Call for Papers – Material Cultures/Material Worlds – 36th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association March 26-28, 2015 – Boston, MA

« What would happen to our thinking about politics if we took more seriously the idea that technological and natural materialities were themselves actors alongside and within us – were vitalities, trajectories, and powers irreducible to the meanings, intentions, or symbolic values humans invest in them? » – Jane Bennett.

We seek papers and panels that investigate elements of the material world belonging to the long nineteenth century. Topics may include collecting, possession(s), things and thing theories, realism, hoarding, bric-abrac, souvenirs, historic houses (interiors and rooms), buildings and “truth to materials,” collecting folklore and songs, Atlantic trade, colonial objects, commodity fetishism, animals as things (taxidermy, zoos, taxonomies), people as things (slavery, human zoos, relics, death masks), cabinets of curiosity, closets, antiquities, museum displays, theatrical stages and sets, textures, books and manuscripts as objects, the materiality of texts, art materials, food, fraudulent items or the luxury trade. We invite alternate interpretations of the theme as well.

Please email 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers along with one-page CVs to the program chairs by September 30, 2014 to ncsaboston2015@gmail.com. Paper abstracts should include author’s name, institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. We welcome panel proposals with three panelists and a moderator or alternative formats with pre-circulated papers and discussion.

Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference if the proposal is accepted. All proposals received will be acknowledged, and presenters will be notified in November 2014.

Graduate students whose proposals are accepted may, at that point, submit complete papers in competition for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. Scholars who live outside the North American continent, whose proposals have been accepted, may submit a full paper to be considered for the International Scholar Travel Grant (see NCSA website for additional requirements http://www.ncsaweb.net).


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