Inspired by the history of radicalism and reform in Rochester, New York,
the NCSA committee invites proposals exploring the radical possibilities of
the nineteenth-century world. From the aftershocks of the French and
American revolutions to mutinies and rebellion in colonies across the
globe, the nineteenth century was a period of both unrest and possibility.
Abolition, suffrage, and reform movements reshaped prisons, education, and
housing, marking this century as a period of institutional making and
unmaking: a reckoning with ills of the past that was also profoundly
optimistic about a more just and prosperous future.

Radicalism is also a generative term for considering transitional moments
or social tensions: “radical” is often used interchangeably with “extreme,”
but its earliest definitions describe not what is new or unusual, but what
is foundational or essential. “Radical” is used to describe literal and
figurative roots: the roots of plants, roots of musical chords, and the
roots of words. To be radical is to embody tensions between origins and
possibilities: to be anchored in what is foundational while also holding
the potential for paradigm-shifting change. We welcome papers that consider
these tensions in nineteenth-century culture, as well as those that
consider possibilities for reforming nineteenth-century studies or academic
life. Topics on nineteenth-century literature, history, art, music, or
other cultural forms might include political movements or divisions,
activism, resistance, labor, collective and direct action, or mutinies and
rebellion. We also encourage broader interpretations of the conference
theme: outsiders and outcasts, visionaries, agents of change, utopias,
breakthroughs, failed reforms, conformity, or stagnation.

Topics on the state of nineteenth-century studies might include politically
engaged teaching and scholarship, academic labor practices, harassment or
prejudice in the academy, or new approaches to humanities education

Please send 250-word abstracts with one-page CVs to ncsa2020 -at-
by October 14, 2019. Abstracts should include the author’s name,
institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. The organizers
welcome individual proposals, panel proposals with four presenters and a
moderator, or larger roundtable sessions. Note that submission of a
proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. Presenters will be
notified in November 2019.

More information: 


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