The North American Victorian Studies Association invites proposals for its annual conference in Nashville, TN, November 3-6, 2011. We seek papers related to the conference theme of “Performance and Play,” in keeping with the conference’s location in Nashville, a historic center for musical and artistic innovation. Featured speakers will include Tom Gunning, Catherine Robson, and Carolyn Williams. Participants will also have the opportunity to sign up for topic-based seminars in which members pre-circulate 5-page position papers for discussion. Each seminar will be led by an expert in the topic and participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis (limit of 15 presenters per seminar).

Conference threads might include:

  • Music, musicians, singers, music halls
  • Opera, light opera, dance, melodrama
  • The theater world: players, playwrights, producers, directors, stagecraft
  • Early cinema, magic lantern shows, optical toys
  • Audiences, publics, receptions, reviews
  • Performances of the self, gender, race, nationality
  • Posture, pose, gesture, manner, style
  • Timing, training, discipline, skill, perfectionism
  • Imitation, impersonation, masquerade, theatricality
  • Ceremonies, rituals, routines
  • Art-making in public, studio tours, readings
  • Performance at home, in private; female accomplishments
  • Tourist productions, ethnographic shows
  • Leisure, recreation, sport, games, holidays
  • Entertainment, fairs, pageantry, parades
  • Sexual play, eroticism, dalliance, hedonism
  • Gambling, gaming, horse-racing, card games
  • Bodies in motion: fighting, fencing, hunting, exercising
  • Jokes, jests, wordplay, comedy, playfulness, fun
  • Forms of play, linguistic play, nonsense, verse play
  • Children’s play, toys, games

Proposals for individual papers should be no longer than 500 words, and should be accompanied by a one-page curriculum vitae. The organizers welcome panel proposals, as well. Panel proposals should include 500-word abstracts for each paper and a one-page c.v. for each presenter, along with a panel title and 250-word panel description. All abstracts will be considered for the conference, regardless of panel acceptance. Proposals for papers and panels should be submitted electronically to NAVSA2011(at) as an attachment in .doc or .pdf format, and are due by March 1, 2011.

Abstracts for papers and panels may also be submitted through the online forms provided. All presenters at the conference must be current members of NAVSA. For more information please see the NAVSA homepage.

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