45th Annual Conference
Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
March 14 – 16, 2024
From its early history as an important trading hub along the Ohio River, Louisville, Kentucky stood as an important gateway between the south and the north as well as between the east and west. As the city grew rapidly throughout the nineteenth century due to its favorable geography, it served as a threshold to nearby Indiana enslaved people longing for freedom and simultaneously as one of the largest centers for the trade and trafficking of enslaved individuals. Despite Kentucky remaining within the Union, many in the state sympathized with the Confederacy, and the political clout of Confederate soldiers returning after the Civil War earned Louisville its reputation as the city that joined the Confederacy after the war was over. During reconstruction and into the twentieth century, the city continued to wrestle with its history while also creating opportunities for those newly freed. Thus, the image of Louisville as a threshold offers fruitful ground for considering the individuals, institutions, conditions, and movements that shape the nineteenth century.
CALL FOR PAPERS
As an interdisciplinary organization, we welcome (15-20 minute) papers and submissions that explore thresholds from a broad range of perspectives, especially diverse national and international frameworks. In discussing physical manifestations of thresholds, papers may explore thresholds in nineteenth-century art, architecture, geography, history, literature, and material culture. Papers may address temporal thresholds into and from the long nineteenth century, including events, figures, and perspectives from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Since thresholds also imply the midpoint from one state of existence to another or from one social status to another, we also welcome broader interpretations of the conference theme such as: thresholds between wilderness and civilization, ecological thresholds, threshold states (e.g. vampirism), visual thresholds, economic thresholds, musical thresholds, and ontological thresholds. Submissions may also address the abundant scientific and technological thresholds in the nineteenth century and the ways they shaped our modes of existence and understanding, e.g. electricity, the phonograph, atomic particles, and the standardization of time. While thresholds often imply advancing through a transition, papers may also conceptualize them as limits that are not transgressed. Topics on the state of nineteenth-century studies might also include thresholds of teaching and scholarship, academic labor practices, or innovative approaches to humanities education.
Please send 250-word abstracts with one-page CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2023.
Abstracts should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. The organizers welcome individual proposals, panel proposals with four presenters and a moderator, or larger roundtable sessions. Note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. Presenters will be notified in November 2023. The organizers encourage submissions from graduate students, and those whose proposals have been accepted may submit complete papers to apply for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. See the sidebar at right for more information about conference grants.