CFP: “This Unpredictable Person”: Charles Kingsley at 200

July 20-22, 2017, The Gladstone Library, Hawarden, UK

Call for papers

Convenors: Dr. Jonathan Conlin (University of Southampton) and Dr. J. M. I. Klaver (University of Urbino)

Sponsored by the Southampton Cenetre for Nineteenth-Century Research and Princeton University Library

At the centenary of Charles Kingsley’s death in 1975 Owen Chadwick spoke of the need to take Kingsley “as a whole” in order to understand “this unpredictable person.” Scholars of the novel, of writing for children, of history and theology were all guilty of taking this many-sided man apart. As we approach the centenary of Kingsley’s birth, it would be easy to think of additions to Chadwick’s list: since 1975 Kingsley’s life and work have also been discussed by historians of science, empire and gender. But are we any closer to appreciating Kingsley “as a whole”? This workshop aims to begin a dialogue among specialists, taking stock of Kingsley scholarship and identifying themes that illuminate not only the man, but Victorian ideas of faith, race, gender and history.

In order to ensure a genuinely collaborative environment in the pleasant surroundings of the Gladstone Library, places will be limited to twenty. The convenors are in discussions with Oxford University Press regarding a volume of essays drawing on papers presented. Those interested in taking part are invited to submit a 400-word synopsis to: by 1 November 2016.

Papers that cut across disciplinary divides are particularly welcome, and so the following list of themes should not be seen as exclusive. The convenors are particularly interested in papers addressing Kingsley’s poetry and sermons, which have yet to receive sustained attention.

  • Kingsley and the literary marketplace
  • Chartism and Christian Socialism
  • Sexuality, the body and Christian Manliness
  • Natural Theology and evolutionary theories
  • Kingsley and the “Science of History”
  • Empire and race
  • Kingsley and the Church(es)

Fees and Funding: Workshop Fee: £130 (incl. two nights’ accommodation at the Gladstone Library, opening reception/dinner and all other meals)

Funding is available to reimburse participants who have travelled from North America for the transatlantic leg of their flights. Workshop fee bursaries may also be available to enable postgraduate students/Early Career Researchers to take part.

Deadline: November 1, 2016

Posted: August 10, 2016