War, Empire and Slavery c. 1790-1820. Call for papers for a conference at the University of York, York, UK, 16-18 May 2008.
We invite colleagues to participate in a conference which explores the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars as the first world war, a war which touched every continent of the globe. For full details and suggested themes, see our website http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/cecs/conf/NBI.htm.
These wars saw the fatal weakening of the Dutch and the Spanish, and eventually the French empires, yet the continuing expansion of the British, Russian and North American empires. The impact of the warfare of the period can only be fully understood if this global dimension is given full weight, and if the experience of these wars is placed in the context of the parallel developments taking place in the political, military and economic systems of Asia and Africa, in the Mogul, Persian, Ottoman and other empires.
We hope that this conference will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds as well as those with specialised knowledge of the different geographical areas of these wars. Charting the experiences of the men and women engaged in the conflicts requires not only discussion of the conventional sources of military and political history, but critical examination of personal and autobiographical writings and their cultural and imaginative contexts. The visual dimension, in the representation of war in both high art and popular propaganda, is essential to the understanding of such contexts. The conference will also address the ways in which the wars were remembered and commemorated in their immediate aftermath, as new narratives of experience were constructed from different national perspectives.
The plenary speakers will include:
Christopher Bayly, Linda Colley, Laurent Dubois, Rebecca Earle, Janet Hartley, Geoff Quilley, James Walvin
Among the suggested themes for papers are:
- ‘fighters as writers’: captivity narratives, travel narratives, and the records of war;
- slavery and war, in the accounts of slaves, free black men and women, and white soldiers, sailors and civilians;
- patriotism and the other: citizen soldiers, imperial soldiers, patriotic civilians and their observation of cultural difference;
- representations of war: art, imagination and memory;
- gendered observation: masculinity, femininity, and the experience of war on land and sea.
A fuller outline and longer list of possible themes, can be found on our website: http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/cecs/conf/NBI.htm. Please send your proposal, in c. 250 words, accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae, to Jane Rendall, Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, The King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP, UK, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, by 30 April 2007.
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