About Other Worlds

Other Worlds
A Victorian Network Conference.
3 December 2012
Sentate House, University of London
Dr John Holmes (Reading) and Professor Cora Kaplan (KCL)

From other lands to other planets to other dimensions, the nineteenth-century imagination thrived on the idea of 'elsewhere'. Alongside a developing rhetoric of geographically and intellectually bounded identities grew a fascination with alterity. Other Worlds seeks to explore the many ways in which Victorians looked beyond their quotidian spheres to imagined alternatives. We invite submissions which explore nineteenth-century modes of thought which position themselves as other, alternative, transcendent, secret or hidden.

This conference also seeks to explore how we, as a network of Victorian scholars, construct the 'other Victorian'. We use 'Victorian' to denote a period of time, describe our research, talk of a people and a nation. Yet this casual use is juxtaposed with a tacit recognition of the instability of the term and its homogenizing tendency as it collapses differences to construct an ideologically seamless era. Abandoning the quest for what 'Victorian' really means – an inevitable failure – this conference seeks to embrace the multiplicity of worlds that the term denotes and inhabits and the rebellious tendencies of the 'Victorians' themselves towards the idea of a single world.

Other Worlds is a joint conference between the Institute of English Studies, King's College London and Victorian Network and is organised by Sarah Crofton, Melissa Dickson and Fariha Shaikh. It is supported by the AHRC.

Registration for Other Worlds is now open.