Sunday, May 14, 2006

Call for Papers - Reconstructing Histories, 1550-1850

Call for Papers - Reconstructing Histories, 1550-1850

Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies
February 22-25, 2007
Chicago, Illinois

The 14th Annual Conference for the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies (GEMCS) will be held from February 22-25, 2007, in Chicago at the Palmer House Hilton (hotel rates: $115.00 per night, single or double.) The theme for this year's conference is Reconstructing Histories, 1550-1850 and is intended to foster discussions about the ways in which perceptions of literary, cultural, social, and economic history have changed during the last decades. We invite papers, panels, discussion groups, and workshops that examine both early modern engagements with the making and unmaking of these histories and those that explore our contemporary understandings of our disciplinary narratives. In defining these historical and metacritical questions broadly, GEMCS provides a forum for innovative inquiries into all aspects of early modern culture and we encourage proposals on all aspects of early modern cultural studies.

GEMCS grew out of a need for a truly interdisciplinary organization that spans the early modern period and provides a forum for scholars to explore how our understandings of class race, gender, the body, sexuality, science, trade, colonialism, and nationalism continue to be reshaped by ongoing work in critical and cultural theory. The rubric "cultural studies" encompasses a variety of disciplinary fields--among them literature, history, art history, political science, anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies, and philosophy--and it allows for a variety of approaches: feminist, materialist, multiculturalist, gay, lesbian, and queer. GEMCS defines the early modern period broadly to include the Renaissance, the eighteenth century, and the early nineteenth century, and we remain committed to fostering critical dialogues across traditional boundaries of historical specialization and sociopolitical geography. We are particularly interested in expanding dialogues about the relationships between European national and linguistic cultures and their counterparts in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

We invite proposals in the following areas for the 2007 conference, but, as always, encourage papers, panels, and discussions on other topics dealing with the period between roughly 1550 and 1850:

Rethinking the Public and Private Spheres
Nation and National Identity
Transcultural Exchanges within Europe and Beyond
Comparative Imperialisms
European Sciences and Indigenous Forms of Knowledge
Trade, Colonialism, and Gender
Women Writers and the Problem of Genre
Beyond the "New Formalism"
Manuscript and Print in the Early Modern Period
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Early Modern Studies
Technology and the Body
The Problems of Periodicity: Rethinking the "Early Modern"
Rethinking Character, Rethinking Genre
Teaching Early Modern Cultural Studies
The Nature of the Object
Animals and their Companion Species
Transatlantic Exchanges
Things and their Destinies

Panel organizers should reserve half an hour to forty-five minutes for discussions so please ask each speaker to limit his or her presentation to no more than fifteen minutes. Please send abstracts for complete panels (approx. 500 words) or individual papers (approx. 250 words) to using the subject line "Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies." Abstracts should include academic addresses for all panel participants and their e-mail addresses. The deadline for abstracts for individual papers, roundtables (six to eight participants), and paper sessions (three to five participants) is September 15, 2006. We will begin this year a policy of rolling acceptances, so you will hear within six weeks whether your proposal has been accepted. Updates and hotel information will be posted on the GEMCS website: The registration fee for the annual conference includes membership in the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies and a year's subscription to the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies published by Indiana University Press. For information about the journal, see


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