CFP for Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference - "Feeling History"

2016 Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference
Feeling History
University of California, Irvine
October 28-29, 2016

Keynote Panel: Matthew Ancell, Brigham Young University; Jacob McDonie, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley; Jennifer Rust, St. Louis University; Donovan Sherman, Seton Hall University; Jesse Weiner, Hamilton College
Abstracts due: September 1st to
The Group for the Study of Early Cultures at the University of California, Irvine is pleased to announce the eighth annual Graduate Student Conference. Because 2016 marks the ten-year anniversary of the founding of the Group, this year’s conference will both reflect on the institutional history of Early Cultures at UCI and examine the status of history in the study of early cultures more generally.

From the Annales School to the New Historicism, from Erich Auerbach’s existential philology to Bruce Smith’s historical phenomenology, medieval and early modern studies have long been sites of theoretical and methodological innovation. However, the attempt to join “theory” and “method” raises a question that concerns not only literary studies but historical inquiry proper: to what extent can theoretical frameworks—which inevitably demand some level of abstraction—capture the multiplicity of empirical history, not only when it comes to the political, social, and economic particularities that define an era but also where culturally specific structures of sensation and embodied experience are concerned? Moreover, in what ways does the predominant focus on the West in our discipline come at the expense of global cultures, conceived either as the mutually constitutive relationship between Europe and its “others” or the autonomous development of non-Western antiquities in their own right?

In order to address these questions, our conference seeks to establish a capacious understanding of “history,” one that explores not only the historical conditions that inform the production and reception of texts, literary and otherwise, but also the ways in which these processes of history affect material and sensory experience. Possible paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

-The representation of history in early texts
-The relationship, antagonistic or complementary, between history and more “theoretical” approaches to literature (phenomenology, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, etc.)
-The institutional history of the study of early cultures
-The interaction between social/economic history and the history of ideas
-The ethics of history
-Social history vs. political history
-Quantitative vs. qualitative approaches to history
-Philosophy of history
-Histories of aesthesis

Abstracts: Those wishing to participate must submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one-page CV to by September 1st.