2018 NCSA Conference Information Minimize

39th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association

March 15-17, 2018

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Jacques Gréber, The Proposed Parkway: View from Logan Square to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1918.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the NCSA committee invites proposals that explore the notion of the vista in the nineteenth century. From personal gardens to public parks, from the street level to the top of a skyscraper, or from the microscope to the panoramic photograph, the nineteenth century was a moment when the idea of the vista changed from a narrow sightline to a sweeping, expansive view. How did theorists alter our historical perspective, broadening our notion of the world through science or religion? In what ways did power systems affect urban vantage points? How did man-made vistas reflect socio-cultural ideals? How did domestic spaces or nightlife transform with the widespread use of gas or electric lighting? How does the conceptual vista operate metaphorically? Topics might include horticulture, landscapes and seascapes, new technology, photography, sightseeing, film and the theater, urban planning, visions and dreamscapes, shifting perceptions of the gaze, or literary or artistic descriptions or depictions of viewpoints. In contrast, papers may consider the absence of vistas, such as mental or physical confinement or elements that obfuscate a view.

Abstracts were due September 30, 2017. Note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. Presenters will be notified in November 2017. We encourage submissions from graduate students, and those whose proposals have been accepted may submit complete papers to apply for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. Scholars who reside outside of North America and whose proposals have been accepted may submit a full paper to be considered for the International Scholar Travel Grant (see this link for additional requirements). Contingent faculty (part-time and full-time faculty appointed off the tenure track) whose proposals have been accepted may submit a full paper to be considered for the Faculty Development Travel Award (see this link for additional requirements).

 The NCSA conference will be held at Sonesta Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square.

NCSA's Sonesta hotel block runs from check-in on Wednesday, March 14th, through check-out on Sunday, March 18th. Note that group rates will be available three days prior to and three days after the conference, pending availability.  The Sonesta is located in Center City, between Rittenhouse Square--where you can enjoy restaurants and pubs--and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where you will find The Barnes Foundation, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Franklin Institute.  Use this link to book your room and receive the conference rate.   Information about the conference will be updated on this page.  Please send your questions to: ncsaphila2018@gmail.com

SavePlanned Excursion information:


Wednesday, March 14th, at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

For those arriving on Wednesday the 14th, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is pay-what-you-wish from 5pm to 8:45pm. 


To get there, the hotel can call a cab. Or walk to the museum along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (1.2 miles). 

For more information, visit: https://www.philamuseum.org/


Afterwards, walk through the Art Museum neighborhood to the Belgian Cafe, a favorite local pub: http://www.thebelgiancafe.com/


Or, walk to Rittenhouse Square and enjoy new plant-based hot spot Bar Bombón: http://barbombon.com/. Reservations are strongly suggested. NCSA conference participants will receive 20% off from Wednesday through Saturday night; simply let the host know when you make your reservation. 


Friday, March 16th, Excursions 


The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern European paintings, with especially deep holdings in Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. Assembled by Dr. Albert C. Barnes between 1912 and 1951, the collection also includes important examples of African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork. 


The Barnes is .6 miles from the hotel. The hotel can call a cab. Or meet the walking guide at 2:45 in the hotel lobby and head across the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 


$34.50 for a one-hour guided tour with Senior Instructor William Perthes


$23 for those who prefer a self-guided tour


For more information, visit: https://www.barnesfoundation.org/


Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including "Slick Willie" Sutton and "Scarface" Al Capone.


The Penitentiary is 1.1 miles from the hotel. The hotel can call a cab. Or meet the walking guide at 2:45 in the hotel lobby and head to the tour.


$11 for a one-hour guided tour


For more information, visit: https://www.easternstate.org/


The Mütter Museum
The Mütter Museum has a unique collection of specimens and objects that reflect the human history of anatomy and medicine. Their collection ranges from seventh century BCE to 2014, although the majority of our collection dates from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. 


$10 Tickets


The Mütter is .4 miles from the hotel. The hotel can call a cab. Or meet the walking guide at 2:45 in the hotel lobby and head to the museum.


For more information, visit: http://muttermuseum.org/