Feel free to share news and announcements of interest to the INCS membership by sending an email to the INCS Webmaster Nicole Lobdell ([email protected]). Please provide summary information as below (nature of announcement, title, place, dates, deadline) and include a URL pointing toward a more comprehensive outline of the relevant information.
CFP Women, Money and Markets (1600-1950) Conference: Abstract Deadline 28 Feb 2023
The Women, Money and Markets conference series has been running since 2017, and this year is coming to Sheffield, to be hosted at Sheffield Hallam University, 12-14 June 2023. Please send 250 – 300 word abstracts to: Dr Sarah Dredge: [email protected], Dr Pete Collinge: [email protected], and Dr Emma Newport: [email protected]. Please include a covering email outlining briefly your proposed format (individual paper, panel, roundtable, etc.). If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, please include an abstract for each paper in your panel (up to 300 words each). Click here for PDF with more information.
CFP Victorians Institute Conference: Abstract Deadline 30 April 2023
The theme for this year’s VIC will be “Hard Times”, and it will be held in Raleigh, NC, 7-8 October, 2023, co-hosted by NC State University and Methodist University. Please view the VIC CFP and submit a 250-word abstract, and a one-page CV, to the site-linked Google form, for an individual paper or a full panel, or with a description of a proposed session in another format.
INCS Stein Prize 2022:
Winner: Anat Rosenberg, “Ways of Seeing Advertising: Law and the Making of Visual Commercial Culture.” Law and Social Inquiry (2021): 1-45.
This article focuses on a little-known yet significant mid-Victorian development in commercial culture, the hoarding–a dedicated space on which sellers could put up posters to advertise their wares. Rosenberg’s analysis strikingly complicates a conventionally imagined art-versus-capitalism binary. While we typically think of commercial display as unartful, in fact, she argues, the hoarding played a substantial role in negotiating ideas of public art. In a particularly fascinating comparison, she likens the hoarding to the public space of the museum. The committee was also impressed by the strong interdisciplinary nature of this argument. Rosenberg brings together the field of law with the field of art history, proposing that, over the course of the nineteenth century, legal disputes and regulations around the hoarding helped to shape modern aesthetics. This essay points our way to a necessary object of study for further inquiry around the law, art, and industry.
Honorable Mention 1: Nicholas Robbins, “John Constable, Luke Howard, and the Aesthetics of Climate.” The Art Bulletin 103.2 (2021): 50-76.
This essay asks, “How does momentary sensory experience relate to systems that spread beyond the frame and scale of representability? What does painting have to do with data?” Through close attention to painter John Constable’s artist’s notes and compositions, as compared with climate scientist Luke Howard’s notebooks and calculations, the essay challenges assumptions that Victorian skyscapes are arbitrarily rendered. The essay tracks “the particular challenges that climate posed to visual representation,” and how mathematical and aesthetic seeing requires prolonged attention to atmospheric conditions and events. The committee praised Robbins’ well-developed and convincing argument, clear and vibrant writing, and interdisciplinary engagement across statistics, aesthetics, ecology, and meteorology.
Honorable Mention 2: Rebecca Mitchell, “Victorian Faddishness: The Dolly Varden from Dickens to Patience.” Journal of Victorian Culture 26.2 (2021): 153-171.
This article analyzes the concept of the fad as a Victorian phenomenon by tracing the cultural significance of a dress known as the Dolly Varden. From its 18th century continental origins to its appearance in Dickens’s 1841 Barnaby Rudge to the culmination of the dress’s popularity after its appearance in Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1881 Patience, when it became a “symbol of pop-culture-based Aestheticism,” the Dolly Varden, for Mitchell, exemplifies the “insistently presentist” nature of the fad. Mitchell studies a diverse array of subjects in this interdisciplinary essay, which also draws on a wide body of critical sources. The committee was impressed by the way the essay wove together the complex storylines of the Dolly Varden’s origins and afterlives, by its engaging style, and by this particular case study’s broader intervention about Victorian popular culture.
Stein Prize Committee: Jill Galvan (Chair), Anne O’Neil-Henry, and Melissa Jenkins.
INCS Susan Morgan Graduate Essay Prize 2022:
Winning Entry: Oriah Amit, “H. Rider Haggard’s Doctor Therne and the Liberal Politics of Public Health”
This paper analyzes H. Rider Haggard’s lesser-known Dr. Therne, a “vaccination novel” that anticipates a dystopian future in which public health is jeopardized for political gain. The committee commended the essay’s thoughtful attention to temporal complications for public health and for individual bodies when thinking about vaccine fictions. The paper’s layering of medical and narrative chronologies was thought-provoking, highlighting the novel’s anticipation of retrospection, which Amit links to the temporality of vaccination. Tracing the novel’s “epidemiological form and function,” the author argues that “the narrative present is haunted by a future that is always already past.” The paper contextualizes the nineteenth-century anti-vaccination movement as part of a radical left resistance to the statist oversight of private citizens and links the defense of vaccination to Haggard’s conservative politics. A very timely and important reminder of the complex prehistory of the anti-vaxx movement and the tension between individual liberty and the public good.
Honorable Mention: Grace Franklin, “The Layered History of Psychosocial Gaslighting”
Taking the explosion of uses of the term “gaslighting” and its diffusion of meanings as a starting point, this paper considers the multiple competing versions of the original Gaslight play and its subsequent film adaptations, in the context of the early twentieth-century energy shift from gas distribution networks to electricity. Compellingly written, this paper skillfully pulled together nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary sources with energy studies to present an effective examination of the role of power infrastructures and technology in relation to the heroine’s agency (or lack thereof) with each iteration of the story.
Susan Morgan Prize Committee: Alexandre Bonafas (Chair), Jen Camden, Elizabeth Chang, and Ruth McAdams.