About the Conference

The British Association for Victorian Studies Conference

Victorian Age(s)

27-29 August 2015, at Leeds Trinity University, West Yorkshire



Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Martin Hewitt (University of Huddersfield), Professor Helen Small (University of Oxford), & Professor Pat Thane (King’s College, London)

 Victorian Age(s)

The Victorians were highly preoccupied by the passage and experience of time in their own personal lives and their lifetimes. Anxious to explain and express the historical changes around them, to arrange and categorise time(s) according to new disciplines and discourses, to explore and differentiate the experiences of different stages in the life-cycle, they strove to relate their era to preceding ones, to measure modernity, and to imagine possible futures. Their experience of both of aging and living in an ‘age’ are among the themes of this conference, as too our own attempts to define the Victorian period.

The conference theme marks the ‘coming of age’ of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, which will celebrate its twenty-first anniversary in 2015.



A call for papers will follow shortly in December 2015. We will welcome papers on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • The Victorian ages of man (and woman): eg infancy/childhood, puberty/adolescence, maturity/middle age, old age/senescence; relationships between different generations; rites of passage in the Victorian life-course, such as birth, coming of age, marriage, widowhood, death, and alternatives to traditional rites of passage.
  • The Victorian period and periodization: its viability as a historical period, and where it begins and ends;; its relationship to preceding, succeeding, and overlapping periods/eras such as the Regency, the Romantic era, theModernist Age, the Edwardian period, the long nineteenth century; sub-periodisation within it, eg the early Victorian period, the high Victorian era, the Naughty Nineties; characterisations of the Victorian period, eg ‘age of empire’, ‘the industrial age’, ‘age of improvement’.
  • Issues and experience of time and temporality in Victorian cultures: the passage of time and the Victorian experience of change/continuity; the nature of modernity; parallel times, time compression, timespace, timeslip, time travel, and the science of time; chronological tropes and narratives of time/historical writing, eg ‘deep time’, diaries; nostalgia for times past; the utopian/dystopian future; differing experiences and organisations of time, eg gendered experience of time, the globalization of time, rural versus urban experience of time, factory or railway time/timetables.
  • Victorian relations to/appropriations of other periods, such as the prehistoric eras, biblical and classical periods, the Anglo-Saxon age, the medieval period, the Tudor era, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, ‘olden time’, the recent past.

Proposals for panels will be particularly welcome. All conference presenters are required to be members of BAVS or an affiliated organisation (eg AVSA, NAVSA).

Enquiries to Dr Rosemary Mitchell, Director of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, at lcvs@leedstrinity.ac.uk


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