full name / name of organization:
Call for Papers
"Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association
in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800"
An Interdisciplinary Conference Sponsored by
the Early Modern Center at
the University of California, Santa Barbara
March 9-10. 2007
What were early modern publics? How were they formed? What needs did
they serve for those who participated in them? And how did they
relate to the emergence of a cultural formation that we recognize as
distinctly early modern? These are among the questions we seek to
address in this conference.
We invite paper proposals from a wide range of disciplinary
perspectives that either examine particular instances of publics and
their formation or address the broader, more theoretical issues raised
by this wide-spread and under-studied phenomenon. If new media and
the markets through which their products were made available led to
new forms of voluntary association and identity, as they surely did,
how can we best describe the workings of that process and what
significance should we ascribe to it? How, in short, did the publics
for playgoing, for natural history, for madrigal singing, for
antiquarian scholarship, for amateur drawing, for geographical
learning, and for dozens of other voluntary activities come into
being? And what does it mean for a society when such groups grow and
This conference is being organized in conjunction with the
collaborative and interdisciplinary "Making Publics" project centered
at McGill University and funded by the Canadian Social Science and
Humanities Research Council (www.makingpublics.mcgill.ca). The limit
dates of the McGill project are 1500-1700. Given the mission of the
Early Modern Center at UC Santa Barbara, we are extending the second
of those dates to 1800. This not only opens the way for the inclusion
of specifically eighteenth-century publics, but also invites
consideration of the relation between the multiple publics we examine
and the Habermasian "public sphere" that has long been a focus of
intense attention in eighteenth-century studies. Is the existence of
multiple publics a precondition for the emergence of a public sphere?
Or have they some more complex relation to one another?
Keynote speakers include Michael Warner, English, Rutgers University;
David Harris Sacks, History, Reed College; Ann Bermingham, History of
Art and Architecture, UC Santa Barbara; and Lesley Cormack, History
and Classics, University of Alberta.
Abstracts and c.v.'s should be sent to EMCConference2007_at_gmail.com by
December 1, 2006.We hope to complete the program and notify applicants
no later than December 8, 2006.
Proposals for fifteen to twenty-minute papers should be 300 words or less.
Find out more about our conference at
From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
Full Information at
or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sat Nov 25 2006 - 20:18:10 EST