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Enroll in one of five NAVSA seminar and workshop opportunities

NAVSA 2023 Seminars & Workshops

NAVSA 2023 will feature five seminar/workshop opportunities this November on a variety of approaches and topics. We invite pre-enrolled participation from conference attendees. We will make every effort to include scholars not elsewhere on the program among the seminar attendees. Otherwise, enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis as part of the conference registration process. (We aim to open the registration portal the week of September 25.) You may enroll in at most one seminar or workshop. Walk-in participants are welcome to attend a seminar if space permits.


Queer Methods and Methodologies 

Rae Greiner

Session 3 | TH, Nov 9 | 2:45 - 4:15 pm
IMU Persimmon Room

In Queer Methods and Methodologies: Intersecting Queer Theories and Social Science Research (Routledge, 2010), editors Kath Browne and Catherine J. Nash describe the impetus for their collection as arising from a disconnection between what they study and how they study it. “We found it disconcerting,” they write, “that we often do not apply our queer re-theorising, re-considering and re-conceptualising to our social science methodologies and choice of methods,” adding that, “as queer approaches to research proliferate across the social sciences, . . . there is a certain ‘sweeping under the carpet’ of how we actually ‘do’ research as ‘social scientists’ given our attractions, and attachments, to queer theory.” This workshop invites scholars interested in discussing, critiquing, proposing, or imagining queer methods and methodologies in literary studies more broadly and in our various subfields more particularly. How do we actually “do” what we do when we practice queer methods? In what sense are our methodologies queer, or how might they be? Browne and Nash’s collection offers a number of models, some familiar to literary studies, others not, ranging from collaboration, affect studies, sexuality studies, performance, and recovery projects to autoethnography, techne, and emic theory. How do (or might) we identify methods and methodologies hospitable to our objects of study, or inhospitable to them in ways that are themselves illuminating, unsettling, or otherwise worthwhile? Our inquiries need not be determined by issues of sexuality or gender in isolation from other categories of analysis, but may call for or even require intersectionality.


Participants will submit a one-page (single spaced) statement of interest, either based on past or current research, on a critique or assessment of extant methodologies, and/or ideas for future projects. The seminar will invite each participant to give a brief overview of their proposal, which we will use as the basis for broader conversation(s) about queer approaches to Victorian studies and beyond. Proposals due by November 1 to


Rae Greiner is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington and a co-editor of Victorian Studies. She is the author of Sympathetic Realism in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction (2013), a member of the Dickens Project Executive Committee, and the co-organizer of the 2023 and 2024 Dickens Universes.  Her latest publication is the Norton Critical Edition of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (forthcoming).   

The Victorian Inhuman

Ivan Kreilkamp

Session 3 | TH, Nov 9 | 2:45 - 4:15 pm

Ernie Pyle Hall Rm 252

The inhuman, the non-, the un-, the other-than, the more-than; animal, creature, monster, deity, “savage,” ghost, fairy, plant, thing; dehumanization, racialization, re-humanization. Casting an intentionally wide net, this seminar aims to gather together a group of scholars who share an interest in the various processes and means (rhetorical, conceptual, material) by which the “human” in the nineteenth century was demarcated and separated off from the range of various others or non-s implied above. To participate, please email to Ivan Kreilkamp ( by November 1 a short (1–2 page) statement in which you tell me something about what interests or brings you to this broad topic. Whether this statement describes a current project, gestures towards a possible future one, or simply lays out your own interests as they intersect with the topic, this will help give me a sense of what people will be potentially bringing to the discussion. We’ll begin by going around the room and each briefly presenting a one-to-three-minute summary of your particular interests, and then, partly depending on the size of the group, will either launch immediately into a broader discussion or, perhaps, will first break into smaller groups organized by sub-topic before that full-group conversation. 


Ivan Kreilkamp is Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington and a co-editor of Victorian Studies. He is the author of three books, most recently Minor Creatures: Persons, Animals, and the Victorian Novel (Chicago UP, 2018) and A Visit From the Goon Squad Reread (Columbia UP, 2021).


Designing New Victorian Publics: A Publicly Engaged Humanities Charette 

Jacqueline Barrios

Session 8 | F, Nov 10 | 4:15 - 5:45 pm

Maxwell Hall Rm 222

In this session, participants explore how a design framework supports experimenting with public scholarship, public-facing teaching and research, and/or publicly engaged work with Victorian literature and its manifold contexts. The session will be framed in the first half by a presentation about LitLabs, a public humanities hub founded by the presenter fusing site-specific research with the study of literature. The subject of her upcoming book, Dear Charles Dickens, Love South LA (University of Iowa Press), LitLabs’ methodology emerged from its first projects engaging the history and daily life of South LA teens in creative studies of the 19C long-form novel. LitLabs plays with canonicity, turning to site, the arts and design to intervene and translate textual objects into as-yet unimagined forms of spatial literary belongings. The presentation will then zoom in on its newest case study, the exhibition Book of the City, where an interdisciplinary team of scholars, artists and designers used Charles Dickens’s 19th-century bildungsroman David Copperfield (1850) to anchor a site-specific "field studio" at the University of Arizona, reimagining novel readership as creative place-making in deployments of the fictional imaginary in installation, film, dance, and object design. In the second half, participants will be guided through a rapid-fire workshop where they can design their own possibilities for publicly engaged teaching and research. Choosing one aspect of a literary text in Victorian studies that has potential for experiential experimentation, workshop members will test out ideas in a “studio” format—brainstorming, prototyping and taking part in a “pin-up”—to manifest the questions and procedures of a publicly engaged humanistic practice.


Participants should send a short letter of interest in the workshop to by November 1. In the letter, please describe one aspect of a literary text in Victorian studies that has potential for public-facing or publicly engaged and experiential experimentation. Please summarize in a few sentences and then jot down possible partners and possibilities for a possible project. Please feel free to share any background experiences, communities or study that contextualize your project or interest in publicly engaged humanities.


For some examples, the National Humanities Alliance has gathered over 2,000 public humanities projects that are searchable by keywords: Additionally, here are websites that have documented LitLabs to share: and,


Jacqueline Barrios is an Assistant Professor of Public & Applied Humanities at the University of Arizona, studying the global nineteenth century, literature, and the city, which she extends in interdisciplinary, socially engaged projects within the public humanities. Her current scholarship investigates London-Pacific trans-urban imaginaries—geographies of East Asian Pacific Rim entanglement with the British capital. She founded LitLabs, a public humanities hub fusing site-specific research with the study of literature, the subject of her upcoming book, Dear Charles Dickens, Love South LA (University of Iowa Press). She co-leads the inaugural global Urban Humanities Network for scholars and practitioners in this emerging field of transdisciplinary spatial studies. She holds a PhD in English from UCLA and served as a public school teacher for many years in South Los Angeles.


Victorian Studies as Critical AI Studies

Nathan Ensmenger, Lauren Goodlad, and Alison Booth

Session 10 | SAT, Nov 11 | 10:15 - 11:45 am

Ernie Pyle Hall Rm 252

Building from the momentum of "Victorian 'Artificial Intelligence': A Call to Arms," a panel at last year's NAVSA which was re-recorded on Zoom, this seminar is open to all Victorianists with an interest in what Victorian studies can bring to discussions over new "AI" technologies. It will be especially useful to those working on the ongoing legacies of nineteenth-century science and socio-technology (including statistics; biometrics; utilitarianism; pseudo-scientific theories of race, criminality, and eugenics; white supremacy; and imperialism). Our goal is to discuss how such expertise uniquely positions nineteenth-centuryists to contribute to the understanding, reception, and implementation of "AI" today. 


The seminar will kick off with short presentations from Ensmenger (Indiana), Goodlad (Rutgers), and Booth (Virginia) as they lay the foundation for open discussion of a short-list of pre-readings/viewings. Ensmenger will discuss his "The Cloud is a Factory" (2021), which describes the similarities between the socio-technical and business practices that enabled Sears Roebuck to expand at the turn of the twentieth century and the emergence of a century later. Goodlad will discuss "Humanities in the Loop," the inaugural introduction to Critical AI, which describes the emerging interdisciplinary field of critical AI studies as an opportunity for humanists to theorize, historicize and research a diverse body of statistical technologies that hark back to nineteenth-century discourses. Booth, who proposes optional reading of Jon Gertner's "Wikipedia's Moment of Truth," from the Sunday New York Times Magazine, will address connections between nineteenth-century forms of biographical references and searchable encyclopedias and present-day competition and interactions of Wikipedia and Google in the spread of generative AI.



Participants who missed last year's panel, which featured papers by Sophia Hsu (CUNY), Pamela Gilbert (Florida), and Lauren Goodlad, can prepare for discussion by watching the recorded version which was moderated by Anand Sawarte (Rutgers). However, all seminar participants may want to listen to the discussion that takes place at the end of the recording which features questions from Meredith Martin (Princeton) as well as discussion between Sawarte and the three panelists.


Nathan Ensmenger is an associate professor in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University. He is an historian whose work focuses on labor, gender, and materiality in the history of computing. He is currently working on a global environmental history of the digital economy.


Lauren Goodlad, author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic (2016) and of recent articles on the ontological work of nineteenth-century fiction including "A Study in Distant Reading" (MLQ 2020), is the editor of a new Duke UP journal, Critical AI


Alison Booth is Brown-Forman Professor of English and Faculty Director, DH Center, University of Virginia. She directs a digital bibliography and textual study, Collective Biographies of Women. Her books include Greatness Engendered: George Eliot and Virginia Woolf (Cornell, 2018); How to Make It as a Woman: Collective Biographical History from Victoria to the Present (Chicago, 2004) and Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers’ Shrines and Countries (Oxford, 2016). She co-edited “Varieties of Digital Humanities,” PMLA 135.1 (2020) with Miriam Posner. Her article “But Why Always the Novel?” appears in the special issue “Culture, Theory, Data,” New Literary History 53:4, 54:1.


How to Pursue Humanities Projects at a Time of Crisis

Emily Allen and Dino Franco Felluga

Session 11 | SAT, Nov 11 | 2:45 - 4:15 pm

Maxwell Hall Rm 222

This workshop takes the occasion of NAVSA’s 20th anniversary not to think about the past but the future, or, more properly, the future anterior. In our new book, Novel-Poetry: The Shape of the Real and the Problem of Form (forthcoming, Oxford UP), we propose alternative models for thinking about change in the face of crisis, including the climate crisis, aided by recent philosophical work on the notion of event by Alain Badiou, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, and Slavoj Žižek. Although philosophical and speculative, event and its alternative approach to temporality provide us, we argue, with a how-to manual for the humanities in a time of collapse. This seminar proposes that we need to rethink how we conceive, implement, and maintain the work that we do. COVE and next year’s NAVSA conference, EVENT 2024 (a response to the climate crisis), are examples of humanities projects established from their start following the philosophical concept of event. How does this alternative approach help us to build sustainable projects in the present?


We will have attendees annotate a short white paper discussing the impetus of EVENT2024 (at COVE Conferences) and we will provide a short excerpt from our book about event and the future anterior.


Participants may wish to read in advance an article by Dino Felluga that grew out of the 2015 NAVSA plenary panel in Hawaii. That talk proposed starting COVE by the logic of event before there was a site or any money to build one, so it exemplifies the logic of the future anterior.


Dino Franco Felluga is professor of English at Purdue University. He founded NAVSA in the summer of 2002 alongside Emily Allen, Ivan Kreilkamp, Andrew Miller, Cannon Schmitt, and Melissa Valiska Gregory. Emily Allen is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University and Director of the Blue Sky Teaching and Learning Laboratory in Purdue’s John Martinson Honors College.

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