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500th anniversary of William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Deadline 31 January 2020
St John’s College in Cambridge, 17-19 September 2020
Directed by Professor Susan Doran (University of Oxford) and Professor Norman Jones (Utah State University). The conference will focus on exploring the breadth and significance of Cecil’s activities, with a day of lectures focused on key themes and aspects of his life. Focus will then turn to new research into Cecil and his world, presented through papers and roundtable discussion sessions with the aim of promoting and galvanizing future directions of study. For more details click here.

American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) 2020 National Meeting
University of St. Thomas, Houston TX, April 1-4, 2020

 The University of St. Thomas William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies will host the 2020 American Conference for Irish Studies in Houston, Texas. The conference is April 1-4, 2020 at the JW Marriott Hotel at the Galleria in Houston. All conference panels will be held at the conference hotel. Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, will be our keynote speaker.

Our conference theme is Borders, Borderlands and Bridges.  This theme is pertinent in the centenary year of the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, which legislated the partition of the island of Ireland. The contemporary global discourse on borders adds further chronological and comparative significance to the theme.

The conference hosts welcome paper, panel and roundtable presentations on any Irish Studies topic.
Proposals are due November 15, 2019.
Submit your proposal through the UST ACIS Conference Website.

Visual Culture Approaches to Irish Studies: Bridging Methods and Fields

Úna Ní Bhroiméil (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick),
Michael de Nie (University of West Georgia),
Emily Mark-FitzGerald (University College Dublin),
Mary Trotter (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

We invite you to submit to our proposal to create a visual studies seminar at the ACIS National Meeting, Spring 2020.

Many ACIS members working with diverse visual culture methodologies see our research as triangulated by our topics in Irish history/culture and our scholarly training as historians, art historians, critics, social scientists and artists. We hope this seminar will help to create a transdisciplinary network for ACIS scholars using visual studies/visual culture approaches to their research, fostering a dialogue across our diverse fields of study.

We welcome papers on any Irish Studies topic using a visual studies/visual culture frame of research. We will select from the submitted proposals 12 participants for the seminar. We wish to include graduate students, early career scholars, scholars new to visual studies and senior scholars to participate. Each participant will be asked to prepare and share a 12-page (c. 3000 words) paper by March 1, 2020 to the organizers. The organizers will break the participants into sub-groups of 3 persons, and subgroups will exchange papers for comments and suggestions before the conference. During the seminar, each participant will give an 8-minute presentation/overview of their paper, and participate in roundtable and general discussion. The seminar will consist of two panel sessions, and all seminarians will participate in both sessions. The seminar will also be open to all who wish to participate in the discussion.

Some overarching issues which may arise in this seminar include:

  • What are some common codes or categories for understanding visual culture in an Irish Studies context across such fields as political history, art history, performance studies, folklore/anthropology, and archeology?
  • By exploring aspects of perceptions and receptions, optics, aesthetics, and economies of the visual, can we develop new insights into if/how vision and visuality have distinct characteristics in Irish Studies?
  • How might ideology be embedded in the visual? 
  • How do Irish visual studies intersect with scholarship on materiality, performativity, textuality, museum and archival studies?
  • How has digitization of the archive, and the proliferation of online image collections, changed the ways we work with and read the visual in Irish Studies? 
  • What research and/or pedagogical practices can we share with one another across disciplines?

If you are interested in applying to this proposed seminar, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words Michael de Nie by October 10, 2019.  Please note: you need to send your seminar proposal directory to Michael de Nie: do not send your seminar proposal to the ACIS conference organizers. All submitters will be informed if they have been included in the seminar proposal at least two weeks before the official conference proposal deadline.

The Bulletin of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies is seeking submissions for future volumes. The Bulletin is the official journal of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies. It is a fully digital, open access, and double-blind peer reviewed journal and is actively indexed in the MLA International Bibliography. In keeping with the Robin Hood tradition, authors retain their rights to their own materials.

Articles are generally 4,000-8,000 words long. Please see the journal's website for additional submission guidelines.

We invite scholars to submit articles or essays detailing original research on any aspect of the Robin Hood tradition. Submission is via the web, and preliminary inquiries or questions may be directed to Valerie Johnson, (University of Montevallo) and Alexander Kaufman (Ball State University).

Lord Burghley 500
2020 will mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of William Cecil (Lord Burghley from 1572), one of the most important statesmen and patrons of the Elizabethan age. Burghley was described by the Spanish ambassador as ‘the man who does everything’. Indeed his reach extended far beyond the world of the court to encompass the counties of England and the City of London, where he connected into expanding circles of trade and economic activity that spanned across the known world. At home, he became the leading architectural patron of the time, using his houses to exercise and reflect the magnificence of the state as well as his own dynastic ambitions. The scope of his interests was remarkable.

Events commemorating Cecil’s birth will include a major three-day conference at St John’s College in Cambridge, 17-19 September 2020, directed by Professor Susan Doran (University of Oxford) and Professor Norman Jones (Utah State University). The conference will focus on exploring the breadth and significance of Cecil’s activities, with a day of lectures focused on key themes and aspects of his life. We will then turn our focus to new research into Cecil and his world, presented through papers and roundtable discussion sessions with the aim of promoting and galvanizing future directions of study.

Suggested themes include, but are not restricted to:

Court politics
The Law
State formation
Work as Lord Treasurer
Family connections
Relationships within government
Foreign policy
City of London
Local government
The English and Irish Universities
Artistic and literary patronage

We are now recruiting speakers for 20 minute papers. We also invite proposals for roundtables and expressions of interest in participating as well as nominations of other relevant voices. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biography by 31 January 2020.

We hope to be able to provide some support for those travelling long distances and also for postgraduate and recent postdoctoral students (theses awarded within the last 3 years, adjusted as appropriate for those who studied part-time). Please let us know if you are eligible and would like to be considered for support.

If you have any questions, please contact the conference organiser, Dr Janet Dickinson at the conference email address.

The conference forms part of a series of activities organised by the Lord Burghley 500 Foundation. We are a charity founded in January 2019 with the aim of organising and promoting a national and international commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of William Cecil in 2020 and to establish academic initiatives creating a long-term legacy. For further details and information about events and activities, please visit our website.

Diplomatic departures: negotiating Britain’s international outreach in the contemporary world
Université Picardie Jules Verne
La Citadelle
10 rue des Français libres
80 000 Amiens

27 March 2020

In recent years, the expansion of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office network into new countries has generated increasing interest in the role of the places and spaces where diplomacy is made, in the international outreach of the United Kingdom and in the interactions between state and non-state actors and initiatives in delivering foreign policy objectives. What has received perhaps less sustained attention is the impact of diplomatic departures in Britain and in the British diplomatic network on the rethinking of Britain’s influence and power (hard, soft and smart).

Traditionally, a “diplomatic departure” occurs when an ambassador or a member of a diplomatic mission departs from their country of posting: both diplomatic departures and arrivals, as codified by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, are based upon a principle of mutual consent, with diplomatic missions representing the interests of their home country abroad and providing a reliable channel of communication between the two countries. While most often continuity is ensured beyond the departure of individuals, some departures can also result from or lead to important changes in policy. Examining diplomatic relations means therefore exploring a complex set of interactions between states, governments and individuals, with dual relations and potential tensions between diplomatic representatives and both the host and home governments. One major area of enquiry for this conference are departures at times of crisis, when heads of mission resigned, were expelled or were reposted under pressure from the host government or were removed by the home government.
Departures, in policy and style, also occur in less dramatic circumstances, when a mission is relocated within the same country, or when British offices are expanded. Perhaps more than embassies, consulates have been moved to suit the domestic requirements of host governments, with diplomats discussing the role of their premises and their own relation to local politics. Similarly, the expansion of the British Council network, in both ex-British and other territories, constitutes a transfer of expertise as much as it reflects the increasing interpenetration of cultural and foreign affairs. While there has been growing scholarship on the post-independence careers of colonial civil servants, with many administrators looking for employment in the newly independent states, particularly in the fields of education and development, the geographical and policy trajectories of British representatives, and the expertise gained on each “departure”, deserves further study. How do diplomats re-engage either in their next posting or back at home, and what does the experience of departure entail (particularly, but not necessarily exclusively, at times of crisis)?

Departure is also, to some extent, about new diplomatic actors, beyond the state itself. Of interest is therefore the role played by an increasing number of British NGOs, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, in altering more traditional representation of the state abroad, proposing their own vision of Britain – and sometimes being instrumental for the government in promoting a new British “brand”, in lieu of or alongside state actors.

A departure of sorts can also be said to occur when multilateral missions are established, or when diplomatic representation is pooled – subsuming or redeploying specifically national offices. Diplomatic missions can hardly be separated from the socio-economic and geopolitical dynamics of the country where they are located, nor from the financial means and political directions defined by the Foreign Office. While the Commonwealth seat no longer exists at the United Nations, the expansion of the European External Action Service from 2010 has seen the rise of EU diplomatic missions abroad, notably in Africa. In the context of the current debates on the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, the significance and use of such multilateral missions in expanding national interests abroad deserves further scrutiny (both before and after 2016). In this respect, this conference also considers the diplomatic network at play in Britain itself, and the reconfiguration of embassies, high commissions, consulates and other cultural missions. Of particular (but not exclusive) interest is the place of London in the trajectories of diplomats-in-waiting during the struggles for the end of empire, and more recently, as a diplomatic centre for EU member states.

Finally, diplomatic departures are also intrinsically linked to style and tradition, to display and show, and such elements are central to the study of diplomatic adaptations. Up until 2006, the age-old Foreign Office tradition of valedictory despatches meant that ambassadors could write freely about their posting in a final telegram home, thus expressing their personal impressions about the host country or even broader Foreign Office policy-making. While some of the most remarkable or controversial extracts were given publicity by Matthew Parris in 2011, there is now also an extensive autobiographical literature published by former diplomats, and active representatives have also taken to blogging and social media – with a variety of outcomes, and resurrecting to some extent the valedictory despatch. The digital age has also brought its own set of constraints and freedoms for diplomatic actors, and papers looking at diplomatic leaks or the archiving of departures are also welcome.

Proposals are therefore invited on any of the areas of study outlined above, to ultimately reflect on the adaptability and resilience of Britain’s international networks, and on what characterises both British diplomacy and Britain as a diplomatic space.

Please send a proposal (300 words max.) and a short biography to Lauriane Simony and Mélanie Torrent by 2 December 2019.

Organised by Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle/CRE

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The Bulletin of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies 

William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA


The MACBS – the mid-Atlantic affiliate of the NACBS, the main organization for British Studies in Canada and the United States – is soliciting proposals for papers and panels on all areas of British Studies for our annual conference at William & Mary in Williamsburg. We welcome participation from scholars of Britain, the British Atlantic World, and the British Empire broadly defined, and we are open to proposals ranging from the ancient to the contemporary and from scholars of history, anthropology, literature, art, politics, economics and related fields. Senior faculty, junior faculty, and graduate students are all encouraged to participate.

Proposals for both individual papers and full panels are welcome. Paper proposals should include a brief (no more than 250 words) abstract of the paper and a curriculum vita. Full panel proposals should also include a one-paragraph description of the panel’s overall aim and indicate which panel member will serve as the organizer and primary contact.

Williamsburg, part of the “Historic Triangle” of communities in Southeast Virginia, is accessible by air, train, and car. It is a lively college town and popular sightseeing destination.

Send proposals via email to:

Prof. Chris Bischof, Program Co-Chair
Dept. of History
University of Richmond


Prof. Stephanie Koscak, Program Co-Chair
Dept. of History
Wake Forest University

Funding for Graduate Students 

We are able to provide limited funding on a needs basis to graduate students presenting papers at the conference. Applicants must be enrolled in good standing in a PhD-granting program and should submit the following information to the program co-chairs by email:
  • Your name, email address, institution, and name of advisor
  • Statement of interest and name of conference paper
  • A budget outlining your approximate conference expenses
  • A list of funding already received or available for conference travel and expenses

For additional information, please see the MACBS website.

I know it's a bit last minute, but I am trying to put together a group who would be interested in joining a panel I am organizing for this conference. I am interested in organizing a panel about the nature of religion in the British Empire and its changing nature on the borderlands/frontier of North America during the 1700s. My own paper deals with a comparison/contrast of religiosity amongst colonists the borderlands in the Gulf South and what was responsible for the religious fervor of some colonists and dissolute behavior of others in East and West Florida in the mid-to-late eighteenth century.

I am also trying to find a generous individual who might be willing to serve as the chair and/or commentator.

If anyone is interested, please email me directly at for more information.

Many thanks to all for reading this.

~Deborah Bauer
University of South Florida

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“Shakespeare and Dance”
Deadline for submitting articles: 31 May 2020
Shakespeare Jahrbuch 157 (2021)
The 2021 volume of Shakespeare Jahrbuch will be a special issue on “Dance”. The editorial board invites essays from a variety of perspectives, including literary studies, cultural history, dance studies and the history of dance, performance studies, adaptation studies etc. For more information, please contact the general editor of Shakespeare JahrbuchSabine Schülting. The deadline for submitting articles (of not more than 6000 words) is 31 May 2020. The style sheet will be available on the website of the German Shakespeare Society as of January 2020.


Call for manuscripts: Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland (ed. Dr Valentina Bold)
no deadline stated 
Philip Dunshea and Peter Lang are seeking proposals for the series Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland (edited by Dr Valentina Bold of the University of Stirling).

This series presents a new reading of Scottish culture, establishing how Scots, and non-Scots, experience the devolved nation. Within the context of a rapidly changing United Kingdom and Europe, Scotland is engaged in an ongoing process of self-definition. The series will deal with this process as well as with cultural phenomena, from debates about the relative value of Gaelic-based, Scots and Anglicised culture, to period-specific definitions of Scottish identity. Orally transmitted culture - from traditional narratives to songs, customs, beliefs and material culture - will be a key consideration, along with the reconstruction of historical periods in cultural texts (visial and muscial as well as historical). Taken as a whole, the series will go some way towards achieving a new understsanding of a country with potential for development into parallel treatments of locally based phenomena. The series welcomes monographs and collected papers. 

Upcoming volumes include Virginia Blankenhorn's Tradition, Transmission, Transformation: Essays on Gaelic Poetry and Song and Peter Jupp and Hilary Grainger's Death in Scotland: Chapters from the Twelfth Century to the Twenty-First. 

Please contact commissioning editor Philip Dunshea if you would like more information on the series, or if you would like to discuss a proposal.

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