J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

“Coming to Terms” Conference Coming in November 2018

On 8-10 Nov 2018, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware will host a conference on “Coming to Terms? Confronting War and Peace through the Visual and Material in the Atlantic World, 1651-1865.”

The conference committee has issued this call for papers:
How does war end and who ends it? Historians often turn to diplomacy and formal politics to answer this question. It is clear, however, that a much broader population, both military and civilian, shape the outcome of wars. Yet there has been little systematic research on the roles of ordinary people in these processes. This conference will explore the processes that exist between treaty-making and memory-making, interrogating the messy, uncoordinated ways in which individuals, communities, nations, and empires come to terms with the meanings of war and the promises of peace. This conference seeks to gather historians, art historians, literary scholars, archivists and curators to answer these important questions.

We invite proposals for a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conference. We seek papers that privilege the object and the image in order to examine how material and visual culture shaped the making and meaning of war and peace. This focus on the material and visual allows us to investigate the ethical questions and emotional implications posed by the object and the image. We encourage paper proposals on topics such as (but not limited to):
  •  Individual responses to war (emotional, intellectual, political, aesthetic and physical) that were enabled, mediated or amplified by image and/or objects.
  • Collective responses of communities (local, class-based, race-based, gender-based, regional) to former enemies both local and distant and how these responses shaped landscapes of nationalism and empire.
  • Explorations as to whether military and civilians, as well as men, women, and children approach the process of coming to terms with war differently.
The conference committees invites scholars in all disciplines at all levels to submit proposals for papers to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu no later than 30 Sept 2017. Those proposals should include a prospectus of no more than 300 words and a one-page curriculum vitae, together in one P.D.F. document labeled with the proposer’s surname. The top of the first page should state the author’s name, paper title, institutional affiliation, and email address. Decisions will be made by the end of the year.

Final papers should be about 7,500 words and delivered by 1 Oct 2018. They will be made available to attendees in advance through a password-protected website, and at the conference presenters will deliver only brief oral summaries of their work to leave more time for discussion.

In addition to the discussion panels built around those papers, the conference will include a keynote address by Prof. Leora Auslander of the University of Chicago, a “plenary workshop on the ways in which boundaries between war and peace are drawn up,” and break-out sessions on how to teach material and visual culture.

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