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Risk, Crisis, Speculation: 1500-1800 / Conference Date: February 8, 2013 / Abstracts Due: December 2, 2012
full name / name of organization:
Early Modern Center at University of California, Santa Barbara
The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites proposals for our twelfth annual conference, “Risk, Crisis, Speculation: 1500-1800.” This one-day conference will be held on Saturday, February 8th, and feature keynote speaker Joseph Roach (Yale University).
This conference is being hosted in conjunction with a one-day UC multi-campus research group symposium on “Shakespeare & Risk,” which will take place on UCSB’s campus on Friday, February 7th, and feature keynote speaker Richard Halpern (New York University). Conference attendees and presenters are cordially invited to attend both Friday’s and Saturday’s events.
Contemporary discussions of “risk” or “speculation” often identify these concepts as distinguishing features of modern or postmodern societies. In this conference we seek to explore and investigate early modern English cognates, forebears, and analogues of “risk” (including, but not limited to, “hazard” and “venture”). We hope for a range of presentations investigating religious, economic, political, or environmental aspects of risk in early modern literature and history. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: maritime trade and the rise of insurance; mathematics and the early history of probability; civic and political crises and governmental intervention; environmental and social crises (plague, famine, etc.) and their “management”; gambling, play, and games of chance; erotic and romantic exposure; religious reform and upheaval; conversion and the specter of apostasy; hermeneutics and reading; the stigma of print and publication; violence and the vulnerability of the body.