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. Conference registration will open January 1, 2018.

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.


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.

Hotel Accommodations, Transportation, and Venues

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.

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 Friday, 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.

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 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). Alternatively, GoBest Express Shuttle has offered to make their shuttles available at a discounted rate of $17. 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. Saint Louis University’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.). 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.