AVSA conferences are typically held annually in the region, providing a forum for scholars from Australasia and beyond to share their research. Past conferences have been held in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

AVSA also regularly participates in Australia’s tri-annual literary studies convention in conjunction with the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL), Australasian Association for Literature (AAL), and the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association (AULLA).

We invite paper and panel proposals for Victorian Waters, a conference of the Australasian Victorian Studies Association, to be held at the University of Adelaide, on November 17 and 18, 2023.

Keynote speaker, Honorary Associate Professor Roslyn Jolly, will speak on the ‘world of waters’ in the Victorian literary imagination.

Papers may address Victorian and neo-Victorian topics, and we welcome papers from all humanities disciplines. We encourage respondents to interpret the theme, and the time period, broadly. The following provides some starting points:
• bodies and forms of water (still and flowing, steam and ice)
• tides and tidalectics
• water and the history of science and technology
• blue humanities, wet ontologies, and critical ocean studies
• Indigenous waters
• cruises and water voyages
• islands and liminal spaces
• emigration/immigration
• watery poetics
• sacred waters
• water and leisure
• washing/cleansing waters
• eco-criticism and water/ways
• fluidities, including genders and/or genres
• water in natural history
• bodies and water
• elemental waters
• floods, droughts, tsunamis
• watery death/s.

We also invite creative responses to the conference theme in relation to nineteenth-century cultures and contexts. (If you would like to be considered for a reading of creative works that will take place during the conference, please indicate this in your email to the convenors.)

Proposals for individual papers should include a 250-300 word abstract, and a biographical statement of up to 100 words.
Proposals for panels should include a 250-300 word abstract and a biographical statement of up to 100 words for each presenter, together with a 200 word summary of the overarching theme of the panel.

If you would like to be considered as an Early Career Keynote at this conference, please indicate this in your proposal and attach a brief CV, including referees.
AVSA provides two travel fellowships for postgraduates or scholars without institutional affiliation. If you wish to be considered for these, please indicate in your email to the convenors and attach a brief CV, including referees.

Please submit proposals as Word attachments in an email to the conference convenors: Mandy Treagus or Madeleine Seys by September 15, 2023.


17-18th November 2023
Victorian Waters
University of Adelaide

Past Conferences

20-24 Jul 2021
AVSA 2021 conference - held as part of the Literary Studies Convention
Victoria University (held online)
25-29 SepT 2019
AVSA 2019 conference - 1869 Conference and Heritage Festival
University of Otago, NZ
4-7 Jul 2018
AVSA 2018 conference - held as part of the Literary Studies Convention
Australian National University
14-16 Jul 2017
AVSA 2017 conference - ‘Victorian Materialities’
Deakin University, Melbourne
7-9 Jul 2016
AVSA 2017 conference - ‘Victorian Margins’
Ballarat, Victoria
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