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Call for papers and submission guidelines

Deadline March 20, 2023


Call for Papers

Bloomington, IN | Nov 9 - 11, 2023

2023 will be the 20th anniversary of the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, and NAVSA will return to the site of the inaugural conference – Indiana University Bloomington. Our keynote speakers will be Rachel Ablow (Professor of English, SUNY Buffalo), Sukanya Banerjee (Associate Professor of English, UC Berkeley), and Lydia Murdoch (Professor of History, Vassar). We will host most conference events at the Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center, which we have reserved from the morning of November 9 through the evening of November 11, 2023. There is a small chance these dates will change, but we will have the conference dates finalized by March 1, 2023. We advise you to wait until after March 1 to make travel arrangements.

In this moment of transition within the field, the organizers have chosen a theme of “Revision, Return, Reform.” Our field has been under revision in recent years, with calls to attend to the present, to adopt new methods of reading, to undiscipline the Victorians, and to reform our classrooms, our research, and our institutional practices in the interests of greater diversity, equity, and justice. We invite conference participants to reflect on these recent developments within our field, and to consider aspects of revision, return, and reform within the Victorian period.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Cultures of reform

  • Reform vs. revolution

  • Reform Acts

  • Religious reform

  • Reform and philanthropy

  • Reform and repair; repairing damage, literal and metaphorical

  • Form and reform

  • Reforming the self

  • Forming and reforming disciplines during the Victorian period

  • Reforming the canon

  • Academic and institutional reform

  • Conferences and their forms; forms and forums of academic conversation

  • Return as repetition, regression, or progress

  • Returning to a text; rereading

  • Return narratives

  • Immigration, migration, and return

  • Returning colonial and settler possessions

  • Returns to “Victorianism” and “Victorian morality” in contemporary politics

  • Evolutionary changes and returns

  • The art of revision; textual revisions

  • Vision, revision, double vision, and focus

  • Revising the Victorians

  • C20/C21 revisions of Victorian texts; Neo-Victorianism

  • Discipline, undiscipline, and rediscipline

  • Reimagining the future of Victorian Studies as a field

With disappointment and dismay, the conference organizers acknowledge the Indiana state law banning almost all abortions which went into effect September 15th, 2022. A judge has halted the enforcement of that law, but we realize that the decision may be overturned. In our conference planning, we will strive to support local businesses who fully support reproductive freedoms. We will also provide conference-goers with the best and latest possible information on accessing reproductive care in the region.  


We wish to acknowledge and honor the Indigenous communities native to this region, and recognize that Indiana University Bloomington is built on Indigenous homelands and resources. We recognize the myaamiaki, Lënape, Bodwéwadmik, and saawanwa people as past, present, and future caretakers of this land. 




Proposal Submission Guidelines

Proposals for individual papers should be 300 words or fewer, and should be accompanied by a brief biographical note (no more than 125 words). Proposals for panels and for roundtables should be 1,500 words maximum, should include a brief rationale for the overall grouping as well as descriptions of each individual presentation, and should be accompanied by brief biographical notes for each presenter (no more than 125 words each). A panel should consist either of 3 speakers each presenting 20-minute papers, or of 4 speakers each presenting 15-minute papers. A roundtable should consist of 5-7 speakers each giving a brief position statement, with the total speaking time no more than an hour. We encourage proposals for panels and roundtables to include at least one graduate student, independent scholar, or contingent/non-tenure-track faculty member. 

If you are planning a panel or roundtable and would like to advertise your topic and find interested participants, you can email with the information you would like us to post in the "Calls for Individual Panels and Roundtables" section of this website. Please include a brief description of the panel or roundtable, what information you would like from potential participants, an email address where they can contact you, and the deadline by which you would like proposals for your panel/roundtable. (Please note that your deadline should be before March 20 so that you can make your selections and submit the completed panel or roundtable proposal by the March 20 deadline.)

The deadline for proposals for individual papers, panels, and roundtables is March 20, 2023.

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