Mapping Victorian Empires, Cultures, Identities

Country: Israel

City: Haifa

Abstr. due: 31.10.2018

Dates: 13.05.19 — 16.05.19

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa, co-sponsored by the University of California Dickens Project


A conference on nineteenth-century literature, art, and history to be held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa, co-sponsored by the University of California Dickens Project.

Nineteenth-century British culture was preoccupied with the paradigm of mapping across diverse areas of enterprise, including literature, popular culture, journalism, archeology, and art. Scholars have identified Victorian practices of mapping with the strategies of imperial planning and compartmentalization requisite for organizing a burgeoning empire, and for subsequent negotiations of shifting definitions of home.

We propose examining mapping in its various manifestations, from analyses of direct representations of maps in nineteenth-century literary texts and their cultural afterlives, through discussions of mapping as an aesthetic praxis with its own figurative imaginary. We invite explorations of the metaphorical maps that texts create by juxtaposing modern imperial tactics with artistic interests to form new intersections of literature with cartography, geography, archeology, scientific exploration, ethnicity, and the visual arts.

Topics may include:

  • Ordinance Survey Maps and street naming
  • London as the metropolis of Empire
  • Narrative mapping – narrative delineations of routes and boundaries
  • Mapping British Cultures
  • Mapping the human landscape: ethnicities, races, classes, genders
  • Mapping the senses in the modern global empire
  • Mental and cognitive aspects of mapping or map reading
  • Women in the Situation of Empire
  • Empire at home
  • Empire in theatres and opera houses
  • Empire within — Psychology and Affect
  • Imperialism and Evangelism
  • Mapping Australasia and the antipodes
  • The East and British Citizens
  • Orientalisms: Enlightenment, Victorian, Self-orientalizing
  • Victorian Culture and the Secularization thesis
  • Victorian imperial afterlives and neo-Victorian representations

Keynote Speakers: Regenia Gagnier: “Global Circulation and the Long Nineteenth Century”; Robert L. Patten: “Mapping Dickens.”

Regenia Gagnier is Professor of English at the University of Exeter and the author of Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public; Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain 1832-1920; The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society; Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: on the Relationship of Part to Whole 1859-1920; and the forthcoming Literatures of Liberalization: Global Circulation and the Long Nineteenth Century. She specializes in the global circulation and transculturation of political-economic languages, ideologies, commodities and institutions.

Robert L. Patten is Lynette S. Autrey Professor Emeritus in Humanities and Emeritus Professor of English, Rice University, and Senior Research Scholar, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. He has written extensively about Victorian print history, fiction and art. His two-volume biography of George Cruikshank was named the biography of the decade in a 1999 Guardian review, and his 2013 Charles Dickens and “Boz” won the Colby Prize from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. Within Victorian studies, he specializes in Dickens, his illustrators, and the business of publishing. He has also written about Charlotte Brontë, Tennyson, and nineteenth-century European realism in poetry, fiction, art, and theatre.

Conference Web-Site: