The Society of Early Americanists and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland invite proposals for the conference "'Triumph in my Song': 18th & 19th Century African Atlantic Culture, History, & Performance". They seek to explore wide range of definitions of culture, history, historiography, and performance as they connect to the experiences of Africans in the Atlantic world up to the Civil War. The conference will be held May 31-June 2, 2012. Proposals are due September 15, 2011.
'Triumph in my Song':
18th & 19th Century
African Atlantic Culture, History, & Performance
at the University of Maryland, May 31-June 2, 2012
The Society of Early Americanists and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland invite proposals for this exciting interdisciplinary conference, May 31-June 2, 2012.
We invite colleagues to explore a wide range of definitions of culture, history, historiography, and performance as they connect to the experiences of Africans in the Atlantic world up to the Civil War. As the study of the black experience in pre-Civil War America grows, it incorporates increasingly diverse fields of scholarship, each of which has the potential to make enormously valuable contributions to our understanding of this topic. The conference program will feature live performances, roundtables on methodologies and analyzing evidence, and colloquies with established authors in the field.
Questions/Topics may include:
-What are the particular challenges in writing a history of performance, a phenomenon that, by definition, disappears?
-How do we define and analyze the "evidence" for our scholarship? How does moving across disciplinary boundaries transform our interpretations of what constitutes evidence?
-How can we consider history and culture not just as contained narratives of the past, but as living performances of memory, repertoires of behaviors from the past?
-How are these challenges in writing a history of performance compounded when writing about race, racial performance, and people of African descent during the time of slavery?
-How have the material culture and performance culture of African peoples traveled across geographical boundaries, and what historiographical or theoretical lenses should we apply to chart their movement?
-Given the need for historicization, what are the relative strengths of history vs. memory? -What does each mode of encountering the past en/dis-able?
-Regarding such topics as minstrelsy, lynching, slave narratives, miscegenation, incarceration, gendered constructions of blackness, parallels/divergences between slavery and post-bellum sharecropping, and others, how can we actively engage in questions of how pre-Civil War history and culture reverberate forward to post-Civil War history and culture)?
We look forward to hearing from colleagues across the disciplines of American Studies, African American Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Dance, English, Ethnomusicology, History, LGBT Studies, Music, Performance Studies, Theatre, and Women's Studies who share our interest in discussing interdisciplinary theories and methodologies connected to the study of African peoples in the pre-Civil War Atlantic world. We are planning a conference that not only explores the rich fields of history, culture, and performance, but helps to develop dynamic new ways to bring these fields together. Through this collaboration and cross-pollination, we hope to encourage new scholarly approaches and offer new opportunities for colleagues to explore seemingly familiar topics or materials.
While the conference will feature conference papers and panels, we also encourage participants to propose sessions that fall outside the normal panel/seminar design. Alternate session formats might include staged readings of long-lost texts; performances of traditional music or dance pieces; performances exploring issues of embodiment and identity; explorations of documents or material objects from interdisciplinary perspectives; or roundtables coordinated around a performative event or theoretical or methodological question.
Proposals may be for complete panel sessions, or participants may submit individual proposals. SEA warmly welcomes proposals from graduate students. Please see the guidelines below. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL TECHNOLOGY REQUESTS MUST BE INCLUDED IN YOUR COMPLETED PROPOSAL. Each presenting/performance space has PowerPoint and internet capabilities.
Proposals are due September 15, 2011. Please send your proposal-or your questions-- via e-mail to email@example.com. If you require additional A/V equipment, we must know by September 15, 2011. We will notify participants concerning accepted or rejected proposals by October 15, 2011. All participants should expect to hear from the Conference Planner or their Panel Chair by the end of October, 2011.
1. Panel session
2. Roundtable (focusing on one or more texts, theories, methodologies, performances, or objects)
3. Performance event
4. Interdisciplinary Exploration
Proposing a panel topic -- Please include the following information:
· Title of the panel and of the papers to be presented
· Names and e-mail contact information for the panel organizer and each panel participant
· 300-word description of the panel and a 250-worddescription of each paper
Completed proposals (with all panel members assembled) should be submitted directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2011
Proposing an individual paper -- Please include the following information:
· Title of paper
· Name and e-mail contact information for the presenter
· 300-word abstract of the proposed paper
Individual paper proposals should be submitted directly to email@example.com by September 15, 2011
Roundtable: Please include the following information for a roundtable proposal:
· Title of the panel
· Names and e-mail contact information for the roundtable organizer and each proposed participant
· 300-word description of the roundtable topic and proposed format
Roundtable proposals should be submitted directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2011
Performance Event -- Please include the following information for a performance proposal:
· Title of the performance
· Names and e-mail contact information for the performance organizer and each proposed participant
· 300-word description of the project
· Space requirements if known (number of cast members, dance floor required, etc.)
· Detailed technical requirements (if any), which may include proposed seating or staging layouts; requests for music stands (if for a staged reading), and any AV or tech support requests.
Performance proposals should be submitted directly to email@example.com by September 15, 2011. While there are performance venues available to us in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the site of the conference, options for technical support are limited. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU NEED TO SPECIFY ANY TECHNOLOGY REQUEST IN YOUR COMPLETED PROPOSAL.
Interdisciplinary Exploration -- include the following information for an interdisciplinary proposal:
· Title of the proposed project and format (roundtable, panel, other...)
· Names and e
-mail contact information for the event organizer and each proposed participant
· 300-word description of the goals of the project, plus a description of the proposed guidelines for participation. These may include readings that all participants will complete in advance, pre-conference web discussions, etc.
Interdisciplinary proposals should be submitted directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2011
Here for your convenience are the guidelines the Society of Early Americanists follows for all of its conference events:
To ensure maximum attendance at the conferences and in an effort to allow as many members as possible to appear on the program, the following guidelines have been adopted:
•A member may appear on a panel in a substantive role (paper presenter or roundtable speaker or respondent) only once.
•A member may also appear as a panel chair in addition to having a substantive role on another panel.
•Each participant will need to be a current member of the SEA at the time of the conference. To renew a membership or to become a SEA member, please visit the SEA Membership page: www.societyofearlyamericanists.org/membership.html
•Each participant will need to register for the conference. To register, please go to the SEA African American Experience Conference Registration page.
If you are proposing a panel, these are the SEA panel guidelines:
•Panel Sessions will be one hour and a half, which will allow for brief introductions, 3 papers of 20 minutes each; 4 papers of 15 minutes each; or a Roundtable with 5 speakers of 10 minutes each, followed by 15 minutes for discussion.
•Please remember to keep your papers short enough to fit into the time allotted. For instance, a paper that is 10-pages, double-spaced, 12-point, with the font Courier New will take about 20 minutes to read. If you plan to make extemporaneous remarks during the reading of the paper, then please limit your typed paper accordingly.
•Panels work best when we can hear all the papers and then have enough time for discussion.
•We encourage panels composed of panelists from a variety of institutions and with a range of scholarly experience.
•Thanks for your help in making the sessions rewarding experiences for all.