CFP: Neo-Victorian Experiments


CFP: ‘Neo-Victorian Experiments’

Special Issue of Victoriographies

(Edinburgh University Press, Autumn 2014)


If the nineteenth century has been characterised by the important scientific discoveries made at the time, it is hardly surprising that these innovations shaped the imagination of writers and artists of the period. What is perhaps less easy to understand is the persisting fascination that these nineteenth-century scientific developments hold for the present. Why do the scientific figures, facts and phenomena which came to prominence in the Victorian age continue to inspire authors in the twenty-first century? This special issue of Victoriographies focuses on contemporary representations of nineteenth-century scientific discourses and ideas through the lens of neo-Victorian appropriation, and seeks to shed light on the forms these returns to the past take, and the functions they serve. To what extent can we read the ideological concerns of the present in those fictional re-imaginings of Victorian science? More generally, in what ways does this scientific past enable a critical reflection on contemporary culture’s broader relationship to its Victorian heritage?


Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Test and contest: nineteenth-century science in neo-Victorian culture
  • Darwinian adaptation and neo-Victorian evolution
  • Science and empire in the neo-Victorian text
  • The figure of the nineteenth-century explorer, naturalist, cartographer, surgeon and anthropologist in neo-Victorian fiction
  • Neo-Victorian spectacle: re-imagining the nineteenth-century museum and scientific exhibition
  • Misguided theories and controversial experiments: class, gender and race in the neo-Victorian novel
  • Neo-Victorian returns to the age of ‘progress’
  • Strange science: experimenting with the scientific ‘bizarre’ in the neo-Victorian text
  • On science’s boundaries: the freak show and the fair in the neo-Victorian novel


Articles should be of between 5000-7000 words (inclusive of endnotes) and should be sent to the guest editor Dr Elodie Rousselot ( by 6 January 2014 at the latest. Authors should include a title page, detailing their name, title and current affiliation. Please also provide an abstract of about 100-150 words, a short biographical note, and 5-6 keywords (preferably not words used in the title). Please do not submit a manuscript that is under consideration elsewhere. Further guidance on the journal style is available at: