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Calls for Papers

Rereading Rousseau’s Essay on the Origin of Languages; deadline December 10, 2020

Almost fifty years have passed since Derrida’s Of Grammatology put Rousseau’s Essay on the Origin of Languages at the center of Rousseau studies. The Essai, though, is at least as concerned with music as it is with language. The last twenty years in particular have witnessed a veritable renaissance in the study of Rousseau’s musical writings. How can what we now know about texts such as the Dictionnaire de musique inform and inflect the ways the Essay is read, and through it, Rousseau’s thought more generally? The Rousseau Association will accordingly devote its 2021 conference to “Rereading Rousseau’s Essai sur l’origine des langues.”  We seek proposals on any aspect of the Essay, but are particularly interested in papers that situate the Essay within the corpus of Rousseau’s musical writings, or the musical writings within the corpus of his philosophy as a whole. We welcome trans-disciplinary approaches and readings that consider the Essay and Rousseau’s other musical writings in parallel with his political,
educational, autobiographical and other writings.

The conference is currently scheduled for May 21–23, 2021 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. The Association is closely monitoring the current global covid-19 pandemic and the advice of local authorities. In the event that considerations of public health preclude an in-person meeting in May 2021, the conference may be rescheduled and/or moved to an online format.

 The Rousseau Association’s meetings are bilingual, and all sessions are plenary. Proposals for papers in English or French should consist of a title, short abstract (max 300 words), and a brief academic bio max 150 words). Please send proposals as a single PDF attachment to Nathan Martin at natha@umich.edu no later than Dec. 10, 2020.

 

 Keynote: Jacqueline Waeber (Duke University)

 

L’Essai sur l’origine des langues de Rousseau : une relecture

 

Environ un demi-siècle s’est écoulé depuis la parution de la Grammatologie de Jacques Derrida, ouvrage qui a immédiatement réorienté les études Rousseauistes vers l’Essai sur l’origine des langues. Au-delà de ses préoccupations linguistiques, l’Essai consacre près de la moitié de ses pages à la musique. Les deux dernières décennies ont vu croître l’intérêt pour Rousseau musicien. Comment cette nouvelle ppréciation des écrits musicaux –et notamment les études récentes consacrées au Dictionnaire de musique–  influence-t-elle notre compréhension de la pensée de Rousseau en général et de l’Essai en particulier ?

Le congrès de 2021 de l’Association Rousseau aura pour thème l’Essai sur l’origine des langues. Nous sollicitons des propositions de recherche portant sur tout aspect de l’Essai. Nous nous intéressons  articulièrement aux communications situant l’Essai au sein des écrits musicaux de Rousseau ou évaluant ces derniers dans le contexte général de sa pensée. Nous accueillons également les approches ransdisciplinaires et les lectures croisées des écrits musicaux, politiques, éducatifs, autobiographiques, etc.

Monuments, Symbols, and Memory; deadline July 31, 2020

The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies welcomes panelists for a series of flash talks and a subsequent roundtable on the theme of monuments, myths, and symbols as historical agents and historical distortions. Salient questions include: what roles do monuments, myths, and symbols play in generating historical memory? How do they represent the past, and how do they distort the historical record? What can historians do to shed light on how monuments, myths, and symbols both uphold and contest dominant paradigms in contemporary society? Can “history from below” methodologies inform these discussions, and do they intersect with the broader efforts of public history? With the reinvigoration of nationalism across the world today, what role do historians play in forging and challenging historical memories and myths? What are the outcomes of this work? And how are historically-minded scholars partners in the transfiguration of ink, stone, metal, song, and language into historical agents and historical distortions? These flash talks invite us to ponder these questions through specific case studies of important historical memories, monuments, myths, symbols, and representations. Submissions are welcome from any graduate student in any department.

If you are interested in presenting as part of this workshop, please email osgooda@umich.edu with a short 200 to 250 word précis describing your work and addressing the topic of your proposed presentation and its relationship to the themes outlined above. The header of the document should include your name and departmental affiliation. The deadline for proposals is July 31, 2020.

Natural Light in Medieval Churches Between Byzantium and the West; deadline June 15, 2020

Workshop | Freie Universität Berlin | 26-27 November 2020 (or virtually) 

Organizers: Alice Isabella Sullivan, PhD, Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin; Vladimir Ivanovici, PhD, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, USI | Masaryk University Brno 

Throughout the medieval period, Christian churches were designed in such a way that natural light was deployed to underscore a variety of theological statements. The solutions usually found in Latin and Byzantine churches have been analysed in recent decades. However, the cultures that developed at the crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic cultural spheres, particularly in regions of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains, advanced their own formulas for how to use natural light in ecclesiastical buildings.

These solutions depended on know-how inherited from Antiquity, and were further shaped by local climatic, economic, and theological parameters. The present workshop invites papers on the economy of natural light in medieval churches constructed across Eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea, and throughout the medieval period. Whether adopted or inspired from the more established traditions on the margins of the Mediterranean, local customs are examined in order to understand how natural light phenomena unfolded in ecclesiastical spaces, and how they related to the design, architecture, decorations, liturgical objects, or rituals performed inside the buildings.

The multilayered analyses of light Inszenierung examined in this workshop cast light on the structuring of sacred spaces in the Byzantine-Slavic cultural spheres. Moreover, the expertise behind the deployment of these natural light effects reveals patterns of knowledge transfer and cultural interaction between Byzantium, the West, and the Slavic world that extended in regions of Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages.

Proposals for 30-minute papers in English should include the following: an abstract (300 words max.) and a brief CV (2 pages max.). Proposals should be emailed to the organizers of the workshop at aisulli[at]umich.edu and vladimir.ivanovici[at]usi.ch by 15 June 2020. Please include in the email subject line “Berlin Workshop Proposal”. 

For all accepted presenters, the cost of travel, accommodations, and meals will be covered by the host institution through a grant sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Long History of the French Early Modern Pamphlet; deadline July 3, 2020

RSA Dublin 2021

Recent scholarship in the history of the book and reading practices has emphasized the need for a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary investigation of ephemeral print and premodern reading practices. Often seen as ‘the crowd made text’, pamphlets were at once individual items conveying specific messages, and contributory parts to broader movements. They were objects designed to reach a large audience that were engaged with individual readers. Although many have survived down to the present day, we are aware that even more have been lost.The history of the so-called French political pamphlet as both a material form and cultural object over the course of the early modern period offers a unique opportunity to address the complex and overlapping motivations for writing, publishing, buying, engaging with and keeping pamphlets. In a session planned for RSA Dublin 2021, "The Long History of the French Pamphlet" proposes to explore the printed pamphlet as a material and cultural object in France from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Papers that place French pamphlets in a larger comparative frame, or that focus on the material study, use, or reading practices of pamphlets, are encouraged, as are papers that approach new methodologies in pamphlet studies. Proposals from all disciplines are encouraged.The session is sponsored by the Newberry Library's Center for Renaissance Studies, and is a part of its larger project of expanding the time frame of the Newberry Library’s French Pamphlets Digital Initiative and re-creating it as a research and pedagogical resource in cooperation with a network of scholars interested in the pamphlet as a form. This resource includes over 38,000 digitized French pamphlets from the sixteenth century to the French Revolution, and is free to the public online. The results of these conversations will be made available as a part of this digital resource with author attribution, further widening the conversation of pamphlet studies. For this reason, if Covid-19 prevention measures affect RSA 2021 scheduling, the session will be held virtually.To apply, please send a 150-word abstract and short CV to co-organizers Elisa J. Jones (jonese@newberry.org), CRS Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston, and Sara Barker (S.K.Barker@leeds.ac.uk), Associate Professor of History at the University of Leeds, by Friday, July 3, 2020.