Migration, Diaspora, Circulation and Translation 

October 5-7, 2017

University College Dublin, Clinton Institute for American Studies

Dublin, Ireland

A conference sponsored by the Charles Brockden Brown Society


Our conference site in Dublin calls to mind issues of migration, immigration, emigration, colonization, revolution, and other changes that result from the movement of people, ideas, and things from one place to another. Such issues were significant in colonial and early national American writing and thought in the long eighteenth century. The current global migration crisis and the recent “Brexit” vote makes these topics timely for reappraisal: as millions of migrants and asylum seekers cross into Europe, the world confronts questions about borders, resources, community, poverty, wealth, understanding of cultural differences, and human rights. The Eleventh Biennial Conference of the Charles Brockden Brown Society invites papers on all aspects of diaspora, migration, circulation, and translation in the long eighteenth century. The following list offers some examples of suggested topics:

  • Texts (letters, periodicals, books, treatises) that migrate from one place to another
  • Migration of species, and theories of natural history that involve migration or hibernation
  • Spread of genetic material in plants or other living beings; ecological biology, biodiversity, monoculture or related concepts
  • Movement of food, drink and other cultural practices related to agriculture, food preparation and/or eating
  • Loss inherent in places from which migration takes place on a large scale
  • Changing boundaries of nations, places, concepts (gender, childhood, etc.) during the long eighteenth century
  • Colonial and/or imperial repercussions of migration
  • Representations of Irishness as an unstable category in the long eighteenth century
  • Maria Edgeworth’s influence on American texts
  • Literary hoaxes and their reliance on dissemination
  • Ways that “contagion” works differently than “diaspora” as a trope
  • Adaptations, literary influences, allusions, plagiarism, copyright issues
  • Charles Brockden Brown’s depiction of migration, circulation, translation
  • Migratory labor, including prisoners, apprentices, and chattel slaves
  • The effects of borders and border crossing in domestic (national and private) spaces

Although we are an author society, we solicit proposals from a broad range of texts and practices beyond those associated with Brown and his writings alone. We also encourage interdisciplinary scholarship and work emphasizing non-U.S. literatures. Our conference culture aims to create a space of egalitarian consideration free from career-oriented and competitive attitudes, a place for new work to blossom. In this light, we have no concurrent sessions, so that all may be heard by all. Because of time/space constraints, we may ask you to reframe your proposed talk as a brief (5-10 minute) presentation for inclusion within a roundtable format.

Travel Support for Graduate Students:

Two travel awards of $500 each for graduate student participation will be awarded, funded by the Brown Society. Criteria for these travel subventions will favor students at the dissertation stage (over those in earlier stages of degree work) and those who have not previously presented at a CBBS meeting. Graduate students applying for a subvention should indicate their interest in a cover letter and provide information about whether or not they are ABD.

250-word proposal deadline: February 15, 2017  Please send a proposal in .docx format to hewitt.33@osu.edu.