Calls for Papers

[Note:  These may be removed shortly after expiry]



Contributions are invited for a collection of essays on the theme of Neo-Victorian Decadence to appear in Brill’s (Rodopi’s) Neo-Victorian Series in 2022. The volume’s contents will be partly based on papers delivered at an international conference on ‘Neo-Victorian Decadences’ held at Durham University in September 2017. An additional range of chapters will be selected from the submitted proposals in response to the present CFP.

When Dorian Gray in Will Self’s neo-Victorian novel Dorian: An Imitation (2002) expects Henry Wotton not to be ‘too decadent’, the latter’s rejoinder is ‘to be contemporary is to be absolutely so.’ What neo-Victorian fiction and fin-de-siècle Decadence have in common, besides the fact that the latter can be material that fuels the former, is a heightened self-awareness of the present moment through the lens of looking back. To appropriate Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben’s compelling argument that neo-Victorianism is ‘by nature quintessentially Gothic’ as it resurrects ‘the ghost(s) of the past’, it is likewise Decadent as the reinvention of the Victorian period is a self-conscious performance. Decadent narratives often obsess with phantasmagorias of history, yet they transcend the historical moment. As such they particularly lend themselves to neo-Victorian re-imaginings, perversely fetishizing the past. Neo-Victorian texts, from the Interwar period to the present day, reconfigure, recast and sample nineteenth-century Decadence as much as they themselves emerge as the product of Decadent practice.

Working in the intersections between neo-Victorian studies and Decadence studies, this book calls for a re-evaluation of the relationship between writers, artists and film-makers working in a neo-Victorian style and fin-de-siècle Decadence.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Neo-Victorian Aestheticism
  • Decadent steampunk
  • Cycles of history
  • Decay and degeneration
  • Parody and pastiche
  • Cinema and/or film adaptation
  • Inter-mediality
  • Wildeana
  • Beardsleyana
  • Huysmanian legacies
  • Global Neo-Decadences
  • Sexuality and gender
  • London
  • Neo-Decadent fantasies
  • Consuming the Decadents
  • Afterlives of the flâneur

Chapter length should be between 6,000 and 7,000 words including notes (but excluding works cited). Essays should be prepared for blind review; the deadline for the first full drafts will be in early summer 2021.

Abstracts of 300–400 words and biographical notes of 50–100 words should be sent to Kostas Boyiopoulos and Joseph Thorne by August 31, 2020. We encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions or wish to discuss your ideas before submitting. Successful contributors will be notified by late September 2020.  Please put ‘Neo-Victorian Decadence – Abstract Submission’ in the subject heading.


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Historical Crime Fiction

Theme issue of _Clues: A Journal of Detection_

Guest editor: Rosemary Erickson Johnsen (Governors State University)

Proposal deadline: 1st November 2020

Historical crime fiction, or detective fiction using historical settings, has long been an important strand of the mystery genre. Well-placed to provide pleasures similar to armchair tourism combined with the potential to convey historical knowledge through the crime fiction’s focus on the quotidian amidst larger cultural landscapes, over the decades historical crime fiction has ranged from the whimsical to the didactic, offering insight into the author’s own time period and that of the historical setting

This theme issue of Clues seeks to explore the richness of historical crime fiction written in, and about, any time period. Topics of interest might include the following:

— Works by major figures in the field and by lesser-known or neglected authors

— Historical series or stand alone titles

— Intersections with (historical) true crime

— Historical crime fiction with wartime settings

— Connections with the gothic

— Works that use the mystery as a vehicle to illuminate specific historical circumstances of women, immigrants, and/or racial/ethnic minorities

— Interplay between the historical and other crime-fiction subgenres (e.g., police procedural, cozy)

— Integration of historical research with the conventions of the mystery genre

— Literary pastiche; mysteries featuring literary figures or their authors as sleuths (e.g., Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen)

— Forays into the historical by authors known for other detective modes (e.g., Agatha Christie)

Submissions should include a proposal of 250­–300 words and a brief biographical note. Full manuscripts will be due in early March 2021.

Submit proposals by 1st November 2020 to Caroline Reitz, Clues executive editor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY, email:

Address questions to: Elizabeth Foxwell, _Clues_ managing editor,


[Posted 04.iii.2020]

Melissa Purdue writes ‘Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is currently accepting proposals for guest-edited summer 2021 and 2022 issues. If interested, please submit a proposal to both Melissa Purdue ( and Stacey Floyd ( by April 1st.  Proposals should include a short description of your topic, a sample CFP, and brief editor biographies.

Past special issues have focused on “Gender in Victorian Popular Fiction, Art, and Culture,” “Teaching Nineteenth-Century Literature and Gender in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom,” “Making Masculinity,” and “Illustration and Gender: Drawing the Nineteenth Century.” For full issues and additional examples, please see our website:

[Posted 10.i.2020]

Conan Doyle in Edinburgh

25th – 27th June, 2020

Edinburgh Napier University

Proposals are invited for a conference in Edinburgh about Arthur Conan Doyle. At the centre of the conference will be the relation between the writer and his native city, but papers about all aspects of his work and life will be welcome.

Although Conan Doyle only spent 12 years of his life in Edinburgh, it was the city which shaped him and out of which his stories grew. As Val McDermid notes: “those early years in Edinburgh played a crucial role in his development as a writer” (2009). This conference will explore the interplay between city and writer, and we invite broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretations on the topic of ‘Conan Doyle in Edinburgh’. We also welcome proposals for papers on other topics concerning the writings and life of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Key note speakers: Owen Dudley Edwards and Nicholas Daly

We will also be running a virtual conference alongside the physical conference which we hope will encourage greater participation for those unable to attend for financial, environmental or other reasons. If selected, the online participants will be asked to record their presentation which will be hosted on our website before, during and after the conference. Viewers and attendees of the conference will have the opportunity to ask questions of the online participants. The online participants will be included in the conference programme.

‘Conan Doyle in Edinburgh’ is the second event associated with a new scholarly enterprise, The Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Arthur Conan Doyle, sponsored by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Selected papers from across the conference will be considered for book publication.

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers, posters, or virtual attendance, on topics which can include, but are not limited to:

  • Conan Doyle and Edinburgh
  • Conan Doyle and Cities
  • Conan Doyle and Medicine
  • Conan Doyle and other Authors
  • Conan Doyle’s Campaigns
  • Conan Doyle and his Fiction
  • Travel and Empire Writing
  • Science and Science Fiction
  • Spiritualism and the Supernatural
  • The City and Crime Writing
  • Editing Conan Doyle

Proposals should be no more than 300 words, and submissions should include a 50 word biography. Online participants should note on their proposal their wish to be considered for the virtual conference. If you are only able to attend for one day please state which day in your proposal. Proposals should be sent in Word or .odt format to Linda Dryden, Douglas Kerr and Jonathan Wild at:

Deadline for proposals: Friday 31st January 2020

A social events calendar, including opportunities for visits, walks and planned meals, will be sent to participants before the conference. Conference attendees will have Saturday afternoon free to explore Edinburgh. 




[Posted 21.xi.2018]

IASIL 2019 (Trinity College Dublin, July 22-26). Deadline for submissions: 18th January 2019.

A panel on the cinematic representation of Oscar Wilde.

We are looking to add 1 participant to the existing 3 panelists. We are interested in adding a talk on Wilde (1998), starring Stephen Fry, but open to further discussion.

Queries to Helena Gurfinkel (