2015 Conference — "Victorian Sense and the Senses" | University of Iowa, May 1-3

Old Capitol Building – University of Iowa, Iowa City
MVSA will hold its 2015 conference at the University of Iowa, May 1-3. Presentations will focus on the theme "Victorian Sense and the Senses." This includes any aspect of the topic in art, music, history, science, philosophy, theater or literature: senses and the invisible; sounds and soundscapes; listening/depictions of listening; the relationship between the body and mind; the five senses; the representation of sense or reason; rationality and embodiment; the relationship(s) among sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste; the conflict or accord between reason and the senses; the scientific, psychological, philosophical, or empirical study of the senses; the role of the senses in the creation of ideas or knowledge; the relationship between sense and emotion; empiricism and the imaginary; the disarray or unreliability of the senses; synaesthesia; mesmerism, hypnotism, and extrasensory perception; sensory textures of spaces and lived experiences; sensory extensions/alterations catalyzed by technologies. We are planning a collection of essays based on the conference. Click the following link to register, or download the program. The deadline for the early registration rate is March 5.

For the second year, MVSA will also feature three seminars open to graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars led by senior scholars on topics related to the conference theme. Seminar participants pre-circulate 5-to-7 page papers. This year's topics are "Victorian Science and Spiritualism," led by Anna Neill; "Food, Taste, and the Body," led by Chris Otter; and "Mind-Body Matters: Picturing the Victorian Frame of Mind," led by Nancy Rose Marshall.

Conference Highlights

** All events included in the registration fee.

— Friday, May 1

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. |  Registration
12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. |  Opening Remarks, Plenary Panel
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. |  Conference Panels
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. |  Walk to the Iowa Memorial Union
4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. |  Jane Stedman Plenary Lecture
5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. |  Welcoming Reception: Presentation on music and Tennyson by Larry Poston

— Saturday, May 2

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. |  Seminars
8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. |  Conference Sessions
12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. |  Luncheon, Presentation of Arnstein Award
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. |  Premiere of Michael Field, Attila, My Attila
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. |  Conference Sessions
4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. |  Refreshments
4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. |  Conference Sessions
5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. |  Dinner (on your own)
7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. |  The Victorians, Highland Dance, and the Midwest:  Lecture and Group Dance

— Sunday, May 3

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. |  Coffee and Conversation
8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. |  Conference Sessions
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. |  Farewell Remarks
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. |  Reflections Over Lunch, Presentation of William and Mary Burgan Prize



MVSA’s 2015 Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker will be Linda M. Shires, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English, Yeshiva University. Her talk is entitled “Coming to our Senses: Colors in the 19th Century.” She is the author of Perspectives: Modes of Viewing and Knowing in 19th-Century England (2009), co-author with Steven Cohan of Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction (1988; 2002), and editor of Rewriting the Victorians (1992; 2012) and From Romantic to Victorian: Essays by U.C. Knoepflmacher (forthcoming).

Hotel Accommodations and Transportation

The Sheraton Iowa City Hotel has rooms reserved for MVSA 2015 at a convention price of $109 per night. The Iowa Memorial Union also has a smaller number of rooms set aside at a convention price of $70-$90 per night. There are only a limited number of rooms available at these rates, so make sure to book your reservations early. The Sheraton is located at 210 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240, and can be reached by phone at 319-337-4058. The Memorial Union is located at 125 South Madison Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, and can be reached by phone at 319-335-3513.

For air travel, the Eastern Iowa Airport (Cedar Rapids Airport) is most convenient. The shuttle to Iowa City costs $34. It may be possible to arrange to be picked up if you are arriving on Thursday; write to Florence Boos at Sharing a taxi can be arranged in advance through Yellow Cab of Iowa City for about $35. The official taxis at the airport charge about $50.


For information on past MVSA conferences, visit the Archives section of the website.