IU East to host Midwest Victorian Studies annual conference

March 6th, 2009

Indiana University East is hosting the Midwest Victorian Studies Association 2009 Conference from April 17-19. The conference is open to faculty, students and the public.

Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, IU East associate professor of English, is serving as the local coordinator for the conference. She said having the conference at a regional campus is a first-time event for the MVSA.

“This is an opportunity to hear current Victorian scholarship, as well as enjoy Victorian culture and music, right here in our own town,” Clapp-Itnyre said.  She  added that she is taking advantage of the many Victorian sites here in Richmond, including the Wayne County Historical Museum and the Gennett Mansion. 

This year’s conference will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and will showcase academic papers exploring the events or works that signal profound shifts or “tipping points,” including Darwinian tipping points, as well as those in the literary, musical, economic, and intellectual life of Britain and its empire during the long nineteenth century. 

The two keynote speakers are Jonathan Smith and Ivan Kreilkamp. Smith is the author of Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture (Cambridge UP, 2006). Smith is guest editor of a forthcoming 2009 special issue of Victorian Studies entitled “Darwin and the Evolution of Victorian Studies.” Kreilkamp is co-editor of Victorian Studies and the inaugural winner of the MVSA First Book Prize. 

The conference begins at noon on Friday, April 17 with two panels and a reception, sponsored by the University of Dayton, held in the IU East Art Gallery, located in Whitewater Hall. Participants will be able to view the art exhibit “The Veil.” On Saturday, conference participants will attend panels in the Wayne County Historical Museum, enjoy lunch and a walking tour, then dine that evening at the Gennett Mansion with a musical concert of popular songs used by Charles Dickens in his novels as performed by IU East vocal  students.  Sunday’s sessions will be held in Hayes Library, IU East, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., concluding with lunch.

Registration for the event is going on now.  Prices are $85 per person, and $75 per student. This includes attendance all three days, a reception, two lunches, and dinner. To register, contact Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, associate professor of English, at (765) 973-8531 or e-mail at aclappit@indiana.edu. For more information on the MVSA or for the conference agenda, visit the Web site at www.midwestvictorian.org/.

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