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Science, Technology and the Senses, edited by Sibylle Erle and Laurie Garrison

We are delighted to announce the release of this special issue of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net available at

Contributors to the volume include:

  • Laurie Garrison and Sibylle Erle,, ‘Introduction’
  • Sibylle Erle, ‘Blake, Colour and the Truchsessian Gallery: Modelling the Mind and Liberating the Observer’
  • Kelly Grovier, ‘‘Paradoxes of the Panoscope’: ‘Walking’ Stewart and the Making of Keats’s Ambivalent Imagination’
  • Laurie Garrison, ‘Imperial Vision in the Arctic: Fleeting Looks and Pleasurable Distractions in Barker’s Panorama and Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • Gavin Budge, ‘The Hero as Seer: Character, Perception and Cultural Health in Carlyle’
  • Verity Hunt, ‘Raising a Modern Ghost: The Magic Lantern and the Persistence of Wonder in the Victorian Education of the Senses’

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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.�?

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

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The Institute of English Studies and the Book History Research Group of the Open University have a series of seminars titled 'Publishing Science' that may be of interest. Speakers are Jonathan Topham (28 Jan 2008), Jim Mussell (11 Feb), Gowan Dawson (25 Feb), and Angelique Richardson (10 March). The venue is Senate House: see the IES website for full details.

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In the run up to the second conference of the society it's instructive to look back to our inaugural conference and its context. Gowan Dawson (University of Leicester) has recently offered an incisive review of the opportunities afforded by the range of interests and periods that the society brings together.

In his article ‘Literature and Science under the Microscope’ (Journal of Victorian Culture, EUP, 2006) Dawson argues that the BSLS ‘offers an opportunity to foster a distinctively historicist or contextual approach to the study of science and literature’ (302), and offers a stimulating review of recent critical work as well as a discussion of the critical challenges and difficulties that his argument raises.

These challenges are those that we'll be taking up in March in Birmingham.

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