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 2017 winner is Amanda Shubert of the University of Chicago for “Victorian Optical Fictions, 1832-1896”; the Honorable Mention recipient is Shannon Draucker of Boston University for "Sounding Bodies: Music and Physiology in Victorian Fiction." Click here for a complete list of Arnstein Award winners.

2017 Arnstein winner, Amanda Shubert, accepts award
from Vice-President Mary-Catherine Harrison
and President Christina Bashford

Applicants for 2018 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, 2018. 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 2017 winner is Rachelle Stinson of York University for "Nostalgic Graffiti: Writing on the University"; the Honorable Mention recipient is Brett Beasley of Loyola University for "'My Taste Was Me': Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Bitter Taste of Being." Click here for a complete list of Burgan Prize winners.

2017 Burgan winner, Rachelle Stinson, receives
congratulations from President Christina Bashford
and Bill Meier of the Executive Board

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.