Remaking the Past 44th Annual Conference Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
March 30 – April 1, 2023
Sacramento, host city for NCSA’s 2023 conference, lends itself to exploring issues of revivals and re-creations of the past. Sacramento’s nineteenth-century history encompassed California’s Gold Rush, the genocide and displacement of Indigenous populations, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the building of a capital city that became a stage for the reinventions–productive and problematic–of the past so central to the nineteenth century. Appropriately, Sacramento’s conference will explore the nineteenth century’s almost constant desire to re-envision and measure itself against the past, as well as our own responsibility as scholars to reassess the histories we tell about this era, using current critical approaches, concerns, and theories.
CALL FOR PAPERS
We seek perspectives into the wide range of nineteenth-century reinterpretations of the past and their consequences. We invite papers and panels covering and uncovering political history, social history, history of science, literature, visual and performing arts, and popular culture. We welcome interdisciplinary and inclusive approaches that revisit and broaden ways of looking at the nineteenth century, including those that interrogate constructions of gender, race, settler-colonialism, and ethnicity as seen in, or that were created about, that era. We also invite papers that examine communities, artifacts, or epistemologies that resist remaking the past, including those that explore cultures for which preserving the past unaltered was/is a form of survival and resistance.
In addition, we welcome papers that scrutinize historical consciousness during the nineteenth century. These could assess the varied tendencies to rewrite history, to revive or bury the past, and to appeal to the past as a legitimizing force, as a spur to the imagination, and as a field for questions and contradictions. Such papers could consider the past as a force in political discourses, in education and science, and in debates on the value of studying it at all.
Topics may include: