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General News - Conferences, Call for Papers, Other Projects

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Conference: Johan Zoffany and his International Contexts


May 14, 2012, at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Geological Society, London

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, will be co-hosting a conference on Monday, May 14, 2012, to accompany a major exhibition on the eighteenth-century Anglo-German artist Johan Zoffany (1733–1810). The exhibition, Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, is curated by Martin Postle (Paul Mellon Centre), with Gillian Forrester (Yale Center for British Art) and MaryAnne Stevens (Royal Academy); it will be on view at the Yale Center for British Art from October 27, 2011, to February 12, 2012, and at the Royal Academy from March 10 to June 10, 2012. The conference aims to address Zoffany’s art in the context of four locations that were central to his practice: Germany, England, Italy, and India.

Born in Frankfurt in 1733, Johan Zoffany trained as an artist in Germany and Italy. In 1760 he moved to London, where he adapted brilliantly to the indigenous art culture and patterns of patronage, creating virtuoso portraits and subject pictures that proved to be highly desirable to a wide range of patrons. Of all the major artists working in eighteenth-century England, none explored more inventively the complexities of Georgian society and British imperial rule than Zoffany. Yet, despite achieving considerable success there, he remained in many ways an outsider, looking dispassionately at British society. Resisting complete integration into his adopted country, Zoffany traveled for extended periods in Europe and spent six years in northern India. His body of work offers unique perspectives on key British and European institutions, including the art academy, the royal court, the theatre, and the families of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie. In India, Zoffany constructed new idioms for portraying the emerging colonial society in both public and private spheres, as well providing a nuanced account of the complex network of power relations, race, and culture at a critical moment in British imperial history.

Tickets for the conference and a conference program (pdf, 109 kb) are now available. To purchase tickets, and for further details about how to register, please visit the Paul Mellon Centre, London.


IHR Presentation - Recordings Online


Listen to the presentation the team gave at the Institute of Historical Research on February 8th, 2012 by visiting the History Spot website - The seminar at which we presented is part of the Histories of Home series, which is convened by the Centre for Studies of Home - a partnership between The Geffrye Museum of the Home and Queen Mary, University of London (


Conference: 'On the margins? Rethinking the problem and place of 'outsiders', 1400-1800'


'On the margins? Rethinking the problem and place of 'outsiders', 1400-1800'

St Anne's College, Oxford, 23-24 March 2012

This event will challenge and rethink existing ideas about the ‘social margins’ through a focus upon key themes: health, family life, the law and work. The papers presented will consider seemingly very different groups, in the context of early modern Britain, Europe and the Atlantic World and identify similarities in perception and treatment. There are two basic questions which all of the papers will address:

1. In terms of perceptions, how ‘fixed’ was the label of marginality? Was it applied cyclically, temporarily or manipulated by individuals?

2. In terms of treatment, were these groups physically marginalised within urban or rural environments?

Plenary speaker:Professor Joel Harrington, Vanderbilt University

Confirmed speakers:Dr Elma Brenner, Dr Sara Butler, Dr Julie Gammon, Dr Emma Griffin, Dr Sarah Pearsall, Dr Sarah Toulalan, Dr David Turner

This event is free but it is essential to register. In order to do this, or for further information, please visit:


Call For Papers: ‘Materialities: Economies, Empiricism, & Things’


Cultural Studies Association of Australasia annual conference 2012

Hosted by the Department of Gender & Cultural Studies, University of Sydney

Dec 4th-6th (pre-fix pre-conference Dec 3rd)

‘Materialities: Economies, Empiricism, & Things’

Organising committee: Fiona Allon, Prudence Black, Catherine Driscoll,
Elspeth Probyn, Kane Race& Guy Redden.

Call for Papers

Cultural studies has a long history of investigating material practices –
indeed it was a founding tenet of British cultural studies – but recently a
new turn or return to materialism seems to be emerging in the field. What
this materiality now means is still open, but we suggest that it flags a
renewed interest in questions of how to study cultural objects,
institutions and practices (methods), what constitutes matter and
materiality (empiricism), and how things (humans and non-humans) are being
reworked at a time of global economic, environmental and cultural flux.

Our keynotes haveall directed critical attention to these questions – to
the more-than-human, to new philosophies of matter, to the gendered
material and economic circuits of media, and to ‘the heavy materiality of
language’. We have invited them to help us in reinvigorating what cultural
studies can do today. They include: Ross Chambers (Michigan), Katherine
Gibson (UWS), Lesley Head (UoW), Bev Skeggs (Goldsmiths, London), and Sarah
Whatmore (Oxford).

We encourage proposed panels and individual papers that engage with the
wide spectrum of issues flagged by our title, including submissions that
focus on:
· the crossing of science studies and cultural studies;
· questions of method;
·the relation between culture and economy;
· cultural histories of objects and forms;
· new ideas about empiricism;
· placing sexuality, gender and race within the more-than-human;
· the materiality of texts and genres;
· the future and the past of material cultural studies;
· environmental humanities and changing ecologies;
· cultural studies within the anthropocene;
·cultural relations with/in primary and natural resources;
· the new materiality of globalism
Papers and panels not focusing on the theme are also welcome.

Please send submissions to by August 24th and include
your name and affiliation. Abstracts for papers should be 250-300 words.
Panel submissions must include three individual abstracts, a panel title
and 100-150 word rationale for the panel as a whole.

We will advise all proposers of accepted papers within 4 weeks of this
deadline. Please note that accepted presenters will need to register before
their paper will be scheduled in the program.

There will also be a separate event, “Pre-Fix”, geared to the needs of
postgraduates and early career researchers, on December 3rd. Details of
this and the main conference will be on a dedicated conference website soon.

CSAA website:
Twitter: csaa2012


What's cooking? - Conference at SOAS


Bookings are now open for the Histories of Home SSN Fourth Annual Conference, What’s cooking? Food and eating at home, to be held on Friday 9th March 2012 at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London (9.30am – 5pm).

This conference will focus on food within the domestic setting in the UK. Papers will explore the changing feelings and meanings attached to kitchens; gender and identity issues around cooking, feeding and kitchens; the transmission of culinary knowledge as well as the impact of design and new technologies on the use of virtual and real foodspaces. There will also be a presentation on interpreting food preparation spaces and food consumption within a historic house setting. The conference programme reflects the interdisciplinary approach of the Histories of Home SSN and will draw on social geography, food history, sociology, social gerontology, design, digital and social anthropology as well as artistic and museum practice.

The Conference Keynote paper will be delivered by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield), Director of the recently completed three-year interdisciplinary research project, Changing Families, Changing Food, and currently Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded Consumer Culture in an Age of Anxiety research programme. The Conference is organised in association with the Wellcome Library.

Further programme information and booking details can be found at


Call For Papers: Space and Social Relations in Historical Perspective


Space and Social Relations in Historical Perspective

University of Edinburgh

7 June, 2012

The relationship between space and social relations is a prominent topic in current affairs. This innovative one-day workshop will address how space is defined and organised. It will focus especially on how historical perspectives can inform our understandings of how people use and experience space.

Conference themes may address but are not limited to:

- Urban space and the built environment

- Space and social identity

- Public space and private space

- Governance, control and authority over space

- Segregation and the architecture of social exclusion

We encourage papers that directly address conceptual and theoretical issues of space. While we anticipate that most papers will address spaces in Britain and Europe from 1600 to the present, relevant papers focusing on any time period or region are encouraged.

The workshop will emphasize discussion and relaxed debate, offering presenters and participants an opportunity to consider how we can more effectively define and think about space in historic contexts. Professor Bob Morris will provide an introductory presentation and discussion, followed by thematic panels. In order to facilitate discussion, papers of approximately 3,000 words will be pre-circulated prior to the workshop.

Works-in-progress from postgraduate students and early career researchers are welcome and encouraged. Transport bursaries will be available for those travelling from outside Edinburgh.

If you would like to present a paper, please submit abstracts of around 250 words by March 5 to


Call For Papers: Influences on American Bed Quilts: Baltimore to Bengal


From November 8 through November 10, 2012, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia, will present a symposium exploring the influences on American bed quilts from the earliest periods of settlement to the present day. American bed quilts display a variety of design influences. These influences came from textiles imported from Asia, the Mediterranean, northern Europe, and the United Kingdom, as well as more directly, via the diverse groups of people who immigrated to the colonies and later to the United States. This symposium will explore these multifaceted influences through a series of formal lectures, juried papers, workshops, and tours.

Scholars are invited to submit 300-word abstract proposals for illustrated oral lectures 25 minutes in length. Paper proposals are due to Colonial Williamsburg for peer review by March 30, 2012; acceptances will be announced by May 1, 2012. Those whose abstracts are selected for presentation will receive free symposium registration. Submit abstracts to Quilt Abstracts, attention Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 309 First Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or by e-mail at For general information about the symposium, contact Deb Chapman at 800-603-0948 or 757-220-7255 or via e-mail at


Call For Papers - Economic and Social History Society of Scotland Conference


'Scotland and the Indian subcontinent'

Wednesday 21 March 2012, Glasgow

The aim of this conference is to explore historical connections between
Scotland and the Indian subcontinent, involving its entire geographical
scope including the likes of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ceylon, India and
Pakistan. We are interested in both colonial and postcolonial input and
themes might include, but are not limited to, cultural exchange, health
and medicine, trade, industry, religion, conflict/cooperation, migration
(both directions), gender, British East India Company, identity and
subaltern responses. The key to proposals should be the interface
between Scotland and the Indian subcontinent and its peoples.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words are invited. Responses to the first
Call for papers should be submitted no later than 23 January 2012 and
can be sent by email Dr Iain Hutchison at