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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Call for Papers for the Fifteenth Annual Women's and Gender History Symposium

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Chanpaign's has a call for papers for Fifteenth Annual Women's and Gender History Symposium, entitled "Where is the Love: Uncovering Love, Past and Present" held February 27-March 1 at the Illini Union in Urbana, Illinois. Professor Luise White will give a keynote address. They do not have a specific spatial focus, but encourage focus on Non-Western and Indigenous areas, or on pre-modern periods, along with those that employ inter-disciplinary approaches and tools. 300-500 word abstracts are due by November 15.

The concept of love has historically cast a large shadow, influencing everyday lives, political processes and social structures. We invite all papers that help us conceptualize, historicize, and complicate the themes of love and affective relations, across all time periods (ancient, medieval, and modern), while grounding their analysis in the category of gender and/or the experiences of women. We are looking for papers that consider love in a wide variety of contexts from different parts of the world. Contexts could include familial/filial love, romantic love, queer love, multiracial/inter-communal love, spiritual love and dysfunctional love. The entanglements of love with religion, the nation, comradeship, migration, ideas, and objects are also open for investigation. We also warmly welcome proposals considering the topic of affective studies and methodology, with regard to problems of evidence, archives and historical repression.
The experience of love, the desire for intimacy, as well as the willingness to act on affection, have shaped peoples' interpretations of their world. In the recent past, discourses of coloniality have also reproduced love as the counterfoil to reason and rationality. However, what exactly "love" is--and exactly how historians and other scholars can study it--remains an open question, which we are interested in exploring further. This conference will reconsider love in all its complex forms, and its multiple historical and geographical iterations.
The keynote address for this year's symposium will be delivered by Professor Luise White from the Department of History at the University of Florida. A leading scholar of African history, White's work has contributed to the gendering of labor migration and urbanization. She has also contributed significantly to methodology in the study of the African past, addressing issues concerning oral history and the use of rumor as evidence. White's 1990 monograph, Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi, won the prestigious Melville J. Herskovits Award in African studies.
All graduate students interested in presenting at the conference should send their 300-500 word abstracts to gendersymp@gmail.com by November 15, 2013. Applicants will be notified by December about whether their paper has been accepted.