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This is NEPCA's official website, containing both information about the organization and the latest news about the profession.

2018 NEPCA Conference

NEPCA’s 2018 Fall Conference will be held at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA OCTOBER 19-20, 2018.

Proposals due before June 1, 2108.

Peter C. Rollins Book Prize

The deadline for publishers to submit nominations for the 2017 Rollins Prize is July 1, 2018. This prize will honor the best book written by a scholar working in New England or New York on a topic pertaining to popular or/and American culture during the year 2017.

Carol Mitchell and Amos St.. Germain Graduate Paper Prizes. Rolling date for consideration until July 1. Papers must be nominated by panel chair.

NEPCA’s 2018 Fall Conference

PROPOSALS for 2018 ARE NOW OPEN.

NEPCA’s 2018 conference will take place on the campus of Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts on Friday October 19 and Saturday October 20, 2018.

Proposals are due before June 1, 2018. After this date NEPCA will only accept proposals that round out incomplete panels.

Periodic updates and information will be made on this site and can be viewed by clicking on the 2018 Conference tab above. 

CFP: Trans Identities

A growing awareness of transgender issues has intensified in recent years, especially after the high-profile media example of Caitlyn Jenner, the career ascension of Laverne Cox, and the cross-media achievements of Jazz Jennings. This rising awareness has caused activism both for and against the transgender community and compels us to question many of the binaries that permeate popular culture. Few issues question borders and transcend boundaries in such an important manner as current transgender concerns, and although there has been scholarly attention on trans communities, there has been little attention given to the intersection of trans identities and broader contemporary culture.

We are seeking 200-400 word abstracts for book chapters (18-20 pages with end notes) exploring the theme of what exists within and beyond the binaries that were, upon a time, never questioned or examined, especially as expressed through a transgender lens and in popular culture.

Any solid methodological approach will be considered. We are particularly interested in projects that question or redefine gender and transgender identities beyond the expectations of binary codes, be it language, media portrayals, and historical considerations, such as but not limited to:

  • Transgender presence in cinema
  • Transgender identities in music
  • Transgender culture and fashion
  • International perspectives on transgender visibility and perspectives
  • Social media representations of trans identities
  • Transgender presences in video games

This collected work will explore numerous aspects of transgender identity from a scholarly perspective while at the same time using transgender as a lens to investigate cultural practices and constructions. It will be multidisciplinary and well researched, but also accessible to a non-scholarly audience. The book would be organized in three major sections roughly corresponding to the past, present, and future of the transgender presence and movement.

By May 15, please submit for consideration a chapter abstract or a completed book chapter and brief bio to Dr. John Lamothe, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, at john.lamothe@erau.edu.

Our current timeframe is:

May 15, 2018—Deadline for chapter proposals

May 2018 – Put out 2nd CFP to round out any chapters we’re missing.

September 2018 – Deadline for completed chapters.

November 2018 – Deadline for final chapter revisions.

December 2018 – Submit final manuscript to publisher.

Spring/Sum 2019 – Final book goes to press.

Contact Email:

Oneida versus the Moralists: A Review of The Ministers’ War

The Ministers’ War: John W. Mears, the Oneida Community, and the Crusade for Public Morality. By Michael Doyle. Syracuse University Press. 2018.

 

Antebellum activism is often refracted through an abolitionist lens, though few Northern evangelicals compartmentalized reform. Protestant ministers spearheading change could be found among any of a number of reform groups. In this regard, the subject of Michael Doyle’s fascinating study, the Rev. John W. Mears (1825-1881), was typical of men from the rising Northern middle class whose passions were inflamed by the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, which reached their height in the 1830s. There wasn’t much that Mears didn’t see as a sin in need of extirpation: prostitution, birth control literature, Mormonism, water pollution, Roman Catholicism, Valentine’s Day cards, obscenity…. The last of these, obscenity, really distressed Mears who was, as Doyle, a Washington, DC-based reporter, puts it, a “virtuous man (44).”

Battles over obscenity often stumble over its definition and parameters. As Doyle suggests, this was Mears’ problem. In the crucial decades before the Civil War, virtue was generally synonymous with the values of the middle class, but it took Mears some time to direct his prodigious energies at the targets that consumed him: John Humphrey Noyes (1811-1886) and the Oneida Community. On the surface, the Oneida Community was what we’d today call a “soft target.” It was, after all, rooted in ideals located far from the banks of the mainstream, the least controversial of which was shared property and living arrangements rooted in spiritual communism. Members also practiced a system of “complex marriage” in which all men and women could (in theory) have carnal relations with each other. Moreover, Noyes equated unwanted pregnancy as enslavement of women, hence the keystone practice of “male continence.” More shocking still, young men learned this discipline through intercourse with postmenopausal women. Noyes himself was a bail jumper who escaped Putney, Vermont, and a possible jail term for adultery back in 1847. So why did it take Mears and the other ministers he recruited until 1881 to force the dissolution of the Oneida Community?

One of the many merits of Doyle’s book is that he captures aspects of the nineteenth-century Zeitgeist in just 172 briskly written pages. Mears shared commonality with others emboldened by the Second Great Awakening, but as Paul Johnson and others have demonstrated, conversion in Western New York State’s “burned-over district” was weighted heavily toward the middle class. Most locals were farmers and artisans. Although they disapproved of Oneida Community practices, most were also intrigued (possibly titillated) by them, found the group to be good neighbors, and were willing to live and let live. This adds an under-examined class dimension to the crusade against Oneida.

It is important to note that neither Mears nor Noyes should be viewed through modern eyes. The Presbyterian Mears was meddlesome, but he was not akin to contemporary moralists. Northern evangelists were not fundamentalists—the concept barely existed then. Mears studied theology at Yale, revered Immanuel Kant, and was an exacting professor of moral philosophy at Hamilton College. Nor was Noyes a proto-hippie free lover; the Dartmouth/Andover Seminary-educated Noyes based community sexual practices in conceptions of primitive Christianity and a belief in moral perfectionism, the latter a key element of Second Great Awakening thought. In one of the books many concise summaries, Doyle details ways in which Mears and Noyes were quite similar in many respects. The sexual practices gap, though, was simply too wide for the stern Mears to bridge.

Mears prevailed—sort of; Oneida disbanded in 1881, but Mears expired that same year. One is tempted to draw parallels between the minister’s campaign against Oneida and today’s culture wars but, again, Doyle’s objective is to shed light on the nineteenth century, not our own time. Oneida was an endlessly intoxicating experiment about which much has been written. The dissolution narrative generally ends with the incorporation of the community’s chief source of income, its flatware manufactory. Doyle deftly illumines the lesser-known details of the organized opposition that forced the community’s hand. Metaphorically, Noyes represents the utopian impulse and Mears what Robert Wiebe famously dubbed “the search for order.” Doyle’s small gem of a book should prove invaluable in facilitating discussions of ante- and postbellum America. Undergraduates will appreciate its clarity and brevity; general readers will find it fascinating.

Robert E. Weir

University of Massachusetts

The Knickerbocker Myth—Review

Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York. By Elizabeth L. Bradley. Rutgers University Press, 2009, 151+ pp.

 

 

In his 1963 breakthrough novel Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. coined the term granfalloon to describe hollow collectives to which one accidentally belongs. For instance, if you live in California you are a “Californian” until the day you move to Vermont and become a “Vermonter.” Such identities are intrinsically meaningless—unless they mutate. Elizabeth Bradley’s fascinating study of the Knickerbocker identity suggests that more is afoot when we look at how such terms are created, recreated, and appropriated over time. Her book was originally published in 2009, but is back Rutgers University Press is promoting it anew at a time in which the larger “American” identity is weakening and Balkanization is ascendant.

 

Most regional identity terms follow simple grammar rules as they move from noun to adjective. It doesn’t require much mental effort to associate an Iowan with Iowa or a Mainer with Maine. It’s trickier when the adjectives are endonyms, terms used almost entirely by those within a region. Perhaps you can work it out that a “Toner” resides in Washington State, but you probably need to live in South Carolina to identify with Sandlapper, or follow sports to think of Cornhuskers, Tar Heels, and Hawkeyes in the same breath as Nebraska, North Carolina, and Iowa, as none of those terms are officially recognized collective pronouns. Sometimes insider terms become official—Buckeye (Ohio), Hoosier (Indiana), Nutmegger (Connecticut), or Yankee (New England)—but all such unusual adjectives are called demonyms and, as often as not, their Ur usage is obscure and spawn theories ranging from logical to fanciful.

 

Knickerbocker is rare in that we know its precise origins. It was the pseudonym used by Washington Irving (1783-1859) to perpetuate a great literary hoax. Irving appropriated the surname of a Rensselaer County Dutch family to invent Diedrich Knickerbocker, a deadbeat historian whose manuscript Irving “discovered” in a New York City hotel room from which Knickerbocker fled before settling his accounts. Irving fashioned a brilliant publicity campaign to go with h

is literary invention; he took out ads stating his intention to publish Knickerbocker’s manuscript unless he came forth to claim it. Not surprisingly, Kickerbocker was a no-show and, in 1809, the struggling Irving made his early reputation with A History of New York from the Beginnings of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty.

 

You could learn a lot of this by wasting a few hours on the Internet. What you’d not learn, though, is the social history and contemporary sociology associated with Irving’s ruse. Also in Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut introduced the karass, an intentional network of people connected in significant ways. Though she does not reference Vonnegut, Bradley shows how the Knickerbocker has been appropriated in identity-forming ways. Direct Dutch control over its New Amster

 

dam colony officially ended in 1665, but the transfer to English control did not change the fact that the colony’s white population was predominately Dutch. Nor did the American Revolution and the passage of 144 years alter the fact that those of Dutch surnames and ancestry were disproportionately distributed among New York’s wealthy families, politicians, and taste arbiters. Many New Yorkers were amused by Irving’s trickery, but not all got the joke; some saw the Knickerbocker icon as confirmation of their assumed social and cultural superiority. Irving’s purpose, of course, was the opposite; he lampooned Dutch calcification specifically and social airs in general, but Diedrich Knickerbocker unleashed proved an infinitely malleable demonym.

 

Bradley titles her chapters “The Picture of Knickerbocker,” “Inheriting Knickerbocker,” “Fashioning a Knickerboracy,” and “Knickerbocker in a New Century.” Bradley breezily transforms the Knickerbocker into a synecdoche for two hundred years of New York history, politics, culture, commerce, and identity. In effect, one can draw a straight line from the boastful Diedrick Knickerbocker to the insouciant swagger of today’s New York City dwellers. That is, the Knickerbocker became New York City’s brand. No wonder those in the 19th century associated it with everything from bread and buses to “nostalgia and nativism” (59). And let’s not forget Santa Claus. Through time, the Knickerbocker lost some of its Dutch ethnicity in the American melting pot, but there were always Roosevelts, Van Rensselaers, and Vanderbilts to drop hints; German and Dutch brewers to lubricate myths; and basketball heroes, place names, and the mystique of the Big Apple to suggest that Gotham speaks a Dutch dialect. Moreover, as Bradley reminds us, no city comes close to New York in capturing imaginings of the essence of the United States. Never mind that little of this looks like the frontispiece from Irving’s 1809 satire; myths have enormous power even when their veracity is in doubt—just as an intentional karass is generally more empowering than an accidental granfalloon.

 

Rob Weir

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Poetics and Politics of Video Games CFP

For its thirtieth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the poetics and politics of video games.

20 years ago Janet H. Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck and Espen Aarseth’s Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature began a conversation to theorize the aesthetics of video games. Since these foundational texts, game studies has sustained an interrogation of political questions concerning games, such as issues of representation and the configuration of online game spaces. Video games intersect with industrial practices, embodied experiences, as well as visual and ludic designs, all of which have specific political implications. For this issue we encourage contributors to consider two or more of these factors together, exploring “how games make complex meanings across history, bodies, hardware, and code.” (1)

This issue of InVisible Culture takes a cultural studies approach toward video games in that the formal aesthetics always register aspects of the culture that they emerge from. We think of games as an open category that includes a broad range of media, from mainstream AAA games to art installations; complex “hardcore” games as well as casual mobile apps; visually rich to text-based interactions—cutting across a range of experiences, from the banality of playing an app to the singularity of wearing a VR headset. We take gaming aesthetics to mean not only the system of visual, aural, ludic, and narrative configurations of (a) given game(s) but also the manipulation of these systems: modding, updating, streaming, etc. We are also interested in what surrounds games, such as to what degree games afford community building and collaboration between players.

Possible topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:

– Games and Representation, Games and Subjectivity
– Games and Affect, Multisensory Encounters with Games
– Ordinariness/Everydayness of Games, Gamification of Everyday Life
– Materiality/Tactility of Gaming Devices, Embodied Engagements with Games
– Queer/Feminist Approaches to Video Games
– Games and the Politics of Race, Gender, and (Dis)Ability
– DIY Approaches to Games and Game Making
– Games and Activism
– Genre studies
– Platform Studies
– Games and Sound
– Remediation of Video Game Aesthetics
– Games and/as Contemporary Art, Games in Museums/Galleries
– Games in the Archive, Games as Archive, Preservation
– Game Communities and Fandom
– Fan-made “How To” and “Let’s Play” Videos, Live Streams
– Character Creation Systems and their Politics (Liberatory vs. Constraining)
– The Economy of Games, Microtransactions, Loot crates

Please send completed papers (with references following the guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style) of between 4,000 and 10,000 words to invisible.culture@ur.rochester.edu by June 30th, 2018. Inquiries should be sent to the same address.

Creative/Artistic Works

In addition to written materials, InVisible Culture is accepting works in other media (video, photography, drawing, code) that reflect upon the theme as it is outlined above. Please submit creative or artistic works along with an artist statement of no more than two pages to invisible.culture@ur.rochester.edu. For questions or more details concerning acceptable formats, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contributeor contact the same address.

Reviews

InVisible Culture is also currently seeking submissions for book, exhibition, and film reviews (600-1,000 words). For this issue we particularly encourage authors to submit reviews of games or other forms of interactive media. To submit a review proposal, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contribute or contact invisible.culture@ur.rochester.edu.

Dialogues

The journal also invites submissions to its Dialogues page, which will accommodate more immediate responses to the topic of the current issue. For further details, please contact us at invisible.culture@ur.rochester.edu with the subject heading “Dialogues submission.”

* InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through peer reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialog across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.

You can find this annoucement and more information about InVisible Culture here.

(1) Aubrey Anable, Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018), xi

Contact Info:

InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through peer reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialog across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.

Deadline Approaching for PCA Summer Grants

It’s not too late to submit your application for the PCA-BGSU Summer Research Institute, June 3-8. There are still a few places remaining.
 
BGSU Summer Research Institute
Visit the PCA website for details and application materials.
pcaaca.org/summer-research-institute-bgsu

Questions? Contact Lynn Bartholome at lbartholome@monroecc.edu.

Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!

The application deadline is April 14.

World war One Symposium

Armistice & Aftermath: A World War One Symposium

Sept. 28-29, 2018 at Michigan Technological University, Houghton MI

Call For Papers

Armistice Day 2018 marks the centenary end of World War I. This symposium explores the conditions and impacts of the “Great War,” as experienced during and afterwards, with a special focus on the perspective from the American Heartland. The war had tremendous human and economic repercussions. It also motivated technological, medical, and cultural advances, and it paved the way for transformative social change, from Prohibition to women’s suffrage.

Keynote speakersDr. John H. Morrow, Jr., Franklin Professor of History, University of Georgia. Author (with Jeffrey T. Sammons) of Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality (2014) and Dr. Lynn Dumenil, Robert Glass Cleland Professor Emerita of American History, Occidental College. Author of The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I(2017).

We invite papers that examine a wide range of topics such as, but not limited to

●      Domestic and regional mobilization and demobilization Social implications of technologies and industries of war

●      Reintegration and post-war shifts in gender, class, and labor relations

●      Cultural representations of war, home-front support, and life in the aftermath

●      Memories of the war in music, literature, film, drama, art, graphic arts

●      Civil rights, social stratifications, and diversity in the military and civilian life

●      The peace and anti-war movements

Please spread the word by forwarding this announcement.

DEADLINE FOR 350-500 WORD ABSTRACT: May 1, 2018

Please include a brief biography.

Submit to ww1cc.mtu.edu/cfp

Accepted papers may be published as Proceedings in the Michigan Tech Digital Commons. Selected revised papers may be included in a proposal for a published collection.

There is no registration fee for attendance.

Approval for State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) is pending. More details will be available once the program is finalized.

CONTACT INFORMATION

WW1CC • Dr. Patty Sotirin • (906) 487-3264

Department of Humanities Michigan Technological University

A series of free and public exhibits and installations will take place at Michigan Tech and the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw during the symposium.

●      Europe, America, and the World: An Outdoor Concert. Featuring the music of James Reese Europe performed by MTU Superior Wind Symphony, MTU

●      An Evening of Silent Film. Featuring Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms (1918) with live musical accompaniment, Rozsa Theater

●      Interactive WWI Trench. With battle soundscape, readings from soldiers’ memoirs, and war poetry, MTU

●      American and French Propaganda Posters and the Great War. Exhibit, Rozsa Gallery, courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center

●      Shell-shocked: Footage and Sounds of the Front. Film with sound installation, Rozsa Gallery

●      Philosophy, Technology, & Warfare. A multimedia screens exhibit, Immersive Visualization Studio, MTU

●      Soldier Stories: The U.P. in World War I. Exhibit, Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, courtesy of Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center

●      World War I & the Copper Country Home Front. Exhibit, Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw

●      Copper Country Voices of Dissent in the Great War. Exhibit, Finnish American Heritage Center, Finlandia University

WW1CC is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Michigan Humanities Council.

Black Radicalism Conference

New York City April 14-15

Details found here: http://www.rosalux-nyc.org/black-radicalism-in-the-united-states/ 

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