Participants for "Narratives of Property in British History" NACBS Panel

deadline for submissions: 
March 27, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Agnes Burt, Phd Candidate, Boston University
contact email: 



Historians have long recognized the central relationship between property ownership and political participation in Britain. As many have acknowledged, throughout the nineteenth century, men’s ability to vote was based on fulfilling a property qualification; even women’s enfranchisement in 1918 still carried property requirements.

This panel proposes to consider property’s continued importance to liberal society, beyond the realm of political citizenship, by exploring “narratives of property” in British history. In particular, it is interested in examining how understandings about property rights or what constituted property changed as Britons navigated period of economic change and transitioned into “modernity.”  Did ideas about “property” and “modernity” inform the other? How did the extension of property rights to new groups, for example, married women, complicate long-standing economic relationships?  What was the role of the state in defining property rights in the modern era? How were debates around property rights worked out in the legal system? How did cultural discourses about property or economic life shape Britons’ understanding of property rights? How might property have been used or treated differently across the Empire?

To explore these ideas, this panel aims to bring an interdisciplinary perspective to questions surrounding property. It seeks papers that would consider narratives of property or economic life in British history from a variety of angles, including: Imperial history, literature or cultural studies, legal studies, economics, family history, and gender, class, or race perspectives.


Please send a proposed abstract and brief CV (750 words max) with your affiliation and contact information to Agnes Burt ( by March 27. (Deadline for submitting panel proposals is March 30.) The proposed pane is for participation in North American Conference on British Studies Conference in Providence RI, October 25-28, 2018. Confernece webpage here: