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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) was set up in 1989 by academics to promote the study of the cultural history of the Romantic period. Since then, BARS has organised eight International conferences at various locations in the UK, has published the BARS Bulletin and Review twice-yearly, and currently has more than 350 members.

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CFP: Forming Nations, Reforming Empires: Atlantic Polities in the Long Eighteenth Century

The conference will be held in New York City on February 26-27, 2010


This conference will discuss the ways in which people and polities from the
Americas, Europe, and Africa assumed, legitimized, rejected and interacted
with various forms of authority in the "long eighteenth century." This
period is typically characterized by the dissolution of Atlantic Empires
combined with the emergence of the nation state. Yet, historians have begun
to argue that even as nation states began to emerge in the colonial Atlantic,
Empires continued to thrive, reconstructing themselves in the face of changing
notions of sovereignty, freedom and territoriality. This conference seeks to
explore the affinities, groups and networks that were important to peoples"
thinking and acting politically and examine the ways that nations and empires
coexisted and came into conflict during the period of the "long eighteenth

Keeping in mind that the options for "acting like a state" were not simply
national or imperial, we invite proposals from well-established and newer
scholars, working on any aspect of the experience and mechanisms of authority
in the "long eighteenth century Atlantic world," understood in its broadest
sense and reaching across disciplinary boundaries. Topics might include:

  • Collective memories and origin myths about the forming of nations,
    extra-national and supranational bodies, citizenship and subjecthood,
  • State-knowledge formation; law, legal spaces, jurisdiction
  • Consumption; material culture, arts, commodity frontiers/exchange,
    commodity trade, trade networks
  • Political economy
  • Authority and the private sphere
  • Inter-state interactions and actors
  • Politics in Africa, North and South America, informal authorities
  • Impositions and experiences of disciplinary regimes (e.g, slave codes,
    master and servant law, crime and punishment)
  • Structures of religious authority
  • Wars and violence

Please send submissions to atlanticconf2010@nyu.edu. Include a 200-300 word
abstract and two-page C.V. Some funds may be available to defray
transportation costs for graduate student presenters.

Applications will begin being reviewed on June 1, 2009.