Past Conferences

Below is a list of annual conferences held nearly since the Society’s inception. More recent conferences include links to the conference program or a description of conference activities. For information about this year’s annual conference, please visit the main Conference page.

2019 – Work/Leisure, Duty/Pleasure

25-27 July 2019
University of Brighton
Brighton, UK
Wolff Lecture: Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Tracing the Vocabulary of Pregnancy in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press”

2018 – The Body and the Page in Victorian Culture
A Joint Conference of RSVP and VSAWC

26-28 July 2018
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada
Joint Wolff/McMaster/Lansdowne Lecture: Sally Shuttleworth, “Fearful Bodies in Late Victorian Medicine and Culture”

Colby Lecture: Co-editors Alexis Easley, Andrew King, and John Morton, “The Shape of Water: Victorian Periodicals Research Now”

Watch a compilation video of the Colby lecture from the editors and some of their contributors on YouTube.


2017 – Borders and Border Crossings

27-29 July 2017
Freiburg University
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Wolff Lecture: Paul Fyfe, “On Ways of Seeing Periodicals”

Colby Lecture: Co-editors Andrew King, Alexis Easley, John Morton, “Periodical Collaborations: Past, Present, and Future”

Watch compilation videos of the Colby lecture (Part 1) (Part 2) from the editors and some of their contributors on YouTube.


2016 – Bigger, Better, More! Growth and Expansion in the Victorian Press

9-10 September 2016
University of Missouri-Kansas
Kansas City, MO USA
Wolff Lecture: James Mussell, “Too Much to Read: Victorian Periodicals, Bibliographical Utopianism, and the “‘Bad Indexer'”

Colby Lecture: Mary L. Shannon, “Mornings on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street”

Watch videos of the Wolff lecture and the Colby lecture on YouTube.


2015 – Life and Death in the 19th-Century Press

10-11 July 2015
University of Ghent
Ghent, Belgium
Wolff Lecture: Alexis Easley,  “The Victorian Press: New Feminist Critical Strategies”

Colby Lecture: Caroline Bressey, Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste


2014 – Places, Spaces and the Victorian Periodical Press

12-13 September 2014
University of Delaware – Wilmington Campus
Wilmington, DE USA
Wolff Lecture: Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “Reading between the Lines of Time and Space: Remediation and the Illustrated Periodical”

Colby Lectures: Fionnuala Dillane, “’In type’ for Maga: Aesthetics, Affect and the Victorian Periodical” and
David Latane, “William Maginn and the Denial of Authorship”


2013 – Tradition and the New

12-13 July 2013
University of Salford
Manchester, UK
Wolff Lecture: Andrew King, “Negotiations of Modernity: The Bankers’ Magazine and the Professionalisation of Banking”

Colby Lecture: Aileen Fyfe, “‘Creating a Proper System of Publishing’: The Technological Trials and Tribulations of Chambers Edinburgh Journal


2012 – Sentiment and Sensation in Victorian Periodicals

14-15 September 2012
University of Texas-Austin
Austin, TX USA
Wolff Lecture: Margaret Beetham, “Anti-sensation? The Angel Abroad: Missionary Wives and Bad Mothers”

Colby Lecture: Joel H. Wiener, “Newspaper Sensationalism”


2011 – Work and Leisure

22-23 July 2011
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury, UK
Wolff Lecture: John Drew, “An Uncommercial Proposition? At Work on Household Words and All the Year Round

Colby Lecture: Patrick Leary, “Lost Voices”

Listen to the Colby lecture and download its presentation slides to follow along.


2010 – The Material Cultures of Periodicals

10-11 September 2010
Yale University
New Haven, CT USA
Wolff Lecture: Brian Maidment, “From Caricature to Cartoon – The Comic Image and the Periodical Press 1820-1850”

Colby Lecture: Mark Schoenfield, “The Taste for Violence in Blackwood’s Magazine


2009 – Victorian Networks and the Periodical Press

21-22 August 2009
University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, MN USA
Wolff Lecture: Simon Potter, “A Public Sphere for the Angloworld?”

Colby Lecture: Catherine Waters, “‘Much of Sala, and but Little of Russia’: ‘A Journey Due North’, Household Words and the Birth of a Special Correspondent”


2008 – Characters of the Press

4-5 July 2008
Roehampton University
London, UK
Wolff Lecture: Linda Peterson, “Characterising Regina’s Maids of Honour and their Heirs”

Colby Lecture: Kathryn Ledbetter, “‘Ideologic Tokens’: Poetry in Victorian Periodicals; or, More on What the Wellesley Left Out”


2007 – Time and Victorian Periodicals

14-16 September 2007
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA USA
Wolff Lecture: Joel Wiener, “‘If there’s no news, I’ll go out and bite a dog’: Some Reflections on Transatlantic Journalism in the Nineteenth Century”

Colby Lecture: David Finkelstein, “Re-evaluating Blackwood and its Magazine”


2006 – Victorian Geographies

14-15 September 2006
Graduate Center
The City University of New York (CUNY)
New York, NY USA
Wolff Lecture: Linda Hughes, “What the Wellesley Index Left Out; or, Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies”

Colby Lecture: Roundtable featuring Michael Clarke, Linda Peterson, and Alexis Easley, “Unequivocal Virtues: The Legacy of Robert and Vineta Colby”


2005 – Victorian Periodicals and Politics

16-18 September 2005
George Washington University
Washington, DC USA
Wolff Lecture: Leslie Howsam, “Narratives and Editors: History and Historians in Victorian Periodical Research”

2004 – Image and Text, Image in Text

9-10 July 2004
University of Ghent
Ghent, Belgium
Wolff Lecture: Lynda Nead, “Living Pictures on Dead Pages”

2003 – The Victorian Periodical Press: Texts and Contexts

19-20 September 2003
Varscona Hotel
Edmonton, AB Canada
Wolff Lecture: Josef Altholz was to have spoken on “Whimsy, Serendipity and Chutzpah: The Improbable Success of RSVP,” but passed away shortly before the conference.

2002 – Enriching the Empire: Social, Scientific, and Cultural Developments at Home and Abroad

16-17 August 2002
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI USA
Wolff Lecture: Joanne Shattock, “Reviewing Generations: Professionalism and the Mid-Victorian Reviewer”

2001 – Rethinking Victorian Periodicals in the 21st Century

14-15 September 2001
The City University of New York (CUNY)
New York, NY USA
Wolff Lecture: Joanne Shattock’s lecture was postponed to 2002 due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

2000 – Victorian Encounters: Publishers, Editors, and Readers

20-22 July 2000
Birkbeck, University of London
London, UK
Wolff Lecture: Aled Jones, “The Dart and the Damning of the Sylvan Stream: Journalism and Political Culture in the Late Victorian City”

Previous Conferences (1969-1999)

    • New Haven, CT 1999
        • Wolff Lecture: Laurel Brake, “Star Turn? Magazine, Part-issue, and Book Serialisation”
    • Vancouver, BC 1998
    • Chicago, IL 1997
    • Portland, OR 1996
    • Edinburgh, UK 1995
    • Tampa, FL 1994
    • Ann Arbor, MI 1993
    • Manchester, UK 1992
    • Washington, DC 1991
    • Waco, TX 1990
    • Pasadena, CA 1989
    • Chicago, IL 1988
    • Aberystwyth, UK 1987
    • New York City, NY 1986
    • Toronto, ON 1985
    • Cambridge, MA 1984
    • Leicester, UK 1983
    • New York City, NY 1982
    • Tacoma, WA 1981
    • Philadelphia, PA 1980
    • St. Louis, MO 1979
    • New York City, NY 1978
    • Chicago, IL 1977
    • Leicester, UK 1976
    • Toronto, ON 1975
    • Minneapolis, MN 1974
    • Washington, DC 1973
    • Cambridge, MA 1972
    • Urbana, IL 1971
    • New York City, NY 1969 & 1970