Globalizing the American Revolution (Abstracts Due 1-Aug-2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Maria O'Malley and Denys Van Renen/ University of Nebraska, Kearney

Call for Contributors to Edited Collection:

We invite chapter-length essays that analyze the American Revolution as a global phenomenon for a volume of essays; we are particularly interested in chapters that examine a range of texts and cultural practices from around the world. A major academic press has expressed strong interest in publishing the volume.

As eighteenth-century Americanist scholars examine the assemblages of peoples and ideas from New England and Virginia to the black Atlantic to the transatlantic to the hemispheric to the transoceanic, their studies widen Anglo-American accounts of the period 1776-1784. This volume seeks to place the American Revolution in a broader geo-political context by tracing the networks of trade, travel, and empire in cultural productions of the late eighteenth century. Recent research has led to new geographic configurations: Ralph Bauer and Caroline Levander on Latin and South America and the Southwest; Michelle Burnham on empires; and Paul Giles on antipodean Americas. In light of this scholarship, we propose to analyze the far-flung events that coincide with the American Revolution. We seek to illuminate this period as a transformational one rather than reify exceptionalist narratives about the war's importance.

Some questions authors might consider:

How did writers situate the American Revolution as an event that formed or strengthened transoceanic networks? How did other cultures, such as the Dutch, French, Spanish, Russian, or Celtic Fringe, represent the Revolution? How did it reshape the ways in which different countries practice diplomacy or distribute foreign aid? What impact did it have on how military campaigns were waged or how peace treaties were drafted? How were borders increasingly made permeable, especially across the Caribbean, along the Mississippi River, and in Florida? How did the Revolution change perceptions of the African slave trade or ongoing piracy wars at sea? How was the conflict portrayed in pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue? How did foreign mercenaries represent the war in letters or journals?

Other topics might include how the war and its aftermath influenced representations of other British colonies, especially those in the West Indies and Australia. What was the impact on native peoples across the continent, hemisphere, or Pacific Islands? What networks of trade or currency exchange or print circulations were rerouted? What kinds of theological reinterpretations were necessary? How did the Revolution figure in other genres: literature, music, art, and drama? Essays can also focus on how founding fathers were represented abroad or consider the political theory or philosophical questions raised by the conflict. Scholars are encouraged to address how the global dimensions of the conflict were suppressed or downplayed.

Interdisciplinary approaches are welcome. We encourage scholars from across the world to contribute but the final essays must be written in English.

Send proposals of 500 words and a brief cv by email to Maria O'Malley and Denys Van Renen by 1 August 2014. Complete essays should be between 6000-9000 words and follow Chicago endnote style guidelines; they will be due in 2015.