Conferences, Lectures, Seminars, Readings

Octave Mirbeau, George Moore, Arthur Morrison, Victorian transvestism

These are in chronological order and will be removed on expiry except for those directly referring to Wilde, which will be kept as part of the historical record.





Call for Papers: Arthur Morrison and the East End

We seek critical articles for an essay collection on Arthur Morrison and the East End. We welcome essays on a variety of aspects relating to his body of work.

Essays can address his most famous novel A Child of the Jago, but can alternatively focus on his lesser-known novels (particularly The Hole in the Wall and To London Town), his short stories (including those from Tales of Mean Streets), and his journalism.

Broad themes include:

Morrison and East End history

Morrison and representations of childhood

Morrison and linguistic experimentation

Morrison and eugenics

Morrison and religion

Morrison and masculinity

Morrison, geography, and cartography

Morrison and naturalism

Morrison and other slum-fiction authors (including transatlantic and continental authors)

Morrison and the literary marketplace

Morrison and disability

Morrison and motherhood

Morrison and late-Victorian sociology

Morrison and Cockney representation

Morrison and cultural philanthropy (eg. the People’s Palace)

Morrison and late-Victorian popular culture

Morrison and criminology

Teaching Morrison in the classroom

Morrison’s literary legacies

Proposals of 300-500 words should be submitted along with a 60-word author biography to Diana Maltz ( by October 1, 2017. Following acceptance of abstracts, final papers should be approximately 7,000 words long and will be due by Sept. 1, 2018. Routledge has expressed interest in this collection.


The Octave Mirbeau centenary

Pierre Michel writes:

Comme tout le monde ne le sait pas, vu le silence assourdissant de la “grande presse”, on commémore, à travers le monde, le centième anniversaire de la mort d’Octave Mirbeau, l’intellectuel éthique, le démystificateur, l’iconoclaste, qui n’a rien perdu de son actualité et qui, visiblement, dérange encore beaucoup, si l’on en juge par  le refus du Musée d’Orsay de rendre hommage au chantre attitré de Monet, Rodin et Van Gogh (voir, et par l’absence totale de soutien effectif du Ministère de la Culture.

Néanmoins les événements et initiatives se multiplient (voir et le comité international de parrainage qui a été constitué est impressionnant :

Deux colloques ont déjà eu lieu : le 27 janvier, au Sénat (“Mirbeau et la société française de la Belle Époque”), et le 11 février, à Morlaix (“Mirbeau et la Bretagne”).  En juin aura lieu un important colloque de trois jours, Mirbeau-Zola, à Debrecen ; en octobre, un colloque Mirbeau à Tunis, une soirée Mirbeau à la BNF et une journée Mirbeau à Lódz ; en novembre, une semaine Mirbeau à Grenade ; et en décembre un grand colloque de deux jours à l’antenne parisienne de l’université de Chicago.  Pour la programme de Debrecen, cliquez ici.   Un des papiers est ça de Michael Rosenfeld (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, France/Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgique): “Zola et Mirbeau:
divergences et convergences à propos d’Oscar Wilde”

* Parution imminente  du n° 24 des Cahiers Octave Mirbeau (340 pages, 26 €), qui sera disponible à la Sorbonne et au colloque d’Angers :

Nous espérons que nombreux seront les participants à cet hommage international rendu au père de l’abbé Jules, de Célestine et d’Isidore Lechat et que de nouvelles initiatives pourront voir le jour, en France et à l’étranger.

Société Octave Mirbeau
10 bis rue André Gautier
49000 - ANGERS
02 41 66 84 64



CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue of The Victorian Review on Trans Victorians

Submission Date: 15th October 2017

The Victorian Review invites submissions for its special issue devoted to Trans Victorians. From the Chevalier/Chevalière D’Eon, Fanny and Stella, Dr. James Miranda Barry, and Vernon Lee, to the intersecting identities found in gender diverse side shows, including Madame Clofullia and Julia Pastrana, and the political cross-dressing of the Welsh Rebecca Riots, the Victorian era was populated by all manner of non-binary and gender expansive slippages. At the same time, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s conflation of queer sexual orientation and trans gender identity and expression became part of the scientific foundation that informed cisnormative and heteronormative standards not only in medicine and the law, but the popular imagination. This special issue seeks to explore the overt and covert constructions of resistance to the constructions of more rigid gender binaries throughout Victorian Britain and abroad.

Recent critical work in Transgender/Trans Studies has begun to reconsider narratives of “transness” within structures of intersecting identities that focus on race, class, national identity, ability, colonialism and imperialism, and has begun to tease out the mis-readings and differences between sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression. Within post-colonial contexts, trans research has also begun to interrogate the British global mis-readings of gender diversity among various groups in the colonies such as the hijras in India and tangata ira tane and takatapui (Maori) in New Zealand. How might we approach Victorian Trans Studies while recognizing that the term “trans” or “transgender” and the meanings we now grant to them did not exist in the Victorian period?

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

Trans Representation in Victorian Literature (all genres) including Supportive and/or Derisive Depictions
Gender Diversity in Colonial Contexts
British and European Authoritative Readings of Trans
British and European Embodiments of Trans
Trans and Sex Crimes
Trans and Medicine
Trans and Law
Trans and Religion
Trans Communities and Cultures
Cross-Dressing as Theatrical Performance
Cross-Dressing as Political Theatre
Cross-Dressing as Embracing Trans Identity
The Spectacle of Trans Embodiment
Trans Celebrity/Trans Legends

Essays must be between 5000 and 8000 words and formatted according to MLA (8th edition) guidelines. Please submit manuscripts to Ardel Haefele-Thomas (guest editor):

Electronic Submissions:

Mailed Submissions:

Dr. Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Chair
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue
Box C11
San Francisco, CA 94112

Christopher Keep
Associate Professor
Editor, Victorian Review
Acting Chair, Department of English and Writing Studies

Western University
London, Ontario, Canada
N6A 3K7




The 2018 George Moore Conference will be held at the Moore Institute at NUI Galway for the next GM conference.  The dates are 14, 15 & 16 June 2018.

A lot more detail, as well as the call for papers, will be available in September.




JULY 2017

Two papers on Wilde

IASIL Conference, Nanyang Technological University,  Singapore, 24-28th July.


Helena Gurfinkel (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville): The Green Carnation behind the Iron Curtain: Adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s Plays and Prose on Soviet Television.

Oscar Wilde famously enjoyed enormous popularity in Russia, both before and after 1917. As Evgenii Bershtein notes in “‘Next to Christ’: Oscar Wilde in Russian Modernism,” at the dawn of the twentieth century, Wilde served as a symbol of both queerness and early Western modernism for the Russian writers and poets of the so-called “Silver Age.” In the post-1917 Russia, and especially in the post-1930s Soviet Union, the queer and artistically innovative side of Wilde was erased for ideological reasons. Fascinatingly, he nonetheless remained, for decades, an accepted, almost mainstream, Western literary figure. In “‘No More Delightful Spirit’: Unlikely Connections with Oscar Wilde,” Anastasia G. Pease reminisces about the omnipresence of Oscar Wilde in the popular culture of her Soviet childhood. As a fiction writer, Wilde was mainly popular among the young-adult audiences. As a playwright, he was recognized as a harsh critic of “bourgeois morality.” As a result, his society plays were frequently produced on stage and adapted for television. My talk will examine several television versions of Wilde’s prose and dramatic works produced at the height of the so-called “stagnation period” of the late twentieth century: “The Canterville Ghost,” An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Tale of a Star Child. While most of the adaptations appropriate Wilde for the dissemination of the prevalent ideologies of the day, others intimate surreptitious and subversive queerness and reflect on the effects of end-of-the-century technology and imperialism in ways that add a productive new dimension to Wilde Studies.

Helena Gurfinkel is Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, U.S.A. She is the author of Outlaw Fathers in Victorian and Modern British Literature: Queering Patriarchy (2014) and editor of PLL: Papers on Language and Literature. Her research and teaching interests include Victorian literature, masculinity studies, and psychoanalysis.

Julie-Ann Robson (Western Sydney University): “That terrible, coloured little tragedy”: The aesthetics of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé

Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé is subtitled “A Tragedy in One Act.” Wilde, as a classical scholar and winner of the Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek at Trinity College, Dublin, would have been only too familiar with Aristotle’s definition of tragedy, which relies on key tructural elements such as pity and fear, and peripeteia. It is safe to say that Salomé does not fit the classical definition of tragedy, and so this paper will examine the aesthetics of Wilde’s play, which he refers to as “that tragic daughter of passion” (Wilde, Complete Letters 557), to explore the ways in which it might—or might not—engage with ideas of the tragic.

Julie-Ann Robson teaches at Western Sydney University.


The University of Paris-Sorbonne and British Council are organising a lecture (in English) on William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde by Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon.

‘Shakespeare, Wilde and the Anglo-French Comedy of Manners’ (‘Shakespeare, Wilde et la comédie franco-anglaise de l’artifice’)

Thursday 20th July 2017 18h00-19h30
La Sorbonne, Amphithéâtre Richelieu
17 rue de la Sorbonne
75005 Paris



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