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 2015 recipient is Erin Johnson-Hill of Yale University for "Re-Examining the Academy: Music Institutions and Empire in Nineteenth-Century London." Click here for a complete list of Arnstein Award winners.

2015 winner Erin Johnson-Hill of Yale University
accepts award from Walter Arnstein

Applicants for 2016 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, 2016. 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 2015 recipient is Lindsay Wells of the University of Wisconsin–Madison for "The Sensual Use of Color in D. G. Rossetti’s Venus Veritcordia"; honorable mention goes to Shannon Draucker of Boston University for "Acoustical Power and the Folk World in Hardy’s The Return of the Native." Click here for a complete list of 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.