Women in Early America: the 2011 WMQ-EMSI workshop at the Huntington Library

Big, big news:  my pal Terri Snyder at Cal State Fullerton is convening a workshop on “Women in Early America” next spring.  This is the sixth annual workshop at the Huntington Library jointly sponsored by the William and Mary Quarterly and the University of Southern California-Huntington Library Early Modern Studies Institute.  I can say from my experience at the “Territorial Crossings:  Histories and Historiographies of the Early Americas” workshop in May of 2009 that participants are wined, dined, and put up in style.  From the call for papers:

Participants will attend a two-day meeting at the Huntington Library on May 27–28, 2011, to discuss a precirculated chapter-length portion of their current work in progress along with the work of other participants. Subsequently, the convener will write an essay elaborating on the issues raised in the workshop for publication in the William and Mary Quarterly. . . .

As the work of a new generation of women’s historians surged to the forefront of the historical profession in the 1970s, studies on planters’ wives, republican mothers, and female slaves, to give only three examples, reshaped fundamental assumptions and practices of early American history. In the ensuing decades, research on women has multiplied, focusing on politics, legalities, and religion among the factors governing women’s lives, on the textures of their roles in families, and on the systems of race, class, and labor that shaped women’s experiences from the beginning of the colonial era to ca. 1820. Simultaneously, the study of early American women evolved into the analysis of gender and sexuality. In the process, an explicit analytic and even topical focus on women has seemed to fade. To reflect on the current state of the field, we wish, to paraphrase Mary Ritter Beard, to return to the question of women as a force in early American history.

The organizers invite proposals from scholars who focus on the study of women in early North America. We encourage proposals for papers that introduce new research agendas and/or reflect on the current practice of women’s history. Where are women at the centers and on the margins of early America, whether familial, geographic, legal, political, or sexual? How do women’s experiences intersect with ideas of class, race, and status? In what ways does the range of women’s experiences shape global, borderlands, and local perspectives? What theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches best frame early American women’s history today? What are the future directions for early American women’s history?

Don’t forget:  Mexico and Central America are in fact in North America.  The Caribbean is North America.  All of Canada is North America.  Colorado, New Mexico, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and all of the other 45 U.S. states are in North America.  (I think Hawai’i counts here for the purposes of this conference.)  They’re not just looking for Anglo-American goodwives on the Atlantic littoral, friends.

Here are the directions for application:

The WMQ-EMSI workshop is intended to encourage the work of midcareer scholars working on second or subsequent research projects, though we will consider exceptional proposals from post-Ph.D. junior scholars. Proposals for workshop presentations should include a brief abstract (250 words) describing the applicant’s current research project, an equally brief discussion of the particular methodological or historiographical issues they are engaging (which will be circulated to all participants along with the chapter or essay), and a short c.v. The organizers especially encourage proposals from midcareer scholars. Proposals may be submitted online at the conference Web site (http://oieahc.wm.edu/conferences/workshops/cfp/index.cfm) or by email to Kelly Crawford (kscraw<AT>wm.edu) by October 15, 2010. All submissions will be acknowledged by email.  Questions may be directed to Christopher Grasso, Editor, William and Mary Quarterly, at cdgras<AT>wm.edu.

0 thoughts on “Women in Early America: the 2011 WMQ-EMSI workshop at the Huntington Library

  1. Hey, I was going to email you about this! Be a good time to visit, hint hint!!

    Or, as long as we’re suggesting conferences: the Western Association of Women Historians conference is April 7-9, also at the Huntington. It is for all paper topics, though has a big women’s history contingent, and it is usually a super friendly, lowkey conference great for grad students to dip a toe in. Call at: http://www.wawh.org/conferences/2011/index.html

    Let’s get everyone out to CA; maybe the tourist dollars will help save CA public education…


  2. love the choice of casta painting to visually remind us all that Mexico is North America. Fascinating and totally under-studied visual form.


  3. Thanks, c. I wish there were more out there on Casta paintings–I use them in lectures and there is some good art historical literature, but not enough that combines the art with the social and cultural history of race in Mexico. (A few recent titles, but not much else.)

    Shaz–we’ll talk. I think you should definitely apply. And thanks for the link to the WAWH–I’ve been meaning to post a link for that here, too.

    Nikki, be sure to alert your friends working on 16th-early 19th C women’s history!


  4. This is a little OT, but does anyone here know when the Big Berks program for next summer will be announced? There’s a note on the website dated July 27 saying that the program was being finalized and that those who submitted proposals would be contacted within 10 days, but nobody on my panel has heard anything yet.


  5. Ellie–I’d contact one of the conference co-Chairs directly. (Contact information here.) It’s possible that your acceptance or rejection got lost in the intertubes.

    My guess is that the program will be finalized this fall, and will likely be printed and posted on-line in the winter. But you should have heard by now as to whether you’re in or out. (I think my acceptance letter was early August.)


  6. My (e)notification from the Berks (three years ago) was dated July 16, but different committees certainly work at their own pace and there are lots of cracks through which things can fall. So yeah, you should just check.

    I once got two rejection letters for the same thing, I think it was a fellowship. One that they sent directly to me and, after the sting of that began to fade, one forwarded by an unknown colleague in a different state, a different kind of institution, and a name not really close to mine, but clearly naming me as as the rejectee! The colleague scribbled a consolatory note on the letter but I figure–if there’s any equity in Clioland–there should still be an accidental acceptance letter for something out there somewhere with my name on it too!


  7. Oh, dear. Doesn’t sound promising (although better than two rejections for the same thing–ouch!). But thanks to all for the info and suggestions. The internets to the rescue! I’ll get in touch with the organizers if we haven’t heard anything in the next week or so.


  8. Thanks for the heads up on this, Historiann. I think I can put something pretty worthwhile together for this. I’ve had a very frustrating summer of rejection for stuff related to the new project, but the only remedy for that is to get back on the damn horse.


  9. Pingback: Women in Early America: CFP and reminder : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

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