Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Neo-Victorian Studies

For those academics out there with a focus on steampunk, or, indeed, steampunk academics, please find below the call for papers.

This surely expresses the recognition of steampunk as a bona fide genre for study and participation which has been denied for so long, despite its inexorable rise.


Neo-Victorian Studies invites papers and/or abstracts for a 2009 special issue on neo-Victorianism’s engagement with science and new/old technologies, especially as articulated through the genre of Steampunk.

As a lifestyle, aesthetic and literary movement, Steampunk can be both the act of modding your laptop to look like and function as a Victorian artefact and an act of (re-)imagining a London in which Charles Babbage’s analytical engine was realised. Steampunk includes applications of nineteenth-century aesthetics to contemporary objects; speculative extensions of technologies that actually existed; and the anachronistic importation of contemporary science into fictionalised pasts and projected futures. In all cases, Steampunk blurs boundaries: between centuries, between technologies, and between “those” Victorians and “us” neo-Victorians.

This special issue will explore why particular scientific and technological developments are revisited at particular histo!rical moments and trace Steampunk’s importance to neo-Victorianism, as well as its wider cultural implications.

Deadline for submissions of completed papers: 1 June 2009

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
• Steampunk and the importation/transformation of Victorian aesthetics
• changing narrative “technologies” in Victorian/neo-Victorian fiction
• markets and economics of the Steampunk universe
• science and environmental politics
• Steampunk and the myths of the Industrial Revolution
• redefining the human: intersections with cyberpunk
• Steampunk and old/new/lost world empire(s)
• the terrors of Steampunk in a post-9/11 world
• historicising the Steampunk phenomenon
• gender constructions in Steampunk art, literature, and practice
• mad geniuses: scientists, inventors, doctors, engineers
• Steampunk pasts and futures (e.g. The Difference Engine vs. The Diamond Age)
• modding and maker practices: objects and (neo-)Victorian materialism
• real and imagined difference engines• scientific (im)practicalities of Steampunk contraptions
• visual Steampunk vs. narrative Steampunk (e.g. graphic novels or movies vs. novels)
• cosplay and conventions

Articles and/or creative pieces between 6000-8000 words should be submitted by email to the guest editors, Rachel A. Bowser ( and Brian Croxall ( For submission guidelines, please consult the journal website at

1 comment:

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