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

Monday, 1 December 2008

Trips to the Moon

Lunar Travel: Lucian to Kubrick via the 18th century

An informal One-Day Conference on trips to the moon and space travel from Lucian to 1968 will take place at the Centre for the Reception of Greece & Rome, Royal Holloway in Egham on Monday 15th December.

Speakers include the novelist Adam Roberts, Sci-Fi Expert Tony Keen, English Literature expert Brycchan Carey, polymath extraordinary Nick Lowe, Lucian enthusiast Richard Hawley, and Edith Hall on Ulysses 31.

Attendance is free but you need to contact the organiser in order to enable the purchase of sufficient mince pies and noggins.