CFP: Victorian Literary Languages

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The AHRC-funded ‘Victorian Literary Languages’ network aims to bring together research across literary studies, historical linguistics, Irish studies, Scottish studies, Welsh studies, periodical studies, digital humanities and cultural history. Trialling an innovative take towards research, participants are encouraged to develop new ideas through a range of activities, including interactive sessions using archives, corpora, or digital humanities tools; short research statements and provocations; collaborative writing sessions; and roundtable discussion. We are also pleased to announce that there will be a publishing opportunity made available through a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.  

The first of three workshops will be held in St Andrews on 26th & 27th May and will focus specifically on the connections between nineteenth-century literature and grammar, lexicography, and philology. We invite you to consider the following: 

How might critical perspectives on Victorian literature and its canons change when we take full account of the Victorian United Kingdom’s four nations, four languages (English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic), and richly diverse dialect cultures? How did nineteenth-century contests over national identity – and related debates about linguistic purity, diversity, and change – influence literary style and drive formal innovation? And how can methods of close and distant reading work collaboratively to generate new understandings of the linguistic and literary histories of Victorian Britain and Ireland? To answer these questions, the network will bring together scholars from a range of backgrounds and disciplines (including literature, linguistics, and history), who, by sharing their diverse expertise and perspectives, will develop an innovative, multilingual approach to the study of Victorian literature and culture. 

If you are interested in being involved in the network’s discussions please email your name, institutional affiliation(s) (if applicable), and a description of your research and your intended contribution (250 words) by 7th March to Further information about the network can be found on its website. Please note, the network is co-ordinated by Dr Gregory Tate (University of St Andrews) and Dr Karin Koehler (Bangor University.) If you have any further questions, including funds regarding travel arrangements, please email for more information.