It’s time to pull your Berkshire Conference proposals together, friends! The deadline for papers and proposals for the June 1-4, 2017 conference at Hofstra University has been extended to February 5; see the call for papers and other information here. The conference theme for the triennial conference is “Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy”
An email from former Berks President, the eminent European medievalist Ruth Karras, reaches out specifically to those of us working in histories before 1800: “Proposals are coming in for the 2017 Berkshire conference, however we are beginning to notice some holes, specifically in the premodern period. Therefore, I am writing to ask for your help. Please consider submitting a proposal for a paper, panel, roundtable or one of our other sessions. In addition, please circulate this to your colleagues and networks.” She continues:
The organizers of the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities have asked me to help publicize the extension of time on their Call for Papers, and to encourage medievalists and early modernists to submit proposals. They do very much want more premodern content. There has been some talk about how the conference theme doesn’t sound like it’s premodern-friendly, but it could be, and in any case not everything on the program needs to speak directly to the theme. Below is what I received from one of the organizers. If you feel moved to publicize this on your blog, I am sure they’d be grateful, and you might be helping fellow premodernists.
I share some of those concerns that the new thematic scheme for organizing the conference mitigates against those of us doing anything before 1800 (or even 1900). Themes that reference “the state,” “pop culture,” and “capitalism” are very biased towards the modern, but it strikes me that several of the selected themes could and should be seen as transhistorical and global in nature, such as :
- Social Justice, Migration and the City
- Globalized Labor
- Slavery and Other Forms of Unfree Labor
- Sexualities, Gender Identities and Expressions
- Women, Gender and Science
- Women, Gender and War
- Women, Gender and Religion
When I worked with Ruth as one of the co-Chairs of the Program Committee for the 2008 Berks, we also worked really hard to combat the notion that the Berks was just for modern U.S. women’s historians. But if ancient, antique, medieval, and early modern historians refuse to submit proposals, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy! So get on it, friends.