In the fall of 2017, the Executive Board of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association unanimously voted to honor Julie Melnyk with our inaugural MVSA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Julie Melnyk’s contributions to both Victorian studies and the Midwest Victorian Studies Association were remarkable. Her work on religion and doubt was extensive: she is the author of Victorian Religion: Faith and Life in Britain(Praeger, 2008), editor of Women’s Theology in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Routledge, 1998), and co-editor of Felicia Hemans: Reimagining Poetry in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave, 2001) and Perplext by Faith: Essays on Victorian Beliefs and Doubts (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015). Meanwhile, she was a driving force in the success and vitality of MVSA over more than twenty years, serving as our Treasurer, regularly presenting lively papers and contributing to discussions at MVSA conferences, and (most recently) convening and running our highly successful 2015 conference, “Victorian News: Print Culture & the Periodical Press,” at the University of Missouri–Columbia. In her work as a teacher, Julie introduced a new generation to the field with her engaging and empathetic pedagogical approach. Students consistently praised her passion and commitment to student learning. As one remarked, “I have yet to find another professor who has her blend of knowledge, passion and understanding. Her classes are always engaging; her attitude, always encouraging; her mind, always open.” Julie’s record of exceptional research, service, and teaching modeled the MVSA’s mission of fostering understandings of the Victorians and promoting interdisciplinary exchange, collaboration, and publication.
Read the tribute written and delivered by former MVSA Executive Secretary Alisa Clapp-Itnyre at Julie’s memorial service, which took place on March 3, 2018.