Conference Schedule

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association
Boston University
April 5-7, 2013

Friday, April 5

1:30 pm Tour of Victorian Boston with Martha Vicinus (see bottom of page for information on signing up)

2:00-3:30 pm Registration (ground floor, 236 Bay State Road)

3:45 pm Welcome (Kenmore Room, 9th floor, 1 Silber Way)

4:00-5:45 pm: Literary Culture, 1874: Will Lee (Yeshiva U), Moderator (Kenmore Room)

  • Maia McAleavey (Boston College), “Aurora Floyd (1874)”
  • Sarah Weaver (U of Cambridge), “Tennyson Turns Playwright”
  • Laura Green (Northeastern U), “Bathsheba Everdene, Young Brown, and Zelda the Gypsy: At Home in Cornhill Magazine, January, 1874”
  • Dennis Taylor (Boston College), “Catholicism and Literary Culture in 1874”

5:45-7:15 pm Welcome Reception (Kenmore Room)

7:30-9:30 pm Optional dinner off campus (Please see instructions below)

Saturday, April 6

Book Exhibit (Slater and Barristers Hall)

All panels will take place at BU School of Law, 765 Commonwealth Avenue; the building is off Commonwealth Ave, with entrance near the river—please see map for location.

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast and Registration (Slater and Barristers Hall,

9:00-11:00 am Keynote panel: James Eli Adams (Columbia U), Moderator

  • Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck, U of London)
  • Robert J. Richards (U of Chicago)
  • Herbert Tucker (U of Virginia)

11:00-11:15 am Coffee Break

11:15 am-12:45 pm Science, 1874: Vanessa Ryan (Brown U), Moderator

  • Elisha Cohn (Cornell U), “Playful Atoms and Beautiful Cells: Scientific Aestheticisms, 1874-1890”
  • Kyle Fetter (SUNY Buffalo), “Anxious Scribblings: Genre, Heredity, and Periodization in Samuel Butler’s First Notebook of 1874”
  • John Mulligan (Brown U), “Richard Proctor’s Sense of Scientific Duty and the 1874 Transit of Venus”

1:00-2:30 pm Lunch (14th Floor, BU School of Law).

The Saturday lunch, a long-standing tradition, is a convivial event at which topics are proposed and voted on for the following year.

2:30-4:00 pm Technology and Design, 1874: Aaron Worth (Boston U), Moderator

  • Dory Agazarian (CUNY Graduate Center), “Past into Present: The 1874 Design Debate over the Completion of St. Paul’s Cathedral”
  • Christopher Keep (U of Western Ontario), “Bodies, Machines, and the QWERTY Keyboard”
  • Ayla Lepine (Yale U), “Watts and Company, Founded 1874: Religion, Decorative Arts, and Political Controversy”

4:00-4:15 pm Coffee Break

4:15-5:45 pm Philosophy, 1874: Vincent Lankewish (Professional Performing Arts School), Moderator

  • Patrick Fessenbecker (Johns Hopkins U), “Sidgwick, Meredith, and Parfit on Reasons and Egoism”
  • Matthew Sussman (Harvard U), “Henry Sidgwick and the Methods of Aesthetics”
  • S. Pearl Brilmyer (NYU), “Schopenhauer’s Drive: Sex, Agency, and Victorian Literary Feminism”

6:00-7:00 pm Reception (The Castle, 225 Bay State Road)

7:00 – 9:30 pm Dinner Banquet (The Castle)

9:45  pm After-Dinner Drink (Beacon Street Tavern, 1032 Beacon St., Brookline, MA)

Sunday, April 7

All events take place in Slater and Barristers Hall, BU School of Law, 765 Commonwealth Ave)

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast

9:00-10:30 am Empire, 1874: Sebastian Lecourt (Rutgers U), Moderator

  • Lucy Sheehan (Columbia U), “Present Pasts: Performances of Slavery and Abolition in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda
  • Mark Doyle (Middle Tennessee State U), “The Bombay Riots of 1874: Liberty and Violence in an Imperial City”
  • Jane McGaughey (Concordia U), “The Orangeman in Winter: Ogle Gowan, Masculine Frailties, and the Rise of the Orange Order”

10:30-10:45 am Coffee Break

10:45 am -12:15 pm Teaching 1874: Lisa Rodensky ( Wellesley College), Moderator

  • Rosemarie Bodenheimer (Boston College)
  • Anne Humphreys (Lehman College)
  • Timothy Alborn (Lehman College)

12:15-1:00 pm Conference Wrap-Up

  • John Plotz (Brandeis U)
  • Jonathan Loesberg (American U)

2:00  Second Option for Tour of Victorian Boston with Martha Vicinus


Please email Anna Henchman ( with MARTHA VICINUS TOUR in the subject line. Martha has kindly expanded her offer and will now do the first tour at 1:30 PM on Friday, and the second at 2:00 on Sunday, directly following the conference. Please indicate which ones you can make, and which is your preference. Spots are limited to 18 for each tour and it’s first come, first serve.


Please e-mail both Aaron Worth ( and Anna Henchman ( by March 31 with FRIDAY NVSA DINNER in the subject line if you would like to join a group for dinner at a restaurant on the Friday night after the first panel and reception. The conference organizers will arrange reservations for as many as would like to join us.