"Victorian Taste" — 2017 Conference Webpage

2017 Conference — “Victorian Taste”  |  Oberlin College & Conservatory, April 28-30

Peters Hall — Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
What was “Victorian Taste?” How did British Victorians at home and abroad discuss, theorize, market, and judge taste? How was taste imagined and envisioned in relation to literary, visual, and musical arts? How did the new knowledge of Britain’s historical and aesthetic past impact tastes of contemporary Victorians? MVSA’s 2017 conference will reflect fresh and current thinking about taste and the Victorians. This includes topics with new perspectives on musical taste in public concert hall and in the domestic parlor, defining good taste, how the Victorians tasted food, the literary consumption of taste, the differences between “authentic” and “imitated,” the exotic within domestic tastes, instilling taste through education, women’s taste as an expression of social and political power, and religion and taste.  Click the following link to register, or download the program.

For the fourth year, MVSA’s conference will feature seminars open to graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars on topics related to the conference theme. Seminar participants pre-circulate 5-7 page papers and discussion is led by senior scholars in the field. This year’s topics are “Victorian Poetry in Good and Bad Taste,” led by Julie Carr, and “Liberalism, Sociability, and Musical/Literary Taste,” led by Phyllis Weliver.



The Jane Stedman Plenary Speaker at “Victorian Taste” will be Candace L. Bailey of North Carolina Central University, who will deliver a talk entitled “Colliding Values: Women’s Cultural Production in Victorian England and the Antebellum South.” Professor Bailey is a leading social and cultural musicologist, and an expert on music in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. She is a past president of the North American British Music Studies Association.

Hotel Accommodations, Transportation, and Venues

There will be no designated hotel for the 2017 MVSA Conference. If you wish to stay in town, you will want to make hotel or bed and breakfast reservations as soon as possible. Oberlin has a variety of short- and long-stay options for those of all budgets. The closest include the Hotel at Oberlin, a downtown hotel two blocks away from most conference venues, which is currently advertising single rooms at $159 per night, or a bed and breakfast package at $189 per night. There are several bed and breakfasts in the city of Oberlin: the Buckeye and the Frog, the Ivy Tree Inn & Garden, and Shurtleff Cottage (reservations by phone only at 440774-8033) are all within five to ten minutes’ walk of the conference venues, and have rooms from $100 and up. Additional options in town can be found on Airbnb.

For those with access to a car, there are a number of bed and breakfasts outside of town. Particularly recommended are 1830 Hallauer House, about two and a half miles outside of town, and Georgian Manor Inn, about 25 miles from town. There are also numerous chain hotels within 10-25 miles of town (scroll down to Hotel/Motel).

For air travel, you can fly directly into Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (CLE) on most carriers, though United Airlines still has the most flights into and out of this airport. Shuttles ($15 each way) are available on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and depart the airport for Oberlin at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m., and return to the airport each day at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A private shuttle can be booked for $55 each way on any day of the week at any time. The trip takes about 45 minutes.

Cheaper flights to the area can frequently be found into the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK). It takes about 75 minutes to drive from this airport to Oberlin. There is no shuttle from this airport, making renting a car necessary.

The closest train station to Oberlin is in Elyria (ELY), a 20-minute drive from Oberlin. Some cabs from the station are available via the Lorain County Cab Company (440-322-6555), Your Driver Taxi (440-522-3437), and Amherst-Elyria Taxi (440-988-8294).
Additional car services and driving directions to campus can be found at the linked sites. Some visitor parking is available behind the Hotel at Oberlin (turn onto Willard Court from either East Lorain Street or East College Street and look for the makred visitor parking lots). Additional parking can be found by the Conservatory complex, off of South Professor Street, but will require notification beforehand, when you register for the conference.

An Oberlin campus map is available to download as a PDF. All of the conference panels will take place in the Conservatory of Music, located at the corner of West College Street and South Professor Street. Friday’s events will take place in the Kohl Building (no. 34 on the map); Saturday and Sunday’s events will take place in Bibbins Hall (no. 13 on the map) and the Kohl Building.

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