Conference Program

Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Conference
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Sponsored by the Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences
September 9-10, 2016

The final conference program is now available: RSVP 2016 Conference Program (PDF document)

Highlights from the program are below.

Thursday, September 8th

You have the opportunity to visit one of two history museums located in downtown Kansas City on Thursday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Arabia Steamboat Museum
In 1856 the Arabia was heading west on the Missouri River when it hit a tree snag and sunk with 200 tons of cargo. Luckily, all passengers were able to escape–except for one poor mule. Learn about the fascinating recovery of the ship from the muddy field of a Kansas farm, where it remained for over a hundred years, and see the largest collection of perfectly preserved pre-Civil War artifacts in the world. The museum is located in the charming River Market, the oldest neighborhood and trading port in Kansas City and current home to one of the largest open air farmer’s markets in the country.

National World War I Museum
In 2004 this site was designated by the United States congress as the nation’s official World War I museum. It is located on the grounds of the iconic Liberty Memorial and across from the Beaux Arts-style Union Station (the infamous location of the 1933 “Kansas City Massacre” involving the FBI, the KC mob, and Pretty Boy Floyd). The collection includes 75,000 items commemorating the war from a global perspective. Visitors enter the facility by crossing a stunning glass bridge over a field of 9,000 red poppies, each one representing 1,000 combatant deaths.

Registration information here.

Friday, September 9th

Special Viewing – The Nelson-Atkins Museum is one of the country’s finest art museums (4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111, Its new Bloch building has been called one of America’s architectural marvels. Of interest to RSVP members, is the fact that it was built on the grounds of the home of editor William Rockhill Nelson of the Kansas City Star who left his estate for the collection of art. Associate Curator Jane Aspinwall will provide a special viewing  at 5 PM from the Bloch Lobby information desk of the Nelson-Atkins Museum.  We will be privileged to see 19th-century works not ordinarily on view.

Lecture by Mary L. Shannon at the Nelson-Atkins Museum (7 p.m. in the Auditorium)

Dr. Mary L. Shannon is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Roehampton, London, where she is newly-appointed having held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship there for three years. She is the author of Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street (2015) which won the 2016 Robert and Veneta Colby Scholarly Book Prize. She received her PhD from King’s College London in 2013, and did her undergraduate studies in English at the University of Cambridge. She has taught at the University of Westminster, King’s College London, and Queen Mary University of London, and was network co-ordinator for the Romantic Illustration Network 2013-16. She is currently developing a project about the soundscape of London’s streets as found in fiction, journalism and illustrations from the early-Victorian period.

This event is free and open to the public.

Banquet – a three-course dinner accompanied by wine at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (

Registration information here.

Saturday, September 10th

Lecture by Jim Mussel at the Linda Hall Library ( –

Dr James Mussell is Associate Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds. He is the author ofScience, Time, and Space in the Late Victorian Periodical Press (2007) and The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age (2012).  He is one of the editors of the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008) and two publications on W.T. Stead: W.T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary (2012) and a special issue of the journal 19.  From 2008-2015, Dr. Mussell was editor of the Digital Forum in the Journal of Victorian Culture and, from 2013-2015, led the AHRC Research Network “Making Waves: Oliver Lodge and the Culture of Science, 1875-1940.”  At Leeds, Professor Mussell serves as the Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print, an interdisciplinary research center that considers forms of print culture, from the hand-press era to digital printing, in different places and periods.

The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.

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