Walter L. Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research in Victorian Studies

The Midwest Victorian Studies Association offers the Annual Walter L. Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research in Victorian Studies, a prize of $1,500 for dissertation research in British Victorian Studies undertaken by a student currently enrolled in a doctoral program in a U.S. or Canadian university. Proposals may be submitted in literature, history, art history, or musicology but should have a significant interdisciplinary component that will render them of interest to scholars studying Victorian Britain across a range of disciplines, approaches, and subfields. The 2014 recipient is Caitlin Silberman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for "Thinking with Birds in British Art and Visual Culture, 1840-1900"; honorable mention goes to Ruth McAdams of the University of Michigan for "Victorians Reading the Early Nineteenth Century: Books, Things, Histories." Click here for a complete list of previous Arnstein Award winners.

2012 winner Winter Jade Werner of Northwestern
University accepts award from Walter L. Arnstein

Applicants for 2015 must submit: 
  • A statement on research (maximum 3 single-space pages, 12-point font). Please provide a brief overview of your dissertation topic, remembering that your proposal will be reviewed by faculty members in several disciplines. Indicate clearly the present state of your work and explain how an award would assist you in completing the dissertation (for example, partial travel support, purchase of library supplies, etc.).
  • A current CV (maximum 2 pages single-spaced, 12-point font)

DEADLINE:  February 1, 2015. Submit cover sheet, statement, and CV by e-mail to

To request more information about the Arnstein Prize, send an e-mail to

William and Mary Burgan Prize
The William and Mary Burgan Prize for the Outstanding Presentation by a Graduate Student at the Midwest Victorian Studies Association conference recognizes a graduate student who exemplifies the qualities of an excellent teacher as well as a capable scholar by giving a presentation that demonstrates "teacherly" qualities. Criteria include an unhurried, well-organized presentation that meets the time limits; good eye contact with the audience; effective use of visual and verbal aids (though visual aids are not a requirement); an obvious passion for the work presented; and grace in handling questions at the end. In short, the winner of the Burgan Prize should demonstrate promise as a teacher as well as a scholar.  The 2014 recipient is Ruth McAdams of the University of Michigan for "Napoleonic History on the Surface in Vanity Fair and The Trumpet-Major"; honorable mention goes to Jessica Queener of West Virginia University for "Violence and British Identity in Yokohama’s Expatriate Community: Charles Wirgman’s Japan Punch, 1862-1876." Click here for a complete list of previous Burgan Prize winners.

2013 winner Michelle Taylor of the University
of Iowa accepts award from Keith Welsh

Endowed by former Executive Secretary Keith Welsh, professor of interdisciplinary studies at Webster University in St. Louis, the William and Mary Burgan Prize encourages young scholar-teachers and acknowledges the contributions of Bill and Mary Burgan to Victorian studies and to this association. The award honors two people who are admirable scholar/teachers in their own right, and who, during their distinguished service at Indiana University, always evidenced sincere care and concern for graduate students. Bill and Mary Burgan have long been mainstays of Victorian studies, and each has done significant interdisciplinary work. But in addition to being fine scholars and fine teachers, they are wonderful human beings.

To contribute to the fund for the Arnstein or Burgan Prizes, visit the Membership section of the website.