Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies comes of age

The internationally acclaimed Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies (LCVS), based at Leeds Trinity University, is celebrating its 21st anniversary.

It has been 21 years since LCVS was established as Leeds Trinity University’s first research centre. To mark the milestone and to kick-start a year of celebratory events, Leeds Trinity University is hosting the international British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) conference, which was founded at the University in 2000, from 27 – 29 August.

The BAVS conference will see world-leading speakers from a host of countries including Japan, Australia, America and Italy debating age-related themes, such as Victorian childhood, periodization, the Victorian use of other historical periods, and issues of temporality. Over three days, more than 180 delegates will explore the theme of Victorian Ages through research papers, academic discussions, keynote speeches and more.

The first director of Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, professor Martin Hewitt will deliver a keynote speech on Victorian Generations as part of the Conference. A leading authority on the Victorian city and the Victorian press, Martin founded LCVS and was also the founding editor of The Journal of Victorian Culture.

Six of Leeds Trinity University’s PhD students will assist with the set-up and running of the conference. Among these PhD students is Stephen Basdeo, who recently made national headlines after he discovered a forgotten 18th century Robin Hood text that challenges the long-established narrative of the folklore hero.

During the three-day event, Leeds Trinity University PhD students, Lauren Padgett and Jack Gann, will also convene a special panel on ‘Curating the Victorians: Challenges and Opportunities’, which will explore the representation of the Victorians in the heritage industry.

Rosemary Mitchell, the director of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, is responsible for organising and delivering the BAVS Conference with co-convenor, Dr Helen Kingstone.

She said: We are thrilled to host this year’s BAVS conference, which represents the start of a year of celebrations to mark its 21st anniversary.

“It’s truly fitting to have the conference coming home to Leeds Trinity University, which piloted such events. In the course of the conference, we will hear from junior and senior colleagues, including some of the most esteemed figures from all disciplines in our field, such as Pat Thane, Helen Small, Nicholas Daly, David Amigoni, and Michael Hatt.

“It’s fantastic that our own PhD students will be prominently involved in this prestigious event – and that our three wonderful post-doctoral associates will all be speaking at the conference.”

At this year’s BAVS conference, Leeds Trinity University is also sponsoring two PGR/ECR bursaries which have been awarded to Leeds Trinity students, Helen Goodman and Rose Roberto The sponsorship gives them a £200 discount on the conference fee and the responsibility of managing the @LCVSLeeds Twitter account, as well as creating content for the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies blog.  

The BAVS conference is the first of many events that will mark the 21st anniversary of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies. In spring 2016, it will host a joint postgraduate colloquium with Newman University and Bishop Grosseteste University, as well as an autumn colloquium on Victorian heritage.

Tempus Fugit clock on the Time Ball Buildings Leeds (CREDIT Oz Hardwick)
Tempus Fugit clock on the Time Ball Buildings Leeds. Picture by Oz Hardwick

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