"Prospects: A New Century" - Deadline: 10/1/2011 - Conference: 4/12/2012-4/15/2012

full name / name of organization: 
C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
contact email: 

"Prospects: A New Century"
Berkeley, California
April 12-15, 2012
Hosted by the University of California, Berkeley

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper and panel submissions to its second biennial conference, which will take place April 12-15, 2012 at the historic Berkeley City Club and at the beautiful University of California, Berkeley campus.

Following upon the success of the first C19 conference at Penn State University in 2010, we invite individual papers or panels on any aspect of U.S. literary culture--broadly conceived--during the long nineteenth century, including those that bring insights from visual, sound, or performance studies into conversation with literary/textual studies. Topics and approaches might include but are not limited to transnational, hemispheric, and oceanic studies; the impact of new media and digital technologies on research and teaching practices in the field; history of the book and print culture; critical race, ethnicity, indigeneity, border and diaspora studies; urban/rural studies and critical geography; gender, sexuality and queer studies; religion, belief, and secularization; democracy and citizenship; the body, affect, and disability studies; science and technology studies; spectatorship, collecting, and museum studies; migration, multilingualism, and translation; literature and philosophy; theories of the archive and the canon.

For nineteenth-century Americans, looking outward meant looking forward. The term prospects evoked landscapes unfolding in the long view, consistent with a temporal orientation toward future possibilities both individual and collective. Emerson confidently speculated, in the "Prospects" section of "Nature," "So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes." To this prevailing usage that linked space with time, the Gold Rush would add another meaning and a new kind of subject: the prospector, whose emergence recalls the economic sense of speculation. As we survey the terrain of nineteenth-century studies today, what prospects might we see with new eyes? In what ways have the field's contours been enlarged--or foreshortened--by the new investigative tools offered by digital technologies, by institutional realignments, by changing modes of (and values attached to) reading itself? What are our hopes and expectations for the future of C19, both the area of study and the organization?

Our conference's location in Berkeley offers the opportunity to rethink conventional framings of the development of American nationhood as well as its literary and cultural traditions. We are especially interested in paper and panel submissions that tie in to the conference site: for example, through the work of writers and intellectuals who either found their way to California or imaginatively engaged with exploration, travel, and migration across the continent or throughout the wider Pacific world. Other site-related papers might reconsider familiar works or historical paradigms, such as expansionism, from this position at the "edge" of the continent. We encourage submissions that complement the UCB Bancroft Library's strengths--including not only its Mark Twain collection, but its extensive holdings in Western, Latin American, and Asia-Pacific authors and texts; its archives of Native America and of the Mexican borderlands; and its materials on environmentalist and utopian movements in California as well as nineteenth-century drama, performance, and humor in general.

To mark the growth of our new organization, and in anticipation of the inauguration of its scholarly journal, we are also interested in both panel topics and panel formats that draw upon and expand resources for C19 literary and cultural studies. Group proposals may be imagined within a variety of session formats, including but not limited to thematically related talks (with or without respondents); roundtables addressing developments or key debates in the field; seminars on pedagogy; support sessions on professionalization and publication; dialogues on archival finds and underappreciated works; and Pecha Kucha-style slide/talk presentations. Panels that feature participants from a range of institutions and academic ranks are strongly encouraged. Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a substantive role (that is, as a presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and one appearance as a session organizer, chair, or speaker/facilitator on a professional support session.

All submissions must be submitted by email to C19-2012@ucsc.edu. Use as a subject line in your email: Session proposal OR Paper proposal/ [Last name and first initial of person submitting] (Example: Paper proposal / López S). Please assist us by attaching a single document in .PDF, .DOC, or .DOCX format with the following information in exactly the order given here:
- Paper or session title
- Name, institutional affiliation, discipline, position or title, and essential contact information of presenter including email address and phone number (for sessions: give for organizer first, then each presenter)
- Abstract of the rationale and content of each paper or session: up to 250 words for an individual submission; 500 words for a panel, giving specifics about what each member will contribute
- Brief (2-3 sentence) scholarly biography of the panelist (for sessions: of organizer and each panelist)
- For sessions: Describe the format of the panel and give indication of any audiovisual needs or special accommodations anticipated

Proposals are due by October 1, 2011. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged within one week. Notifications regarding acceptance will be made on or before December 3rd, 2011. Queries may also be addressed to C19-2012@ucsc.edu.

For more information about C19, please see our website: c19americanists.org . Individuals seeking potential collaborators for a panel may wish to use the discussion board on C19's Facebook page.

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Program Committee Chair
Christopher Looby, C19 President
Dana Luciano, Program Committee Member
Elisa Tamarkin, C19 Vice President and Conference Coordinator
Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Program Committee Member

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley English Department and the Townsend Center for the Humanities