Nations and Empires of the Early Modern Period
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
March 9-10, 2012
Keynote Speakers: Joyce MacDonald, University of Kentucky, and Daniel Vitkus, Florida State University
The Early Modern Colloquium, a graduate interdisciplinary group at the University of Michigan, is seeking submissions for a conference on the construction of nations and empires in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. This conference will engage with the idea of emerging and changing national identities in this period. More specifically, it will investigate the particular social dynamics that characterize negotiations between categories such as the foreign and the domestic or the individual and the state. How is the status of the nation and its inhabitants defined? How does the cultural production of nation engage with shifting political realities? Do changes in geographical borders or ideologies produce new discourses of difference in terms of race, religion, gender, sexuality, class, and/or disability?
We welcome papers that examine how early modern writers, collectives, and cultures grappled with these questions within a series of interrelated realms—e.g., academic, artistic, economic, epistemological, geographical, legal, medical, occult, philosophical, private, public, religious, scientific, and theatrical. Potential topics might include radical religious dissent, the rise of Protestantism and/or the Counter-Reformation, colonialism and expansion in the Americas, the beginnings of the slave trade, the shift from monarchy to commonwealth in seventeenth-century England, relations between the East and West, or European interactions with the Ottoman Empire.
Conference Organizers: Cordelia Zukerman, Emily Shearer, Leila Watkins