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C21 Global Victorians: When East Meets West

A One-day Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Warwick

Saturday 15th February 2019

Keynote speaker:

Professor Regenia Gagnier, University of Exeter

Profesor Stefano Evangelista, University of Oxford

Venue: TBA


Photo: The Peacock Room |Courtesy of the Freer | Sackler

The images of the Other usually stage the national consciousness of the native/Self (C. Marez, 2015).

Each society imagines the other based on its own social, political, religious and ethical tradition, spiritual paradigms, and perspectives on humanity and the world. The description of foreigners touches on the things that are most intrinsic and most fundamental to any society or culture. “A society’s view of foreigners may at times be one of disinterest, or curiosity, or rapturous approval, or unjust condescension or hatred. But the reasons for this infatuation or repulsion are in themselves always enlightening.” (J. Gernet,1994). The problematic term “Oriental” abounds fascinating arguments, and have already developed into an established school in post-colonial studies since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978). It seems that the Western images in Eastern context, however, comparatively received less scholarly attention. Therefore, while exploring the Asian images in the long 19th-century art and literature, this conference also wishes to address a reversed gaze at the “exotic” Occidental Other to present that such intercultural exchanges between the two are in fact mutual. The Victorian style is also a major commercial inspiration in the creative industry in the 21st century. The increasingly popular Neo-Victorian trend in films and fashion arena is encouraging an examination of such “exotic” images in a modern interpretation.

This event aims to create a multi-disciplinary forum where Victorianists and scholars interested in material culture of the Victorian era, in general, to discuss different approaches to study the cultural interchanges between the two sides of the globe – with a focus on East and South East Asia – within the framework of the long 19th century and its legacy in the 21st, highlighting the interconnections between the “Oriental” and the “Occidental”.

We welcome expressions of interest for papers of 15-20 minutes long.

Please send your abstracts (of up to 250 words) to c21globalvictorians at gmail dot com by 10th Oct 2018.

Possible themes, approaches, and topics might include:

• Otherness and diaspora

• Orientalism in Aestheticism

• Neo-Victorian Aestheticism in the Orient

• Victorian Material Cultures

• Chinoiserie

• Japonism

• Wildeana

• Beardsleyana

• Sexuality and gender

• Consuming the Victorians

• Dandyism and Fashion

• Neo-Victorian in manga/anime

NB: This conference has a geographical focus. We welcome any studies on the relations between the British Empire/ the United Kingdoms and countries and regions of East Asia and South-East Asia

Publishing opportunities:

This conference is funded by the Humanities Research Centre and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. The outcome of this project will be considered for the Warwick Series in the Humanities (with Routledge) publication.


Conference Organiser:

Dee Wu (吴荻) University of Warwick

External Organising Advisors:

Flair Donglai Shi (施东来), University of Oxford

Joseph Throne, Liverpool John Moors University

Qiong Yu (余琼) SOAS University of London

Provisional Programme


For any queries, please email:

c21globalvictorians at gmail dot com

We accept the following methods of payment:visa.pngmcmaster

chinese_wallpaper.jpgChinoiserie Wallpaper|St Laurent Design | de Gournay

bazzar china

Bazaar's "The Oriental Gentleman" featuring actor Chang Chen 张震 in the Royal Pavilion, Brighton |Bazaar China 2015| photographed by Sun Jun (孙郡)

anna and the kingBook cover of Anna and the King of Siam by Magaret Landon

emmaEmma Vol.10 by Kaoru Mori (森 薫)|