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Posted by jaskelly under Announcement, Conferences, Regionals | Tags: cfp, pccbs | 0 Comments


The Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies (PCCBS) invites paper and panel proposals for its fortieth annual meeting, to be held at the Faculty Club at the University of California, Berkeley, March 8-10, 2013.

The PCCBS invites papers representing all fields of British Studies -- broadly defined to include those who study the United Kingdom, its component parts and nationalities, as well as Britain's imperial cultures. We welcome proposals from scholars and doctoral candidates in a wide range of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, including History, Literature, Political Science, Philosophy, Religion, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Theater Studies, and Art History.

Proposals for individual papers, partial panels, or complete panels are all welcome, although complete panel proposals are preferred. We encourage the submission of proposals dealing with interdisciplinary topics, as well as panels on new pedagogies and technologies associated with British Studies.

The deadline for submission of proposals/panels is NOVEMBER 15, 2012. Proposals should include a 200-words abstract for each paper plus a 1-page c.v. for each participant. Those submitting full or partial panel proposals should include a brief description of the panel plus a 1-page c.v. for the panel chair as well as for its commentator. Please place the panel proposal, its constituent paper proposals, and all vitae in one file, making certain that your contact information, especially e-mail addresses, are correct and current. Proposals should be submitted via e-mail attachment by Nov. 15, 2012, to:

Professor Michelle Tusan, PCCBS Program Chair
Department of History, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
[email protected]


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Cambridge University Press has announced that it will publish Journal of British Studies on behalf of the North American Conference on British Studies from January 2013   

Cambridge University Press is delighted to announce that it will begin publishing the Journal of British Studies (JBS) in 2013. The official publication of the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), the JBS has positioned itself over fifty years as one of the critical resources for scholars of British culture from the Middle Ages to the present. The JBS now partners with Cambridge, forging a joint commitment to foster the best in scholarship and offer the best in publishing services to an international community of researchers.

Journal of British Studies will continue to combine peer-reviewed original research papers and book reviews by renowned international scholars, using both established and emerging approaches to present their ideas on British society, history, politics, law, literature, art, economics, and sociology. The journal will be available in print and electronic formats.  Volumes 1 through 50 will be included in the Cambridge Journals Digital Archive, as will the complete archive of Albion, a complementary journal formerly published by the NACBS.


"We are delighted to partner with Cambridge University Press to publish the Journal of British Studies. Our mission is to provide scholarship on Britain and its past that is of the highest quality and reaches the widest possible audience, and we know that Cambridge shares that dedication. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship," said Dane Kennedy, President, North American Conference on British Studies.

"We are privileged to have been entrusted with the future of the Journal of British Studies and we look forward to working with the dedicated editorial team to bring the journal to a broad global audience", said Simon Ross, Managing Director, Cambridge Journals. "We can offerJournal of British Studies a bright future as part of one of the world’s leading academic journals lists, extending the best in platform technology to all NACBS members and subscribers."

Journal of British Studies will be hosted on Cambridge’s cutting-edge electronic platform, Cambridge Journals Online, which will provide increased usability, functionality, and many new features to enhance and optimize article usage.

For more information, please visit the Journal’s website:

Publicity Contact: Daniel Pearce, Commissioning Editor, HSS Journals –[email protected]

If you currently receive Cambridge Journals through a consortium or site-license agreement, please contact your usual sales representative or consortia administrator. Customers in theAmericas contact [email protected], customers in the Rest of the World contact[email protected]

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The NACBS STERN GRANT is intended to provide financial assistance for graduate students who attend the annual NACBS meeting. Recipients will receive up to $500 in reimbursement for travel, lodging, and registration costs incurred as a result of attendance.
Guidelines for applicants:

1. You must be a graduate student in good standing at a PhD-granting degree program in British studies and a member of the NACBS.

2. You must provide a justification for your attendance at the annual meeting and a budget of expenses.

3. Your faculty advisor, who also needs to be a member of the NACBS, must submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Procedures for application:
Please submit your application for funds by email to each of the committee members under the subject line: Stern Fund Application. Your application should include the following information: your name, address, email address, and phone number; the PhD program in which you are enrolled; the name of your faculty advisor; your purpose in attending the NACBS meeting; an estimated budget of expenses. In addition, request that your faculty advisor send a letter of recommendation to the committee by email, again with the subject line: Stern Fund Application.

Preference will be given to applicants who are panelists on the NACBS program and/or are award recipients. Awardees must submit to the committee chair all receipts for reimbursement within one month of the end of the annual meeting.

Application deadline: September 4, 2012. Applications and letters of recommendation must be emailed to:

Professor Shannon McSheffrey, Chair
Concordia University
Email: [email protected]

Professor David Campion
Lewis & Clark College
Email: [email protected]

Professor Nancy Ellenberger 
U.S. Naval Academy
Email: [email protected]


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Robert K. Webb, 1922-2012

Posted by jaskelly under Obituaries | Tags: bob webb, r.k. webb | 0 Comments

Born in Toledo, Ohio, on Nov. 22, 1922, Bob Webb was a piano prodigy who, to the good fortune of British studies, chose instead to be a historian. Among the last of his generation of young men who left college to serve in the military during the Second World War and then became a seminal figure in his field, Bob entered Oberlin College in 1940 and was in the U.S. Army Artillery from 1943 to 1946. Eventually a Master Sergeant, Bob was posted to the U.S., Guam, and the Philippines.  He graduated from Oberlin in 1947 and went on to a Ph. D. at Columbia University in 1951. After a brief stint at Wesleyan University from 1951-1953, he returned to Columbia.  There, he advanced to senior positions, including Chair of the Contemporary Civilization Program.  From 1968 through 1975, he was the editor of the American Historical Review and from 1975-81 of Academe, the AAUP Bulletin.  In 1975, he joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he remained until his retirement in 1992. Throughout his career, he collected almost every academic honor and prize available, including a Fulbright Scholarship; a Guggenheim Fellowship, twice; and, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.  He also enjoyed three Research Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a Visiting Fellow in the School of Social Sciences and subsequently at the Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University. Additionally, he was a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Victorian Studies Centre, the University of Leicester; a Member, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; a Visiting Fellow, the Center for the History of Freedom, Washington University, St. Louis; the Christiansen Visiting Fellow, St. Catherine's College, and an Associate Fellow, Manchester College, Oxford. Modestly and with great effect, Bob Webb had lasting influence upon the understanding and practice of British history.  His distinguished legacy in British studies and upon the greater academic community is apparent in scholarship and style; editorial authority; academic leadership; and teaching and mentoring.

Bob's analytic powers were legendary -- he was incapable of an incoherent thought -- and his mastery of the English language was meticulous and elegant.  Peter Gay got it exactly right when he dedicated his Style in History (1974) to "Bob Webb. Friend, Collaborator, Stylist."  In The British Working-Class Reader:  Literacy and Social Tension, 1790-1848 (1955), Bob emerged as a defining social and intellectual historian, demonstrating the explanatory power of a perspective then just beginning to challenge the long primacy of political history.  Bob set out to understand the challenge that a newly literate working class presented, especially to a newly ascendant middle class who attempted to impose their values and mores on those below them.  Bob found that attempt doomed, not least because of the allegiance of the middle classes to the iron doctrines of political economy.  This astute revisionary work preceded by eight years E.P. Thompson's iconic The Making of the English Working Classes (1963), which argued that the 18th and 19th century "working classes" needed to be rescued from the "enormous condescension of posterity."  Bob's discovery of the conflict between increasingly self-conscious working-class and paternalistic middle-class radicals led him to Harriet Martineau.  A Radical Victorian (1960).  Instead of a conventional biography, Bob deciphered those forces in the early 19th century that formed and were reflected "in this singular woman" and asked what "a study of her amazingly consistent attitudes" revealed about early Victorian society.  The book provided an intellectual and cultural portrait of the time set within a broad and then neglected religious, political and economic context. In this study, Bob became fascinated by the role of religion in general and Unitarianism in particular. Just as historical studies of women were hardly competing for bookshelf space in the 1960's, religion was rarely studied by scholars of the Victorian age.  Had Bob lived a little longer, his eagerly anticipated study of Unitarianism would have become the definitive work.  Instead, he left scores of graceful, revelatory essays, which beg for collection and publication.  Bob taught us that an understanding of religion was essential for an explanation of thought, conduct, policy, and class relations in Victorian life.  Aside from many other essays and book chapters on topics that included analyses of the 1950's and '60's, Bob wrote Modern England (1968) and together with Peter Gay, Modern Europe (1972).

Modern England, revised in 1980, served as the principal text book for at least two generations of students and it was the first volume to deal with both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of English history.  Bob explained his bias as "political and social" in which the theme of progressive change was more important than the theme of traditional continuity.  Undergraduates reading this book were introduced to a rare mind capable of extraordinarily compelling and memorable scholarly synthesis.   In 1980, in the second edition, Bob extended the time period, rewrote many sections and gave up the notion that some kind of greatness might still lie ahead for England.  But he retained his admiration for the country and its unique achievements in politics, culture, the arts, education, religious tolerance, and the practice of civility.  Had he written a new edition, as he acknowledged, that optimism, qualified as it was, would no longer be possible for expectations about the present and future. Modern England is still on reserve at UCLA's College Library and it was checked out of the Research Library as recently as April 2012.

At the AHR, Bob demanded and received the highest standards for articles and reviews. His careful reading of manuscripts and erudite commentary encouraged contributors to be better, more introspective historians.  Bob believed and acted upon the principal that historical writing should never be stodgy. His trademark was enthusiastic explanation, delivered with economic clarity and panache. Those skills led him to various tenures as a valued editorial advisor for libraries, foundations and publishers.

As an active member and leader in many academic organizations, he delighted his colleagues with his qualities of mind and of character--especially his wit, discernment, and uncanny ability to resolve apparently irreconciliable difficulties. Those organizations included NACBS, where he served as Vice-President and President from 1987-1989; the AAUP, where he held a number of offices from 1966-1981 (see the remembrance in Academe, May-June, 2012); and interdisciplinary roles in accreditation and adjudication bodies.  In 1975 he joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he enlisted and led a history department that now includes three eminent scholars of British History—Daniel Ritschel, Webb's successor; Sandra Herbert; and Amy Froide.  While at UMBC, he also served as Acting Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1978-79. Ten years later, Bob became UMBC's first presidential research professor. After he retired in 1992, a university lecture series in history was created to honor him and distinguished students of Britain came annually to deliver those lectures.  In October, 2010, Bob closed the series with a typically urbane and intriguing exploration of "The Very Long Eighteenth Century: An Experiment in the History of Religion?"   (This can be seen and heard on

Bob Webb was passionate about English history as a complex story, never entirely successful, about an evolving constitutional democracy and civilization in which more was to be admired than despised.  He was also passionate about good food, architecture, and the arts and especially about music.  But most of all, he was passionate about and deeply admired his wife of 54 years, Patty Shull Webb, and his two accomplished daughters, Emily Martin of Los Angeles and Margaret Webb Pressler, of Washington.  His family, including his six grandchildren, was a constant and renewing source of pleasure to him. He also cared deeply about the historical profession. When President of NACBS, Bob took the Executive Committee, of which I was a member, to a Michelin starred restaurant in Chicago.  As we started out, I noted with unease that the sidewalks were covered with ice.  In Los Angeles, ice is what we put into our drinks.  "Hold my arm," said Bob.  "I won't let you fall."  He never let anyone fall whom he could support, as so many will readily testify. A charismatic teacher and mentor to more than two generations of grateful students and colleagues, he will be remembered and missed for his kindness, generosity, authoritative scholarship, prodigious memory, and peerless range of knowledge.  Authentically good, Bob Webb lived wisely and well.


Reba Soffer, California State University, Northridge, Emerita

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On 6-8th June 2012 Historic Royal Palaces will be holding a three-day academic conference at Kensington Palace, London, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The conference will examine the making of the modern British monarchy through a programme of 45 papers covering topics such as, the global reach of the British monarchy, royal dress and material culture, the relationship between monarchy and the media and the portrayal of monarchs in film and theatre. This event will bring together specialists on monarchy from across the globe, including keynote speakers, Professor Sir David Cannadine, Professor Maya Jasanoff and Professor Emeritus Aileen Ribeiro.

For details, visit <>.

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The NACBS is looking for a volunteer Assistant Webmaster to help maintain our
website and to develop the web presence of our organization. The
preferred candidate will have experience designing and maintaining
websites. Knowledge of basic HTML and CSS and familiarity with FTP and a
CMS such as Wordpress is necessary. Familiarity with Adobe CS5 is a plus.

If you are interested, please send a cover letter outlining your
experience and a copy of your CV to Jason M. Kelly at [email protected]

We will begin reviewing applications on 1 May 2012.

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Winner of the 2012 PCCBS Book Prize
Reba Soffer, History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (Oxford, 2010)

The winner of the 2012 PCCBS Book Prize is a longstanding member of our regional organization. Prof. Reba Soffer’s History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (Oxford University Press, 2010) is a topical and richly textured study of conservative historiography in Britain and America during the 20th century. Soffer carefully situates her conservative historians within their diverse contexts. They emerge as multifaceted characters whose stories illuminate broader themes in modern history, most notably the shift from “compassionate conservatism,” with its emphasis on the reciprocal obligations of individuals and the community, to what Soffer calls the “debacle” of contemporary neoconservatism. She persuasively revises the common assumption that conservatives had no ideology--that they were the “stupid party” to whom ideas were anathema. Instead, she locates conservative thinkers within a larger, coherent, worldview whose confident Chauvinism and emphases on racial histories and identities offer a cautionary tale to modern readers. History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America is a model of careful research and lucid thinking by a leading intellectual historian. And in its generous dedication to Barbara Shapiro, this book links the careers of two of the Pacific Coast Conference’s most steadfast supporters.
2012 Book prize description

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Robert K. Webb, 89, a longtime history professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who was one of the country’s foremost scholars of British history, died Feb. 15 at his home in Washington . . . (continued)

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Ancients and Moderns
81st Anglo-American Conference of Historians
5-6 July 2012
Senate House, London

Registrations are now open for this year’s Anglo-American Conference of Historians, this year on the theme of 
Ancients and Moderns.

With the Olympics upon us in the UK it seems an appropriate moment to think more broadly about the ways in which the classical world resonates in our own times, and how successive epochs of modernity since the Renaissance have situated themselves in relation to the various ancient civilisations. From political theory to aesthetics, across the arts of war and of peace, to concepts of education, family, gender, race and slavery, it is hard to think of a facet of the last millennium which has not been informed by the ancient past and through a range of media, including museums, painting, poetry, film and the built environment. The Institute’s 81st Anglo-American conference seeks to represent the full extent of work on classical receptions, welcoming not only those scholars who work on Roman, Greek and Judaeo-Christian legacies and influences, but also historians of the ancient kingdoms and empires of Asia and pre-Colombian America.

Our plenary lecturers include: Paul Cartledge (Cambridge), Constanze Güthenke (Princeton), Mark Lewis (Stanford), Sanjay Subrahmanyam (UCLA) and David Womersley (Oxford).

For programme and registrations details, please visit or contact the IHR Events Office at [email protected] or on 0207 862 8756.


The University of London is an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (reg. no. SC041194)



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Institute of Historical Research Seminar in Digital History

Posted by jaskelly under Announcement, IHR, Seminar | Tags: #dhist, digital humanities, IHR | 0 Comments

Time: Tuesday, 21 February, 5.15 pm GMT

Venue: ST276 (Stewart House, second floor) and streamed live on the web at

Magnus Huber (Giessen), 'The Old Bailey Corpus: Spoken English in the 18th and 19th centuries'

On Tuesday Magnus Huber will be talking about the use of historical court records in the investigation of language change.The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, were published between 1674 and 1913 and constitute a large body of texts from the beginning of Present Day English (almost 200,000 trials, ca. 134 million words). The Proceedings were digitalized by the social historians Robert Shoemaker (University of Sheffield) and Tim Hitchcock (University of Hertfordshire) and are searchable at the excellent Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, which also provides detailed background information on the Old Bailey and the publication history of the Proceedings.

This talk reports on a project that turned the Proceedings into the linguistic Old Bailey Corpus (OBC). Corpus linguistics relies on the statistical analysis of large collections of electronic texts to investigate language variation and/or language change. In the absence of recorded speech samples before the invention of the phonograph, language historians have turned to written text types that are close to spoken language. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey are particularly suitable for the study of spoken English as they were taken down by shorthand scribes, and their verbatim passages are arguably as near as we can get to the spoken word of the 18th and 19th centuries. The OBC identifies about 114 million words as direct speech from the 1720s onwards, of which 22 million words have received detailed mark-up for sociolinguistic (sex, profession, age, residence of speaker, role in the court-room) and textual variables (the shorthand scribe and publisher of individual Proceedings).


The IHR Seminar in digital history is actively engaged in presenting and discussing new methodologies which have been made possible through the development of computational methods for the study of history. Further information can be found on the IHR Seminar page at  Follow us on twitter @IHRDigHist or join the mailing list for seminar announcements:

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