View the h-pennsylvania Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in h-pennsylvania's January 2012 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in h-pennsylvania's January 2012 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the h-pennsylvania home page.
"The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the 21st Century" Philadelphia, 31 May-2 June 2013 Call for Papers With generous support from an anonymous donor, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the American Philosophical Society will host an international conference on the American Revolution, 31 May-2 June 2013. The conference aims to showcase new directions and emerging trends in scholarship. The conference organizers expect that it will be the first in a series of gatherings exploring important themes on the era of the American Revolution. Because the conference hopes to launch new interpretations of the era of the American Revolution, the organizers welcome paper proposals representing diverse disciplinary approaches and interpretative frameworks. As detailed below, four broad themes will organize the conference: Violence and the American Revolution; The American Revolution and Civil Wars; Power and Revolution; and Religion and Revolution. Paper proposals should be approximately 500 words and should be accompanied by a brief c.v. In addition to summarizing the proposed paper's argument, proposals should directly address how the paper sheds new light on the understanding of the American Revolution. Those submitting proposals should identify which theme their paper addresses, although conference organizers reserve the right to place it in any of the groups. Submissions and questions should be sent in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Revolution Conference" in the subject line. The deadline for submission is 2 March 2012. PROPOSED CONFERENCE THEMES Violence and the American Revolution In ways small and large, violent acts and the fear of them shaped events and experiences throughout the British Atlantic world. But violence, brutality, terror, and intimidation play only a modest role in our conventional understanding of that world and an even more modest one in our conventional accounts of the American Revolution. We seek proposals that examine more focally the many ways in which violence affected the course and consequences of the Revolution. Papers may look at such issues as popular protests, depictions of violence in literature and art, violence in the law and in everyday life, legitimate and illegitimate uses of violence, and the violence brought about by warfare. Papers need not confine themselves geographically. Violence affected urban seaports in the east, Indian nations and frontier settlements in the west, the security of communities everywhere, and the politics of the battlefield. Indeed, violence was a trans-Atlantic phenomenon. During the era of the American revolution, Great Britain experienced Wilkite protests, the Gordon Riots, and the St. George's Field Massacre. Combatants in the war itself saw action on the European continent and in the Indian Ocean. We therefore invite papers that explore the uses and effects of violence in comparative, trans-Atlantic, and global perspectives. The American Revolution and Civil Wars Accounts of the American Revolution routinely give short shrift to Loyalists and other internal opponents of the war. In the national mythos and in the preponderance of the scholarship, emphasis falls overwhelmingly on the contest between the rebels and the British. Such emphasis both homogenizes the American side and establishes an unduly stark contrast with the "real" revolutions of France and St. Domingue. For those living through the American Revolution, the war was very much a civil war that tore apart families and friendships and divided an Empire. We welcome proposals which explore that war as a civil war. We are especially open to comparisons to other uprisings and insurgencies that are more commonly conceived as civil wars, from the 17th century to the 21st, and to accounts that otherwise set the American war of independence in a wider historical and geographic context, from the Mississippi Valley to Gibraltar and beyond. Historians have often argued that the English Civil War had an effect on the American Revolution and that the American Revolution had an effect on subsequent revolutions, wars of liberation, and civil wars, not only in France, Haiti, Latin America, and Vietnam, but also and most fatefully in the American Civil War. We invite papers that find - or fail to find - any such patterns of influence. Religion and Revolution Forty years ago, when Alan Heimert proposed that religious cleavages could be aligned with the political antagonisms that shaped the Revolution, most historians sneered derisively. To this day, most of them probably still dismiss his particular formulation, if they pay it any mind at all. But his broader intuition that religion might - must? - somehow be connected to politics has gained ground. Some striking studies exploring the connection have appeared. We invite papers that push the exploration further. We welcome both syntheses of the scholarship and empirical investigations of specific sects, struggles, and individual actors. We are as interested in the religious consequences of the Revolution as in the religious dimensions of the run-up to it, and as concerned with the Revolution's impress on religion as with religion's impress on the Revolution. We are not indifferent to the role of the religiously (or politically) indifferent or to the possibility that the relation between religion and the Revolution was oblique or non-existent. Power and Revolution Revolutions are, inevitably, about power. And we are, of course, eager for work on the ways that the powerful used their power or fought over the uses of power. But we are at least as interested in the fate (and the efforts) of the impotent as in the machinations of the powerful, not least because those without power were so much more numerous. We seek studies of such people - of women, ethnic and religious minorities, children and youth, pacifists, African Americans, and Loyalists, to take merely the most obvious - that resonate beyond their explicit subjects. Equally, we seek studies of other groups - such as crowds and mobs, soldiers and citizens, and American Indians - that bore a more ambiguous relation to power. We want to promote a consideration of power that provides bite and immediacy to Carl Becker's dictum that the Revolution was at once a contest over home rule and who should rule at home.