2018 Conference — "Victorian Health & Wellness"  |  Saint Louis University, April 20-22

Interior of Samuel Cupples House — Saint Louis University
What did it mean to be healthy in nineteenth-century Britain and its empire? What practices and policies shaped soundness of body, mind, and spirit? Just how well (or unwell) were the Victorians? MVSA 2018 will feature papers and panels on the subject of Victorian health and wellness. Click the following link to register, or view the draft program.

For the fifth year, MVSA's conference will include seminars open to graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars on subjects related to the conference theme. Seminar participants pre-circulate 5-7 page papers and discussion is led by senior scholars in the field. This year's topics are "Alternative Approaches to Health and Wellness," led by Anne Stiles; "Health and Environment in the Nineteenth-Century British World," led by Christopher Ferguson; and "In Sickness and in Health: Representing Victorian Illness," led by Carolyn Day.

Conference Highlights

— Friday, April 20

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. |  Registration
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. |  Opening Remarks
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. |  Plenary Panel
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. |  Coffee
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. |  Session 1
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. |  Jane Stedman Lecture – Carolyn Day
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. |  Welcoming Reception
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. |  Exhibit at SLU Archives: Victorian Medical Instruments and Rare Books
8:00 p.m. |  Dinner in St. Louis

— Saturday, April 21

7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. |  Registration
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. |  Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. |  Seminars
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. |  Session 2
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. |  Coffee
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. |  Session 3
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. |  Luncheon, Business Meeting, Presentation of Arnstein Award
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. |  Session 4
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. |  Coffee
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Session 5
5:30 p.m. |  Dinner in St. Louis
8:00 p.m. |  Concert at Samuel Cupples House: Program includes The Window; or The Songs of the 
                       Wrens (song cycle), words by Alfred Tennyson, music by Arthur Sullivan

— Sunday, April 22

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. |  Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. |  Session 6
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. |  Coffee
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. |  Session 7
12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. |  Presentation of the Burgan Prize, Final Remarks
12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. |  Boxed Lunch

** For early arrivals:  Yopie Prins will be speaking at Saint Louis University on Thursday, April 19, at 4:30 p.m., as part of the Walter J. Ong Digital Humanities Symposium. Her topic will be the Sapphic tradition in women's poetry.


Plenary Session

The Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker will be Carolyn Day of the Department of History at Furman University. Professor Day is an expert on perceptions and experiences of disease in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, and is the author of Consumptive Chic: A History of Beauty, Fashion, and Disease, which was a Times Higher Education Book of the Week in September 2017.

Arnstein and Burgan Prizes

On Saturday, MVSA will award its annual Walter L. Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research in Victorian Studies. At the close of the conference, MVSA awards the William and Mary Burgan Prize for Outstanding Presentation by a Graduate Student at the conference. More information about both prizes can be found at this link. Applications for the Arnstein Prize are due February 1, 2018.

Venues and Hotel Accommodations

The conference will take place on Saint Louis University’s North (or Frost) Campus, located at 1 N. Grand Blvd. A campus map is available to download as a PDF. Established in 1818, SLU is the oldest American university west of the Mississippi, celebrating its bicentennial anniversary in 2018. For more information about visiting the St. Louis area, peruse this customized guide to local attractions, which includes restaurant and pub recommendations, lists of cultural events, historic sites of interest, and more.

The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown West has a block of rooms reserved for MVSA 2018 at a convention price of $134 per night; to make a reservation, call Marriott Reservations at 1-800-321-2211 or 314-241-9111. When you reserve your room, you will need to identify yourself as part of the Saint Louis University Midwest Victorian Studies Room Block Group staying at the Courtyard St. Louis Downtown West, located at 2340 Market St. at Jefferson, St. Louis, MO 63103. In order to receive the conference rate, you must make reservations on or before March 30, 2018.

There are a few higher-end hotels in the area for those wishing to stay elsewhere. We recommend The Chase Park Plaza, located in the Central West End; the St. Louis Union Station by Hilton, located downtown at Union Station; and The Sheraton St. Louis City Center Hotel & Suites, located downtown near Union Station. For those seeking budget-friendly accommodations, we recommend the Drury Inn Union Station, located downtown at Union Station; and The Parkway Hotel, located in the Central West End.

Of the hotels mentioned above, Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis Union Station, and Drury Inn Union Station offer reduced rates for travelers coming to SLU. (For the Drury Inn, use corporate ID: #309848 when registering to receive the discount.)

Transportation and Parking

The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown West is approximately 1.5 miles from the North Campus. They have shuttles available to transport guests to the conference and the airport. For those staying elsewhere or who prefer other modes of transportation, we recommend Laclede Cab Company. To order or reserve a cab, call 314-652-3456 or use their smartphone app, STLtaxi. They charge $3 Flag fee and $2 per mile with no credit card fee. Their flat airport fees are $34 from Downtown and $31 from Midtown or Saint Louis University's campus, with $4 added to trips leaving the airport. St. Louis also has Lyft and Uber services. A variety of additional transportation options are also available to attendees with disabilities.

For those who would like to walk to campus from the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown West, turn left onto Market St. and then right onto Jefferson Ave. Turn left on Olive St., and follow it as it turns into Lindell Blvd. When you reach the intersection with Grand Blvd., you will arrive at campus.

We recommend that guests flying to the conference go through St. Louis Lambert International Airport. St. Louis Lambert International Airport is serviced by most domestic airlines. A taxi from the airport to Saint Louis University's campus will cost approximately $40. Public transportation is also available via Metrolink (Grand Station stop; come to the street level and turn north on Grand to reach campus.). There is also a Metrolink stop at Union Station on Market St., three blocks east of the Courtyard by Marriott. Alternatively, GoBest Express Shuttle has offered to make their shuttles available at a discount of 15% off standard rates. The discounted rate is only available to those who book online in advance; click here to make a reservation.

St. Louis also has an Amtrak station, Gateway Station, for those who wish to arrive by train.

For those traveling by car, there are several ways to get to the Saint Louis University North Campus. Detailed driving directions are available in the linked document. SLU’s North Campus has two parking garages open to visitors. You may park in the Laclede Ave. garage (3602 Laclede Ave.) or the Olive St. garage (338 Olive St.). Daily rates are $6 Monday through Saturday, and free on Sunday. If you wish to park at a meter, we recommend that you download the Parkmobile app, with which you can pay and renew your parking from your phone.

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