“Ruling Visions: Citizens, Subjects, Sovereigns” – 2023 Call for Papers

2023 Conference: “Ruling Visions: Citizens, Subjects, Sovereigns” (full program and registration details coming soon)

Plenary speaker: Professor Arianne Chernock, Boston University (History), author of The Right to Rule and the Rights of Women (Cambridge UP, 2019).

Apply to participate in a seminar at the conference! Current Directions in Victorian Studies. Applications due February 10, 2023. Seminar participants are listed on the program and are full participants in the conference. Full application details available here.

Portrait of Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1859

Until 2015, Queen Victoria had been Britain’s longest-ruling monarch. The recent passing of Elizabeth II, whose reign outlasted her great-great-grandmother Victoria’s by close to a decade, has ignited public conversations about the costs and value of the monarchy, many of which are framed through attention to the spoils and legacies of Victoria’s empire. Click the following link to download the call for papers.

MVSA invites papers, or proposals for complete panels or roundtables, for our upcoming annual conference, which will explore queens as idea and in practice, whether focused exclusively on Victorian Britain or framing that period through more presentist lenses. What were the motivating visions that shaped the rule of Queen Victoria or other global sovereigns in the period? How did citizens view their sovereigns? How did monarchs become colonial subjects?

We particularly welcome capacious interpretations of the theme, considering imperial visions and anti- imperial strategies; nineteenth-century literary, musical, or visual representations of actual, figurative, or imaginative queens; subjects either dutiful or resistant; ways a monarch’s rule filtered into popular culture; or even the conceptions of norms in the natural sciences.

Papers might take up issues including, but not limited to:

  • Relationships between citizens and sovereigns
  • Domestic and colonial challenges to monarchic power
  • Political cartoons, photographs, paintings, or other visual representations of sovereigns Visiting/traveling monarchs
  • Relationships between sovereign powers, political or personal
  • Queen bees: analogues in the natural world
  • The Queen in political theory Nineteenth-century visions of specific queens Metaphors of queenliness
  • The Queen’s vision of herself
  • Sovereignty and spectacle
  • Assassination attempts and other attacks on monarchs Middle-class “queens” in the domestic world Biographical explorations of Victoria
  • Gender and sovereignty
  • Ceremonies: coronations, weddings, jubilees, durbars, or other public appearances
  • Arthuriana, fairy tales, or queens in children’s literature
  • Victorian historiography of earlier monarchs Commemorative music and command performances Postcolonial critiques of Victoria
  • Commerce and the Queen: the marketplace and memorabilia
  • Undisciplined/undisciplining citizens/sovereigns

To apply, please submit an abstract (~350 words) and brief CV. To propose a panel or roundtable, submit a brief panel/roundtable description, paper abstracts, and brief CVs for all participants.

Please apply by DECEMBER 1, 2022 through this Google form (https://bit.ly/MVSA2023). The Program Committee aims to send acceptances by the end of the calendar year.

For information on past MVSA conferences, visit the Archives section of the