Call for Papers | Mapping Austen’s World: Movement and Journeys in the 19th Century

Title page of Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet; or, Pride and Prejudice: A Novel (Philadelphia : Carey & Hart, T.K. & P.G. Collins, printers, 1845). Special Collections Library. Reprint of 1st American Ed. 

From November 20, 2017-March 30, 2018, the Special Collections Library will be honoring the bicentennial of Jane Austen's death through an Audubon Room exhibit titled The Life and Times of Lizzy Bennet, curated by Sigrid Cordell and Juli McLoone. We are also working with campus and community partners to organize a variety of associated events, including a two-day conference: Mapping Austen’s World: Movement and Journeys in the 19th Century, January 19-20, 2018. This conference is made possible in large part due to the generous support of Leslie and Hillary Keyes through the Daniel Keyes Family Fund for the Special Collections Library. 

Call for Papers | Mapping Austen’s World: Movement and Journeys in the 19th Century, January 19-20, 2018

An interdisciplinary graduate student conference hosted by the Nineteenth Century Forum and the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Keynote Speaker:  Miranda Burgess, University of British Columbia

Proposal Deadline: Sunday, October 1st, 2017

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Nineteenth Century Forum and the Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan invite interdisciplinary papers that explore movement, mapping, or the margins within the late-eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Austen famously described her work as staged on a “little bit (two inches wide) of Ivory,” a wry statement that has at times obscured the dynamism of her novels. Indeed, traveling and movement are central components of Austen’s works. From Frank Churchill dashing off to London in Emma, to a silenced question about Antiguan slave plantations in Mansfield Park, to Pride and Prejudice fan fiction on the Internet, Austen’s characters and novels have often circulated in unexpected, contested, or wide-ranging places.

NCF has put together this conference, in cooperation with the Special Collection Library, to build off their exhibit “The Life and Times of Lizzy Bennet” and to explore the journeys and boundaries that suffuse -- and serve as context for -- Austen and her works. We therefore welcome any paper that speaks to our broader theme, in addition to those specifically about Jane Austen.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical Journeys
    • Historical maps and mapping practices
    • The circulation of people and objects to, from, and within England
    • Travel writing or missionary work
    • Imperial expansion
    • Immigrants and refugees
  • Narrative Journeys
    • Representations of space, travel or maps in literature or art
    • Theories of character or character spaces
    • The place of “marginal” figures in literature or art
    • Representations of encounters at the margins
  • Reception Journeys
    • Marginalia and paratexts
    • Circulation of printed materials and the press
    • New or unexpected reading communities
    • Transnational reception
    • Print, film, televisual, and stage adaptations
    • Authorial fandoms

Submission Guidelines: Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words to by October 1st 2017. Please also include a paper title, your name, and institutional/departmental affiliation. More information can be found at Any additional questions can be directed to or