Call For Papers: The H.G. Wells Society 2024 Winter Conference (Zoom)

Wells and the Visual: Adapting and Visualising the Works of H. G. Wells 

Saturday 20th January 2024, 14:00-18:00 (UK time)

There is a long history of Wells’s work inspiring the cinema, from Wells’s own collaborations Bluebottles and Things to Come to Hollywood features such as George Pal’s The Time Machine, multiple adaptations of The Island of Doctor Moreau and Steven Spielberg’s, and more recent adaptations of, The War of the Worlds. While visual adaptations are distinct from the original works, Wells’s writing was often accompanied by the visual. Wells’s earliest attempt in the narrative form was, after all, The Desert Daisy (1878-1880), a brilliant, illustrated tale written at the age of twelve which testifies to the author’s early fascination for statecraft and war details. In his first published book, the two-volume Text-Book of Biology (1893), Wells provided the illustrations (before they were redrawn by Jane, his second wife). His letters would often be accompanied by cartoons in his own hand (see Gene K. and Margaret Rinkel’s The Picshuas of H. G. Wells: A Burlesque Diary, 2006) and his publications in the periodical press, such as The War of the Worlds, would sometimes be accompanied with illustrations. Other visual accompaniments have included J. F. Horrabin’s illustrations in The Outline of History and several adaptations in Classics Illustrated

Given the close association between Wells, his works, and visual culture, there is still much to be said about this subject. This conference on Wells and the Visual will be wide-ranging and these are only a few of the subjects that we would like to investigate. We welcome contributions from Wells scholars, creatives, and readers alike. 

  • Why does Wells continue to inspire adaptation? 
  • Visualisation of Wells in Adaptations.
  • Comparative Analyses of Specific Adaptations.
  • Evolution of Visual Representations of Wells Over Time (such as the Fabian Society’s stained-glass window at LSE, the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, portraits, etc.).
  • The Role of Adaptations in Wells’s Legacy.
  • Characteristics of Successful Wells Adaptations and How adaptation should be theorised.
  • Significance of the Visual Element in Wells’s Writing.
  • Theoretical Disciplines Re-visualising Wells’s Works.

Please send your abstract (200 words) and bio (50 – 100 words) to Brian Jukes and Dr Emelyne Godfrey via this Microsoft Form by Friday 8th December 2023.

Conference fee: £10 or included as part of H. G. Wells Society membership (£12, paperless). 

If you have any issues, please contact the Hon. Secretary of the H. G. Wells Society, Brian Jukes, at