The House that Isaac Built: The Architecture of Cultures and Identities in Canada
May 13-15, 2013
Huron University College at Western, London, Ontario, Canada
Keynote Speaker: A. B. McKillop, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, Carleton University, will deliver “Canadian Thought and the Language of Concern.”
Call for Papers (Final Deadline: January 31, 2013)
Huron University College, founding college of the University of Western Ontario, invites submissions of proposals for the interdisciplinary conference planned as part of its Sesquicentennial celebrations in 2013. “The House that Isaac Built: The Architecture of Cultures and Identities in Canada" focuses on the history, context, and influence of Huron’s founding generation, and takes new measure of the contested cultural and social landscape that the work of Isaac Hellmuth, Huron’s first principal, helped to shape. As a global citizen in the Victorian age, Isaac Hellmuth embraced a broad vision for the future of Canada. The conference invites a reassessment of that vision and its implications, in their full complexity.
Taking its lead from the diverse intellectual interests and global engagement of Hellmuth, the conference seeks papers from multiple disciplinary perspectives including history, education, political science, literature, theology, Canadian studies, First Nations studies, cultural studies, and more.
Paper and panel themes may include, but are not limited to:
-- Education and the liberal arts
-- Anti-slavery in Victorian Canada and the Atlantic world
-- Evangelicalism and religion
-- Race, gender, and identity
-- First Nations history
-- The age of Huron's founders in international context
-- The regional history of south-western Ontario
-- Contemporary scholarship on Canadian culture and evolving conceptions of community
Born near Warsaw, Isaac Hellmuth began life as Isaac Hirschmann, changing his surname following a painful break with his family in the wake of his conversion from Judaism to Christianity. Hellmuth moved to England, and then to Canada, where he was ordained in the Church of England and eventually rose to the office of Bishop of the Diocese of Huron. His role in expanding institutions of higher learning as the first principal of Huron College in 1863, and founder of Hellmuth College for Boys, Hellmuth Ladies' College, and, in 1878, Western University was shaped by the powerful tenets of evangelical liberalism. It was in accord with his engagement in the movement to abolish slavery, and to extend the work of the church "without distinction of race."
Hellmuth spent much of his life challenging expectations and crossing and transgressing boundaries of nation, empire, and religion. He emerges from the historical record as an institution-builder whose work embraced a broad and liberal vision of progress in the Victorian age, but "the house that Isaac built" has always been a work under construction, and opens outward on more expansive vistas than might first be supposed.
We invite academics, independent scholars, and graduate students to submit proposals for individual papers and complete panels. Suggestions for roundtables are also encouraged. Presenters may be invited to submit papers for a proposed edited collection reassessing Isaac Hellmuth and his historical context and influence.
For individual 20-minute papers, please submit the title and a 150-word abstract. For panels, include the panel title and an abstract for each paper. Applicants should provide a one-page CV or short biographical statement with contact information.
Please direct proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be provided by mid-February.
Chair, Sesquicentennial Academic Programming
Huron University College at Western
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