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Welcome to the Nineteenth Century Studies Association website, where we hope you will find information about the Association, its interests and outlets, as well as enticements to join in the many conversations we have on and beyond these pages.

We are an interdisciplinary Association interested in exploring all aspects of the long nineteenth century, from science to music, from architecture to religion, from movement to literatures—and beyond. We hope you will peruse these pages as a volume inviting you to join us at our annual spring meeting, and we ask you to join our community of those with nineteenth century interests.

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Call For Papers: NCSA 2018

VISTAS March 15-17, 2018 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 Call for Papers
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.

Please send 250-word abstracts with one-page CVs to by September 30th, 2017. Abstracts should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. We welcome individual proposals and panel proposals with four presenters and a moderator. 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 the NCSA website for additional requirements:

For a pdf version of the CFP click here.

Monday, February 06, 2017/Author: Maura Coughlin/Number of views (2473)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Symposium: Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade

at The Saint Louis Art Museum


Saturday, December 24, 2016/Author: Maura Coughlin/Number of views (1340)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Remembering C. Murray Smart (1933-2016)

by Robert M. Craig

During a recent  conference of architectural historians convening in New Orleans,  I learned of the passing of C. Murray Smart, former dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas, and scholar of 19th century Victorian architecture. I missed seeing him at recent meetings of both SESAH and NCSA, which he earlier attended, and I knew he had not been well, so I inquired of a colleague from Murray’s home state of Arkansas.  “We lost Murray in August,” she said simply, and we both were immediately close to tears.  Her message and the expression on her face reflected so much more than the mere sharing of news.  We both understood Murray was far more than a close colleague and friend; he would be dearly missed, and his circle is wide.

to read more

Saturday, December 03, 2016/Author: Maura Coughlin/Number of views (1388)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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CFP ‘After Idealism: Sound as Matter and Medium in the 19th Century’

17-18 March 2017, University of Cambridge

CFP  ‘After Idealism: Sound as Matter and Medium in the 19th Century’

17-18 March 2017, University of Cambridge

Conference details, registration & full program.

This conference aims to enlarge substantially our understanding of the dialogue between 19th-century music and natural science, examining in particular how a scientific-materialist conception of sound was formed alongside a dominant culture of romantic idealism. It takes as its subject sound as matter and medium, focusing on the domains of natural science, emergent technologies, sentient communication and acoustics.

Speakers include:  

Carolyn Abbate (Harvard / musicology)

      Nikita Braguinski (Humboldt Universität / media theory)

Melissa van Drie (Cambridge / theatre studies)

      Edward Gillin (Cambridge / history of architecture)

Alexandra Hui (Mississippi / history and philosophy of science)

      Sybille Krämer (Freie Universität / media philosophy)

Melle Kromhout (Amsterdam / musicology)

      Julia Kursell (Amsterdam / musicology)

Roger Moseley (Cornell / musicology)

      Peter Pesic (Santa Fe / history and philosophy of science)

John Durham Peters (Iowa / communication studies)

      Alexander Rehding (Harvard / music theory)

Milla Tiainen (Helsinki / musicology)

      Viktoria Tkaczyk (Max Planck, Berlin / history and philosophy of science)

David Trippett (Cambridge / musicology)

Registration is now open via the conference site (£40 full fee -- £15 student or unwaged)
Tuesday, November 29, 2016/Author: Maura Coughlin/Number of views (1591)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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NCSA 2017 Conference Update!

2-4 Feb Charleston, S.C.

We are excited to announce our keynote speaker for Charleston 2017.  Maurie D. McInnis studies the history of art, architecture, and material culture of the colonial and antebellum South, and her research has frequently focused on Charleston subjects. Her publications include Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (2011), which was awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Charles C. Eldredge Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Non-Fiction; and The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (2005), which received awards from the Society of Architectural Historians and the Association for the Preservation of Artifacts and Landscapes.  McInnis’s work has frequently intersected with public history, and she has served on advisory committees addressing interpretations of slavery at both Monticello and Mount Vernon.  Recently appointed executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin, McInnis previously served as professor of art history and vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Virginia.  Her most recent research examines equestrian monuments and power.  As we consider the contested terrain of “Memory and Commemoration” we look forward to welcoming Dr. McInnis to our Charleston conference.
Kathy Grenier
Amanda Mushal
Monday, July 11, 2016/Author: Maura Coughlin/Number of views (1769)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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