Call for Papers: “On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Multicultural American West”
Proposals for scholarly papers dealing with the history of the family and kinship in the American West are solicited for a symposium co-sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU), the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico. An initial meeting will be held at a site to be determined in New Mexico in the Fall of 2009, to be followed in Spring 2010 by a conference at SMU in Dallas, Texas. We expect a university press will publish the papers as a volume edited by conference organizers David Wallace Adams and Crista DeLuzio.
The symposium and volume ask the question: What has been the relationship between family life and larger structures of social and political power in specific times and places in the history of the West? The symposium does not take for granted a split between the private and the public – between the personal, affective, or intimate, on the one hand, and the social and political, on the other. Rather, the symposium will challenge scholars to interrogate how such relationships have been construed, enforced, regulated, and contested in particular socio-historical contexts and with what effects on individuals, families, and groups. How has the family been shaped by the imperatives of economic, social, and political relations in the West? Conversely, what role has the family played in constructing, reproducing, or mediating social order and power relations in the West?
Aspects of family and kinship in relation to these questions and themes may include: movement and settlement; courtship and marriage; birthing and babies; gender roles and relations; childhood (education, work, play, childrearing); diverse definitions of family among various racial, ethnic, and religious groups; intercultural and same-sex marriages; family violence; families in peril (slavery, orphans, poverty); families and public policies; families in the urban West; and depictions of the family in the arts and popular culture.
We welcome submissions from scholars of any rank – from graduate students to full professor – who are eager to contribute substantively to what promises to be an exciting and important academic endeavor. Please send a CV and description of an original project to Crista DeLuzio by September 15, 2008. The description, of up to five pages, should both describe the research and explain how it serves the goals of the conference. Eight to ten papers will be chosen for the conferences and resulting volume. Queries can be directed either organizer:
* David Wallace Adams, Department of History, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115. firstname.lastname@example.org 216-687-4577
* Crista DeLuzio, Clements Department of History, Southern Methodist University, Box 750176, Dallas, TX 75275-0176. email@example.com
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