CFP/Conference Alert: Instruction, Amusement and Spectacle

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

Instruction, Amusement and Spectacle: Popular Shows and Exhibitions, 1800-1914
University of Exeter
16-18 April 2009

An International Conference hosted by the Centre for Victorian Studies, School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, University of Exeter Website:

Keynote speakers: Prof. Bernard Lightman, Prof. Vanessa Toulmin, Prof. Jon Burrows, Dr. Ann Featherstone, Prof. Martin Hewitt

This conference aims to examine the eclectic range of popular entertainments in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a particular focus on exhibition practices. The intention is to provide a forum that brings together the range of research currently being undertaken by different disciplines in this area, including film studies, Victorian studies, history of science, performance studies, English literature, art history and studies of popular culture. Potential topics could include but are not limited to:

The role of visual entertainments (e.g. magic lantern, panoramas, dioramas, photography, peep shows):
- Early cinema: exhibition and reception
- Local and regional exhibition cultures
- Science and technology: demonstration and instruction
- Improvement and rational recreation
- Exhibitions of 'Otherness' (e.g. freak shows, ethnographic shows, minstrels)
- Music hall, pantomime, vaudeville and variety
- Public lectures and lecturing
- Galleries, museums and civic institutions (e.g. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, Mechanics Institutes)
- Travelling shows, fairgrounds and circuses
- World's Fairs and international exhibitions
- Magic, illusion and spiritualism
- Concerts, recitals and readings
- Pleasure gardens, tourism and seaside exhibitions
- Dance and physical performance
- Literary and other representations of popular entertainments
- Showmen and showmanship
- Audiences: composition and reception
- Intermediality and exhibitions
- Image, narrative and performance

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, together with your designation and affiliation to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it no later than 31st October 2008.

Part of the AHRC funded project Moving and Projected Image Entertainment in the South West 1820-1914.


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