VSAWC 2013

Victorian Humanity and Its Others: An International Conference

VSAWC 2013 Vancouver, BC 27-28 April 2013

Information about registration can be found here.

Information about hotel accommodation and surrounding restaurants can be found here.

The programme can be found here.

Remember to follow us on Twitter @VSAWC2013

This conference has been made possible by support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Call for Papers

The Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada invites proposals for a conference on Victorian Humanity and its Others. The conference, hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley and Douglas College, will take place 27-28 April 2013 at the Coast Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, located right near English Bay and the beautiful Stanley Park seawall walk.

We seek proposals for papers that examine the theme of humanity and its others in Victorian culture and society. We warmly welcome papers from the perspectives of history and art history, literary studies, gender studies, race and ethnicity studies, animal studies, and science. Papers will address Victorian definitions, expressions, and contestations of humanity and its others, as well as the way these definitions and debates were shaped by new developments in natural science, anthropology, religion, technology, and industry.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

– human others/other humans

– the animal/human divide

– technologies of the human

– human/gender rights

– the divine vs. the human

– philanthropy

– the (in)humanity of imperialism/colonialism

– reproductivity

– (un)dignified labour

– human-machine relationships

– visual representations of the human

– human environments

– human (dis)ability

– human improvement and perfectibility

– disciplinary histories

– Sciences vs/and Humanities

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Amy King (Department of English, St. John’s University), author of Bloom: The Botanical Vernacular in the English Novel (Oxford UP, 2003). Dr. King has published extensively on the nineteenth-century novel, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Victorian science and literature. Her current book project, “Reverent Form: Natural History and Natural Theology in the British Novel, 1789-1867,” examines the role of natural history and theology in the early Victorian novel.

Please submit proposals of not more than 500 words plus a 75-word biography and 100-word abstract to Heather.McAlpine[at]ufv.ca by 1 October 2012.

The conference will also feature a publishing workshop entitled “How to Get Published: Top Ten Tips from Two Editors.” Victorian Review co-editors Lisa Surridge and Mary Elizabeth Leighton will offer a Saturday panel (open to all conference registrants) on publishing advice for graduate students and recently minted PhDs, followed by a 3-hour workshop on April 29, 2013 (9-12 a.m.). Registration for the workshop will be limited to 10 people. Participants will submit a draft article (on any Victorian topic) via email a week before the conference, receive 20 minutes of individual oral feedback during the conference plus written editorial advice, and revise part of their own article during the 3-hour workshop. The workshop will be limited to 10 participants and will run on a first come, first served basis. Workshop participants need not present a conference paper. If you wish to apply for the workshop, send a title and 250-word abstract of your article plus a copy of your CV to vreview[at]uvic.ca with “Victorian Humanity Conference Workshop” in the subject heading. All workshop participants must register for the conference; their names will be included in the conference programme.


*** Registration fees and forms are due April 1. After this date, fees go up by $15 per person. ***

To register please fill in the registration form AND

If paying by PayPal, e-mail the completed form to heather.mcalpine[at]ufv.ca and fill out the PayPal form below (no longer available)

If paying by cheque, make payable to VSAWC and include Victorian Humanities Conference in the memo line

Send to:
Ryan Stephenson
Douglas College, LLPA Department
Room 3313, 700 Royal Ave. New Westminster, BC V3L 5B2


A special rate for delegates is available at the Coast Plaza Hotel where the conference will take place of $129 per night for a lovely city view room with two double beds. This rate is also applicable for three days before and after the conference, should you wish to extend your stay in our beautiful city.

Please note that rooms are likely to fill up quickly, and the special rate expires at the end of March so book your room early!

Click here for more information about the hotel.

To make your reservation, go to http://www.coastpromos.com/rpl or call 1-800-716-6199 (mention VSAWC 2013 for the special rate).

Restaurants Near Coast Plaza Hotel

Name: The Fish House In Stanley Park
Address: 8901 Stanley Park Drive
Website: fishhousestanleypark.com
Type of Food: Seafood
Hours: 11:30am-10pm Friday, 11am-10pm Saturday and Sunday
Prices: $$$ for dinner, $$-$$$ for other
Distance from hotel: 20 minute walk

Name: The Beaver and Mullet
Address: 1184 Denman St.
Website: thebeaverandmullet.ca
Type of Food: Canadian Bistro
Hours: Friday 4-12pm, Saturday 10am-12pm, Sunday 10am-10pm
Prices: $
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Raincity Grill
Address: 1193 Denman St.
Website: raincitygrill.com
Type of Food: Locally grown
Hours: 11:30-3pm and 5-10pm Friday, 10am-3pm and 5-10pm Saturday and Sunday
Prices: $$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: The Calling
Address: 1780 Davie St.
Website: http://donnellygroup.ca/locations/pubs/the-calling/
Type of Food: Pub food
Hours: 11:30am-3am Friday, 10am-3am Saturday, 10am-2am Sunday
Prices: $-$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Lift Bar and Grill
Address: 333 Menchions Mews
Website: liftbarandgrill.com
Type of Food: Bar and Grill
Hours: 11:30am-9:30pm Friday, 11:30am-10pm Saturday and Sunday
Prices: $$$
Distance from hotel: 15 minute walk

Name: Zakkushi
Address: 823 Denman St.
Website: zakkushi.com
Type of Food: Japanese
Hours: 5:30pm-2am Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm-1am Sunday
Prices: $-$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Khunnai Chang
Address: 835 Denman St.
Website: khunnaichang.com
Type of Food: Thai
Hours: 11:30am-3pm, 5-10pm Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday
Prices: $-$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Kingyo
Address: 871 Denman St.
Website: kingyo-izakaya.ca
Type of Food: Japanese
Hours: Unlisted. Probably 12pm-1am Friday-Sunday
Prices: $-$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Cactus Club
Address: 1790 Beach Ave
Website: cactusclubcafe.com
Type of Food:Club Café
Hours: 11am-11:30pm Friday-Sunday
Prices: $$-$$$
Distance from hotel: 5 minutes

Name: Milestones
Address: 1210 Denman St.
Website: milestonesrestaurants.com
Type of Food: Grill and Bar
Hours: 10:30am-11pm Friday, 9:30am-11pm Saturday, 9:30am-10pm Sunday
Prices: $$
Distance from hotel: 5 minute walk

Name: Nook
Address: 781 Denman St.
Website: nookrestaurant.ca
Type of Food: Italian (pizza and pasta)
Hours: Unspecified. Opens at 5pm daily
Prices: $$
Distance from hotel: 10 minutes


Saturday April 27

8:00-9:00 Registration Foyer
Barclay Room Gilford Room




Furry Kin: Human-Animal Interactions
Chair: Margaret LinleyThe View from the Canary’s Pen: The Child and the Donkey in A Child of the Jago (Arlene Young)Becoming Crazy Cat Lady: Victorian Spinsters and their Furry Kin (Monica Flegel)Leaving the Other out: Lewis Gompertz, the Victorians, and Other Animals (Don LePan)
Performing the Human
Others in Bleak Houses: Dickens’ Novel and Theatre in the 1870s (Julianne Smith)Victorian Melodrama’s Politics of the Human (Kristen Guest)Victorian Views of Shakespeare’s Divine Humanity  (Charles LaPorte)
10:30-11:00 Break




Lawless Humanity
Chair: Arlene YoungHumanity’s Foibles on Display: Class, Crime, and Comedy at the Bow Street Magistrate’s Court (Robert O’Kell)Will the Real Josh Perrott Please Stand Up?: Lawlessness and Mutuality on the Blackest Streets (Diana Maltz)Disease-as-Crime/Crime-as-disease: Erewhon’s Place in the Late Victorian Criminal Responsibility Debates (Justin O’Hearn)
Visual Representions and the Other
Chair: Rory WallaceDisabled Other: Dexter, Performance, and Illustration in The Law and the Lady (Elizabeth Anderman)The Blind Connoisseur: Art Appreciation, Visual Disability and Difference (Vanessa Warne)A Tale of Two Mobs: Dickens’s ATale of Two Cities in America and Britain (Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge)



Lunch — Evergreen to City View Room
VSAWC Executive Meeting — Beach Room





Mid-Victorian Women Writers’ Mediation of Otherness
Loathsome and Foul: Beastly Others and Beastlier Selves in Christina Rossetti (Jessica Campbell)”What are we all but mongrels”: Canine Mediation of the Other in George Eliot’s Novels (Stephen Kuntz)”So Many Hands, not Heads nor Hearts”: Domestic Servants and Eliza Cook’s Journal (Shu-chuan Yan)
Human(e) Society: The Ethical Treatment of the Other
Chair: Sandra HaganScience or Sentiment: Cooking up Vegetarianism in the Vegetarian Messenger (Liam Young)Animal Ethics and Otherness in the Works of Thomas Hardy: Representing the Human/Animal Continuum (Victoria Haynes)Ben-Hur and the Late Victorian Audience: Ethnology, World Religion, and the Imperial Paradox (Jon Solomon)
Writing Panel — Beach Room“How to Get Published: Top Ten Tips from Two Editors”
Lisa Surridge and Mary Elizabeth Leighton
3:00-3:30 Break




Schooling and Training the Other
An Obstinate Silence: Victorian Moral Management and the Melancholia of Censure (Allison Fieldberg)Other Victorian School Stories: Kazuo Ishiguro Re-reads Charlotte Bronte (Molly Clark Hillard)
Disability and Difference: Prosthesis, Assistance and Abnormality
Chair: Vanessa WarneThe Subject and the Other, Disability, and Focalization in Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris (Kylee-Anne Hingston)The Assistive Companion Animal in Victorian Culture (Jennifer Esmail)Frightening Physiognomy: One-Eyedness and Primitive Ocular Prosthesis in Dickens’ Nicholas Nickelby (Ryan Sweet)


Reception — Evergreen to City View Room
6:00-7:30 Keynote Address — Barclay/Gilford Room

“Seeing the Divine in the Commonplace: Seashore Nature History and the Mid-Nineteenth Century Realism of Gaskell and Eliot”

Amy King (St. John’s University, New York City)


Sunday April 28

Barclay Room Gilford Room



Silencing the Other
Chair: Kristen GuestVictorian Stuttering Humour and Elocutionary Annihilation (Daniel Martin)The Inhumanity of Political Economy: Mid-Victorian Feminism and the Politics of the Abstract Subject (Sarah Dredge)Victorian Attempts to Suppress “Obscene” Medical Works on Human Sexuality (Sarah Bull)
A Face in the Crowd: Cities, Mobs, and the Human
Chair: Robert O’KellArnold Bennett: Clay as Other to Inhabitants of the Five Towns  (Alison Hurlburt)Citizens and Cities as Other: Marginalized Victorians and the City of Paris  (Paisley Mann)Dignifying Labour: George Eliot, the Crowd, and the Case for Abstraction (Melissa Shields Jenkins)
10:30-11:00 Break




Queering the Human
Chair: Paisley MannRadical Ontology in Radclyffe Hall’s Well of Loneliness (Grace Kehler)Inequality, Dehumanization, and Camp Aesthetics: Baron Corvo’s Toto stories (Kristin Mahoney)The Queerest Thing: Arthur Conan Doyle and the Detection of Difference (Neale Barnholden)
Nationalism, Colonialism, Imperialism
Chair: Alisa Webb
Becoming the Other: Imagining a Futurist National Identity in Grant Allen’s British Barbarians (Sherrin Berezowsky)”Much to expect and nothing to fear”: Astronomy and Colonialism in Kurd Lasswitz’s Two Planets (Garrett Peck)Mining for Humanity:  Francis Poole, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and Questions of Beneficial Imperialism in Canada  (Victoria Abboud)
12:30-1:30 Lunch — Evergreen to City View Room






Humanity, Otherness, and the Fin de Siècle 
Chair: Leanne PageModel and Transmit: A Collaborative Encoding of Dracula: A Mystery Story (Constance Crompton)Social Investigation at the Fin-de-Siecle (Jillian Richardson)The Yellow Book and Performing Human (Heather Marcovitch)
Elizabeth Gaskell’s Humanities
Chair: Karen SeleskyCommunicating with Flowers: Renegotiating Flowers and Symbolism in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth (Emily Morris)Following the Footsteps of the Brontes: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Animal Stories (Julia Chavez)Binaries in North and South (Jonathan Lee)
3:00-3:30 Break



The Human in Religious Texts and Contexts
The Divine Nest: Devotional Poetry and the Urban Landscape in Good Words (Caley Ehnes)The Othering of the Prodigal Daughter (Elizabeth Ludlow)
Of One Blood? Humans and other Animals in Late-Victorian Popular Fiction
Chair: Chris LeachOf One Blood?: Man and Animal in The Jungle Book (Kiran Mascarenhas)The Detective as Hunter: Gentlemen, English Bloodhounds, and Canine Forensics (Neil Pemberton)Vivisection, Animality, and Humanity in The Island of Doctor Moreau and Heart and Science (Erika Behrisch Elce)

Monday April 30



Writing Workshop — Beach Room

“How to Get Published: Top Ten Tips from Two Editors”
Lisa Surridge and Mary Elizabeth Leighton

Workshop Papers:
Victoria Abboud, “The Gardens of Villette”

Sherrin Berezowsky, “Neo-Victorian Knitting: Print Technology and the Refashioning of the Past”

Sarah Bull, “‘Licensed to Write, Publish and Sell Obscenities’: Pornographers, Quack Doctors, and the Attempt to Suppress Medical Obscenity in Mid-Victorian Britain”

Keridiana Chez, “Doggy People and Cat Ladies: The Cultural Politics of Pet Preference”

Amy Coté “‘Still At the Old Parable’: Parables and Unitarianism in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton”

Jonathan Lee, “Alienation, Coreference, and Naming in Villette: A Wittgensteinian Perspective”

Naomi Lloyd, “Religion, Same-Sex Desire, and Empire at the Turn of the Century: The Case of Constance Maynard (1849-1935)”

Samantha MacFarlane, “Formal Medleys: Narrative, Lyric, and Illustration in ‘The Princess’ and ‘Idylls of the King’”