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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Monday, October 23, 2017

Call for Papers on “Monumental Narratives”

The Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College and Historic Deerfield are teaming up to sponsor a one-day symposium on “Monumental Narratives: Revisiting New England’s Public Memorials.”

This event will take place on Saturday, 10 March 2018, at Wellesley College.

The symposium’s call for papers is out, asking for proposals by 10 November. It says:
As southern Civil War memorials have become a flashpoint for politics and protest, it is vital that we turn the same critical gaze to New England’s public monuments. This day-long symposium will explore commemorations of people, places, and events in New England’s past, with attention to design, construction, naming/renaming, reception, preservation, destruction, and/or reconfiguration. How do these public acts of memory tell a particular story of New England? What histories might they celebrate or, whether explicitly or implicitly, conceal, devalue, or erase? How can historians recast these monumental narratives without simultaneously sweeping aside uncomfortable histories of colonialism and discrimination?

We invite papers that critically examine memorials in New England from the 17th century to the present. We look for explorations of a diverse range of media including (but not limited to) sculpture, mural programs, buildings, and landscapes. Discussions of proposals for contemporary commemoration or for interventions in existing monuments should explicitly address the ways in which these activities fit into a broader historical context.

Papers should be theoretical or analytical in nature rather than descriptive and take approximately 20 minutes to present.
Scholars interested in presenting at this symposium should submit a 250-word proposal and a two-page c.v. via electronic mail to Martha McNamara (mmcnamar@wellesley.edu) and Barbara Mathews (bmathews@historic-deerfield.org). Proposals should include the title of the paper and the presenter’s name.

The call says, “Speakers invited to present papers are expected to participate fully in the symposium program.” Which means you’re not supposed to deliver your talk and then duck out for some other event. The symposium will offer overnight accommodation for people delivering papers.

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