Call for Papers: NNCN Conference on Water, Leeds Trinity University, 7 April 2017

Omnipresent yet largely ignored: We want to bring water in the long nineteenth century into focus. Therefore, we are now inviting submissions from postgraduate students and academic staff across the humanities, from the constituent universities and other universities (particularly in the Yorkshire and Humberside region), on the theme of ‘Water’.

Paper proposals are invited on topics including but not limited to:

  • Bodies of water, waterways, and water-related transport (canals, rivers, lakes, seas, streams, barges, boats, ships, ferries, steamboats and trains, lightships)
  • Communities living & working on or near water (sailors and the navy, bargemen/boat people, fishermen/fishwives, whalers, ports, harbours, seaside towns and tourism, coastal communities, Lake Districts and Fenland communities)
  • Water in various forms (steam, mist, fog, liquid, ice, frost, snow) and science and medicine dealing with water and water-borne diseases (cholera, biology of water creatures (fish, birds, bugs, etc.), aquaria, flushing toilets)
  • The politics of water (sanitary reform, the provision of clean drinking water, reservoirs and sewers, wells, ponds, privies, public baths, laundry industry, the ‘great unwashed’)
  • Water mythology and creatures and their cultural representations (the Kraken, Moby Dick, mermaids, naiads, the Lady of the Lake, the Lady of Shallot, Neptune)
  • Artistic and literary representations of water and water-related architecture (seascapes, maritime novels, travel literature relating to the sea/arctic, angling stories, harbours, piers, bridges, lighthouses)
  • Religious and spiritual uses of water (living water, baptism, truth in a well, the temperance movement) and material forms of water (watery foods (e.g. soups, ice-cream))

This conference aims to be interdisciplinary, and the theme of water will be interpreted broadly, as too the chronological range of the nineteenth century (1780s-1920s).

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words for a paper of 20 minutes to by 30th January

Supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS):



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