NCSA 2007 President's Award Minimize
William H. Scheuerle
Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the University of South Florida and Director the USF Humanities Institute


In 2004, NCSA President Robert Craig introduced the President's Award as a way to honor Association members who have contributed in extraordinary ways both to our scholarly organization and to scholarship in interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies. He stressed that this would be a personal award, a personal tribute. Fortunately, each President of the Association has a multi-year term, so we have the opportunity to honor several of those who have made an extraordinary impact on our organization, our profession, and ourselves; indeed, there are a number of people here today who in my estimation fulfill those requirements. In thinking about my first President's Award, however, it took me no time to realize I wanted to use it to honor someone who was not only a guiding force in the early days of NCSA-when it was still SENSCA-but someone I have known and admired since the earliest days of my career as an academic, when we met at the George Eliot Centennial Conference at the University of Puget Sound: William H. Scheuerle, Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the University of South Florida, Director of USF's Humanities Institute, Past President and Board member of not only the NCSA but also of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, valued member of the Senior Advisory Council of both organizations, scholar and outstanding citizen of the academy.

Bill Scheuerle has been an active scholar for the last forty years and more, with two articles appearing in 1962 on Milton's Paradise Lost and Joyce's Ulysses, respectively. It was not long, however, before he found a happy medium in the Victorian era, publishing an edition of Henry Kingsley's novel Ravenshoe in 1967, and The Neglected Brother: A Study of Henry Kingsley in 1971. Throughout the 1980s and '90s Bill's scholarship focused on Victorian periodicals, a field he helped bring to the prominence it now holds in Victorian studies, and in the current decade (during which Bill was pulled out of an intended retirement to head the USF Humanities Institute) he has made numerous contributions to the New DNB. As a founder and early president of RSVP-and longtime editor and book review editor of its journal, Victorian Periodicals Review-Bill brought the study of Victorian periodicals from the margins to the mainstream of Victorian studies, and some of the most cutting-edge work by Victorianists is introduced at the annual RSVP conference.

A long-ago conference that Bill organized, Victorian Outsiders, held in 1974, was the inspiration for the founding of SENCSA, which later became NCSA. According to Linda Zatlin, SENCSA's co-founder and the first recipient of the President's Award, it was the best conference she had ever attended. She writes, "I didn't know that you had arranged the 1974 conference and couldn't divine that you would become my and NCSA's Most Valuable Asset. You have helped steer us with calm deliberation and forethought. Your superbly creative ideas, knowledge of the way a top-notch organization should work, and your negotiating skill broke impasse after impasse, and we flowered. Anything could be tried-so long as you were there to be consulted. Content to be in the background, you've nonetheless been our most enthusiastic presence." Indeed, you have. It is an honor to award you the 2007 NCSA President's Award.

Meri-Jane Rochelson

President, NCSA