Competing Kingdoms: Women, Mission, Nation, and American Empire, 1812-1930
Conference-Workshop, University of Oxford, England, April 27-29, 2006
Information for American historians of women in mission, OAH, Boston, March 26, 2004
We are an international group of historians of the United States who are organizing a three-day conference-workshop entitled “Competing Kingdoms: Women, Mission, Nation, and American Empire, 1812-1930.” The conference will take place at the University of Oxford, England from April 27 to 29, 2006 and will be organized through the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. If you are interested in helping us shape this conference please join us at our informational meeting at the OAH conference on Friday, March 26 at 5.30 p.m. at a place to be announced in the OAH on-site program. We expect funding to be in place to cover expenses for participants while at Oxford. We hope that participants will be able to secure funding for travel from their home institutions.
With the idea of “competing kingdoms” we offer a framework for exploring the ways in which women’s different allegiances and identities—temporal and spiritual—shaped and were shaped by imperial missionary projects grounded in American values and influenced by other national entities. Our purpose is to go beyond an examination of women’s experiences to contextualize and historicize their interactions across cultural and political systems. Building on the work of scholars of European empires our objective is to bring the concepts of metropole and periphery into one analytical frame. The conference will explore the ways in which women’s encounters reverberated across imperial, colonial, and national projects to highlight the activities of women missionaries within the emergence of an “American Empire.” As American missionaries outside the United States operated for the most part without the support of an official colonial apparatus, our conference will contribute to current scholarship that aims to define the contours of the American Empire.
We plan to publish an edited volume of the papers from the conference that will emphasize change over time. To that end, we currently envisage that the conference-workshop will be organized around the four themes of women, mission, nation, and empire. Contributions should focus on one of those themes while incorporating the remaining three. There will be no simultaneous sessions. The workshop atmosphere will facilitate discussion, critique, and revision of each contribution. Participants will be expected to attend all sessions and contribute to shaping the volume.
We welcome initial enquiries. Please contact us via email and send us your name, institution, contact information, research topic, and whether you plan to attend our meeting at the OAH. Our web page is provided below. Click on “Competing Kingdoms.”
Kathryn Kish Sklar, Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director, Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, State University of New York at Binghamton; Harmsworth Professor of American History, University of Oxford, 2005-2006.
Rui Kohiyama, Professor of Area Studies, Tokyo Woman's Christian University; Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Fellow, Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, 2003-2004.
Connie Shemo, Lecturer, Princeton University.
Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Visiting Assistant Professor, Siena College.
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