2016 Conference — "Victorian News: Print Culture & the Periodical Press"
University of MissouriColumbia, April 8-10

The official call for papers for the general conference program (deadline extended to November 20, 2015) is available here; the seminar CFP (deadline January 20, 2016) is available here.

Arboretum at Mizzou Botanic Garden
The Midwest Victorian Studies Association will hold its 2016 annual conference at the University of Missouri–Columbia, April 8-10. Taking as its starting point the remarkable explosion in the periodical press and the availability of cheap print in the Victorian Era, the conference aims to attract papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about the topic. Proposals for papers of twenty minutes in length are sought from scholars working in art history, musicology, history, science, philosophy, theater, and literature. We particularly encourage presentations that will contribute to cross-disciplinary discussion, a special feature of MVSA conferences. The official call for papers is available to download as a PDF here. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • New perspectives on Victorian print culture
  • Innovations in the periodical press 
  • Print technologies and "cheap print"
    • Periodicals and the arts
    • Fiction, poetry, art, music, and theater
    • The specialist press
    • Publications for children, women, hobbyists, and the professions
    • Science and the press 
    • The serialization of novels
      • Poems in periodicals
      • Technologies of illustration
      • Interplay of text and image
      • The press and popular culture
      • Crime, sensationalism, and the press
      • Viral news and literature
        • The press in the Colonies
        • Politics and the press
        • Gender and print culture
        • Criticism and reviews
        • Journalism as a profession 
        • The economies of periodical publishing
          • Newspaper and magazine advertising
          • The role of the press in the construction of taste
          • "Neglected" publications
          • Newspapers as historical sources

          For the third year, MVSA’s conference will 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 "Print Culture and the Mass Public," led by Julie Codell; "Finding/Creating a Voice in the Periodical Press," led by Leanne Langley; and "The Transatlantic Periodical Press," led by Jennifer Phegley. Proposals for the seminars are due January 20, 2016, and should be submitted directly to the seminar leaders. Submissions that are not selected by seminar leaders will be included in the pool of proposals for the general conference program. The official seminar CFP is available to download as a PDF here.

          MVSA’s 2016 Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker will be Leanne Langley, Associate Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Musical Research, social and cultural historian of music, and leading authority on music journalism in nineteenth-century Britain. Her talk is entitled "Musical Times: The Achievement of the Musical Press in Nineteenth-Century England."

          MVSA is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming scholars from all disciplines who share an interest in nineteenth-century British history, literature, and culture. For individual papers or panels, send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (as MWord documents) by November 20, 2015, to Even if you do not submit a paper or seminar proposal, we hope you will plan to attend the conference.


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