2017 Conference — "Victorian Taste" 
Oberlin College & Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio, April 28-30

Peters Hall — Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
What was “Victorian Taste?” How did British Victorians at home and abroad discuss, theorize, market, and judge taste? How was taste imagined and envisioned in relation to literary, visual, and musical arts? How did new knowledge of Britain’s historical and aesthetic past impact tastes of contemporary Victorians? MVSA’s 2017 conference invites papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about taste and the Victorians. Proposals are sought from scholars working in art history, musicology, history, science, philosophy, theater, literature, and other fields of scholarly endeavor. We encourage presentations that will foster a cross-disciplinary conference, a special feature of MVSA.    

Potential topics for papers, panels, and lecture-demonstrations include, but are not limited to: taste within the explosion of popular and literary culture; aesthetic philanthropy; gendered preferences; domestic culture; exotic and/or erotic spaces; the economics of taste; collecting, museums, and exhibitions; religious aesthetics and faith; taste in diverse cultures; styles of and for nostalgia; and taste and disability. In addition, proposals that consider the Blue Plaque Scheme, John Stewart Mill’s motion to give women the vote in the House of Commons and the foundation of the National Society of Women’s Suffrage, and the publication of Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer’s Christmas Carols, Old and New and their effects will be particularly welcomed, as 2017 is the sesquicentennial of these events. 

The Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker at “Victorian Taste” will be Candace L. Bailey of North Carolina Central University. Professor Bailey is a leading social and cultural musicologist, and an expert on music in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. She is a past president of the North American British Music Studies Association.

For the fourth 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. Participants pre-circulate 5-to-7 page papers.  

For individual papers, panels, or lecture-demonstrations, send a 300-word abstract and 1-page vita (as MWord documents) by September 30, 2016, to      

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