CFP: Attending to Early Modern Women: Remapping Routes and Spaces

This would be good for fashion scholars doing research between the years 1500-1800.  The conference might be useful for exploring fashion’s relationship to a woman’s fixed position in society.

Attending to Early Modern Women: Remapping Routes and Spaces
Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 21-June 23, 2012
Deadline: August 31, 2011

How did women situate themselves in the early modern world, and how did they move through it, in both real and imaginary locations? How did gender figure in understandings of spatial realms, from the inner space of the body to the outer spaces of the cosmos? How do new disciplinary and geographic connections shape the ways in which we think, write, and teach about the early modern world? Taking as our inspiration the move of Attending to Early Modern Women from Maryland to Milwaukee, we will consider these issues in relationship to the following topics:

  • Communities

Women’s actions in neighborhoods, villages, cities, states, and empires; family and kinship networks; establishing and breaching boundaries in sexual and gender expression; religious communities; exclusions, exiles, and expulsions.

  • Environments

Gendered landscapes and soundscapes; the body and its borders; built and invented realms and frontiers; cartographic spaces; gender and the new cosmology and anatomy.

  • Exchanges

Travel, migration, and displacement; imagined spatial crossings; new interdisciplinary connections; the circulation of manuscripts, books, objects, and ideas; consumerism and material culture; transnational and transoceanic links.

  • Pedagogies

Traveling new routes in teaching; the virtual spaces of technology and teaching; early modern women in the realm of museums and galleries for adults and children; issues in academic institutions and in publishing.

    Attending to Early Modern Women, which has been held seven times at the University of Maryland since 1990, is moving to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, thanks to the generous support of the College of Letters and Science at UWM. The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote interdisciplinary dialogue, augmented by a keynote, and a plenary session on each of the four conference topics: communities, environments, exchanges, and pedagogies. It will be held at the UWM School of Continuing Education Conference Center in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, within easy walking distance of the lakeshore, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Amtrak station.  Attendees will stay in the near-by and newly renovated Doubletree Hotel. The conference will run from Thursday June 21 through Saturday June 23, 2012, and attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a special pre-conference seminar on Wednesday June 20 at the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. 

    Detailed instructions on submitting workshop proposals may be found on the conference website

    Merry Wiesner-Hanks
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Milwaukee, WI 53201


    (image credit-Lucile Ltd Studio, 160 Fifth Avenue/Lucile Ltd Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology Library)

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  • Virginia Postrel June 28, 2011 03.07 am

    I don’t think “early modern” in this context means what you think it means. It means Renaissance.

  • Kat June 28, 2011 06.13 pm

    That is very interesting, about the phrase “early modern” – I still haven’t come to grasp the idea that we are living in a “post-modern” era. So what is the next step? 😉

    In any case, I still think this conference applies to fashion scholars in many ways. One must realize the importance of fashion and dress on a woman’s life between the years 1500-1800 – it played a HUGE role. Just think about “the body and its borders” – what better definition of this phrase than the corset! Corsets are confining, but their use was also liberating, a source of power, to some – and they weren’t worn merely by women either, this could easily be a subject of gendered discourse. The Early Modern period saw the rise of the corset as a dress norm.

    There is also much to be said about regional fashion, how various countries and empires differentiated themselves from each other through style and aestheticism. Yes, I think there is much that a fashion scholar could bring to this conference.

  • Ashley June 29, 2011 08.46 am

    Thank you for the clarification and comments!


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