July 22-August 22, 2009
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
How did early modern social space give expression to the new kinds of social relations that emerged in this period? This research seminar will focus on the phenomenon of making publics: the creation of small-scale forms of association that represented new ways of connecting with others. These kinds of connections were not founded primarily in family, rank, or vocation, but were rather modes of voluntary community built on the shared interests, tastes, and desires of individuals. We will consider the specific characteristics of early modern sites of assembly and the historical redefinition of space as increasingly secular, capitalist, global, and privatized. How did the production of social space relate to the concurrent transformation of the public sphere, as well as to the material and conceptual separation of public from private? A key question will be how the interactions of diverse actual publics (or counter-publics) in lived space contributed to or disrupted the incipient ideal of ‘the public sphere’ as an inclusive virtual space.
Canadian and non-Canadian dissertation-stage students, recent PhDs, and junior faculty from across disciplines representing the humanities and social sciences are invited to apply. As many as 12 successful applicants will take part in the seminar, which will bring together scholars interested in early modern social space, the formation of publics, and the development of public and private life. The travel and accommodation expenses of the participants in the seminar will be covered by the MaPs project.
Applicants are invited to define projects that range in time from the late fifteenth- through the late-seventeenth centuries. Particular projects might explore how the circulation of media affected the status of individuals, the collective, and the spaces between them. The development of new technologies like the printing press, the emergence of diverse pictorial forms and themes, the new sciences, and the expansion and transformation of sites for and styles of theatrical and musical performance are all relevant. Doubtless, a host of other interests will develop as participants interact and refine their own projects in the course of the four-week seminar.
The end of the seminar will dovetail with the annual meeting of the MaPs research team and a 2-day workshop on Richard Helgerson’s works. Members of the seminar will participate in the annual meeting and are encouraged to attend the workshop. Further information and application instructions can be obtained from the MaPs Project website.
Application Deadline: January 30, 2009
Sponsored by the MaPs Project (Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700), headquartered at McGill University and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (SSHRC-MCRI) program and McGill University.
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