Department of Music

Back Page

Victorian Nocturnes
Providence, RI, April 2001

Northeast Victorian Studies Association 2001 Conference CALL FOR PAPERS VICTORIAN NOCTURNES 27th Annual Meeting: April 27-29, 2001 at Brown University, Providence, RI
How did the Victorians or their world change when the sun went down? What were Victorian fears, nightmares, dreams and fantasies about the night? What technologies developed to light up the night, and what kinds of nightlife occurred? How did Victorian art forms embrace nocturnes and the nocturnal? For its 27th annual conference, the Northeast Victorian Studies Association looks forward to sleepwalking through the dark half of the day, in search of the awakenings and enlightenments that seeing how a culture deals with darkness brings. The topic includes, in addition the genre of nocturne in music, painting and poetry and Victorian conceptualizations about the night, but also more quotidian, so to speak, licit and illicit nocturnal activities of the period. Topics include (but are not limited to): Papers on hopes, fears, dreams, nightmares and desires: nocturnal pleasures, incubi and succubi, nocturnal emissions (inevitably), moonlight and full moon events (lunacy, moon mythology), real and imaginary night creatures, dark nights of the soul, things that go bump in the night, Gothic nights, vampires, goblins, etc., Victorian taboos and obscurities. The sciences of the night: seeing in the dark and Victorian synthaesthesia, astronomy and its tools (telescopes, spectroscopes, etc.); lighting technologies from candles through gas lights and electricity (gaslighting as well for those who dont respect categories), the interpretation of dreams, night photography. Night life: night work and the graveyard shift; night crimes, night rhythms, night passions; living arrangements: beds, overnight accommodations, the architectural disposition of sleeping spaces, overnight mails; night entertainments, theater, pleasure gardens, balls, mesmerism, seances, etc. Art at night: Nocturnes in music and painting (Whistlers nocturnes, Turner), night poetry (Thomsons City of Dreadful Night, Dowsons Grey Nights, Brownings Meeting at Night, etc.), The Thousand and One Nights and Burtons translation, the continuing hold of the Victorian and particularly London night on modern film and fiction. Paper Proposals (no more than two double-spaced pages) by Oct. 15, to: Professor Jonah Siegel Dept. of English Murray Hall 510 George St. Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08901 USA Fax (attn: Jonah Siegel): +1-(732) 932-1150 Email: Please do not send complete papers. Please do not include your name on your proposal: we review proposals anonymously. Please do include your name, institutional and email addresses, and proposal title in the cover letter that accompanies the proposal. Finished papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion following each panel. Roundtable: In an attempt to allow more participation in the program, we are continuing the popular roundtable discussions on pedagogy that we initiated four years ago. This year we would like to focus on the connections and disjunctions between teaching and research: how does one drive the other? How has your teaching and the curriculum in general changed in response to directions in current scholarship? If you would like to make a presentation, please send a note to Professor Paula Krebs, Department of English, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass. 02766 (fax: (508)286-8263; email: describing briefly (no more than one double-spaced page) the aspects of pedagogy that you would like to share. Keep in mind that being a presenter means creating an atmosphere for stimulating discussion rather than presenting a paper. The Coral Lansbury Travel Grant ($100.00) and George Ford Travel Grant ($100.00), given in memory of key founding members of NVSA, are awarded annually to the graduate student, adjunct instructor, or independent scholar who must travel the greatest distance to give a paper at our conference. Apply by indicating in the cover letter of your proposal that you wish to be considered. Mention also if you have other sources of funding. All who wish to join NVSA, and all members who have not yet paid their dues for the 2000-2001 membership year should return the attached tear-off. And Dr. Hartley Spatt (24 Center Street, Woodmere, NY, 111598) urges all members to send him a note subscribing to the Victorian Studies Bulletin ($5.00 a year). Finally, as many of you know, our Vice-President for Information Services, Professor Glenn Everett has established a NVSA list (NVSA-L) on email and a NVSA Home Page on the World Wide Web ( The Web site offers items of interest to NVSA members. NVSA-L is a place to summarize and share conference activities and logistics, and to conduct NVSA business. It's used mainly around conference time, so don't worry that it will clutter up your mailboxes. To subscribe, send a message to Leave the subject line blank; on the message line write SUB NVSA-L your first and last name.