The North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) was established in 2002 to provide a continental forum for the discussion of the Victorian period, to encourage a wide variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches to the field, and to further the interests of scholars of the period within such larger bodies as the MLA, the AHA, and ACCUTE. Our goal will be to provide a more visible forum for Victorianists in the profession: encouraging press and journal editors to participate in our annual conferences; facilitating the networking of Victorianists across regional and national boundaries; forging contacts with other national Victorian groups, such as the British Association of Victorian Studies; and initiating web-based archival projects that make Victorian texts more easily accessible to members. We enthusiastically invite our fellow Victorianists in all fields to join us.
Working whenever possible in collaboration with regional Victorian studies associations, NAVSA will sponsor an annual conference, which will occur at various locations across the United States and Canada. NAVSA will also offer two annual prizes, one for the best essay published in the field (the Donald Gray Prize), and a second for the best paper presented at its annual conference by a graduate student. Members of the association will receive subscriptions to the journal Victorian Studies and will have access to additional material to be made available on the NAVSA web space, including a directory of members and a still-to-be-established archival feature on the model of Romantic Circles. We also plan to establish a presence at North America's major generalist conferences on literature: the MLA, ACCUTE, and NACBS. NAVSA will attempt to schedule its conference on a date that does not directly compete with the various regional Victorian groups. We will also regularly approach regional groups about establishing joint yearly conferences. Our hope is that such cooperation will benefit both the regional groups and the national organization, introducing members from each to the other. By creating a national body, we hope to generate further interest in the scholarship being conducted on this rich period. We will therefore make every effort to encourage publishers and journal editors to participate in the annual conference. Through our association withVictorian Studies and our commitment to reach press editors, we wish to ensure the continued vibrancy of Victorian scholarship, thus exciting students about the future of Victorian studies, inspiring established scholars to pursue important avenues of research, and helping researchers make the sorts of contacts that lead to productive work.
The association was launched with a grand inaugural conference, hosted by the Victorian Studies Program at Indiana University, on October 17-19, 2003.
For information about our Advisory Board and Executive Council, see our "Constitution" under "About NAVSA" in the left-hand menu. Members of NAVSA’s Advisory Board and Executive Council invite suggestions about the organization’s composition and aims; questions and comments can be sent to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.