CFP: Brown and the Bayou: Politics, Writing, and Borderlands in the Postrevolutionary Circumatlantic World (6/1/06; 11/2/06-11/4

full name / name of organization: 
Goudie, Sean X

Brown and the Bayou: Politics, Writing, and Borderlands in the
Postrevolutionary Circumatlantic World


The Charles Brockden Brown Society invites submissions for its fifth
biennial international conference to be held at the Chateau LeMoyne Hotel in
New Orleans's famed French Quarter, November 2-4, 2006. Conference
organizers' determination of the conference site was in place prior to the
devastation suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Their decision to
persist in these plans reflects not only a desire to extend commercial
support, no matter how small, for the region's rebuilding efforts and

but also their recognition of the crucial significance of New Orleans in
America given the Mississippi estuary's strategic importance to European
colonizers and later the emergent U. S. Republic. Then and now, New Orleans
provides hard evidence of the uneven work of racial, political, and economic
justice in the United States.


Then, in 1803, Brown published several important political writings--
including the propagandist tract An Address to the Government of the United
States, on the Cession of Louisiana to the French. Such writings prompt
intervention in favor of the new nation's acquisition of Louisiana while
scrutinizing the traumatic effects such an acquisition might have on already
tenuous social and cultural conditions in the New Republic. According to An
Address, Louisiana is a volatile place "in the bowels of the States," a
nodal site wherein borders demarcating putatively clear ethnic, racial, and
regional and national identities, as well as political and commercial codes
of conduct, might become complicated, compromised, and difficult to discern.
Today, paralleling this astute (if anxious) recognition by the
Philadelphia-based magazine editor, lawyer, and erstwhile novelist, scholars
of early America have begun to comprehend the full extent of the
significance of Brown's writings, including the celebrated fiction as well
as his neglected nonfiction writings, to urgent contemporary debates, not
least among these whether or not to expand Jefferson's "empire for liberty"
into the Louisiana territories. Accordingly, Brown's works have proven
fertile territory for new interpretations of the "circumatlantic" world from
and about which Brown


The Society thus welcomes individual or panel proposals on Brown and his
contemporaries (particularly those with whom he engaged as a reader, writer,
or critical thinker) that further our understanding of how specific
boundaries get constructed--and crossed--within and across texts. Topics
might include but are by no means limited to:

--geographies of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality
--histories, historiography, and the historical imagination
--literary and artistic imaginings of the U. S., Haitian and/or French
--politics, party, factionalism, and conspiracy
--cartographies of expansionism (and contraction) of "region," "nation"
and/or "empire"
--civil government, religious authority, culture, and democracy
--foreign commerce, economy, and border crossing
--representations of disaster and refugee experience (from the Haitian
Revolution, for example, or in texts authored by British Jacobins)

Proposals from various disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives are
welcome. Send 500-word abstracts by June 1, 2006, to Bryan Waterman
( and Fritz Fleischmann (
For further information about the society, see

Goudie, Sean X
Vanderbilt University
Email: sean.x.goudie_at_Vanderbilt.Edu

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Received on Tue Dec 27 2005 - 11:43:56 EST