Mapping Victorian Popular Fictions Announcement


Special issue of Victorian Popular Fictions Journal

Mapping Victorian Popular Fictions

Many popular narratives of the long nineteenth century are spatially articulate, and some contain actual maps – of treasure hunts, London slums, epic journeys, a threatened countryside. To what extent can a fictional narrative be seen to constitute a verbal map, a guidebook to an imaginary world? What kinds of spaces and cartographic strategies are characteristic of Victorian popular narratives? What stories do the actual maps contained in Victorian popular fictions tell, and how do the real and the imaginary coexist in such narratives? Is genre writing a form of mapping, what kinds of signposting do different genres provide, and how does genre hybridity operate spatially? How might we chart the places and spaces where popular fiction was produced, disseminated and consumed?

This special issue of Victorian Popular Fictions Journal seeks to elicit original essays assessing the multiple ways in which mapping operates in Victorian popular fictions. Possible contributions might address, but are not limited to, topics such as:

  • Maps (verbal and visual) in popular narratives
  • Popular narratives as maps
  • Characteristic popular spatialities, real and imaginary
  • Narratives of travel, exploration and boundary crossing
  • Mapping the fantastic and the otherworldly
  • Mapping and knowledge
  • Mapping transgressive behaviours
  • Charting the spaces of authorship, production, distribution and consumption of popular fiction
  • Transatlantic, transnational and non-Anglophone influences
  • Generic boundaries and genre hybridity
  • Charting literary trends
  • Defining the boundaries of ‘Victorian popular fiction’
  • Digitisation, GIS, distant reading

Please send an abstract of 400-500 words and a biographical paragraph of 150 words to Minna Vuohelainen ( by 1 May, 2019 for a decision by 15 May. Essays of 7000-8000 words (including notes and bibliography) will be due by 1 September, 2019, for publication in November 2019.  Victorian Popular Fictions is the journal of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association. Please see for further information.