world, but also in the ways Woolf’s works influence local cultures. We invite papers on Woolf’s impact on her contemporary artists, as well as on post-Millennial writers worldwide. Essays that give space to previously underrepresented regions of Woolf’s reception studies are particularly welcome, and will be given special consideration.


We have been in contact with Edinburgh University Press (EUP), who have expressed enthusiastic interest in our project.


If you are interested in contributing to Virginia Woolf and the World, please email a 500-word abstract and a brief biographical note by April 30, 2017, to Jeanne Dubino ( and Paulina Pająk ( Our expectation is that the full version of the essay (5,000-8,000 words) will be completed a year later, by April 30, 2018. We plan to follow the 7th edition (not the 8th!) MLA style for in-text documentation and bibliography.



Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Woolf’s Global Reception

  • Cultural, political and economic aspects of global Woolf
  • New theoretical models for Woolfian global studies
  • Transnational and local readings of Woolf’s oeuvre
  • Woolf’s translations worldwide
  • Woolf’s global and local audiences
  • Woolf’s transmediality and adaptations in various regions
  • Woolf’s works in transnational and local art
  • Woolf’s crossing real and imaginary borders
  • Internationalism in Woolf’s writings
  • Transnational spaces and characters in Woolf’s works
  • Woolf online
  • Woolf as a global icon
  • Woolf’s heritage industry around the world


Woolf’s Global Legacy

  • Woolf’s formal and thematic impact on writers and thinkers worldwide
  • Literature and art inspired by Woolf’s oeuvre around the world
  • Rewritings of Woolf’s works in different cultures
  • Woolf’s role in global and local circulation of feminist ideas
  • Woolf as an inspiration for global and local civil rights movements
  • Woolf’s role in shaping transatlantic and global modernism
  • Hogarth Press translations


Woolf in Global (Bio)Fiction

  • Woolf and her circle as characters in contemporary (bio)fiction
  • Films, plays and performances relating to Woolf’s life
  • Woolf’s biography in music and arts
  • The Bloomsbury Group’s global afterlife


We very much hope that Virginia Woolf and the World will demonstrate the diversity of the worldwide reception andlegacy of Woolf’s oeuvre and the remarkable possibilities of transcultural exchange. As Woolf herself wrote, “Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes.”