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The NACBS 2017 annual conference in Denver will include two special workshop sessions intended primarily for graduate students and early career scholars, with one on early modern bodies corporeal and rhetorical and one on cultures of imperialism. Please see CFP below.

Workshop: Cultures of Imperialism 

NACBS Denver, Nov. 2017

Abstracts (1 pg.) and short (1-2 pg.) CV due March 30, 2017

Participants in this workshop will explore the many and multifaceted cultures of imperialism in Britain and its empire, from the early modern period to the postcolonial period. From the “discovery” of the new world at the start of the sixteenth century to the present, colonial and imperial engagements and entanglements have structured the movement of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and other British subjects, goods, and ideas as they traveled across the world.  These moments of colonial contact have been transformative for those who were colonized as well as those who did the colonizing. In this workshop we welcome papers on the cultures of colonialism and empire.  We seek research that addresses engagements and entanglements between those who moved between the British Isles and its trading posts and ports, settlements, mission stations and other sites of colonial contact. We encourage papers that work beyond the metropole-colony binary and examine forms of engagement that are transcolonial and transimperial, with the goal of thinking globally about the emergence of cultures of imperialism.  We think of cultures in a broad way to consider political, legal, economic, environmental, and scientific cultures of imperialism and its analogue in the modern period, colonialism. We hope to open definitions of imperialism and colonialism to scrutiny as we consider the ways that Britain and its imperial territories were transformed by the history of intercultural contact.  In choosing to organize this workshop from the early modern to the postcolonial, we aim to juxtapose the prenational formations of the early modern period against the national, international and globalized world of the early twenty-first century.  How important or central are cultures of imperialism and colonialism in different time periods? How might we historicize the idea of coloniality and postcoloniality? How are ideas about cultural, racial, and ethnic differences generated? If we assume that colonial activity produced exploitation and political asymmetries, how were these asymmetries challenged, particularly by subject populations? As scholars of imperialism and colonialism, how important is it for historians to acts as judges (following Ginzburg)?

Papers on these issues – or on related topics that fit broadly within our aims – are welcomed, particularly from graduate students and early career scholars.

The session will feature 7-10 pre-circulated papers of 15-25 pages. All participants will be required to submit their papers by the last day of September, and to have read the entire session's papers in advance of the conference. Please send a one-page abstract and one-to-two page CV to Elizabeth Elbourne ([email protected])  and Durba Ghosh ([email protected]) by March 30, 2017.

Early Modern History Workshop: Bodies Corporeal and Rhetorical

NACBS Denver, Nov. 2017

Abstracts (1 pg.) and short (1-2 pg.) CV due March 3, 2017

Participants in this workshop will explore early modern bodies, both material and imagined. In early modern Britain, the human body served as an important cultural vehicle, the site or object upon which politics, medicine, literature, economics, religion, science, philosophy, and art could (and did) work.  In this workshop we will explore early modern conceptions of the body, broadly defined: constructions of bodies politic, and bodies corporate; bodies of water and land; bodies of belief and faith; bodies of thought or knowledge. How do “bodies”, both material and rhetorical, enable us as historians to access early modern beliefs and practices, including ideas about violence, difference, colonial exploitation, ecological use, political and religious change, or racial and sexual norms? How did ideas about physical or corporeal bodies contribute to thinking about bodies of other things? As scholars of the period, are “bodies” useful to us and how can we problematize them in new ways? Papers on these issues – or on related topics that fit broadly within our aims – are welcomed, particularly from graduate students and early career scholars, and from scholars working and living in the UK.

The session will feature 7-10 pre-circulated papers of 15-25 pages. All participants will be required to submit their papers by the last day of September, and to have read the entire session's papers in advance of the conference. Please send a one-page abstract and one-to-two page CV to Amanda Herbert ([email protected]) and Olivia Weisser ([email protected]) by March 3, 2017.

 Amanda Herbert and Olivia Weisser


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New PBS miniseries on Queen Victoria

Posted by rdaily | Tags: miniseries, pbs, Queen Victoria | 0 Comments

Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young Queen Victoria at the outset of her epic reign, which set the stage for an entire era that would be named in her honor. Scripted by bestselling novelist Daisy Goodwin (The Fortune Hunter), this series follows Victoria from her accession to the throne at age 18, through her education in politics, courtship and marriage. Victoria features Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle) as Lord Melbourne; Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) as the handsome Prince Albert; Alex Jennings (Churchill’s Secret) as Leopold I, King of Belgium; Paul Rhys (Borgia) plays Sir John Conroy, the rumored lover of Victoria’s mother the Duchess of Kent, a German princess played by German actress Catherine H. Flemming. 

In Victoria, writer Daisy Goodwin imaginatively depicts what it was like for an ill-educated, emotionally deprived teenager to wake up one morning and nd that she is the most powerful woman in the world. Victoria will air in seven parts, on MASTERPIECE, beginning January 15, 2017 on PBS. 

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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for the 2017 round of the Public Scholar Program, which is intended to support well-researched books in the humanities that have been conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through the Public Scholar Program might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Most importantly, they should present significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers.

The Public Scholar Program is open to both independent scholars and individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions. It offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have U.S. citizenship or residency in the U.S. for the three years prior to the application deadline. In addition, they must have previously published a book with a university or commercial press or at least three articles and essays in publications reaching a large national or international audience.

Application guidelines (including a full statement of the eligibility requirements) and a list of F.A.Q.'s for the Public Scholar Program are available on the NEH's website at The application deadline for this cycle is February 1, 2017. Recipients may begin the term of the grant as early as September 1, 2017 or as late as September 1, 2018. In the last cycle of the competition, the Endowment received 318 applications and made 30 awards.

A list of previously funded projects and several samples of successful applications are available in the sidebar at the right of the webpage linked above. For additional information, please write to [email protected]

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The North American Victorian Studies Association is currently accepting submissions for our annual prize for the best book of the year in Victorian studies. In addition to receiving complimentary conference registration and up to $1000 in travel, the winner of the NAVSA Best Book of the Year will be honored with a special round table devoted to the book at the annual conference, which will occur November 16-18 in Banff National Park, Alberta, at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Submissions for books with a 2016 copyright date are due by Friday, January 27, 2017. (That's a receipt deadline, not a postmark deadline.) Please see the prize website for further details:
Please feel free to contact Melissa Gregory if you have questions: [email protected]
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CFP: Digital Panopticon: Tracing London Convicts in Britain and Australia

Posted by rdaily under CFP | Tags: cfp | 0 Comments

Digital Panopticon: Tracing London Convicts in Britain and Australia
13-15 September 2017, St George’s Hall, Liverpool
This three day conference marks the completion of a four year project funded by the AHRC: The Digital Panopticon: The global impact of London punishments 1780-1925.

We invite papers on any aspect of crime and punishment in Britain and its penal colonies between 1780 and 1925. We also welcome papers which include a comparative dimension with other times and places; papers on digital history, life- histories of prisoners and convicts. There will be dedicated space at the conference for those wishing to display research posters.

Please send an abstract of 200 words (for papers lasting no longer than 20 minutes), or panel proposals (3-5 speakers) by no later than 31st March 2017 to Lucy Williams ([email protected]) or Barry Godfrey ([email protected]

Call for Papers: Digital Panopticon

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The NACBS and its affiliate, the Western Conference on British Studies, seek participation by scholars in all areas of British Studies for the 2017 meeting. We will meet in Denver, Colorado, November 3-5, 2017. We solicit proposals for panels on Britain, the British Empire and the British world. Our interests range from the medieval to the modern. We welcome participation by scholars across the humanities and social sciences.

We invite panel proposals addressing selected themes, methodology, and pedagogy, as well as roundtable discussions of topical and thematic interest, including conversations among authors of recent books and reflections on landmark scholarship. We are particularly interested in submissions that have a broad chronological focus and/or interdisciplinary breadth. North American scholars, international scholars, and Ph.D. students are all encouraged to submit proposals for consideration. Panels typically include three presenters, a commentator, and a chair; roundtables customarily have four presentations, as well as a chair; proposals which only include papers will be less likely to succeed.  We are not able to accommodate individual paper proposals; those with paper ideas may search for additional panelists on lists such as H-Albion. Applicants may also write to the Program Chair for suggestions ([email protected]).

In addition to the panels, we will be sponsoring a poster session.  The posters will be exhibited throughout the conference, and there will be a scheduled time when presenters will be with their posters to allow for further discussion.  

All scholars working in the field of British Studies are encouraged to apply for the 2017 conference.  Panels that include both emerging and established scholars are encouraged; we welcome the participation of junior scholars and Ph.D. candidates beyond the qualifying stage. To foster intellectual interchange, we ask applicants to compose panels that feature participation from multiple institutions. In an effort to allow a broader range of participants, no participant will be permitted to take part in more than one session in a substantive role. (That is, someone presenting or commenting on one panel cannot also present or comment on another, but individuals presenting or commenting on one panel may serve as chairs for other panels if need be.) Submissions are welcome from participants in last year’s conference, though if the number of strong submissions exceeds the number of available spaces, selection decisions may take into account recent participation.

All submissions are electronic, and need to be done in one sitting.   Before you start your submission, you should have the following information:

  1. Names, affiliations and email addresses for all panel participants.  PLEASE NOTE: We create the program from the submission, so please put the formal name of your university, not the local shorthand; names should be as they should appear on the program.  
  2. A note whether data projection is necessary, desired, or unnecessary.
  3. A brief summary CV for each participant, indicating education, current affiliations, and major publications.   (750 words maximum per CV.)
  4. Title and Abstract for each paper or presentation.   Roundtables do not need titles for each presentation, but if you have them, that is fine.  If there is no title, there should still be an abstract – i.e. “X will speak about this subject through the lens of this period/approach/region etc.”
  5. POSTERS: Those proposing posters should enter organizer information and first presenter information only.

All communication will be through the organizer, who will be responsible for ensuring that members of the panel receive the information they need.

The submission website at will open in early January; submissions will close as of March 3, 2017. 

 If you have questions about the submission process or suggestions for program development, please contact:

Krista Kesselring
NACBS Program Chair
Professor of History
Dalhousie University
Email: [email protected]
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Call for Papers, Annual Meeting, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, 13-14 October 2017.

The Northeast Conference on British Studies (NECBS) will hold its annual meeting in 2017 at Amherst College in Amherst, MA on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14. The 2017 conference will be hosted by Amherst College, with Ellen Boucher acting as local arrangements coordinator.

We solicit the participation of scholars in all areas of British Studies, broadly defined. In particular, we welcome proposals for interdisciplinary panels that draw on the work of historians, literary critics, and scholars in other disciplines whose focus is on Britain and its empire, from the Middle Ages to the present. Proposals for entire panels on a common theme will be given priority, although individual paper proposals will also be considered if several of them can be assembled to create a viable panel. Proposals for roundtable discussions of a topical work, on current issues in the field, or pedagogical practices with respect to the teaching of particular aspects of British Studies are also encouraged. The typical ninety-minute panel will include three papers (each lasting for fifteen to twenty minutes), a chair, and a moderator (who should provide brief summarizing statements, ask a few questions, and speak for no more than five minutes). The chair/moderator role may be combined, if necessary. Roundtables may have a looser format.

Proposals should include a general description of the panel or roundtable (including an overall title), a 200-300 word abstract for each paper to be read and a one-page curriculum vitae for each participant. Please include the address, phone number, and e-mail address of all participants (including the chair and moderator) in the proposal. For panel or roundtable proposals, please note the name of the main contact person. Electronic submissions (as e-mail attachments in Word) are preferred, with all the various materials presented in a single document.

All submissions must be received by May 1, 2017 (final decisions will be announced in late June 2017). Please send your proposals to:

Brendan Kane, NECBS Vice President and Program Chair, [email protected]


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The Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies invites paper and panel proposals for its 44th Annual Meeting, to be held at the Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, British Columbia, 3-5 March 2017

The PCCBS invites papers representing all fields of British Studies -- broadly defined to include those who study the United Kingdom, its component parts and nationalities, as well as Britain's imperial cultures.  We welcome proposals from scholars and doctoral candidates in a wide range of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, including History, Literature, Political Science, Philosophy, Religion, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Theater Studies, and Art History. 

Proposals for individual papers, partial panels, or complete panels are all welcome, although complete panel proposals are preferred. We encourage the submission of proposals dealing with interdisciplinary topics, as well as panels on new pedagogies and technologies associated with British Studies. This particular year, we also welcome potential contributions to a proposed roundtable discussion of the Brexit vote that was held on 23 June 2016. 

The deadline for submission of proposals is DECEMBER 1st, 2016.  Proposals should include a 200-word abstract for each paper plus a one-page c.v. for each participant.  Those submitting full or partial panel proposals should include a brief description of the panel plus a 1-page c.v. for the panel chair as well as for its commentator.  Please place the panel proposal, its constituent paper proposals, and all vitae in a single file, making certain that your contact information, especially e-mail addresses, are correct and current.  Proposals should be submitted via e-mail attachment by December 10th, 2016, to: [email protected]   

*Graduate students who have papers accepted by the program committee will be eligible to request reimbursement for some travel expenses from the Stern Trust when registering for the conference.


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Call for New Editor for JBS

Posted by rdaily | Tags: editor, journal, journal of british studies | 0 Comments

The North American Conferences on British Studies is soliciting proposals for a new editor(s) for the Journal of British Studies. The position would begin summer 2017 for a five-year term. The Journal of British Studies is the premier journal in its field in North America; published four times a year by Cambridge University Press, it typically publishes seven articles per issue. While primarily based in history, we would like to broaden out our remit to include articles (and members of editorial boards) from other disciplines such as literature, historical geography, history of science, and so on. We define British studies broadly to encompass not only England, but also Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; we are interested in transatlantic, transnational and postcolonial approaches, and the British Empire and Commonwealth. The membership of the NACBS is drawn from the United States and Canada as well as a variety of other countries. Proposals should reflect a recognition of this national and geographical diversity.

Proposals for a new editorial team should include the following elements:

1-A vision for the future of the Journal of British Studies (2 pages)

2-Names of the editors (one or two editors) plus a short description of editorial experience and scholarly profile; and cvs of the editors.

3-Proposed Associate Editors or Editorial Board. Editors may choose several experts in a variety of fields who would work closely with the editor(s) to review articles before sending to readers, to suggest readers, and to consult more generally on the journal. Potential editors should have the consent of these scholars for this proposal.

4-Proposed Advisory Board. This would be a larger group reflecting diverse interests in British studies who would occasionally offer advice and serve as readers. Potential editors do not need to get permission for these names to go ahead for the purposes of the proposal.

5-Letter from Dean or Department chair as to support offered by your institution, such as course releases. (Cambridge University Press provides money for editorial assistance).

Completed applications should be sent to Anna Clark at [email protected] by December 15th, 2016. 

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Clothing, as Emma Tarlo insists, matters.[1] How we dress, what we have been permitted as dress, for whom we dress have all been hugely important political as well as social and economic questions, as sumptuary laws demonstrate. But if clothing is important historically then so, too, I want to suggest is its absence. Lack of clothing has many meanings and is often freighted with significance.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, unclothedness has special significance rooted in the concept of original sin. In other religions, too, revealing the naked body is highly charged, suggesting the ways in which sexuality and religion bump up against one another across cultures. It is perhaps also why nakedness has often been deployed as resistance. In seventeenth-century England, Ranter and Quaker sects protested their marginalization through nudity -- which they argued was a state of grace. In the early twentieth century, Canadian Doukhobors (an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church, about 7500 of whom migrated to Canada en masse in 1899) paraded nude on a number of occasions protesting what they saw as discrimination by the government.[2]  There are many more such examples across the world and in the British Empire specifically, suggesting that revealing the naked body has long been a powerful gesture.

Yet what exactly is a naked body?  Is it naked only when particular areas or organs are visible?  Is it naked if adorned with body markings such as piercings or tattoos?  Does ornamentation, whether of the neck, the penis, or the hair, mitigate nakedness?  The determination of nakedness is a slippery and contingent business, different (and contested) at particular moments and places. Read modern legal briefs about the regulation of strip clubs and the point becomes obvious. With nipple pasties firmly glued on, the dancers are mostly legal; absent these accessories they are naked. If a detail as minimal as this can pay the salaries of lawyers and tie up busy court time, it seems reasonable to insist on the political and economic as well as cultural importance of nakedness.

In the wake of Kenneth Clark’s massively influential 1956 book The Nude: A Study In Ideal Form, nudity and nakedness have frequently been distinguished. Nudity, as Clark articulated an already-understood convention, was acceptable because it eschewed sensuality and celebrated the pure beauty of the human form. Think breast-feeding Virgin Mary canvases and sculptures. Nakedness, by contrast, was the expression either of loss or absence (the unhinged King Lear railing at his fate) or of corrupt sexuality. Art schools had to exercise care in the use of life models for fear of crossing the line from beauty to wantonness. One way they did so, flawlessly captured in Pat Barker’s 2007 novel Life Class, was by forbidding women students in live modelling classes. The issue was the subject of a parliamentary debate in 1860 when a motion to withdraw monies from state-funded schools of art employing female models was squarely defeated in the House of Commons.

Clark’s distinction has resonances, too, when we consider the naked colonial body. The trope of colonial nakedness is a remarkably tenacious cliché, still used to advertise exotic holiday locations, or to indicate a state of savagery or primitiveness. Until very recently school textbooks, missionary newsletters, and even scientific texts in Britain, and indeed in the former Dominions, routinely depicted ‘the native’ as definitively naked, lacking (and thus naked not nude) manners, morals, and money.  Thus when Thomas Huxley requested the Colonial Secretary to have colonial governors furnish him with photographs of ‘Races of men’ living in the British Empire in a ‘condition of absolute nudity’ for ethnological study, their ‘natural’ state of unclothedness mean that his request could cause no offence.[3] In an era of high colonialism the difference between nudity and nakedness thus had distinct racial as well as sexual resonances, dividing the civilized from the savage, and reminding us that the category of race was ever crucial in British history. Considering nakedness as a historical construct seems to me a great way to do that.


Philippa Levine is the Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Professor in the Humanities and co-director of the Program in British Studies at UT Austin.  She is the author of many articles and several books, including Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire (2003) and The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset (2007, 2nd Revised Edition 2013).

[1] Emma Tarlo, Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996)

[2] John McLaren, 'The Despicable Crime of Nudity,' Journal of the West 38, no. 3 (1999): 27-33.

[3] Thomas Huxley to Lord Granville, 12 August 1869, TNA CO854/10/5.

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