The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

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The Brown History Graduate Student Association Presents: The Tenth Brown Graduate Conference September 27-29 2017

Atlantic Trajectories: Trends and Movements in Atlantic World Studies

Call for Papers


The Atlantic is everywhere: many departments have given the Atlantic its own field, increasing numbers of graduate students call themselves historians of the Atlantic world, and multiple roundtables and books are now dedicated to determining what the Atlantic constitutes. The first generation of Atlantic historians presumed the British Atlantic to be The Atlantic. But there are all sorts of Atlantics that lie beneath the surface: a multinational, non-regulated ocean of contingency, chaos, and occasional rhythm, whose stories can be told from Indigenous, Dutch, French, Indigenous, Portuguese, and Spanish perspectives.


We would like to hear these stories from the next generation of Atlantic historians. We imagine this conference as a set of conversations amongst graduate students who are concerning themselves primarily with the Southern Atlantic. With keynote by David Wheat, and reception hosted at the John Carter Brown Library, we aspire for a series of presentations and discussions amongst colleagues at varying points in their graduate careers, fellows at the John Carter Brown Library, and participating students and faculty at Brown University. Over the weekend of September 29-30, we hope to find ourselves in an Atlantic that encompasses a variety of time periods and frameworks, getting away from its initial conceptualization as an English boundary. Send your abstracts of 250 words and one-page CVs to participate by July 31st, 2017 to . We look forward to reading them, and please email us if you have any questions!


Here are some, although by no means comprehensive, keywords that may help you get started: abolition, Asiento, Black Atlantic, cartography, cinema, class, diaspora, Indian servitude, gender, geography, go-betweens, healing, hurricanes, magic, natural history, Pacific, pirates, plantations, queer theory, quilombos, race, rebellion, Red Atlantic, religion, slaves, spirituality, transculturation


About the library:

The collections of the John Carter Brown are owed to the extraordinary wealth and influence of its namesake, John Carter Brown. For some thirty years, Brown pursued books and manuscripts focused on the early history of the Americas. In memory of his father, John Nicholas Brown raised the funds and dedicated the building in which the current collections are held in 1904. Due to its extraordinary breadth and scope for the early history of the Americas in Dutch, Spanish, Latin, Nahuatl, Quechua, French, Italian, among others, the John Carter Brown Library will serve as host for our keynote speaker, David Wheat, and a reception following. Students who may find the library helpful in future research will have ample opportunity to speak with its librarians and the fellows who will be in residence during the fall of 2017. To view the online catalogue and fellows in residence, visit their website.


About the Keynote Speaker:

David Wheat is currently Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University, where he works on migration history, slavery, and maritime exchange across the Atlantic and Colonial Latin America. His first book, Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean , (available at ProjectMUSE) focused on the many roles, influences, and spaces that Africans brought with them in the development of Spanish Caribbean society in the late sixteenth to mid-seventeenth centuries. For more on David Wheat, see his faculty profile .

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