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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.