Submit your proposal for the 27th OI Annual Conference at the University of Poitiers in Poitiers, France, June 19-21, 2024.

Proposals are due NOVEMBER 1, 2023.

Vast Early America: a Transcontinental Conversation

This conference is co-sponsored by the USC Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.

Early Americanists have become familiar with the framework of Vast Early America, but VEA’s engagement with continental Europe and Atlantic Africa remains underdeveloped. The distance is not only intellectual: The OI has not held its annual conference outside the Western Hemisphere since 2001, and scholarly organizations routinely tilt toward their host nation’s history.

In order to facilitate a long overdue transcontinental conversation about the relations between Vast Early America, Europe, and Africa, “Vast Early America: A Transcontinental Conversation” will be held in France, at the University of Poitiers. We aim simultaneously to facilitate conversations between early Americanists on both sides of the Atlantic, to uncover points where our respective approaches to the field have diverged, and to begin to carve out new paths forward that better integrate the insights and contributions of a wider range of early Americanists. With those goals in mind, we seek papers and panels that speak to a broad range of topics and approaches in early American history.

We are particularly interested in presentations that generate conversations about key issues among scholars working in different countries and within different scholarly traditions.  Panels might focus on questions including — but not limited to — revolution, rebellion, and political change/ continuity; global, regional, and local economies; Indigeneity, migration, transportation; enslavement and the enslaved; forms of exclusion and belonging; borders and territories in imperial and national systems; globalization and interconnectedness; identities, ideologies, and interests; sexualities, intimacies, bodies; logistics, authority, power; experiences of environmental transitions.  Transcontinental discussions of these and related topics are essential for the future of early American history.

Proposals for individual papers or complete panels must be received electronically no later than November 1, 2023. [APPLY VIA THIS LINK.] All submissions should include a one-page proposal and a one-page c.v. for each participant; panel submissions should also include a one-paragraph description. Each c.v. should include mail and email addresses and telephone numbers. Proposals for panels, workshops, and roundtables should combine all the participants’ c.v.’s into ONE document. We recognize the importance of pursuing a multilinguistic approach to research on Vast Early America. However, for this conference, we recommend proposals and papers be in English.

To support the participation of early career scholars and ensure the success of the program’s ambitions, some funds will be available to offset the costs of travel for some participants and will be allocated based on need.

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