Call for Contributions: Object Lessons: The Victorians and the Material Text

Call for contributions: The Victorians and the Material Text

Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens

Object Lessons: The Victorians and the Material Text

A special issue edited by Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge

Building on Caroline Levine’s 2006 call for a new “strategic formalism,” this special Fall 2016 issue of Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens ( will feature ten to fifteen articles that foreground the relation of the Victorian print object to literary, social, and political forms.

We invite scholars to contemplate the importance of material form to nineteenth-century printed materials and their readers. Each paper should focus on one or more specific material objects, offering a study of one unique object or a comparison of several. Contributors might select a poem or poetry collection, a novel, an annual, an album, a newspaper, a serial, an illustrated book, or a piece of ephemera such as a playbill, a broadside, or a pamphlet.

We seek articles that consider the material form of the printed object in question (including, but not limited to, layout, typography, covers, wrappers, illustration, advertisements, bindings) in relation to the literary, social and political formations with which the text engages. We seek materially grounded analyses that analyze literary forms as historically specific (that is, embedded in their particular time and circumstances of material production) and at the same time culturally dynamic (that is, productive of change, challenge, clash, and/or difference).

Please submit a 500-word abstract and title to

by October 31, 2015. We will inform you by November 15, 2015 if your proposal is accepted. Full articles will be due on February 15, 2016; they must be 4000-6000 words in length, not including notes or works cited. MLA style is required.

Proposals in French or English will be considered.

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