Call for Papers: 2019 EMC Graduate Conference, February 15th-16th


The Early Modern Colloquium at the University of Michigan

invites abstracts for papers for the interdisciplinary graduate student conference,

“How to be Global in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds”

at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 15-16, 2019

With keynote lectures by: Bernadette Andrea (UCSB) and Christine Chism (UCLA)

And panel responses from the medieval and early modern faculty at the University of Michigan

Recent efforts to address the global dimension of the medieval and early modern worlds have challenged the ways we think about cultural production in Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Underlying this body of scholarship is the insight that no culture is produced in isolation––it is shaped by the influences of trade, emigration, exile, and empire, as much as it is by the persistence of tradition. In attending to the history of cross-cultural connections, recent scholarship has produced interesting areas of inquiry regarding different conceptions of “the world,” the methodological problems arising from the tension between our conceptions of the local and the global, the difficulties of periodizing a polycentric world, as well as the potential limitations of adopting a global perspective.

Responding to the global turn in premodern scholarship, this conference is guided by a series of ethical and political questions: as contemporary scholars, is it our responsibility to adopt a global perspective in our work? How can we do so without appropriating or eliding cultural difference or sacrificing specificity? The EMC welcomes proposals for papers that explore the material and imaginative conditions that make “the global” a salient category of analysis. In doing so, we hope to explore how the world was experienced before the “globalization” of later centuries, and to facilitate conversations about the different methodologies and ethical stakes of being global, both in our scholarship and in our classrooms.

We invite fifteen-minute presentations on medieval or early modern topics by graduate students in any discipline that think productively about art, literature, or representation in relation to two or more of the following categories:

  • Language, form, translation
  • Performance and embodiment
  • Adaptation, appropriation, modality
  • Visuality, materiality, textuality
  • Publication and media
  • Transmission and cross-cultural contact
  • Trade and communication
  • Travel, migration, settlement
  • Nation, colonialism, empire, imagined communities
  • Cartography, geography, cosmology
  • Climate change, environment, ecologies
  • Cross-cultural negotiations of race, ethnicity, and religion
  • Concepts of “East” and “West”
  • Hemispheric analysis
  • Cross-cultural negotiations of gender and/or sexuality
  • Periodization and temporality
  • Methods of reading, research practice, pedagogy

The Early Modern Colloquium is an interdisciplinary graduate student group at the University of Michigan and will give priority to abstracts submitted by graduate students. Please submit 250-300 word abstracts with a corresponding title to the Early Modern Colloquium (earlymodcolloq@gmail.com) with the subject line “EMC Conference” by December 1st, 2018.

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