Unsettling Victorians

Vancouver, Canada

November 12-14, 2020

The Last of England. Ford Madox Brown, 1855. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Featuring keynote speakers:


(University of Toronto)


(University of London)


(Queen's University, Kingston)

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, 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:


  • Colonialism

  • Environments and Ecologies

  • Space / Time

  • Bodies

  • Spirit / Matter

  • Citizenship and Community

  • Archives and Data

  • Epistemologies and Ontologies

  • Victorian Studies / Forms and Genres

Banner Image: "The Lions and Brockton Point, Stanley Park," n.d. MSC130-11067_01 courtesy of the British Columbia Postcards Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library.

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