newsRead on for all the latest from RSVP! This page publishes announcements from the Society, including news about the conference, Victorian Periodicals Review, and our various awards and prizes.

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New Year, New Deadlines Announced

RSVP is pleased to announce the deadlines for two of our most popular awards: The Linda H. Peterson Fellowship and RSVP Field Development Grant. Applications for both awards will open February 3, 2020 via our online applications portal. Final applications for each award are due March 15, 2020. So, now is the time to start assembling your ideas and application materials!

Peterson Fellowships for Individual Researchers

In 2020, RSVP will grant one Linda H. Peterson Fellowship of $17,500 to a single researcher for a period equivalent to four, full-time months in calendar years 2020 and/or 2021.

Named for pioneering periodicals scholar and mentor Linda H. Peterson (1948-2015), the Peterson Fellowship supports the study of primary sources from the nineteenth-century British periodical press. Projects range from studying periodicals within Britain itself to the wider Empire where British magazines and newspapers were bought, sold, and read during the “long nineteenth century” (ca. 1780-1914).

The Peterson Fellowship is intended to provide a researcher with the most valuable scholarly resource—time. Funds may be used to supplement sabbatical or other grant income, provide course “buy outs,” and/or conduct travel related to the project.  During the award period, a grantee may conduct secondary research, write, or pursue other scholarly activities related to their proposed project. That said, eligible projects must include substantial research involving nineteenth-century primary sources, whether those sources appear in print, manuscript, or digital facsimile.

Development Grants for Enhancing Periodical Studies

RSVP’s Field Development Grant exists to help one researcher or a team of collaborators create resources that will facilitate the work of other nineteenth-century periodical scholars. The annual grant is made possible by a generous bequest from the late Eileen Curran, Emerita Professor of English at Colby College and an integral member of RSVP.

RSVP intends to grant one Field Development award of up to $27,500 in 2020 to a single researcher or a team of researchers. Two smaller awards may be given if the right projects present themselves. Research must begin during the 2020 or 2021 calendar year and conclude within one year of receipt.

Regardless of method or type, projects supported by the RSVP Field Development Grant must advance the study of the nineteenth-century British periodical press in some way. Typical projects include:

  • Collaborations to produce print or digital publications
  • Demonstration projects that make use of new technologies
  • Research tools such as indices and bibliographies
  • Digitization efforts
  • Workshops or seminars that address research methods for the study of periodicals

While collaboration is not a requirement, the grant is intended to give researchers meaningful opportunities for collaboration. Thus, awards may be divided among participants to be used for things like salary replacement, travel, funding for research or technical assistants, hardware or software purchases, securing permissions or rights, and/or other research expenses directly related to the project.

More Details On Our Website

For application details and full eligibility requirements, please visit our website. All applicants are strongly encouraged—but not required—to become members of RSVP. Please note that Officers and Directors are not eligible to apply for either award. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Society president.

Applications for The Curran Fellowships Now Open

Applications for our annual Curran Fellowships are now open! We’re currently accepting applications for projects beginning in 2020 through December 1, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (US Pacific Time, or UTC/GMT -7). The Curran Fellowships are research and travel awards intended to support the use of primary sources to explore any aspect of the British periodical press of the “long nineteenth century” (ca. 1780-1914) in any of its manifold forms: magazines, newspapers, and serial publications from across the British Empire.

Up to $5,000 of Research Funding Available

We anticipate making at least six Curran Fellowships available for research starting in 2020. Applicants may request any amount of support up to $5,000. Funds must be used for expenses directly related to your research, such as:

    • Transportation costs
    • Lodging
    • Photocopies and/or scanning of documents
    • Database subscriptions

Indirect expenses will not be covered by Fellowship funds. Award winners will be selected by February 1, 2020.

How Do I Apply?

All interested scholars should submit application materials through our online applications portal. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline of December 1, 2019, will be considered. Applications should include:

    • An application form, which includes personal and project details such as a proposed title, period of study, amount requested (not to exceed $5000), and a brief description
    • Your c.v. (no longer than two pages)
    • A narrative proposal not to exceed three single-spaced pages
    • A one-page description of the printed and manuscript materials you wish to explore and why
    • The name and email address of one external recommender familiar with your project

Applications will be evaluated according to the importance of the project, the quality of the application, the applicant’s preparation to pursue the project, and the feasibility of the plan of work. Our evaluators will use these criteria to select best applications. Final decisions and award amounts will be based on the overall budget of the program, specific amounts requested, and the justification of that amount as put forward in the proposed plan of work.

You can download the full details here or visit our Curran Fellowships page for more information.

The Fine Print

All research projects must directly engage primary texts of the Victorian periodical press, such as magazines, newspapers, or serial publications published during the long nineteenth century. What form those sources take – print, manuscript, or digital facsimile – is up to you, as long as they are primary sources.

Curran Fellowships are intended to expand and enrich our collective understanding of the nineteenth century periodical press. Therefore, all else being equal, preference will be given to projects that use or bring to light new or little-known materials. For a list of recent winners and their projects, visit our Curran Fellowships page (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Fellowships are open to scholars of all kinds, including those holding academic appointments, graduate students, and independent or retired scholars. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to become RSVP members. Please note that Officers and Directors of RSVP are not eligible to apply.

If you have any questions about the award or application requirements, you may contact us at




CFP: 2020 Annual Conference on Revolution(s), Evolution(s), Circulation(s)

Start Evolving or Circulating Your Ideas Now

Calling all Victorianists and periodical studies scholars! Our 2020 annual conference call for papers is now available on our website. Proposals relevant to the conference theme of Revolution(s), Evolution(s), Circulation(s) are particularly welcome, though papers and panel proposals that address any aspect of the Victorian periodical or newspaper press are invited.

Proposals for 20-minute papers or panels should be submitted no later than February 14, 2020 at our online application portal. In addition to a short information form, applicants should include the following documents in their applications:

  • Individual papers: A 250-word abstract with a title, plus a separate 75-word biographical statement.
  • Panel proposals: A set of three or four 250-word abstracts with titles, plus a general title for the session. Additionally, include 75-word biographical statement for each participant on the panel.


All those giving papers at the RSVP conference are required to be members of the Society.

Conference Funding Opportunities

Graduate students and independent or retired scholars may indicate on the form that they wish to be considered for RSVP travel awards to attend the conference and present a paper.

See our Conference page for more details or download the official CFP here. We’re looking forward to hearing your revolutionary ideas!