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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.

All submissions must be received by 3 January 2020.

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.

Pulpit, Playhouse, and Page: Theatrical and Non-theatrical Exchange in Early Modern England
Deadline: 1 November 2019
University of Sheffield, 28-29 May 2020
This two-day conference will explore connections between theatrical and non-theatrical texts in early modern England. Theatrical culture functioned in vibrant relation to both non-theatrical performances (such as sermons and entertainments) and non-dramatic poetry and prose. However, moments of exchange between different genres have too often been obscured by disciplinary silos. By bringing together scholars with a wide variety of interests the conference will open up new research questions which address the creative exchanges between plays and a wide range of non-theatrical texts and performances. Please submit 200-word proposals for 20-minute papers by Friday 1 November 2019 to

Teaching with The Pulter Project
May 9, 2020, Northwestern University
Hosted by Wendy Wall and Leah Knight, co-directors of The Pulter Project

Keynote: Frances E. Dolan (University of California, Davis): “Mucking about with a Poet in the Making”

We seek proposals exploring innovative ways to integrate The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making into the classroom. This digital site presents multiple versions of the striking religious, political, scientific, and personal poetry of seventeenth-century writer Hester Pulter. If we include Pulter’s works in courses on poetry, religion and literature, science and literature, women’s writing, and/or early modern history, what new knowledges come to light? How, we ask, does the material form of the text shape a student’s reading experience, and alter understandings of authorship and literary production? How might creative pedagogies utilize a hands-on site and/or enable the digital publication of undergraduate and graduate student work?

Topics may include reflections on:

  • proposed or past syllabi and assignments that partake of the project to illuminate new ways of understanding religious experience; political protest writing; early modern women’s writing; mourning; fantasies of the cosmos; physics; astronomy, death, etc.;
  • reading formats in the classroom: anthologies, print, digital sites, rare book rooms, EEBO;
  • using the “versioning” of texts to teach theories of authorship, materiality, intellectual property, and/or literary production;
  • the challenges of teaching early modern women writers;
  • assignments other than the standard paper; and
  • curricular challenges and triumphs.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Leah Knight and Wendy Wall at by Dec 10, 2019.

Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists
Earlham College
Richmond, Indiana
June 12-14, 2020

The Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists (CQHA) will hold its 23rd biennial conference at Earlham College on June 12-14, 2020.

CQHA is a community that brings together those who study the history of Quakers and Quakerism with practitioners from cultural institutions that make records of the Quaker past available for scholarship. The Conference takes place every two years at locations in North America and abroad, and welcomes both Quaker and non-Quaker participants from diverse backgrounds.

We invite proposals for presentations on any aspect of Quaker history, across all time periods and locations. This year we encourage proposals on the following topics: Challenges of diversity, equity, or inclusion in Quakerism; Quakerism in Indiana and the US Midwest; (Re)assessments of Quakerism and Quaker historiography.

In addition to individual paper presentations (20 minutes), we welcome proposals for panels of complete sessions (2-3 papers), roundtable discussions (60 or 90 minutes), workshops (up to a half day), or other collaborative formats. We also seek participants for a session of lightning talks (5-7 minutes each), a format especially well suited to works-in-progress, summaries of recent publications, or ongoing projects. All presenters are required to register for the conference.

Proposals should consist of the following elements:
  • Identify the format of your proposed presentation: a single paper, a panel of papers, a roundtable discussion, a workshop, a lightning talk, or other format, and indicate its proposed length.
For each presentation proposed, please supply:
  • the presentation title
  • a one-page description of the proposed presentation that highlights argument, approach, or methodology, as well as anticipated content; and
  • a one-page vita or resume for each presenter.
Proposals for sessions should be sent as a package, including an overall session description as well as the requested materials for each participant.

Complete proposals should be sent via email to Susan Garfinkel and John Anderies, program co-chairs, at

The deadline for proposals is December 6, 2019.

Logistics: Dormitory lodging and meal service will be available on the campus of Earlham College, within walking distance of conference sessions. Hotels, bed & breakfasts, and AirBnBs are located within driving distance in the city of Richmond. Located in eastern Indiana, Richmond is accessible by plane plus shuttle or car from Dayton (45-minutes), Indianapolis (90-minutes), or Cincinnati (90-minutes) airports. Richmond is accessible by car via I-70 and US routes 27, 35, and 40. The nearest Amtrak station is Connersville, Indiana (35-minutes).

In an area settled by Quakers in the early nineteenth century, the city of Richmond is located along the historic National Road and serves as county seat for Wayne County, Indiana. Richmond is home to four colleges and two seminaries including Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion, and is headquarters of Friends United Meeting. The city and region offer an abundant selection of restaurants, shops, museums, outdoor recreation and cultural opportunities.


Conference Website


Funding Opportunity from Friend Historical Association (FHA)
Funding for Underrepresented Scholars: Friends Historical Association offers a funding opportunity to better support scholars whose race or ethnicity, gender expression and sexual preference, faith (or lack thereof), and/or other facets of background and identity are traditionally underrepresented amongst CQHA conference presenters and attendees. Stipends of $1,000 are available for up to three applicants. Applications are due December 11, 2019. Please click here for details.

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Shakespearean Dance seminar: German Shakespeare Association/Shakespeare-Tage
Deadline: 30 November 2019 
Bochum, Germany, 24-26 April 2020
Dance is a prevalent art form in early modern culture, and an established part of Shakespeare’s oeuvre. From masques to interludes to comedy endings to courtly entertainments and weddings: dancing is frequently seen as a cross-class and cross-generic form of entertainment. From the early modern period onward, Shakespeare’s poetry and plays have been adapted into different art forms, including dance and music, which offer their own expressive repertoire to interpret Shakespeare’s works. “Adaptation, recreations, replications, and reductions enrich our understanding not only of current and past dance practices, but of their performative strategies and material conditions,” as Jennifer Nevile asserts in the recently published Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance (2019, 6). The ‘bodily turn’ in literary and cultural studies, for instance, has offered new frameworks and conceptual approaches to think of the body as integral parts of textual and artistic productions. Our seminar plans to address these issues with a panel of six papers. As critical input for the discussion and provocation for debate, we invite papers of no more than 15 minutes that present concrete case studies, concise examples and strong views on the topic. Please send your proposals (abstracts of 300 words) by 30 November 2019 to the seminar convenors: Lukas Lammers, Free University Berlin; Kirsten Sandrock, University of Göttingen

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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