C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists will host its sixth biennial conference October 21-25, 2020, in Coral Gables, Florida, with the generous support of the University of Miami and Florida International University.
The long nineteenth century was a time of political, social, and cultural volatility, marked by conflict, strife, discord, protest, and disagreement. It was an age of rebellion, riot, and revolution; it was an era in which social movements, such as women’s rights, labor rights, abolitionism, civil rights, Indigenous rights, land rights, anti-imperialism, and religious dissidence coincided with ideological revolt/s, such as communism, communitism, socialism, and spiritualism. It was an epoch of bodily dissent that incited and galvanized resistance to enforced and coerced gender, racial, class, and sexual norms. It was also a time in which literary and cultural formations expressly challenged artistic orthodoxy in favor of experiments in both content and form.
With this theme, we aim to inspire a broad consideration of varied forms of “dissent”: nonconformity to existing identities, institutions, policies, practices, and norms in the long nineteenth century. What constitutes “dissent” in this period? How do we think through genealogies of dissent--that is, the ways nineteenth-century dissent might or might not offer a way to frame contemporary circumstances and formations?
We also hope to engender discussions about dissent in scholarship and pedagogy. How might we challenge dominant or conventional theoretical and methodological approaches within nineteenth-century American literary and cultural studies? Do we need reformulations of what constitutes analysis, proper objects of study, disciplinary boundaries, and field formation? How might the particular historical and archival labor of nineteenth century American studies challenge the scholarly values of the twenty-first century university?
Lastly, how might we theorize divergences from dissent, such as accord, consensus, convention, and acceptance, or reactionary forms of dissent, such as nativism and revanchism? To what extent might dissent itself, so often framed as a form of negation, risk closing off intellectual and political possibilities in our work and in our classrooms? Are there limits to “critique”? In what ways might we productively dissent from dissent?
In addition to submissions related to our theme, we invite papers and panels on other topics, especially those engaging literary, cultural and historical perspectives on nineteenth century Florida and its location within the circum-Caribbean. We particularly encourage transhemispheric, transoceanic, and transnational approaches; presentations attending to
migration, movement, and travel, and those examining the complex lives, afterlives and ecologies of settler colonialism, indigeneity, slavery and empire.
C19 welcomes proposals for roundtables, workshops, dialogues, and innovative presentation formats, as well as traditional panels and individual paper submissions. We prefer that proposals with multiple participants reflect a diversity of institutional affiliation, academic rank, and disciplinary background. Please include at least four presenters on a panel, one of whom might be a respondent. All group proposals must leave time for discussion (each session is 90 minutes long). Individuals seeking potential collaborators may wish to use the C19 listserv, the discussion board on C19’s Facebook page, or Twitter, using the #C19Amlit hashtag or by tagging @C19Americanists.
C19: 2020 will once again feature a series of seminars which will provide participants the opportunity for a collaborative conversation around a particular topic. Each seminar will be capped at 15 participants and will be run by leaders with expertise in the topic. Typically, each participant will submit a five-page paper before the conference to be read in advance by the other participants; time in the seminar itself will be reserved for discussion. Seminar participants will be listed in the program. Participation as both a presenter and seminar participant will be allowed only as space permits. Leaders are chosen by the Program Committee.
Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a substantive role (presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and one appearance as a session organizer, chair, seminar participant, or speaker/facilitator on a professional support session. Please submit only one proposal for a substantive role.
Submissions were due September 6, 2019. All accepted panels have been notified. Please see the conference website for further information.
Jennifer C. James, Program Chair, The George Washington University,
Mark Rifkin, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro,
Gretchen Woertendyke, University of South Carolina,