CFP: Making New Connections in Early America, 1750–1850

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usa-1850-mapProposals are invited for a two-day conference on entangled history in Early America from 1750 to 1850, which will be held at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia, PA during April 2018.

The organizers are looking for scholars who challenge traditional narratives of imperial or national history by applying a wider lens to Anglo-America. The goal is to foster a wide-ranging debate on relations across borders – geographic, political, legal, social, and ethnic – in the Americas.

Organizers are seeking papers that link Anglo-America to the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, or French empires. Alternatively, proposals might situate the British Atlantic in relation to East Asia or the Gulf Coast borderlands. They also welcome studies about historical figures on the legal, social, or geographic margins of British America – such as maroons, refugees, smugglers, missionaries, indigenous peoples, etc. The program for this conference will highlight the value of entangled history in current debates on global capitalism and slavery, sovereignty and state power, ethnogenesis, and other major issues.

Two plenary speakers – Alison Games of Georgetown University and Pekka Hämäläinen of Oxford University – are expected to open the conference with a debate about entangled history. The rest of the program is expected to involve panel sessions with pre-circulated papers of approximately 7,500 words. Those papers will be due on February 23, 2018 and will be posted on a password protected website available to registered attendees.

To propose a paper, submit an abstract of 300-400 words, along with a short curriculum vitae, to with “Entangled Histories” in the subject line. Include your name, affiliation, and contact information at the head of your abstract. The deadline for submissions is 20 January 2017. Applicants will receive a final decision in late spring 2017. Some funding is available to offset the costs of travel and lodging for conference participants. Details about this support will be available after submissions are reviewed.

This conference has received support from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Philosophical Society, the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, and the Department of History at the University of New Hampshire.

Any questions about the conference may be directed to Eliga Gould ( or Julia Mansfield (

Photo: United States in 1850, courtesy University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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