2019 NCSA Conference Information Minimize

2019 NCSA Conference Information

40th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association

March 7-9, 2019 

Kansas City, Missouri


Thomas Hart Benton, Achelous and Hercules (1947), Smithsonian American Art Museum

Call for Papers: The NCSA conference committee invites proposals that examine the theme of explorations in the history, literature, art, music and popular culture of the nineteenth century. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to this theme are welcome from North American, British, European, Asian, African and worldwide perspectives. From the early nineteenth century, when Lewis and Clark paddled through the Kansas City area on their way up the Missouri River to explore the North American continent, through the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the building of factories and railroads, the mechanization of agriculture, and the advent of mass-produced cultural artifacts, the American Midwest became a crossroads for explorers and inventors, hucksters and entrepreneurs, artists and musicians, poets and dreamers who pursued their discoveries toward destinations made possible by the wide-open spaces of the Great Plains. In this way, the Kansas City region is emblematic of a larger set of trends in the global evolution of culture that radically altered the fundamental conditions of human existence during the nineteenth century. How does the discovery of new geographical knowledge change the perception of human possibility? How do innovations in science and technology affect the development of literature, music and art? How does the recovery of previously unheard voices – of women, of workers, of ethnic minorities and people of color – influence the understanding of social history in America and the wider world? Topics for investigation include encounters between Western explorers and indigenous people; the impact of steamships and railways upon changing perceptions of time and space; resistance and accommodation between traditional folkways and mass-produced culture; and the development of new idioms in literature, art and music to express the broader horizons of nineteenth-century self-awareness.

Proposals are due by September 30, 2018. Send 300-word abstracts (as an email attachment in MS Word format) along with a one-page CV to ncsa2019@gmail.com.

Call for Roundtable Proposals: Roundtable discussions provide conference attendees the opportunity to engage in spirited conversation and collaborative exchange of information and resources. The format of roundtable discussions will be lively, interactive discourse among presenters and conference participants, not lecture or panel-style delivery. Roundtable sessions will be 80 minutes long. Presenters should regard themselves primarily as facilitators and should limit their own prepared remarks to five minutes or less. Extensive collaboration among the presenters before the conference is encouraged, since the goal is to foster extensive, diverse, and cogent perspectives on interdisciplinary research topics of general interest to NCSA members. Roundtables should be pre-organized by a group of 4-8 presenters. To propose a roundtable topic, please send a single 300-word abstract describing the general topic of the roundtable (as an email attachment in MS Word format) to ncsa2019@gmail.com. Your abstract should include the proposed session title and the full name of each presenter, with their email and phone contacts, job title and affiliation. Indicate which presenter has agreed to serve as discussion moderator. Please be sure to confirm the participation of all presenters before submitting your abstract. Roundtable proposals are due by September 30, 2018.

Conference Registration will open in December 2018. AV requirements are due January 1, early registration closes on January 20, and registration ends on February 20. 

Conference Directors: 
Jim McKusick and Jennifer Phegley, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Conference Venue

The conference will be held at the newly renovated Marriott Country Club Plaza in midtown Kansas City, adjacent to the open-air shops and restaurants of the Country Club Plaza and in easy walking distance of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Our hotel room block runs from check-in on Wednesday, March 6, through check-out on Sunday, March 10. Group rates will be available three days prior to and three days after the conference, pending availability. The hotel reservation deadline is February 15 by 5:00 p.m. Use this link to book your stay.

Wednesday, March 6

For those arriving on Wednesday, March 6, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is open 10:00am-5:00pm, and admission is always free. It is an easy ten-minute walk from the Marriott Hotel.

Nearby restaurant suggestions: For an elegant buffet-style lunch, try the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s Rozzelle Court Restaurant, serving masterfully crafted salads, sandwiches, soups, breads and desserts. For dinner, explore the 45 restaurants located in the Country Club Plaza immediately adjacent to the Marriott Hotel; perennial favorites include Hogshead Kansas CityJack Stack Barbecue and Seasons 52. Dinner reservations are recommended but not required.

Thursday, March 7

After our first day of panels, NCSA will host the Welcome Reception in the Marriott Hotel (5:30-7:30pm), where you may enjoy a drink at the cash bar and catch up with NCSA colleagues. Light fare will be served.

Nearby restaurant suggestions: In addition to the Country Club Plaza dining options noted above, you will find many colorful local dining opportunities in historic Westport, just a five-minute drive by taxi, Uber or free hotel shuttle from the Marriott Hotel. During the early nineteenth century, Westport was a supply depot where pioneers stocked up before venturing westward on the California, Oregon and Santa Fe trails. Favorite restaurants include BluestemMcCoy’s Public House and Q39 Barbecue. Dinner reservations are recommended but not required.

Friday, March 8

Join us for our Business Luncheon (12:00-2:30pm) at the Marriott Hotel, where John Herron (University of Missouri-Kansas City) will present the keynote. A specialist in nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, Professor Herron’s research focuses on environmental history, the American West, and regional studies. His published work includes Science and the Social Good (Oxford); Human/Nature (New Mexico); and Wide Open Town (Kansas).

You have the option to sign up for one of the following Friday-afternoon excursion tours (during the registration period). The excursions are a fun way to explore Kansas City with NCSA members. Note that space is limited and that transportation provided only as indicated below. 

 Friday Excursion Tour Options:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Artrecognized as one of America’s finest art museums, is best known for its new Bloch Galleries, featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, plus its Asian art, photography, American paintings, American Indian and Egyptian galleries. The museum is open 10:00am-9:00pm on Fridays, and admission is always free.We will offer three guided tours by qualified docents to (1) the American Art Collection, (2) the Asian art collection, and (3) the European art collection. You must register in advance for these gallery tours; meet your guide in the Marriott Hotel lobby and walk over to the museum (an easy ten-minute walk). Restaurant suggestion: Once your museum tour has concluded, you may wish to have dinner in the museum’s Rozzelle Court Restaurant, offering a seasonal sit-down dinner menu and live music in a 15th-century Italian courtyard (reservations are recommended but not required). Walk back to the hotel on your own.

The Arabia Steamboat Museum is a unique Kansas City attraction: a time capsule of life on the American frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. It displays thousands of artifacts salvaged from the Arabia, a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1856 with over 200 tons of cargo. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the everyday objects that made life possible for pioneers in the 1800s. It is the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world. A limited number of tickets are available by advance registration to NCSA attendees for a private guided tour of the museum. Round-trip private bus transport to the museum is included in the cost of your tour registration. Once your museum tour has concluded, you may return to the hotel by private bus, or you may wish to continue exploring the Kansas City River Market, a large open-air farmers’ market and restaurant district. Restaurant suggestions: Favorites include Minsky’s Pizza and Nguyen Pho & Grill, or you can browse the many distinctive ethnic restaurants housed in the River Market, some featuring live music (reservations not required). After dinner, you will need to return to the hotel on your own by taxi or Uber.

Saturday, March 9

NCSA’s last full day of panels, which will end around 5:00pm.

NCSA offers Faculty and Student Travel Grants of $500 to support the presentation of a paper at the 2019 conference. Further information is available here.

Questions? Email: ncsa2019@gmail.com