Welcome to Richmond!

A city rich in history, surprising rewards, and... a few challenges

(a tongue-in-cheek guide to getting the most out of a city in transition)

  As your conference organizers, we want to welcome fellow historians and medievalists of all disciplines to a city undergoing significant changes as it grapples with its own past.  Here in the former capital of the Confederacy, once-secure narratives have been reopened for fresh scrutiny, and we look forward to paralleling that earnest work with our own attention to the Middle Ages.

  Richmond can offer several faces to visitors: older, dense neighborhoods that remain walk-able and full of shops and restaurants, mixed with suburban sprawl. Our host, the University of Richmond, sits on 350 bucolic acres six miles from historic downtown sites.  The campus is truly a pleasant blend of park-like spaces, woods, water, and buildings in a mix of contemporary and collegiate Gothic styles. But...

  It can be isolated without private transport. We plan to offer regular van service between the Conference Hotels and the Jepson Alumni Center, and ride services like Uber and Lyft both operate in the city, plus numerous other taxi companies The city's mass transit system (GRTC) relies primarily on a workhorse fleet of buses.  We have catered evenings for both Friday and Saturday which, we hope, will take the edge off our appetites, but we know colleagues may want to explore further options for themselves.

  Good eating is to be found all over the city, and we (Joanna and Steven) have our favorites, but we can also point you to certain neighborhoods and suggest (time permitting) that you enjoy exploring. The VisitRVA website is not wrong to call Richmond a "Foodie City." Thinking in terms of neighborhoods, we find several worth an explicit mention, although the list could go on and on:

  • Carytown: probably one of Richmond's most independent and locally focused districts, with an-ever evolving array of boutiques and dining options.
  • Scott's Addition: former industrial district, now in hyper-renaissance mode: multiple local breweries and restaurants. One can revisit past decades via the Barcade's video games, and there are places (yes, plural) to hone your axe-throwing skills.
  • The intersections of Libbie Ave./Grove Ave., and Libbie Ave./Patterson Ave. A number of dining options around the 8 corners here; advantage of being close to campus.

  As for flavors and specific cuisines, Richmond has most everything on hand, plus many fusion successes: Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Greek, Ethiopian, French, German, Tex-Mex and Southwestern, not to mention innovative spins on Southern cuisine and soul food.  Among the restaurants we know (and keep going back to!), we dare to mention the following, ever fearful of who we may forget to mention:

  • Mekong: great Vietnamese food, great prices, and owner An's obsession with Trappist ales and micro beers only benefits us all.
  • Cancan Brasserie: a bit brash (hey, it's Carytown), but oh, the mussels!
  • Stella's: great range of Greek and Mediterranean dishes; classy bar setting.
  • L'Opossum: described as a place where Mary Poppins might dine... and as Liberace's garage sale. You know you want to see what they mean.
  • Ipanema Café: so good, you truly don't know what the whole fuss over meat is really about.
  • Palani Drive: close by in the Libbie Grove area

 Thanks to good problems (like having soooo many panels), there may not be time to explore much unless people arrive early or leave late on Sunday. If time permits, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is well worth a visit. The ginormous (a technical term, right?) equestrian sculpture by Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War, makes for a fascinating counterpoint to the Confederate statues now absent from Monument Avenue.

Quick & Practical

(full details via the menu tabs above or assorted links below)


Getting to Richmond is easy. Getting around in Richmond without your own car takes a little more effort. 


RIC Airport is served by all the major US carriers, plus budget lines like Southwest and JetBlue.  Taxi fares to/from the conference hotels can range from rideshare lows of $17 up to commercial cab fares of $45.


Amtrak serves Richmond quite regularly. Of our two stations, the Main Street Station downtown is an eye-catching landmark, but conferees will actually want to choose the less imposing Staples Mill Road Station (RVR) as the much closer option (est. $7 cab fare).


Auto: Richmond sits astride the intersection of I-95 and I-64, which makes things quite accessible... except during heavy traffic flows (only happens on days that end in y). UR and the conference hotels are easily accessible from I-64 (Glenside Dr., Exit 183A).


We have two conference hotels with discount rates for attendees: Embassy Suites and Best Western, located almost side-by-side.  The conference shuttle will run from the Embassy Suites.


Please see the fuller descriptions of options (and challenges) to the left. The UR campus has limited options, and there is little (okay, almost nothing) right next door, and for this reason we strongly recommend conferees please sign up for provided lunches on Friday and Saturday.


Jepson Alumni Center on the UR Campus

Zoom Link (if needed, will be provided after registration)

Bethell Prize

Papers by graduate students, untenured faculty, and independent scholars are eligible for the Denis Bethell Prize.

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