Midwest Victorian Studies Association CFP Victorian News: Print Culture and the Periodical Press

CFP:  Victorian News: Print Culture & The Periodical Press

Midwest Victorian Studies Association 2016   #MVSA 2016

April 8-10, University of Missouri, Columbia

Taking as its starting point the remarkable explosion in the periodical press and the availability of cheap print in the Victorian Era, the conference aims to attract papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about the topic. Proposals for papers of twenty minutes in length are sought from scholars working in art history, musicology, history, science, philosophy, theater, and literature. We particularly encourage presentations that will contribute to cross-disciplinary discussion, a special feature of MVSA conferences.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to: new perspectives on Victorian print culture; innovations in the periodical press; print technologies and “cheap print”; periodicals and the arts: fiction, poetry, art, music, and theater; the specialist press; publications for children, women, hobbyists, and the professions; science and the press; the serialization of novels; poems in periodicals; technologies of illustration; interplay of text and image; the press and popular culture; crime, sensationalism, and the press; viral news and literature; the press in the Colonies; politics and the press; gender and print culture; criticism and reviews; journalism as a profession; the economics of periodical publishing; newspaper and magazine advertising; the role of the press in the construction of taste; “neglected” publications; and newspapers as historical sources.

MVSA’s 2016 Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker will be Leanne Langley, Associate Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Musical Research, social and cultural historian of music, and leading authority on music journalism in nineteenth-century Britain.

MVSA is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming scholars from all disciplines who share an interest in nineteenth-century British history, literature, and culture.

For individual papers or panels, send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (as MWord documents) by October 31, 2015, to conferencesubmissions@midwestvictorian.org.Even if you do not submit a paper or seminar proposal, we hope you will plan to attend the conference.

For more information and a full CFP, please visit www.midwestvictorian.org

MVSA Seminars:

For the third year, MVSA’s conference will feature three seminars open to faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars led by senior scholars on topics related to the conference theme.  Seminar participants pre-circulate 5-to-7 page papers; during the seminars, the seminar leader and participants will identify important points of intersection and divergence among the papers and identify future areas of inquiry and collaboration.  The seminar format allows a larger number of scholars to participate in MVSA and to seek financial support from their respective institutions to attend the conference and discuss a shared area of scholarly interest.  Seminars are limited to 12 participants.

All seminar proposals are due October 15, 2015 and are submitted directly to the seminar leader.  Seminar proposals that are not accepted may be submitted to the general pool of MVSA conference submissions, due October 31.

Detailed Seminar CFPs are available at the conference website: http://www.midwestvictorian.org/p/conference.html

MVSA 2016 Seminar Topics:

Print Culture and the Mass Public:  Dissemination and Democratization

Seminar Leader:  Julie Codell, School of Art, Arizona State University

Finding/Creating a Voice in the Periodical Press

Seminar Leader:  Leanne Langley, IMR Lifetime Fellow, University of London

The Transatlantic Periodical Press

Seminar Leader:  Jennifer Phegley, Department of English, University of Missouri – Kansas City

PhD Studentships – Professions and the Press

If any colleagues have outstanding students about to complete their MA or BA and who might be interested in doing a PhD on any aspect of professions and the press (except medical) in the long nineteenth century, they should consider applying to the University of Greenwich, UK


Prospective candidates are also welcome to contact the Director of Studies informally:

Professor Andrew King:  a.king@gre.ac.uk.

2015 Ghent Conference Follow-up

Following an extremely successful conference in Ghent this summer a Storify link of Tweets from the event has now been set up.  With thanks to Shannon Smith for encouraging colleagues to Tweet throughout the event and Helena Goodwyn for bringing the collection together, herewith is the address where the full story can now be found:


RSVP 2015 Conference in Ghent makes international news

RSVP’s 2015 conference in Ghent was a fascinating experience — splendid papers and plenary lectures in a gloriously historic setting. We’ll be posting more about it soon. The biggest news out of the conference, however, was this: scholar and bookdealer Jeremy Parrott revealed at RSVP, for the first time anywhere, his discovery of a “marked set” of All the Year Round. This hitherto unrecorded “deluxe edition” in scarlet binding has handwritten marginalia identifying (almost) all of the contributors by name, next to each one’s contribution. Between 300 and 400 contributors of some 2500 articles, stories, and poems, are now conclusively identified for the first time. As if this were not exciting enough news, experts like Michael Slater and John Drew have been able to confirm that many of these annotations are in Dickens’s own hand. In his paper, Dr. Parrott made a persuasive case that this was Dickens’s own personal set of the magazine, probably kept in his private office at the magazine’s offices in Wellington Street.

The atmosphere in the room when Dr. Parrott delivered his news was electric. As this group of scholars knows better than any other, a “marked set” of any Victorian magazine is an extremely rare and precious thing. Beginning with the astonishing achievements of the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals and continuing today in the Curran Index, RSVP-affiliated scholars have scoured the globe for such sets, and have used these and every other kind of resource — letters, diaries, reprints, ledgers, stylistic analysis, and much else — to discover, once and for all, the names of the authors who contributed anonymously to these hugely popular and influential Victorian journals.

Obviously, there is a great deal of work for scholars to do — experts in Victorian periodicals, as well as Dickensians — before we can know all of the implications of this stupendous All the Year Round discovery. In the meantime, articles have already appeared in the Independent, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and more media coverage is on the way. This could prove to be a wonderful opportunity to let more non-specialist readers know about the fascinating world of Victorian magazines and newspapers, and about the decades-long efforts of scholars to pierce the veil of anonymity characteristic of Victorian journalism to more fully reveal the riches of that world to readers everywhere.

Victorian Periodicals Review, the journal of RSVP, will feature an article by Jeremy Parrott about his discovery in an upcoming issue.

2015 VanArsdel Award – Winner Announced

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 VanArsdel Award: Claire Furlong, a doctoral student at the University of Exeter. Her essay, “Health Advice in Popular Periodicals: Reynolds’s Miscellany, the Family Herald, and Their Correspondents,” will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of Victorian Periodicals Review. We offer her our warmest congratulations!


The VanArsdel Prize is awarded annually to the best graduate student essay investigating Victorian periodicals and newspapers. The award was established in 1990 to honor Rosemary VanArsdel, a founding member of RSVP whose groundbreaking research continues to inspire generations of researchers.


For more information about the VanArsdel Award, see http://www.rs4vp.org/prizes.html. A subscription to VPR, which includes membership in the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, is only $35 ($30 for students): https://www.press.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/order.cgi?oc_id=1707.