CFP: The Victorian Nonhuman. Animal Studies, Ecocriticism and Beyond

CFP for panel contributions for the British Association of Victorian Studies annual conference, 20-22 July in Birmingham. For more information, go to https://bavs2020.com/panel-roundtable-cfps/#nonhuman.

In Victorian studies over the past couple of decades, a division has formed between animal studies and ecocriticism, which loosely follows a contemporary political divide between animal rights activism and environmentalism. Although these two camps often draw on the same body of scholarship and theory, they largely remain two separate, if overlapping, fields.

This panel is dedicated to this overlap, inviting proposals which both go beyond the biocentrism of animal studies and circumnavigate the metanarratives which have often informed ecocriticism. As such, it aims to offer new perspectives on the Victorian Anthropocene. While the focus on the nonhuman in both animal studies and ecocriticism has too often been interpreted as foreclosing questions of human subjectivity, this panel seeks to overturn this myth, by featuring papers which foreground the urgent social and political questions surrounding relationships between human and nonhuman agencies, for example engaging in feminist, queer, trans, postcolonial and crip theory.

Contributions which explore the Victorian nonhuman outside of literature – which has tended to dominate investigations into animals and ecology in the nineteenth century – such as in visual and material culture, are especially welcome. Please send abstracts of 200 words to Dr Pandora Syperek at pandora.syperek.09@ucl.ac.uk by the 1 February

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