Call for Papers

On the occasion of the sesquicentenary of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass in 2021 we will hold a fully-online conference whose focal point will be the Looking-Glass itself. Aiming to explore the significance of the mirror in literature, science, theology, art and other fields, it hopes to explore any facets of this concept that were relevant to ideas that shaped Carroll’s work, or, which have since been integral to its interpretation at different points in time.

Embracing Lewis Carroll’s polymathic interests, as man of the Church, of science, a collector of scientific instruments, a mathematician, lover of theatre and the arts, we invite submissions from scientists, historians, theologians, philosophers, and art historians as much as those from scholars of literatures of the fantastic, childhood, film, theatre and music, and practitioners, such as curators, educators or artists. This re-appreciation of Through the Looking-Glass will show that, more than a mere sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it is as a mirror of its time and of the mind of its creator. Contributors will be invited to submit proposals for publication after the conference.  

In the context of Through the Looking-Glass, we invite presentations exploring the theme of mirrors, offering fresh approaches to any aspects of the work itself, addressing, in particular, the difference between Looking-Glass and Wonderland, or aspects of Lewis Carroll’s biography, his historical, literary, and epistemological environment, intertextualities with other authors, Carroll’s correspondents or wider circles, which promise to shed new light on his Looking-Glass world. We invite contributions on, but by no means limited to, any fields of

  • the Natural Sciences – especially exploring optics, and aspects of mirroring
  • Science and Religion – especially aspects of narrative, literature and childhood
  • Theology & Religious Studies – especially with an interest in Victorian religion, childhood, mirrors and the meaning of truth and knowledge in religious writing
  • the History of Science – especially optical toys, popular science for children
  • Literary & Theatre Studies – especially posthumanism, ecocriticism
  • Art History & Illustration – especially photography, and adaptation
  • Philosophy – especially Victorian epistemology & ontology, animal and childhood
  • Psychology – especially dreams, sleep, identity, childhood development
  • Childhood Studies – especially Victorian studies, and applications of Looking-Glass
  • …and especially interdisciplinary explorations of the intersections of any of these fields.

We particularly invite reflections from practitioners, including creators of adaptations of the text, professionals in translation, museum studies, librarians, fashion, as well as from performers and interpreters, authors, poets and illustrators.

We encourage a breadth of forms for presentations, from ‘classic’ academic papers or paper panels, short papers, proposed themed round tables, informal talks, presentations of or reflections on artistic interpretations.

Abstracts for presentations of up to 300 words, including up to 5 keywords, should be sent to lookingglass2021@gmail.com by 15 June 2021.

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