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CFP: NACBS Annual Meeting 2021, Atlanta

Posted by rdaily under CFP | Tags: 2021, annual meeting, Atlanta | 0 Comments



Atlanta, Georgia
November 11-14, 2021

Deadline: 1 April 2021


The NACBS and its affiliate, the Southern Conference on British Studies (SCBS), seek participation by scholars in all areas of British Studies for the 2021 meeting. We hope to meet in Atlanta, Georgia, November 11-14, 2021. We solicit proposals for presentations on Britain, the British Empire-Commonwealth, and the British world, including Ireland, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific (etc.). Our interests range from the medieval to the modern. We welcome participation by scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, from all parts of the globe, and from all career stages and backgrounds. We reaffirm our commitment to British Studies broadly conceived, and welcome proposals that reflect the diversity of scholars and scholarship in the field.

We invite panel proposals that address selected themes, methodology, and pedagogy, as well as roundtable discussions and lightening rounds (8-10 presenters with one chair, a few minutes to each presenter) of topical and thematic interest, including conversations among authors of recent books, reflections on landmark scholarship, and discussions about professional practice. We are particularly interested in submissions that have a broad chronological range and/or interdisciplinary breadth, and that are tightly connected by a theme.  Standard panels typically include three presenters speaking for 20 minutes each, a commentator, and a chair, while roundtables typically include four presenters speaking for 15 minutes each and a chair. We are open to other formats, though; please feel free to consult with the program committee chair.

To secure a broad range of participation, we will also consider individual paper proposals. Panels that include a diverse mix of presenters across fields and career stages are particularly welcome. To foster intellectual interchange, we ask applicants to compose panels that feature participation from multiple institutions. In an effort to allow a broader range of participants, no participant will be permitted to take part in more than one session in a substantial role. (That is, someone presenting or commenting on one panel cannot also present or comment on another, though individuals presenting or commenting on one panel may serve as chairs for other panels, if need be.) Submissions are welcome from participants in last year’s conference, though if the number of strong submissions exceeds the number of available spaces, selection decisions may take into account recent participation.

As complete panels are more likely to be accepted, we recommend that interested participants issue calls on H-Albion or social media (e.g., @TheNACBS on Twitter or on the NACBS Facebook page) to arrange a panel. If a full panel cannot be arranged by the deadline, however, please do submit the individual proposal and the program committee will try to build submissions into full panels as appropriate.

In addition to the panels, we will be sponsoring a poster session.  The posters will be exhibited throughout the conference, and there will be a scheduled time when presenters will be with their posters to allow for further discussion. 

The submission website at will open in early February; submissions will close as of 1 April 2021.

All submissions must be electronic, and need to be completed in one sitting.   Before you start your submission, you should have the following information:

  1. Names, affiliations and email addresses for all panel participants.  PLEASE NOTE: We create the program from the submission, so be sure that names, institutional titles, and paper titles are provided as they should appear on the program.
  2. A note whether data projection is necessary, desired, or unnecessary. Please only request if AV is central to convey your presentation.  (Because AV is now enormously expensive, it will be provided in only some of the meeting rooms.)
  3. A brief summary CV for each participant, indicating education, current affiliations, and major publications.   (Two-page maximum per CV.)
  4. Title and Abstract for each paper or presentation.   Roundtables do not need titles for each presentation, but if you have them, that is fine.  If there is no title, there should still be an abstract – i.e. “X will speak about this subject through the lens of this period/approach/region etc.”
  5. POSTERS: Those proposing posters should enter organizer information and first presenter information only.

All communication will be through the panel organizer, who will be responsible for ensuring that members of the panel receive the information they need.

All program presenters must be current members of the NACBS by October 11, one month before the conference, or risk being removed from the program.

Some financial assistance will become available for graduate students (up to $500) and for a limited number of under/unemployed members within ten years of their terminal degree ($300). Details of these travel grants and how to apply will be posted to and emailed to members after the program for the 2021 meeting is prepared.

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Graduate students and early career scholars are invited to attend a virtual interest meeting on the formation of a Graduate and Early Career Caucus under the aegis of the North American Conference on British Studies. The meeting will take place Friday, January 22, at 12:30pm EST. This initiative hopes to draw on the established NACBS network and the accessibility of Zoom technology to foster a greater sense of community among emerging scholars in the field of British Studies (broadly defined). The meeting will be a space to gauge interest in establishing such a group and to discuss the various types of programming it might provide to graduate and early career scholars. This may include practical workshops on teaching, publishing, grant-writing, career diversity, etc., as well as virtual Q&A sessions with established scholars in the field. The group could also offer a forum for discussing graduate and early career concerns and communicating them to the NACBS Council as necessary. Most importantly, it will be a way for the field’s emerging scholars to connect with one another-- virtually for now, but hopefully in-person at conferences and archives in the future.

Register for the interest meeting here to receive the Zoom link. This meeting is being organized by two graduate student members of NACBS. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments at [email protected] and [email protected]. We hope to see you there!

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NACBS Emergency Funding Grants

Posted by rdaily under emergency grant | Tags: covid-19, covid19, graduate students, pandemic | 0 Comments

The North American Conference on British Studies announces a new funding program intended to assist scholars in British Studies who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The NACBS has established $500 emergency grants that can be used to cover unexpected loss of income related to this crisis.  

Eligibility: Un/underemployed British Studies scholars located in North America, including advanced graduate students and recent PhDs, who have demonstrated financial need and who do not currently have full-time/salaried employment. Those who are fully supported by a graduate program, postdoc, or full-time temporary or tenure-track position are not eligible. Applicants must have been a member of the NACBS within the last three years. 

Application process: 

  1. Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV to [email protected]. They need not include a detailed budget, but they should explain their financial need in broad terms and indicate how the funding would help stabilize their circumstances or help them achieve their professional goals. Applicants should also request that their advisor, department chair, or other supervisor send to the same email address a brief letter verifying their current standing, as soon as possible after the application is submitted. Please include your PayPal email address (for payment via PayPal) or your mailing address (for payment via check).
  2. Awards will be made on a rolling basis, until the allocated funds are expended.

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The NACBS Executive is pleased to announce two new officers:
Megan Groninger is the first to fill the newly-created office of graduate student representative on the NACBS Council. Megan is a fourth-year PhD student at Florida State University, and she focuses on 19th century British history with minor fields in gender and sexuality, the Atlantic World, and the Islamic World. Her dissertation examines constructions of motherhood as a site from which to argue for broader social and political agendas from the early to mid-19th century and the way these constructions intersected with both class and race. She is a previous recipient of the NACBS M.A. Essay Prize and has been active in the Southern Conference on British Studies.
David Chan Smith is assuming the office of Associate Executive Secretary on the NACBS Executive Committee. David is Associate Professor of History at Wilfred Laurier University and has published research on British studies from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. For the previous three years he has served on the NACBS program committee. He is also closely involved in interdisciplinary conversations with economics, law and management, and is exploring how historians can further engage audiences in these disciplinary areas. Finally, a committed digital humanist, Smith is creating a database of prosecutions for smuggling during the eighteenth century in order to better understand the political economy of clandestine trade.
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Approved by AHA Council, September 23, 2020

On September 17, the White House announced, “In commemoration of Constitution Day, President Trump will travel to the National Archives to participate in a discussion on the liberal indoctrination of America’s youth through the 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory, and other misleading, radical ideologies with a diverse group of professors, historians, and scholars. The President will deliver remarks on his Administration’s efforts to promote a more balanced, accurate, and patriotic curricula in America’s schools.”

This hastily assembled “White House Conference on American History” took place in the Rotunda of the National Archives, although the National Archives and Records Administration had no role in organizing the program. The organizers of the event neither informed nor consulted associations of professional historians. 

The American Historical Association addresses this “conference” and the president’s ill-informed observations about American history and history education reluctantly and with dismay. The event was clearly a campaign stunt, deploying the legitimating backdrop of the Rotunda, home of the nation’s founding documents, to draw distinctions between the two political parties on education policy, tie one party to civil disorder, and enable the president to explicitly attack his opponent. Like the president’s claim at Mount Rushmore two months ago that “our children are taught in school to hate their own country,” this political theater stokes culture wars that are meant to distract Americans from other, more pressing current issues. The AHA only reluctantly gives air to such distraction; we are not interested in inflating a brouhaha that is a mere sideshow to the many perils facing our nation at this moment. 

Past generations of historians participated in promoting a mythical view of the United States. Missing from this conventional narrative were essential themes that we now recognize as central to a complete understanding of our nation’s past. As scholars, we locate and evaluate evidence, which we use to craft stories about the past that are inclusive and able to withstand critical scrutiny. In the process, we engage in lively and at times heated conversations with each other about the meaning of evidence and ways to interpret it. As teachers, we encourage our students to question conventional wisdom as well as their own assumptions, but always with an emphasis on evidence. It is not appropriate for us to censor ourselves or our students when it comes to discussing past events and developments. To purge history of its unsavory elements and full complexity would be a disservice to history as a discipline and the nation, and in the process would render a rich, fascinating story dull and uninspiring.

The AHA deplores the use of history and history education at all grade levels and other contexts to divide the American people, rather than use our discipline to heal the divisions that are central to our heritage. Healing those divisions requires an understanding of history and an appreciation for the persistent struggles of Americans to hold the nation accountable for falling short of its lofty ideals. To learn from our history we must confront it, understand it in all its messy complexity, and take responsibility as much for our failures as our accomplishments.

The following organizations have cosigned this statement:

African American Intellectual History Society
Agricultural History Society
American Anthropological Association
American Journalism Historians Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies
American Sociological Association
American Studies Association
Chinese Historians in United States
Committee on LGBT History
Conference on Asian History
Conference on Latin American History
Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions
French Colonial Historical Society
Immigration and Ethnic History Society
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education 
Massachusetts Historical Society
Medieval Academy of America
Modern Greek Studies Association
North American Conference on British Studies
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Radical History Journal
Shakespeare Association of America
Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Society of Automotive Historians
Society of Civil War Historians
Southern Historical Association
World History Association

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NACBS Rights Task Force Town Hall Meeting, Friday, September 25

Posted by rdaily under Rights Task Force, RTF | Tags: Town Hall, zoom | 0 Comments

The NACBS Rights Task Force was created in August 2016 to address LGBT, voting rights, and race and religious freedom issues as they pertain (and if they pertain) to NACBS, and to consider the increasing issues surrounding visas and freedom of movement that confront researchers working internationally. In addition, the Rights Task Force is concerned with the ways that the NACBS can be more inclusive and accessible for graduate students, adjuncts, and people without traditional academic jobs.

To help meet these goals, the Rights Task Force will hold a Town Hall meeting over Zoom on Friday, September 25, from 11:00AM to 12:45PM, Eastern Standard Time.
The purpose of the meeting is to gather information from NACBS members over concerns that they might have related to these issues in advance of the NACBS Conference in November. We are also concerned to hear from the membership about ways to make the online conference to be held in November as diverse, accessible, and inclusive as possible. Come and share your thoughts. In addition, members of the RTF will inform attendees of the results of previous meetings and the status of ongoing projects.
If you would like to attend, please email [email protected] and a Zoom link will be sent to you shortly before the event.
Joy Dixon and Chuck Upchurch,
Current co-chairs, NACBS Rights Task Force


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MA Essay Prize 2020 -- Deadline Extended

Posted by rdaily under deadline extension, MA essay prize | Tags: 2020 | 0 Comments

The MA Prize committee has extended the call for this years NACBS MA Essay Prize to September 15. More information can be found here.

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Museums, Missions, Microfilm, and More

by Morgan Wilson

Last summer, I received a Pre-Dissertation Grant from NACBS that funded a one-month archival research trip to London. Much of my time was spent at the British Library and the Royal Asiatic Society, though this trip also facilitated my first-ever visit to a major museum’s institutional archives. Thanks to this grant, I was able to embark on a new phase of turning my dissertation idea into a reality by confirming the existence of a body of primary sources that could support a full-length project. 

My research uses the acquisition of Korean artifacts by London’s largest museums to explore the cultural relationships between Britain and Korea in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was a time of change and conflict as new ties were forged between this peninsular kingdom and other parts of the world. This key period included early diplomatic relations between Britain and Korea, the establishment of the Anglican English Church Mission in Korea, and Japan’s annexation of Korea as a colony. Korea was positioned between other regional powers like Russia and China, and becoming more accessible to increasingly global powers like France, the United States, and Britain through treaties, Christian missions, and fledging trading ties.

Despite a sizeable British presence on the peninsula, and widespread interest in other East Asian artifacts and culture in Britain itself, historians of the British Empire have paid little attention to Korea, instead focusing on the political, economic, and cultural relationships with China and Japan. While Korea’s smaller profile suggests a formidable research challenge, it also provides an opportunity to reexamine familiar threads from British historiography within a different context.

Starting in the 1880s, the British Museum and other institutions began acquiring Korean art and artifacts through British travelers to East Asia, introducing Korean culture to many local observers. London museums soon held an array of objects, such as centuries-old coins, ancient earthenware dishes, contemporary painted scrolls, and colorful silk clothing. These were joined by bamboo fans, bronze spoons, and gold jewelry, though it is ceramics that have since become representative of Korean artifact collections.

Missionaries, diplomats, and other travelers sold or donated artifacts from abroad to British museums throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Their ability to acquire these items was facilitated by imperialism in the form of wide-reaching political and commercial networks. Relationships between imperialism and artifact acquisition have been explored to a remarkable degree with regard to Britons in places like India and Egypt that became colonies or protectorates, with missionaries, diplomats, and travel writers as early key players in possessing and analyzing both historical artifacts and contemporary materials produced in the areas where they worked and explored.

My project highlights such figures from Britain who traveled and worked across the Korean peninsula in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Korean context has the potential to challenge assumptions underlying previous studies set in British-dominated territories. The British presence was smaller than in many other places, and was established as the Korean kingdom became the colony of another empire, continuing well into Korea’s colonial period (1910-45). Consequently, missionaries, diplomats, and other British travelers to Korea did not become the forerunners of British imperial control that they have been in other regions. This outcome presents an opportunity to rethink assumptions about the relationship between the British Empire and an array of individuals that have been associated with imperialism within British studies. 

The Pre-Dissertation Grant enabled me to locate a range of valuable sources, but I am currently focusing my research efforts on the English Church Mission’s early activities in Korea, and how the missionaries interacted with Korean people, history, and culture. While this group was primarily concerned with evangelism, it also produced early British scholars of Korea like Bishop Mark Napier Trollope (1862-1930), who led the ECM for two decades and donated Korean books, manuscripts, and intricately drawn maps created in the eighteenth century to the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Thanks to years of living in Korea and forming ties to local people, missionaries were well-positioned to acquire items for themselves, and Trollope’s example suggests they may have contributed Korean objects to other major British collections. 

Before my journey to London, I worried that there would not be enough readily available primary material on this group. Fortunately, my fears were largely allayed by the realization that the British Library alone holds dozens of microfilm reels of the Mission’s documents and images from my chosen time period and beyond. Despite knowing of its prevalence in archives around the world, finding these reels brought further excitement since it brought my first-ever experience of working directly with microfilm. Over time, this may turn out to be only a minor milestone in my scholarly pursuits, but I was excited to locate so much material. The Pre-Dissertation Grant not only helped me solidify the groundwork for my dissertation, but also gave me practical research experience that I hope to carry well beyond this project.  

Morgan Wilson is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was awarded the NACBS Pre-Dissertation Grant in 2019.

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8 July 2020
Deputy Director Matthew W. Albence
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
By email to [email protected]

Dear Deputy Director Albence,

The higher education community represented by the undersigned disciplinary societies urges Immigration and Customs Enforcement to revisit its decision to end temporary visa exemptions for international students whose upcoming coursework will be entirely online. Colleges and universities alike depend on the presence, physical and online, of international visa holders, and many undergraduate and, especially, graduate students cannot complete their work without access to the archival, library, laboratory, and technical resources of their institutions, whether classes are being held entirely online or not. 

International students are an important element of our institutions’ vitality and diversity, and the exemptions that were in place for spring and summer under the Student Exchange and Visitor Program allowed many students to remain connected to their US institutions during this unsettled time. Revoking those exemptions now will end the possibility of US study for international students, affecting both their futures and the futures of the institutions that have depended on and benefited from their contributions. These new restrictions will affect the futures of international students and will as profoundly affect the futures of the colleges and universities that depend on and benefit from their contributions. The increased financial burdens on US universities will be significant.

Please reinstate the temporary visa exemptions for international students and faculty members while we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including at least the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. The U.S. system of higher education has long attracted students from all over the world, and for good reason. Please do not refuse access to our colleges and universities for the estimated one million international students who would be affected by this change in policy.

Thank you.


African Studies Association
American Academy of Religion
American Anthropological Association 
American Comparative Literature Association Executive Committee
American Conference for Irish Studies
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Musicological Society 
American Numismatic Society 
American Philosophical Association
American Political Science Association
American Schools of Oriental Research
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
American Society for Environmental History
American Sociological Association 
American Studies Association
Archaeological Institute of America
Association for Asian Studies
Association for Jewish Studies Executive Committee
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Association of Research Libraries
Bibliographical Society of America
International Center of Medieval Art
Latin American Studies Association
Linguistic Society of America 
Medieval Academy of America
Middle East Studies Association
Modern Language Association
National Communication Association 
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council on Public History
North American Conference on British Studies
Organization of American Historians
Phi Beta Kappa Society 
Renaissance Society of America
Shakespeare Association of America
Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
Society for Biblical Literature 
Society for Cinema and Media Studies 
Society for Classical Studies
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for Music Theory
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Sinophone Studies
World History Association

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Dear NACBS community,

Access to research materials has become more difficult than ever in these unusual times. Given this, NACBS has worked with Adam Matthew to make their research databases available to all of our members who are PhD candidates. They will also provide access to thirty more of our members who do not have access through their employers; this group will be helped on a first come, first served basis. We are extremely grateful to Adam Matthew for allowing us to make use of these materials.

For access information, please contact Executive Director Laura Beers at [email protected]

With best wishes for your research,

The NACBS Executive Committee
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