VSAWC Conferences: Past and Present

The annual VSAWC conference is a place where emerging and established scholars come together to celebrate both recent scholarship on Victorian literature and the scholarly committee born out of this organization.


Amy Cote (winner of the 2014 Hamilton Prize), Mary Elizabeth Leighton (VSAWC President), and Wendy Williams (winner of the 2014 Founders' Circle Award)
(Banff, 2014)

As part of the annual VSAWC conference, Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge offer a writing workshop for graduate students and emerging scholars. This ongoing opportunity demonstrates the active role that VSAWC plays in the lives and careers of established and emerging Victorianists. If you are working on a a paper for publication, consider submitting it to next year’s workshop.

Diligently Working at the Writing Workshop  (Banff, 2014)

Finally, what’s a conference on Victorian literature without a little fun:

Some brave Victorianists enjoying the Hot Springs in old-fashioned swimsuits (Banff, 2014)


Conference History:

Every year since 1972, the Association has organized an annual interdisciplinary conference in the fall. The conference has always been the focus of the Association and the site has moved about among institutions in Western Canada.

Constance Crompton on the Public Humanities (Banff, 2014)

From the beginning, the quality of the invited keynote speakers whom the executive has been able to attract has brought distinction to the Association. The list of keynote speakers reads like a “who’s who” of the leading scholars in Victorian studies. Past keynote speakers include James Eli Adams, Nina Auerbach, Gillian Beer, Jerome H. Buckley, Donald Hall, J. Hillis Miller, Elaine Showalter, Dorothy Thompson, Martha Vicinus, Judith Walkowitz, and Martin Weiner.

For Victorianists in Western Canada, VSAWC conferences provide a lively and friendly forum for scholarly exchange. In the words of Christopher Kent, historian and founding member, “One reason I have been such a regular attender of VSAWC conferences — and I should emphasize that I am not alone, for one of the strengths of this Association is that it has many regular attenders — is that I enjoy their conviviality and their quality.”

Past Conferences:

2014 – Victorian Communities, Banff, AB

2013 – Victorian Humanity and Its Others: An International Conference, Vancouver, BC

2012 – Victorian Media, Victoria, BC

Related link: VSAWC 2012: Digital Projects--The Evolution of Victorian Media

2011 – Victorian Epidemics, Banff, AB
2009 – Victorian Markets and Marketing, Vancover, BC
2008 – Victorian Rules and Regulations, Winnipeg, MB
2007 – Victorian Materialities, Victoria, BC (Joint VSAWC/NAVSA Conference)

Photo courtesy of Juliet McMaster

Some content has been adapted from A. Gerald Bedford’s “The VSAWC: A Backward Look” and Christopher Kent’s “VSAWC: The First Twenty-Five Years.”