Re-Encountering the Encounter - February 28-March 2 2013

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Society of Early Americanists - 8th Biennial Conference, Savannah Georgia
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Miranda famously declares at the conclusion of The Tempest that she now exists in a "Brave new world." This oft-quoted line is frequently misremembered as referring to the enchanted island itself, when in actuality she only utters it upon first encountering all of the Europeans who've been shipwrecked on the island. As Prospero makes clear to his daughter, in fact Miranda's new world is an old world. This scene in Shakespeare's most colonial of plays subverts our expectations of what "encounter" means in a New World context. In this panel we will look at narratives that upend the standard representations of encounter in the early modern age of exploration, that convert new world into old, and old into new. Potential topics could include papers on accounts of American natives taken to Europe for exhibition, indigenous accounts and depictions of Europeans and European conquest, examples of European and native cultural syncretism, distinctly Amerindian influence on European culture, art, and religion, the seemingly perennially popular claims of pre-Columbian transatlantic contact (whether depicted in poetry, fiction, or pseudo-archaeology), early modern cabinets of curiosity, or accounts from first generation Amerindian/European mixed race individuals, among other potential topics.

Please send a 300 word abstract and a brief biographical note to Edward Simon at by Friday, September 7, 2012.