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NCSA 2011 President's Award Minimize
Marlene Tromp
Professor of English and Women's Studies, Denison University

In 2004, NCSA President Robert Craig introduced the President’s Award as a way to honor Association members who have contributed in extraordinary ways both to our scholarly organization and to scholarship in interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies.  He stressed that this would be a personal award, a personal tribute.  My first personal recollection of this year's awardee goes back to a conference in the late 1990s.  We were talking about how to improve student writing, and Marlene Tromp mentioned to me an intriguing method she had devised; she promised to send me information about it, and, right after the conference, she did.  The generosity, initiative, and follow-through that Marlene demonstrated in that small episode years ago have served her and NCSA well ever since.

Marlene Tromp presented her first paper at an NCSA conference in 1998 and almost immediately became a leader, joining the Board of Directors in 2000.  In 2003 she became co-editor, with Lucy Morrison, of XIX, the NCSA Newsletter.  Together they gave the Newsletter that new name and a new look, introducing essays by members on research in progress, professional travel, and topics of scholarly interest and debate, as well as the full-color graphics and attractive layout that made the publication one that we'd all want to read, compelling and stimulating, as it remains today.    It was something like four years ago that Marlenefirst proposed hosting an NCSA conference in the American Southwest, and this year's program is the result of her good judgment, skill, creativity, and enthusiasm.

At the same time as she has made such important contributions to our association, Marlene Tromp's research and writing have made a powerful impact in nineteenth-century scholarship.  Her dual fields of English and Women's Studies inform her books The Private Rod: Marital Violence, Sensation, and the Law in Victorian Britain  (2000), and Altered States: Sex, Drugs, National Identity and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism (2006).   Marlene's latest book, Force of Habit: Life and Death on the Titanic, now under review, took Marlene from Northern Ireland to Nova Scotia to Syria in search of a more complete picture than we have had of the individuals who sailed on that 1912 voyage, the dimensions of class, nationality, and ethnicity  in their stories, and the role of corporate power in their fates.  

Marlene has written more articles and presented more papers than I can acknowledge here.  I will note that she has co-edited and contributed to three important collections of essays:  on the sensation novelist Mary Elizabeth Braddon, on Victorian "freaks," and on Victorian xenophobia—the last co-edited with Maria K. Bachman and Heidi Kaufman, colleagues on the NCSA Board.  

Marlene Tromp, Professor of English and Women's Studies at Denison University, represents the best in service and scholarship.  It is an honor for me to serve with her, and to present her with this year's NCSA President's Award.

Meri-Jane Rochelson

President, NCSA