Call for Papers: Cultural Encounters and Historical Practice
Conference November 7-9, 2007, Carlsberg Akademi, Copenhagen, Denmark
With the third and final conference in the Nordic network for Global Cultural History we wish to engage scholars studying cultural encounters in the context of European colonial expansion after 1500 by broaching questions of theory and methodology.
The study of cultural encounters has been conducted in a variety of ways, with multiple theoretical and methodological approaches stretching from ethnohistory and microhistory to new historicism and postcolonial deconstruction, to mention but a few. In this conference we hope to explore how the study of cultural encounters is practiced by individual scholars and how individual histories of specific encounters can be related to the development of global economic, political, and cultural structures.
During the conference we will discuss the limits and possibilities of different methodological and theoretical approaches to historical cultural encounters. We therefore seek contributions from scholars who reflect on their own practice: on the methods and theories they employ, the sources they explore, the contexts they relate to (pre-colonial, colonial, imperial, postcolonial and so on), and/or the narratives they have constructed. Some of the many questions that we want to approach are: What is, or when is, a cultural encounter? What is the place of cultural encounters in global history? How does it influence our practice to adopt concepts like the Atlantic world, globalization, colonialism, or empire? In what ways is it useful to compare different cultural encounters like mission, trade, colonial or intimate encounters in order to establish the specificities of and similarities between cultural encounters? What is the balance between internal dynamics of specific encounters and the larger structures by which they are shaped and to which they add? What are the connections between specific encounters and the mapping of the larger chronology of colonialism and capitalism? And how does the history of people who did not produce written documents differ from those who did and how do we ensure that our analyses of the encounter deal with both sides?
Sessions may include:
The concept of cultural encounter
Cultural encounters and structural change
Violent clashes and cultural confrontations
Pre-colonial, colonial, postcolonial cultural encounters
Economic structures and cultural encounters
Legal, intimate, and mission encounters in comparative perspective
Writing encounters with multiple perspectives - the problem of asymmetric sources
Strategies for writing the history of peoples without written documents
Europeans abroad - non-Europeans in Europe
Counting and quantification as a way of studying cultural encounters
Material culture and cultural encounters
Imperial ideologies as shaping or being shaped by concrete encounters
Please submit proposals for individual presentations or panels to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2007. We especially encourage proposals for panels.
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