Attending to Early Modern Women: Action and Agency
Milwaukee (14-17 juin 2018), avant le 15 novembre 2017

Over its time in Milwaukee, Attending to Early Modern Women first asked “where?” (Remapping Routes and Spaces, 2012). Then we asked “when?” (It’s About Time, 2015). Now we ask “how?” For both our subjects and ourselves, the answer is the same: action and agency. The conference will address these themes, posing such questions as: How do we understand the sites and modes of gendered confrontations in the early modern period? What collectivities were possible, then and now, and how and why do they form and fade? How do women imagine choice, and what role does choice or the illusion of choice play in their lives? How can our work as scholars and teachers of a distant period become action?

The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote dialogue, augmented by a keynote lecture, and a plenary panel on each of the four conference topics: confrontation, collectivity, choice, and pedagogy. It will be held at the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, and conference attendees will stay in the near-by Doubletree Hotel. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a pre-conference workshop at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Start thinking now about organizing workshop sessions. These are 90-minute sessions organized by a group of two to four leaders who circulate readings, questions, and other materials in advance through the conference website. Leaders spend no more than twenty minutes framing the issues and opening up the conversation, then facilitate active participation and focused discussion. The best workshops are often comparative and interdisciplinary, and all allow participants to share information and ignorance, pass on knowledge, ask advice, and learn something new. All workshop organizers are expected to register for, attend, and participate in the entire conference, not just their workshop.

Workshops that consider action and agency in relationship to the following topics are welcome:

Confrontation

Resistance and revolt; conflict within and across communities and cultures; contesting categorization; opposing authority; clashes within and across disciplines; crises and resolutions

Collectivity

Cultural, intellectual, and religious spaces; familial and economic networks; labor organization; building consensus; objects in circulation; collaboration and alliances; expressing identities; border-crossing

Choice

Creativity and imagination; constraint; autonomy and agency beyond the human realm; articulating sexuality; consumer practices and material culture

Pedagogy

Engaged scholarship in public spaces and the classroom; defending the premodern and the humanities; choosing technologies; learners as agents

The formal call for proposals will be out this summer, and the due date for proposals will be November 15.

In the meantime, if you have an idea for a workshop session or questions about the conference, please contact Merry Wiesner-Hanks, ATW-2018 Organizing Committee Chair, at atw-2018@uwm.edu.