Cover of <em>The Revolt of Man</em> by Walter Besant, 1898.
Cover of The Revolt of Man by Walter Besant, 1898.


The Wars of Peace: 

The Mundane Violence of the Victorians

Friday, May 3, 2019


The title of our conference is taken from Kipling’s White Man’s Burden, and both the source and the word we have cut, “savage” hangs over the whole conference. The unspoken idea of savagery, which Kipling meant to define the targets of British colonial despoilment, can of course speak to British policies and military actions, but also to the daily experience of bodily pain felt by so many Victorians, who endured domestic violence, substandard living conditions, and untreated illnesses. Yet the spectacular claims of the word “savage” can make us expect to see violence as a spectacle. Instead, this conference wants to see violence as the everyday way of life in the nineteenth century: the wars that constituted nineteenth century peacetime, the daily wars at home and the endless wars abroad.



The Victorian Committee of the CUNY Graduate Center was founded in 1978, and the first conference took place in 1982. Topics of recent conferences were:


2000: Northeast Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference: Victorian Breakdowns
2001: The Great Exhibition and Its Legacies
2002: The Victorian Material Object
2003: Colonial Victorianisms
2004: What’s New in Victorian Studies?
2005: Victorian Passions
2006: Victorian Medicine and the Medical Imagination
2007: The Victorian Animal
2008: Aging and Last Works in Victorian Literature and Culture
2009: Blood, Absinthe, and Aphorisms: New Currents in Aestheticism and Decadence
2010: Victorian Theory?
2011: Victorian Boyhoods
2012: Victorianopolis
2013: Inventing Victorian Race
2014: Bad Victorians
2015: The Way We Read Victorians Now
2016: Oceans 19: Currents in Victorian Transoceanic Studies
2017: The Woman Card: Feminism and Victorian Studies, Past, Present, Future
2018: Victorian Ecotime: Inventing, Forecasting, Temporalizing



The CUNY Graduate Center Victorian Committee invites you to its seminars held during the first week of each month October through April (no meeting in January) at the Graduate Center. To be added to the distribution list, please email Anne Humpherys at ahumpherys@gc.cuny.edu.



Dickens Studies Annual is published by Penn State University Press, in cooperation with The Graduate Center, CUNY.


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