VISAWUS 2019 Victorian Stakes & Stakeholders

Seattle, WA

November 7-10, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Andrea Kaston Tange

Abstracts by April 15, 2019

300-word abstract and 1-page CV to


There was a lot at stake for the Victorians. Economic expansion, both domestic and imperial, was a high-stakes venture. Emigrants staked their lives on the gamble of settler colonies. The stakes of the marriage market both at home and abroad were high. Prospectors staked claims to natural resources from Kimberley to the Klondike, while inventors staked claims to patents.

Ford Madox Brown, Work, 1863, oil on canvas, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Ford Madox Brown, Work, 1863, oil on canvas, 990 x 684 m. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Explorers, scientists, and speculators gambled with outcomes. The emerging life insurance industry responded to risk-taking with caution and calculation. The moral stakes were high as well: social risk-takers, such as those who were designated New Women or queer subjects, prompted more regulation of bodies, lifestyles, and behaviors.


The Victorians witnessed changes to voting rights, labor laws, women’s property rights, bankruptcy laws, access to education and divorce. What did they stand to win or lose from the rapid political, economic, and social changes during Queen Victoria’s reign? As scholars of the Victorian era, we, too, are stakeholders, invested in the conviction that this period’s history and culture matter still. What are the stakes of teaching the Victorians today?

Submit a 300-word abstract and 1-page CV to by April 15, 2019.

 We welcome papers on any of above, or the following topics:

Social reform stakeholdersCultural capital stakeholders
Unionization and labor reformRace, miscegenation, passing
Risky laws, legal risksBodily risk
The rise in woman’s statusPolitics, elections, and protests
Food and adulterationIllegitimacy, orphans, adoption, infanticide
Gambling, greedSocial deviance and regulation
Religious controversy, wagering on redemptionImperial ventures and investments
Fin-de-siècle formsShifts in musical composition and consumption
The business of performance and theatreMaterial culture, the decorative arts, architecture
High-stakes fashionMoney, fraud, and financial instruments
Weaponry and nationalismThe literary market, literary agents
Engineering, environmental controlThe media, new technologies, and new forms
Exploration, experimentation, and discoveryChanges and turmoil in university life
Urban stakeholders, rural stakeholdersVictorian/ist pedagogies, professors and students
as stakeholders

Submit a 300-word abstract and 1-page CV to by April 15, 2019.

Graduate Students are eligible for the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award ($600).

CFP as a PDF is here.

Click here for CFPs from other organizations.


The 2005-2012 conference schedules are now archived online.  Browse the list below.