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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) was set up in 1989 by academics to promote the study of the cultural history of the Romantic period. Since then, BARS has organised eight International conferences at various locations in the UK, has published the BARS Bulletin and Review twice-yearly, and currently has more than 350 members.

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CFP: Fear and Loathing in Victorian England (essay collection)

We are seeking abstracts and papers for an essay collection on “Victorian Xenophobia.”
Although xenophobia did not emerge as a concept until the early twentieth century, this collection will explore the culture which gave rise to this particular kind of fear and loathing of foreigners, immigrants, aliens, and ethnic/racial/religious others. Xenophobia speaks particularly to a fear of foreign bodies and/or the transgression of physical boundaries of homeland, nation-space, community, and family.

We welcome submissions that explore the ways in which xenophobia influenced social, cultural, economic, scientific, political, spatial, and legal practices in Victorian England. We invite analyses of a variety of cultural expressions and phenomena, including literature, music, theater, architecture, urban planning, art and museum exhibitions, legislative initiatives, and print culture (advertisements, visual technologies and images, newspapers, cartoons, religious tracts, scientific treatises, government reports, libraries, printers, and publishers, etc.).

Possible paper topics might include:

Xenophobia and Victorian liberal/illiberalism; fear of foreigners and “aliens”; immigration and emigration; forms, discourses, and expressions of racisms; anti-/philo- Semitism and anti-/philo-Judaism; racial profiling; Anglo-Saxonism and the perceived Celtic menace; religious orthodoxy and notions of racial superiority; the Great Exhibition and the “foreign invasion”; caricature and forms of ethnic “humor”; the sciences of anthropology, ethnography, and philology; public and social policy (i.e., Association for Preventing the Immigration of Destitute Aliens; the British Brothers League); foreign contagion and the health of nation; the plight of political exiles; criminals and social “deviants”; and other forms of fear and loathing toward perceived racial, ethnic, or religious aliens in Victorian culture.

Please contact any of the editors with questions about this collection:
Marlene Tromp: tromp@denison.edu
Maria Bachman: mbachman@coastal.edu
Heidi Kaufman: kaufman@udel.edu      kaufman@udel.edu

Abstracts (500-1000 words) or completed essays (5000-8000 words) should be sent to Maria Bachman (mbachman@coastal.edu) by October 15, 2008.