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NAVSA 2020

November 12-14

Vancouver, Canada


Unsettling Victorians


We are excited to invite you to NAVSA 2020 in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, on traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territory. The location of the conference, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and historic Stanley Park, features stunning landscapes and seascapes, transpacific and transcontinental connections, and multi-layered political and cultural histories. “Unsettling Victorians,” interpreted in the broadest sense, is inspired by the myriad resonances of our settler-colonial setting in the era of decolonization.

What unsettled the Victorians and what is unsettling about the Victorians? How can we work to unsettle the Victorians? We particularly invite proposals that develop a critical perspective on settler and colonial identities, cultures, environments, structures, and assumptions; incorporate Indigenous topics, issues, methodologies, or ways of knowing; explore decolonial approaches, strategies, or techniques in Victorian literature, culture, history, and pedagogy. The conference organizers also welcome a broad range of proposals for papers, panels, round tables and the digital projects showcase on any aspect of our general theme. Topics may include but are not limited to:


Unsettling. . . .


Environments and Ecologies

Space / Time


Spirit / Matter

Citizenship and Community

Archives and Data

Epistemologies and Ontologies

Victorian Studies / Forms and Genres


Our keynote speakers are literary historian Cannon Schmitt (University of Toronto); specialist in law and settler colonial studies Brenna Bhandar (University of London); and Ojibwe scholar and poet Armand Garnet Ruffo (Queen’s University).

Proposal submissions guidelines:

  • Paper (15-20 mins): max. 300 words

  • Panel (3-4 presenters): max. 1,200 words

  • Roundtable (5-7 speakers with brief position statements): max. 1,500 words

  • Open call CFP for panels (1,200 words) or roundtables (1,500 words)

  • Digital projects showcase (for individuals and teams): max. 300 words

A panel or roundtable proposal should articulate the overall topic, its interest to the field, and each presenter’s contribution. Open calls for panels or roundtables will be made available on the conference website. We encourage people to form panels and roundtables with diversity and inclusion in mind.

Digital showcase proposals should highlight the relevance of the digital work to Victorian teaching or scholarship practices that make use of information technologies to address the conference theme and/or solve problems in interesting or original ways.

All submissions should include brief CVs for all presenters (1-2 pp.).

Conference participants may moderate other sessions, but otherwise should not appear in more than one session.

Submissions must be made via the submissions portal.

Deadline for submissions is February 7th, 2020.

If you have questions, please contact:

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