Thought once awakened does not again slumber; unfolds itself into a System of Thought; grows, in man after man, generation after generation, -- till its full stature is reached, and such System of Thought can grow no farther, but must give place to another.
-Thomas Carlyle (1841)
University of Maryland, College Park: April 15-17, 2011
NVSA solicits submissions for its annual conference; the topic this year is
SYSTEMS AND ARCHIVES.
The Northeast Victorian
Studies Association calls for papers considering the ways Victorians organized
information, knowledge, concepts, phenomena, and materials. They classified,
categorized, connected, synthesized, and unified; they constructed
technological, conceptual, and theoretical systems; they archived historical
records and artifacts. This year’s conference will take up that Victorian
systematizing, its forms of organization and its explanatory structures. What
kind of systems and systematic thinking were developed in the period? What is
distinctive about Victorian approaches to systems? How and why did Victorians
arrange, record, and store information? What are the metaphors of systems?
What kind of subjects generated archives and what were the principles of
organization? What constitutes an archive and is an archive always a system?
And how and why were systems resisted? We especially seek papers that reflect
upon the nature, conceptions, and representation of systems and archives.
and Social Systems
- Political economy
- Imperial systems
- Finance and Banking
- Penal systems
- Parliamentary system
- Judicial systems
- Land tenure system
- Systematic Theology
- The Poor Law
- Moral systems and systems of belief
Resistance to such systems
“Mamma, whose views on education are remarkably strict, has brought me up to be extremely short-sighted; it is part of her system.”
--Oscar Wilde (1895)
- Electrical system
- Mechanical systems
Disciplines and/as Systems
- Systems in sociology: Herbert Spencer
- Anthropology systems, e.g. kinship,
- Psychology and systematic understandings of the mind
- Systems in the sciences:
Bodily systems, e.g. nervous system, neural system, digestive system, reproductive system, the human as system
Solar and stellar systems
Systems of natural formations—glacier, geological, etc.
Motion of material systems—dynamics
We are slowly beginning to recognise that there may be a science of History, a science of Language, a science of Religion, and, in fact, that all knowledge may be systematised on a common Method.
--George Henry Lewes
- Systems of classifying fiction; realist, sensation, etc.
Systems of Representation and the Representation of Systems
- Numerical systems
- Linguistic systems
- Shorthand systems
- Monetary systems
- Systems of logic
- Chemical notation
- Diagrams and charts
- What are the metaphors of systems?
—e.g., organicist and mechanical, equilibrium,
- What role did the natural sciences play in
conceptualizing of systems?
Many things which were before lying separate have fallen into their places as harmonious parts of a system that admits of logical development from the simplest general principles.
--Herbert Spencer (1904)
Systematic Theorists and System Builders
e.g., J. S. Mill, Karl Marx,
Herbert Spencer, George Henry Lewes, William Whewell, Henry Mayhew, John Henry
Newman, Bernard Bosanquet , Auguste Comte.
[H]uman beliefs, like all other natural growths, elude the barriers of system.
--George Eliot (1861)
Systems and Anti-systems
- Paranoia and conspiracy
- Design vs. coincidence
- Satires of systematic thinking, e.g. Dickens
- Who had archives and why?
- What did the Victorians collect
and how did they organize those materials?
- Zoos and gardens as imperial archives
- The archive of others/the other as archive
- The relationship between
museums and archives
Consult the archives, first--/
Then, fortified with knowledge, seek the Hall!
Contemporary Archives and the Victorian Period
- How do we organize, collect, and store Victorian texts? How do our archives affect our understanding of the period?
- Electronic archives and
systems, e.g. ProQuest, Google Books.
Archives and History/Archives and Theory
- The rise of archival research in history: what is specifically Victorian about archival systems?
- What did Foucault do
to our notion of archives and knowledge systems and what does a post
Foucauldian notion of the archive look like?
The Media of Archives
- What counts as archival evidence?-
- Permanent versus ephemeral archives
- Sound technology
Proposals (no more than 500 words) by Oct. 15, 2010 (e-mail submissions only, please):
Professor Tanya Agathocleous, Chair, NVSA Program Committee, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note: all submissions to NVSA are evaluated anonymously. Successful proposals will stay within the 500-word limit and make a compelling case for the talk and its relation to the conference topic.
Please do not send complete papers, and do not include your name on the proposal.
Please do include your name, institutional and email addresses, and proposal title in a cover letter. Papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion.
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 your cover letter that you wish to be considered. Please indicate from where you will be traveling, and mention if you have other sources of funding.
To join NVSA, or to renew your membership for 2010-2011, please return the form below to Prof. Joan Dagle at the address indicated on the form.
Department of English
University of British Columbia
397 - 1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
To: Professor Joan Dagle, Secretary/Treasurer. NVSA
Dept. of English, Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908
I wish to renew my dues or become a member of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. I have enclosed a check to NVSA for ___ $15 in U.S. dollars (regular membership) or ___$10 (student)