CFP: ‘Viewer, I married him’: Reading (Re)Productions of the Long Nineteenth Century in Period Drama

29 June 2012. Derwent Building, University of Hull


Keynote Speakers: Dr. Sarah Cardwell, University of Kent: ‘Adaptations and Period Dramas: Questions of Genre and Style’ Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research for the AHRC, invited to lead a postgraduate training session focussed on career development and adapting to an academic career.

‘Period drama’, or remediated historical adaptations for television and film have long been established genres which are traditionally associated with fancy costumes, pseudo-Victorian settings, and romance. This conference invites scholars working in the fields of literature, film, history, music, and cultural and media studies to consider the wider historical and cultural impact of the ‘period drama’, ‘costume drama’, or filmic adaptation. Our objective is to promote interaction between nineteenth-century and contemporary scholars in order to examine how and why the literature, history, and culture of Britain from 1800-1914 is (re)produced in a modern international context. By analysing the processes through which these literatures and histories are translated into film, we hope to acknowledge and assess the continuing importance of period drama in contemporary culture across the world. Potential papers might include:

  • TV series, programmes or films
  • Direct adaptations of literature (e.g. BBC’s, ITV’s or Roman Polanski’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
  • Modern retellings of nineteenth-century literature (e.g. Clueless)
  • Adaptations derived from Neo-Victorian texts (e.g. Fingersmith)
  • Original screen-plays (e.g. Downton Abbey)
  • Cross-over period dramas (e.g. Lost in Austen)
  • Biopics (e.g. Becoming Jane)
  • International adaptations (e.g. Bride and Prejudice)

As this conference is interdisciplinary in its approach, we are also looking for papers which consider themes associated with literary and cultural studies (class, gender, sexuality, religion, race) and/or the contemporary production/adaptation process, the modern audience and critical responses, and how period drama and contemporary culture impact on one another. The following topics are suggested, but are by no means limited to:

  • Company of production (e.g. BBC,  ITV)
  • Costumes, settings, props
  • Technology, Musical scores
  • Cinematography
  • Casting
  • Screenplays, Performances
  • Intended audience(s), Critical reviews, audience response, media coverage.

Since period drama and adaptations serve as popular entertainment, valuable educational resources and are art forms in their own right, we look forward to expanding study on this rich topic by welcoming abstracts from postgraduate students, as well as early-career researchers and established academics. To submit abstracts, or for any other queries, please email:

Registration Fee £25 postgraduate early bird registration fee (deadline 30 April) £35 academic early bird registration fee (deadline 30 April) £35 postgraduate late registration fee (after 1 May) £45 academic late registration fee (after 1 May)

Postgraduate Bursary Information We are pleased to offer ten full registration fee (£25) bursaries for postgraduate students, thanks to the generous sponsorship of BAVS.  If you are interested in being considered for a bursary, please send with your abstract a CV and a statement (300 word maximum) explaining why you would benefit from attending this conference.

Allison Neal, Jenny Pearce, Janine Hatter, and Maura Dunst The Postgraduate Period Drama Conference Team

Supported by:

The British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS): The University of Hull:

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