Thursday, May 05, 2011

CFPs: Forgotten Female Sensationalists & Middlebrow and Modernism

Here are two calls for papers which may be of interest even though they aren't explicitly about the romance genre.

The past thirty years have witnessed a transformation in our perception of the mid-Victorian literary field, due in large part to the extensive recovery of sensation fiction and a corresponding recognition of that genre’s importance in the literary debates, trends, and wider cultural practices of the period. As Andrew Maunder has recently suggested, “[i]t is now acknowledged that if sensation fiction is cut out of the picture it is impossible to gain an accurate sense of nineteenth-century literary historiography”. While scholarly work on sensation fiction has expanded greatly in the past few years, this work, until very recently, has focused on a narrow range of authors and works, with Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Ellen Wood retaining the preponderance of critical attention.

This special issue of Women’s Writing aims to contribute to our current understanding of sensationalism by turning the spotlight on the many forgotten female novelists and dramatists who contributed to the Victorian understanding of literary sensation. By moving beyond the women sensation novelists who have come to represent the genre (especially Braddon and Wood) our objective is to gain a fuller, more nuanced, understanding of the spectrum of writing that collectively worked to construct the concept of ‘sensationalism’ for Victorian readers and critics. We also hope to shed light on the specific concerns of female sensationalists, as the role of the ‘proper’ woman writer frequently conflicted with that of the supposedly immoral sensation author.

Articles might address whether there existed distinct forms of female sensationalism and whether such categorisations remain useful or limiting to current critics. We welcome essays on authors who have begun to receive renewed attention, such as Rhoda Broughton, Florence Marryat, and Ouida, as well as those who remain largely forgotten. Writers we would particularly like to consider in the issue include, but are by no means limited to:

• Rhoda Broughton
• Annie Edwardes
• Amelia B. Edwards
• Mary Cecil Hay
• Catherine Hill
• Mrs. Mackenzie Daniels
• Florence Marryat
• Mrs. J. C. Newby
• Ouida
• Dora Russell
• Felicia Skene
• Mrs Gordon Smythies
• Annie Thomas
• Melinda Young

Please submit articles for consideration between 4,000-7000 words to Anne-Marie Beller, Loughborough University ( and Tara MacDonald, University of Amsterdam ( by 31 October 2011.

Contributors should follow the journal’s house style, details of which are to be found on the Women’s Writing web site. This is the new MLA. Do note that instead of footnotes, we use endnotes with NO bibliography. All bibliographical information is included in the endnotes. For example, we require place of publication, publisher and date of publication in brackets after a book is cited for the first time.

The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945
Special Topics Issue 2013

The editors of The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 would like to announce a call for papers for the next special topics issue on Middlebrow and Modernism (volume 8), which will be guest edited by Genevieve Brassard, Phyllis Lassner, and Ann Rea.

Articles on non-canonical figures or understudied issues are especially appreciated, as are articles that address responses to art or arts culture within the contexts of the First or Second World Wars or interwar period. Articles might also consider issues related to the collective cultural memories of the wars. We are very interested in multidisciplinary interests and approaches such as film, radio, photography and the visual arts, journalism propaganda architecture, and music, and in particular work that directly engages with the points of contact between modernism and the middlebrow. Why was literary worth judged according to these distinctions at this point in history?

Deadline for submissions to this special topics issue is April 15, 2012.

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