Darwin and the Evolution of Victorian Studies cfp

2009 is both the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th
anniversary of The Origin of Species. Victorian Studies will mark
the occasion with a special issue on “Darwin and the Evolution of
Victorian Studies.”

Since the publication of VS’s first Darwin issue in 1959, the study of
Darwin and the relationship of his life and work to Victorian culture
has become an industry. In the past twenty-five years alone we have
witnessed the publication of the first fifteen volumes of the Darwin
correspondence, Darwin’s 1836-1844 notebooks, major Darwin biographies
by Janet Browne and Adrian Desmond and James Moore, and important books
by such scholars as Gillian Beer, Bert Bender, Peter Bowler, Sandra
Herbert, George Levine, Ronald Numbers, Robert Richards, Rebecca Stott,
and Robert Young. In recent years, the study of Darwin has begun to take
new directions through examinations of Darwin’s writings beyond the
Origin and the Journal of Researches, investigations of Darwin’s
impact on previously overlooked areas (e.g., art and visual culture,
psychology and the emotions), and new approaches to Darwinism’s impact
on Victorian attitudes to gender and courtship, race and empire,
literature and publishing. The fact that Darwin’s complete writings and
5,000 pieces of his correspondence have been made available in
searchable online databases promises to open up Darwin scholarship even
further.

Where is the study of Darwin and Darwinism in Victorian culture heading?
This special issue will attempt to showcase work that pursues these new
approaches or offers even newer ones. I invite essays on all aspects of
Darwin and Darwin studies in the Victorian period from scholars working
in a range of areas, including history and history of science, literary
and cultural criticism, art history, and history of the book.

The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2008. Essays of not more than
8,000 words (including endnotes) should be prepared in MLA Style.
Submissions and inquiries should be sent directly to the issue’s guest
editor:

Jonathan Smith
Humanities Department
University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
jonsmith@umich.edu

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