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Encounters with the Unplanned in Nineteenth-Century Research

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Call for Papers: Encounters with the Unplanned in Nineteenth-Century Research

  • Date26 February 2020

Royal Holloway’s Centre for Victorian Studies welcomes proposals for the annual London Victorian Studies Colloquium, to be held on 24th-25th April 2020 in the beautiful surroundings of the college.

CVS Colloquium 2020

We plan our dissertations, chapters and books with care; with outlines, chapter plans and research goals. But what happens when the best-laid plans go awry? How do we write when encountering the unplanned, surprising or galling in the material with which we work? How did the C19th novelist or poet do so? The 2020 London Victorian Studies Colloquium asks for papers on your own interpretations and experiences of the unexpected or unforeseeable in your research and writing, or in the texts with which you engage, from any period during the Long Nineteenth Century.

We welcome proposals from Masters, doctoral students and post docs for 15-20 minute
papers on interdisciplinary topics such as, but in no way limited to;

  • changing one’s mind about a research question crises and disasters in C19th literature and culture
  • unexpected material in the archive departures from genre or narrative expectations
  • moments of alterity/the unfamiliar the betrayals and surprises of the unreliable narrator
  • unexpected scientific discoveries
  • how characters cope with the unforeseen cliff-hangers and the ‘sensation’ in the serialized novel
  • the jarring note in Victorian poetry
  • the unexplained in tales of the supernatural.

Please submit 200-250 word abstract and a brief biography to Nat Reeve ( and copied to Sophie Gilmartin ( by the 25th March, 2020.

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