Monday, October 19, 2015

Futures of the Past Program

Please join us for "Futures of the Past" on Friday October 30. A complete program for the symposium may be found here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

CFP Premodern Disorder, A Graduate Student Conference @ GW

Premodern Disorder

GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute 
Graduate Student Symposium


Keynote Speakers:

Sharon Kinoshita, Professor of World Literature & Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz

Drew Daniel, Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University

Premodern Disorder invites graduate students of medieval and early modern literatures to examine failures of taxonomies, outbreaks of disorder, and manifestations of the incomprehensible. Topics under investigation may include:
  •   Affect, emotion, and humoral theory
  •   Translation, globalization, and cultural-contact
  •   Apocalypse and catastrophe; or premodern ecologies
  •   Taxonomies, animality, agentic objects
  •   Monstrosity and the body
  •   Economics, politics, and religion
  •   Waste and dirt; or cleanliness and the home
  •   Allegory and utopianism
Visit the conference website: for more information, as well as a complete Call for Papers. 

Abstract submissions and Panel Proposals by October 30, 2015 (note extended deadline) to

Monday, September 21, 2015

Futures of the Past October 30

Futures of the Past

A symposium featuring groundbreaking books in medieval and early modern studies 
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library Room 702]
GW Foggy Bottom Campus

Friday October 30 10 AM - 5 PM

The symposium is free and welcomes all who wish to attend, but you must preregister (HERE)

9.30 Morning Coffee

10.00-11.30 Seeing and Moving

Introductions by Heidi Stoa

Kim F. HallBarnard College
Sweet Taste of Empire: Sugar, Race and Gender in Early Modern England (forthcoming). Presentation title: "'I didn’t think I would feel like this’: Early Modern Race Studies and its Discontents"
In 2014, Kara Walker, an African American artist known for her installations using paper silhouettes and drawings which grapple with sexuality, colonialism and slavery in American history, created the installation, A Subtlety: The Marvelous Sugar Baby. The installation purported to be an homage "to enslaved and unfree labor from the cane field to the kitchen,” but, as spectators interacted with the sculptures and posted images of themselves under the hash tag #karawalkerdomino, it became evidence of an ongoing divide in white and black America about the role of race and slavery in the US as well as the focus for discussions over the responsibility of (black) artists when dealing with race. This paper discusses the audience’s divergent responses to the enormous installation as a way of thinking about the current state of early modern race studies. I see in the black anger at the installation and in the oblivious responses by other spectators, a dynamic similar to that in the ongoing discussions of the presence and meanings of race in early modern literary studies. More broadly, the paper speaks to the different investments we bring to the archive and the ways Black lives matter differently for black scholars in archival and scholarly spaces often deemed “white.”

Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia
Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire (forthcoming)
My book Indigenous London (Yale University Press, fall 2016) frames that city’s history through the experiences of Indigenous children, women, and men who travelled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Australia, beginning in the early sixteenth century. This presentation focuses on the question of memory, one of the six “domains of entanglement” that serve as the book’s structure (the others are knowledge, disorder, reason, ritual, and discipline). I will examine the experiences of early modern visitations by Indigenous people, from Inuit captives to Powhatan emissaries and Mohegan missionaries, to show the ways in which these lives have been remembered in descendant communities, even as London has in many ways forgotten its own empire. In doing so, I hope to challenge the teleological apparatus and narrative estrangement that so often renders Indigenous and urban histories as mutually exclusive.

11.30-12.45 lunch (included for those who pre-register). 
Rome Hall 771 (Academic Center, directly across the street from Gelman)

12.45-2.15: Incorporating and Inscribing

Introductions by Abigail Gloria Robertson

Henry S. Turner, Rutgers University
The Corporate Commonwealth: Pluralism and Political Fictions in England, 1516-1651 (forthcoming)
I’ll be presenting arguments about the corporation in history and theory, illustrated with some key early modern examples, all focused on several problems: how to define the corporation, especially the limits of legal definitions and the points of intersection between law, philosophy, and literature; the nature of the corporation as a political entity: a “body politic,” as it was known: what makes it “political”? What definitions of the “political” does it suggest?; how to account for the ontology (the mode of being, agency, or substantive reality) that is attributed to corporations and to corporate persons; in general, the corporation as a problem of ontology, and especially of the ideas of the group and the group person; what literary ideas of personhood, personation, and personification can add to our understanding of the corporation as a fiction that is also at the same time real.

Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago 
Symptomatic Subjects: Bodies, Signs, and Narratives in Late Medieval England (in progress)
The book I’m completing at present, Symptomatic Subjects: Bodies, Signs, and Narratives in Late Medieval England, takes as its starting point the explosion in English medical writing between 1375 and 1475. Widespread efforts to translate and compile medical knowledge produced new conditions of corporeal literacy, including keen speculation about the ways in which diverse causal forces (astrological, environmental, dietetic, hereditary, demonic, and divine, among others) affected how individuals appeared and behaved. Symptomatic Subjects examines the concatenations of embodiment, expressivity, and etiology set forth in medieval narratives. My remarks at “Futures of the Past” will introduce the book's project and then sketch three methodological conundrums I’ve encountered in writing it, conundrums organized under the rubrics, “Whose ‘symptom’?” “the proto-discourse of medicine,” and “the proto-discourse of literature.”

2.15-2.45 coffee and cookies

2.45-4.15 Inventing and Unfolding

Introductions by Corey Sparks
Patricia Clare Ingham, Indiana University
The Medieval New: Ambivalence in an Age of InnovationPresentation title: "Sustaining Ourselves in an Age of Innovation"
What might medieval culture of artistic copying offer us in today's age of unrelenting innovation? In this brief talk, developed from my recent book The Medieval New: Ambivalence in an Age of Innovation, I suggest some of the ways that an ethically-charged, medieval brand of newness might help us to claim a future for the Liberal Arts, past as well as present.

J. Allan Mitchell, University of Victoria
Because my book’s been out for a year I though I would use the occasion — as I am trying to do elsewhere — to broaden the argument and engage in some retrospection on the project of recovering a medieval humanness. It is perhaps to offer some counter-spin on “becoming human,” which can unfortunately read as a strong assurance of the inevitable eventuation of “being,” which is not my claim. My interest is in how fetal and infantile figures cause a kind of perpetual identity crisis for the human. It is about the past catching up with the future. I may also reflect on the particularity and generality of the “human” concept. The tricky part about writing about “becoming human" was to identify human matters without presupposing the category that my analysis was intended to unsettle. How to speak the “human” at all when the term is evidently so universalist, ungendered, under-specified? Here I might want to talk about the heuristic value of general concepts or abstractions, which are like other useful fictions capable of mobilizing thought or animating a problem. The intrigue inherent in the general concept suggests to me the possibility of abstracting without idealizing or reifying.

4:15-4:30 Closing remarks (presenters and audience)

4.30-5.30 Reception with wine and light fare
Gallery 102, Smith Hall of Art (Academic Center)

To register for this event, 
Registration ensures that we have enough food, coffee and wine for everyone who attends.

Friday, September 11, 2015

GW MEMSI 2015-16 Complete Calendar

Please mark your calendar now and join us for the following events. All GW MEMSI events are free and welcome all who wish to attend.

September 18th 2015
Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Lecture: Jean Howard
Jean Howard (Columbia University) delivers the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture, "Countering the Lucrece Effect: The Performance of Rape on the Early Modern Stage." The lecture will be held from 4-6 PM in beautiful Post Hall at GW's Mount Vernon Campus. Parking is available on site, and a free shuttle runs from Foggy Bottom. Complete information here.

October 30 2015
Futures of the Past
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library 702, GW Foggy Bottom Campus]
10 AM - 5 PM (includes lunch and a reception)
An all day symposium featuring new work in medieval and early modern studies. Please join us for some energetic conversation!
Presentation titles, a schedule for the day, and a link to sign up for lunch and a reception will be posted shortly on the GW MEMSI blog.

January 29 2016
Elizabeth Scala,"Feminism and the F-Word"
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library 702, GW Foggy Bottom Campus]
3 PM
Elizabeth Scala of the University of Texas-Austin presents a lecture on "Feminism and the F-Word." Professor Scala is an editor of the journal Exemplaria: Medieval / Early Modern / Theory, the co-editor of the collection The Post-Historical Middle Ages (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and the author of the books Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary Structure in Late Medieval England (Palgrave 2002) and Desire in the Canterbury Tales (just published by Ohio State University Press).

February 25 2016
Drew Daniel, "The Trouble with Comedy"
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library 702, GW Foggy Bottom Campus]
4 PM
Drew Daniel of Johns Hopkins University will deliver a lecture on "The Trouble with Comedy." Professor Daniel is the author of The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance (Fordham, 2013) as well as many articles and essays.  He is also one half of the electronic duo Matmos.

February 26 2016
Premodern Disorder: 
A GWMEMSI Graduate Student Conference
Attendance is open to all: please come and show your support for new work in the field. Keynote speakers are Sharon Kinoshita and Drew Daniel. Complete description and CFP (proposals due by October 15) may be found here.

April 7-8 2016
Crip Ecologies
GW MEMSI will sponsor a roundtable at this year's Composing Disability conference, "Crip Ecologies." The session is called "Biopolitics: Law, Life, Land, Love" and includes

May 11-14 2016
International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo
GW MEMSI will sponsor a roundtable on "Play" with

We wish you the best for the beginning of the semester and hope to see you at these events!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Premodern Disorder: A GWMEMSI Graduate Student Conference (CFP)

Premodern Disorder

GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (MEMSI) Grad Student 
Conference at the George Washington University: Friday, February 26th, 2016.

Keynote Speakers: Sharon Kinoshita and Drew Daniel

Foucault famously defines order as “that which is given in things as their inner law, the hidden network that determines the way they confront one another, and also that which has no existence except in the grid created by a glance, an examination, a language; and it is only in the blank spaces of this grid that order manifests itself in depth as though already there, waiting in silence for the moment of its expression” (The Order of Things). For Foucault, the great order of the premodern episteme was similitude, equivalence, a God-ordained map that could apply as commensurately to the stars in the sky as to the lives of humans and animals. And yet, were these affinities and similitudes always so readily apparent to medieval and early modern peoples? Did an epistemology of an ordered cosmos police everyday life, make sense of quotidian activity? Or were there disturbances, disruptions, deviations from the ordained that resisted such simple mapping? Has contemporary scholarship excavated slippages in taxonomies and ladders of being, or identified movements across space and time that seem to resist formerly held historical reckonings?

Premodern Disorder seeks to assemble scholarship that examines the ruptures and aporias within a divinely ordered cartography:  failures of taxonomies, outbreaks of disorder, and manifestations of the incomprehensible. How did medieval and early modern people treat objects and bodies that resisted their schemas for classification? In what ways did premodern art respond to questions of transnationalism, provincialism, cross-cultural contact and geopolitics? How did the bourgeois  experience commerce when “Capitalism” was only an inchoate specter haunting the rapidly expanding market? What do we make of the transition from medieval dreams of the apocalypse as salvific to Renaissance depictions of the end-of-times as a chaotic furor and the end of all knowledge?

This symposium hopes to showcase papers from graduate students that address the question of disorder in the premodern period. Topics could include: 

  • Affect, emotion, and humoral theory
  • Translation, globalization, and cultural-contact
  • Apocalypse and catastrophe; or premodern ecologies
  • Taxonomies, animality, agentic objects
  • Disability, sickness, monstrosity
  • Economics, politics, and religion
  • Waste and dirt; or cleanliness and the home
  • Reconsiderations of allegory and utopianism
  • The structuring and performance of the academy, then and now

We invite graduate students from all disciplines to present papers approximately 15 minutes in length. We also welcome unconventional presentations that still adhere to the time limit of 15 minutes. Pre-arranged panels or roundtable discussions are also welcome, so long as the panel does not exceed one hour.

If you would like to submit an abstract to Premodern Disorder at the George Washington University, please send an abstract of 300-500 words to NO LATER THAN October 15th, 2015. If you would like to suggest a panel, please include abstracts for all participating speakers of the panel. 

For more information, please visit our website:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture: Jean Howard, September 18

Please join us for the fourth annual 
Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Lecture 

Professor Jean Howard
Friday, September 18th
Post Hall (on Mount Vernon Campus)
4-6 pm

"Countering the Lucrece Effect: 
The Performance of Rape on the Early Modern Stage"

The story of the rape of the Roman matron, Lucrece, fascinated early modern writers.  This paper examines the various ways that Shakespeare and his fellow dramatists staged this violent event and in doing so opened up its complicated sexual and political meanings.

Professor Jean Howard is the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. She is the author of numerous books, including most recently the award-winning Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (UPenn Press 2007) and Great Shakespeareans: Marx and Freud (Bloomsbury 2012) and she is one of the editors of The Norton ShakespeareBased on the Oxford Edition
Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.
Free shuttle to Mount Vernon Campus: full information here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Subvention for Graduate Students (and Others) to attend "Futures of the Past" @ GW

On Friday October 30 the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (GW MEMSI) will hold an all day symposium called Futures of the Past that will welcome the following scholars to present and converse on recent and forthcoming book projects that promise a major intervention in the field:

Like all GW MEMSI events, this symposium is free and welcomes all who wish to attend. We have also set aside funding to enable some graduate students, recent PhDs, and NTT or un[der]employed faculty who do not possess adequate research resources to travel to DC to join us and participate. The funding we possess should cover travel (plane, train or bus) and two nights at a local hotel (which we will arrange on the awardee's behalf). Lunch and a reception are included in the symposium and those receiving the subvention will also be invited to dinner afterwards.

I realize that this is funding is in no way adequate: we can likely sponsor only two or three scholars, and we do not have enough money available to provide a per diem or anything really beyond transportation, a nice place to stay for two nights, some food and drink, and a hearty welcome into our community. But we do hope that this opportunity will be a valuable one, and we wish we could do more.

If you are interested in the subvention, please send a short email that speaks about the importance of the event and its speakers to work with which you are engaged. Deadline for receipt is August 1, 2015.

Jeffrey Cohen
Director, GW MEMSI 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Save the Date: Futures of the Past, October 30

The GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute is happy to announce its Fall 2015 symposium, "Futures of the Past."

Now that the Institute is entering the final three of its ten years of institutional funding, we have been thinking seriously about how to remain forward-looking and future-making. In each of the next three years we intend to sponsor a symposium that riffs upon our motto, gathering scholars at various points in their careers who have recently or are just about to publish a book of broad thematic interest. Our hope is to form a lively community around some important new work, fostering a wide ranging conversation about what paths medieval and early modern studies might take in the years ahead. The symposia welcome all who wish to attend.

On Friday October 30 we will hold an all day symposium Futures of the Past that will welcome the following scholars:
The symposium will be held in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room of the Gelman Library (702). More details as the event nears.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

GW MEMSI @ #Kzoo2015: "Lost"

Please join us at the International Congress of Medieval Studies (#kzoo2015) for the GW MEMSI sponsored roundtable "Lost." The event takes place on Friday at 3.30 in Schneider 1140.

The Department of Lost Objects (also known as the Department of Found Objects) recently emptied the inventory of its Lostandfound and sent these items to the participants in the GW MEMSI roundtable "Lost."

Lost (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (MEMSI), George Washington Univ.
Presider: Jeffrey J. Cohen

Lost Speech 

Randy P. Schiff, Univ. at Buffalo

Lost Time 

Christopher Roman, Kent State Univ.–Tuscarawas

Lost in Love 

Lowell Duckert, West Virginia Univ.

Lost English Dual Number Pronouns 

Daniel Remein, Univ. of Massachusetts–Boston

Lost at Sea / Adrift 

Eileen Joy, BABEL Working Group

Lost Causes 

Jonathan Hsy, George Washington Univ.

Lost in Thought 

Anne F. Harris, DePauw Univ. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr. Jami Rogers "Shakespeare and (the lack of?) Diversity" April 24

Please join us for the last event of the 2014-15 year!

Dr. Jami Rogers
"Shakespeare and (the lack of?) Diversity: 
The State of Integrated Casting in 21st Century UK Theatre"

Lunchtime talk. All are welcome!
Rome Hall 771 (Academic Center, 801 22nd St NW)
Friday April 24 11.30-1.30
RSVP to so that we have enough food.

The lack of opportunity for black and Asian actors in the entertainment industry in the UK has recently been under the microscope, thanks to lobbying groups such as Act for Change and the very public declarations from black British actors such as David Oyelowo and David Harewood stating they had to leave the UK to get work. Oyelowo and Harewood both have made history – Oyelowo as the first black actor to play an English king for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Harewood as the first black actor to play Othello at the National Theatre; only Harewood has performed Shakespeare in the UK since and only once. While there has unquestionably been an increase in casting actors of color in classical theatre in the UK over the past thirty years, most are unable to break the color barrier for leading roles unless they are cast as Othello. Using the data from over 1000 productions documented in the forthcoming BBA Shakespeare Multicultural Performance Database, this paper seeks to both document the growing contribution of BAME performers to UK Shakespearean theatre and question how contemporary casting policies in classical theatre in the UK have failed Oyelowo, Harewood and many others.

Dr. Jami Rogers is currently Research Assistant for the AHRC-funded Multicultural Shakespeare project at the University of Warwick. She trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and holds an MA and a PhD from the Shakespeare Institute, the University of Birmingham. Prior to obtaining her PhD Jami spent 10 years working for PBS, first at the network's headquarters in Alexandria and then for 8 years at WGBH/Boston working on Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery!, where awards included a Primetime Emmy from the Academy of Arts and Television Sciences. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick and the British American Drama Academy. Her research interests are the contemporary performances of Shakespeare and American drama in the UK. She has published articles in Shakespeare Bulletin and Shakespeare: The Journal of the British Shakespeare Association and regularly reviews performances for the major academic journals. Jami has lectured on Shakespeare and American drama at the National Theatre in London and works regularly with director David Thacker at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Entangled Trajectories

MEMSI and the Early Americas Working Group presents:

Entangled Trajectories: 
Integrating Native American And European Histories
Organized by Ralph Bauer and Marcy Norton 

Baptista Boazio (1585) at the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Library of Congress

April 9 – 10, 2015
George Washington University and the Mexican Cultural Institute

This exciting inter-disciplinary symposium will take place April 9-10, 2015, at George Washington University and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

The conference is organized by the Early Americas Working Group and co-sponsored by the Kislak Family FoundationGeorge Washington University (MEMSI, History Department and CCAS ), the University of Maryland (Center for Literary and Comparative Studies and Miller Center for Historical Studies), the National History Center of the American Historical Association, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Registration for regular panels is now closed. In order to rsvp for Elizabeth Boone's keynote address, please rsvp here:

Preliminary Program
 Thursday, 9 April, 2015
8:30 Coffee and Pastries
9:00 Welcome: Ben Vinson III (Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, GW)
9: 15 Introduction: Ralph Bauer (UMD) and Marcy Norton (GW)

9:30-11:15: Entangled Things
Chair: Colin McEwan (Dumbarton Oaks)
  1. Molly Warsh (University of Pittsburgh)
    Pearls and indigenous language, practice, and ecology in the early Spanish Caribbean
  2. Neil Safier (The John Carter Brown Library)
    Masked Observers and Mask Collectors: Entangled Visions from the Eighteenth-Century Amazon
  3. Margaret M Bruchac (University of Pennsylvania)                                                                   Take Me to the River: Navigating the Materiality and Messaging of Wampum
11:30-12:45: Entangled Languages 
Chair: Joanne Rappaport (Georgetown University)
  1. Galen Brokaw (Montana State University)
    Colonial Translation and Inca Culture
  2. Birgit Brander Rasmussen (Yale University)
    Guerrilla Philology, Guerrilla Linguistics: Sequoyah's Achievement Reconsidered
12:45-2:15: Lunch

2:15-4:00: Entangled in Conflict
Chair: Kathleen Lynch (The Folger Shakespeare Library)
  1. Karen Graubart (University of Notre Dame)
    Parallel Play: cabildos de españoles and cabildos de indios in the early Lima Valley
  2. David Silverman (The George Washington University)
    Firearms and Issue of Dependency in the History of North American Indians
  3. Ned Blackhawk (Yale University)
    The Overlapping Temporalities of Genocide and Settler Colonial Studies
 6:45: Keynote
2829 16th St NW, Washington, DC
Elizabeth Boone (Tulane University)
The dilemma of the gods and the familiarity of the kings: constructions of Aztec Identity in early colonial Mexico

Friday, April 10, 2015
 9-10:45: Entangled Perceptions 
Chair: Alejandro Cañeque (University of Maryland)
  1. Barbara Mundy (Fordham University)
    The smellscape of Mexico City: entangled perceptions of odors in the early modern capital
  2. Byron Hamann (Ohio State University)
    Las relaciones mediterratlánticas’: Epistolary archaeologies in the Iberian world, 1574-1586
  3. Dana Leibsohn (Smith College)
    Colonial/Cosmopolitan: Image-making and Indigeneity in Spanish America
 2:15-4:00: Entangled Spiritualties
Chair: Joan Bristol (George Mason University)
  1. Nancy Farriss (University of Pennsylvania)
    Whose Church?  The Indigenous Role in the Evangelization and cura de almasin Colonial Mexico
  2. James Maffie (University of Maryland)
    Double Mistaken Philosophical Identity in the Mexica-European Encounter
  3. Matt Cohen (University of Texas)
    Rethinking Reciprocity
 4:15-6:00: Entangled Metropole
Chair: Jeffrey Cohen (George Washington University)
  1. Nancy van Deusen (Queen’s University)
    All the World in a Village: Indio Slaves in Sixteenth-Century Carmona, Spain and the Shaping of Indio Identities
  2. Coll Thrush (University of British Columbia)
    The Unhidden City: Episodes from Indigenous London
  3. Jace Weaver (University of Georgia)
    Interbraided Destinies: American Indigenes and the Making of Modern Europe
 6:00: Reception

You can follow us on Facebook at Entangled Trajectories Conference April 2015, and on Twitter @ETrajectories.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Symposium: Transition, Scale and Catastrophe

Please mark your calendar now for this daylong symposium! Admission is free, but you must REGISTER HERE if you plant to attend.

Transition, Scale and Catastrophe @ GW

9 AM
Coffee and bagels

Karl Steel, "Barely Life"
Stephanie LeMenager, "No Words"

Coffee break

Lynn Tomlinson, "Lost House"
Anne Harris, "Anamorphic Reach"


Steve Mentz, "Ship Wreck"
Stacy Alaimo, "Anthropocene Dissolves"

Closing Roundtable

4-5.30 PM
Reception at Gallery 102 (Smith Hall, Academic Center). [This is the student art gallery which will have an exhibit on "Photography and Accident"]

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ania Loomba, Crossing Boundaries: Friday Feb. 13

Please join us on Friday February 13 as Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, presents a talk in Rome Hall 771 (801 22nd St NW) at 3 PM:
Crossing Boundaries: Race, Postcoloniality and the Early Modern 
Is the “early” in “early modern” the same as “early” in “early colonial”? How do these temporal boundaries rely on spatial divisions that continue to structure our  thinking? Viewing the Renaissance through a postcolonial lens, and viewing the postcolonial in the light of a longer temporal frame, can help us cross some of these boundaries and rethink modernity.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Symposium on Transition, Scale and Catastrophe: March 20

Please mark your calendar and save the date! On Friday March 20 the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute will hold an all day symposium on "Transition, Scale and Catastrophe." The event will take place in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room, Gelman Library 7th floor.

Presentations include:
Karl Steel, "Barely Life"
Stephanie LeMenager, "No Words"

Lynn Tomlinson, "Lost House"
Anne Harris, "Anamorphic Reach"

Steve Mentz, "Ship Wreck"
Stacy Alaimo, "Anthropocene Dissolves"

Lynn Tomlinson will screen her award winning film The Ballad of Holland Island House as part of her presentation (the image above is taken from that film). Reception to follow. More details soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Save the dates: "Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native American and European Histories”

Please save the dates – April 9 and 10 – for an exciting inter-disciplinary conference, “Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native American and European Histories.” 

Elizabeth Boone will deliver a public lecture at the Mexican Cultural Institute on April 9 at 6:45, and there will be sessions at George Washington University on April 9 and 10. Confirmed speakers include: Ned Blackhawk (Yale University); Galen Brokaw (Montana State University), Margaret Bruchac (University of Pennsylvania), Matt Cohen (University of Texas, Austin), Nancy Farriss (University of Pennsylvania), Karen Graubart (University of Notre Dame), Byron Hamann (Ohio State University), Dana Leibsohn (Smith College), James Maffie (University of Maryland), Barbara Mundy (Fordham), Nancy van Deusen (Queen’s University), Birgit Brander Rasmussen (Yale University), David Silverman, (George Washington University), Molly Warsh  (University of Pittsburgh).

The conference is organized by the Early Americas Working Group and co-sponsored by the Kislak Family Foundation, George Washington University, University of Maryland, National History Center, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

For questions, please contact conference co-organizers Ralph Bauer ( or Marcy Norton (