Saturday, March 13, 2010

Conference Program

The program for "New Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange East and West" is now available! Remember to register for the conference as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tawes Hall
Room 1100
University of Maryland, College Park

8:30-9:00AM - Registration

9:00- 10:15AM - Panel 1: Westward Ho! The New Worlds of the Americas

Moderator: Ralph Bauer (University of Maryland)

∙ Chris Cerone (University of Dayton) "Us and Them: Representations of “Otherness” in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko" (Abstract)

∙ Maggie Fromm (University of Maryland) "Theological Ethnologies: The Implications of José de Acosta’s Biblical Comparisons in Part Three of Historia Natural" (Abstract)

∙ Jasmine Lellock (University of Maryland) “Cultivating a Creole Identity in James Grainger’s The Sugar Cane(Abstract)

10:30-11:45AM - Panel 2: Exchanges East and West

Moderator: Joel Slotkin (Towson University)

∙ Jennifer Wood "Eastern and Western Sonic New Worlds of The Tempest" (Abstract)

∙ Jaecheol Kim (SUNY Buffalo) "Alchemy and Negotiating the Orient: Cultural Geographies in Jonson’s The Alchemist" (Abstract)

∙ Jessica Frazier (The George Washington University) "Love Loss for the Lovelockes: The Queer Fetishistic Curl of English History Past, Future, and Present" (Abstract)

12:30-1:45PM - Lunch
Faculty Lounge, Tawes 2115

2:00-3:30PM - Panel 3: Eastern Contacts Imagined and Real

Moderator: Elizabeth Bearden (University of Maryland)

∙ Amy Merritt (University of Maryland) "The Imagined Presence of Women in Conversion Plays: A Comparison of Travel Narratives and Dramatic Representations of the East" (Abstract)

∙ Cooper Childers (Marshall University) "Orientalism and Ecclesiastical National History in Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale" (Abstract)

∙ Ashley Denham Busse (The George Washington University) "(Un)Veiling the Muslim Woman: Pleasures of Fetishistic Fantasy in Early Modern Travel Narratives" (Abstract)

∙ Beth Sutherland (University of Virginia) "Infinite Deferral and Endless Adventure: Mandeville’s Travels Down the Via Negativa" (Abstract)

3:45-4:45PM - Panel 4: Mediterranean Material Culture and Art

Moderator: Louise Martinez (University of Maryland)

∙ Natalie Harris (Pennsylvania State University) "Always Like Itself: hybridity in Venetian Art as a symptom of and solution to cultural anxiety" (Abstract)

∙ Adam Jasienski (Harvard University) "Imported, Imitated, Imagined Poland’s Fascination with the Mediterranean, 1500-1750" (Abstract)

5:00-6:00PM - Keynote Lecture

Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English and Music, University of Virginia
"Medievalization Theory"

6:00PM - Reception
Faculty Lounge, Tawes 2115

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Conference Registration Form

Attending the "New Worlds" conference? Download and send in the registration form available here.

Registration ($10) gets you lunch, dinner, and a ticket to the reception. You must register by March 12!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Deadline Extended to February 12!


“New Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange East and West”

Graduate Conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
April 17, 2010
University of Maryland, College Park

Keynote speaker: Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English and Music, University of Virginia

The Department of English at the University of Maryland and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at The George Washington University invite graduate students from across the humanities to submit presentation abstracts for “New Worlds,” a one-day conference to be held on April 17, 2010.

The “New Worlds” conference will examine various European responses to encounters with people, culture, and lands to the east and west, as reflected in medieval and early modern literature, art, and music. In particular, “New Worlds” aims to elucidate the shifts that these interactions precipitated in various European understandings of newness and discovery, and in emergent European philosophies, epistemologies, and perspectives. We intend this theme to be defined broadly, to open up intellectual possibilities, and to offer a broad geographic and cultural scope in keeping with, and advancing, current and emergent scholarly conversations.

Participants might consider a range of approaches to the conference’s topic of cross-cultural exchange, including:

What kinds of “New Worlds” were medieval and early modern people encountering?

How did “New World” encounters shape literature, culture, politics, religion, philosophy, and science, and how did cultural and geographic newness figure as a force for change in European cultures and states?

In what unique ways did Mediterranean and Eastern European countries, which represented cultural crossing-points between West and East, respond to European encounters with American New Worlds? How did these responses differ from the arguably more isolated position of England? Or, alternatively, did they differ?

How might a broader understanding of “New Worlds” complicate the bifurcated focus on East/West relations in past scholarship of the medieval and early modern periods?

What roles do empire, colonization, and nationhood play in “New World” encounters?

Abstracts of 400-500 words for 20-minute papers related to the conference theme should be emailed to no later than February 12, 2010. Accepted abstracts will be posted on the conference website, The registration deadline for participants and attendees is March 12, 2010. To register, visit the conference website,