CFP: Midwest Victorian Studies Conference: “Diverse Victorians,” Iowa City, April 2010

Diverse Victorians
Midwest Victorian Studies Association
Annual Conference
University of Iowa
April 23-25, 2010

We invite all Victorian scholars to MVSA’s 2010 conference to be hosted by the University of Iowa in Iowa City on April 23-25, 2010.  The theme for the Midwest Victorian Studies Conference’s thirty-fourth annual conference is “Diverse Victorians.”

We invite submissions of papers covering the full range of possible meanings of “Diverse Victorians,” including, but not limited to racial and ethnic differences; Great Britain’s “four nations”; class formation and class identity; discourses of normality and abnormality; foreigners in Britain; musical diversity; Victorian understandings of the diversity of species; the range of Victorian religion and the era’s smaller sects; diversity in the imperial context; the meaning of diversity to notions of citizenship; literary and artistic representations of diversity.

In keeping with the theme, our plenary address will be by Patrick Brantlinger, author of Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914, The Reading Lesson: The Threat of Mass Literacy in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction, and other works. Other special features include a concert of Victorian songs by baritone opera and concert singer Stephen Swanson and pianist Alan Huckleberry, and a program of Scottish dancing led by Anne Stapleton of the Stapleton School of Highland Dance in which conference participants can learn some steps. Even if you do not submit a paper, we hope you will attend this unique conference experience.

Located on a 1,900 acre campus on the Iowa River and home to 30,500 students, the University of Iowa was founded in 1847 as the nation’s first public university to admit men and women on an equal basis. Iowa City, one of three cities granted UNESCO’s label of “World City of Literature” (along with Edinburgh and Shenzhen), offers an array of bookshops, restaurants, parks and historical sites within walking distance of campus and the conference hotel (located in the Iowa House, facing the Iowa River). Further details about registration and the conference program will be posted on the website at

Those interested in proposing papers or full panels should submit 500-word abstracts and vitas by November 15, 2009 to the Midwest Victorian Studies Association’s email:; if you receive no response, please re-send.

Victorianists studying and working in the midwestern or southern United States will want to make a home in this long-standing scholarly organization.  Graduate students are particularly welcome as attendees and presenters at MVSA conferences: conference fees are adjusted to make attendance more affordable, MVSA annually awards the Bill and Mary Burgan Prize for an outstanding paper by a graduate student at the conference, and the prestigious Arnstein Prize supports interdisciplinary dissertation research.  A new annual award for a first book by a Victorianist in the Midwest was inaugurated in 2008.


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