Tracing Footprints (GEMCS, October 22-25, 2009, Dallas, Texas)

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Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies
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Drawing from the language of ecology, environmental studies, and urban planning, the theme of this year’s GEMCS conference focuses on the different valences and metaphorical possibilities of the footprint. We are especially concerned with exploring the many meanings of the footpring and expanding it as a paradigm for early modern representation. The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on ecosystems; the representational footprint may be a measure of a variety of demonds on and by a text—social, historical, institutional, and textual. The “carbon footprint” questions the global space that a city, an automobile industry, or a single individual occupies; it thus complicates differences and demarcations between built and wild spaces, technology and climate, people and nature. How does tracing a text’s footprint challenge existing definitions and boundaries of the space it occupies? How do we trace the genealogies of texts? What sorts of competing histories are embedded in objects of representation?

This year’s conference theme, “Tracing Footprints,” is intended to be suggestive rather than prescriptive, and as always, GEMCS welcomes panels and proposals on all aspects of culture between 1452 and 1848.

GEMCS was formed in 1993 to promote the study of literature, history, art history, and material culture from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century across disciplinary, geographic, and cultural boundaries.

Send one-page proposals for individual papers or fully constituted panels to by June 15, 2009. In the spirit of encouraging discussion, papers are limited to ten minutes.

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