It has been twenty-five years since the path-breaking exhibition New England Begins opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibit, and its comprehensive three-volume catalogue, brought new scholarly attention to the art, artifacts and built environment of early New England. Since that time, the discipline of material culture has matured, while the emerging field of visual culture has brought new methods and genres to bear on the study of images, objects, landscapes and the technologies that shaped them. This two-day conference, sponsored by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society, will assess new approaches to the material and visual culture of New England. Reflecting the scholarly trends that have emerged in the past quarter century, the conference will extend the chronological scope of inquiry to embrace the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and will explicitly address the innovative work being done in the field of visual culture. We particularly welcome proposals that address Native American and African-American material and visual culture as well as proposals that engage broad theoretical, methodological, and historiographical approaches.
The conference committee will consider individual submissions as well as panels with three papers and a moderator/commentator. Two-page proposals accompanied by a two-page c.v. for each presenter should be sent via electronic mail to Georgia B. Barnhill, curator of graphic arts at the American Antiquarian Society (Gbarnhill[at]mwa.org). For further information, please contact Martha McNamara (McNamara[at]maine.edu) or Georgia Barnhill. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2006.
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