Concourse: 05/13/17


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Annual Conference on Edwardian Culture 

The Spirit of Speed: Edwardian Culture on the Move

University of Lancaster, UK
8th-9th September, 2017.

"Before us stretched the deserted road; we could trace it for miles and miles, a long line of grey in a vastness of green space that faded into blue, rising and falling with the rise and fall of the hills. Then the spirit of speed took possession of us, the fascination and the frenzy of speed for speed’s sake […] We had escaped from the fetters that bind man to earth; we were intoxicated with a new-born sense of splendid freedom; without exertion or effort we lightly skimmed the ground […] We were rushing into infinity." (James Hissey, An English Holiday with Car and Camera, 1909)

The fourth annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network will be held at the University of Lancaster this coming September, in association with the Edwardian Postcard Project. Taking our lead from James Hissey’s 1909 evocation of travelling in a motor car, or H.G. Wells’s equally-breathless sea-bound finale to Tono-Bungay – we will be exploring the ‘spirit of speed’, as represented, reflected, challenged or wilfully ignored by British culture c.1895-1914. 

We invite 300-word proposals for papers on any aspect of this theme. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • Culture on the move: the significance of postcards, advertisements, newspapers, travelling exhibitions, etc.
  • Reactions to new technologies: motor cars, steam turbines, radio, film, etc.
  • Speed and freedom: travel, independence and access.
  • Rushing into infinity: Speed and the representation of time in art.
  • Placing the brakes on speed: antidotes to the quickening pace of life: stillness, slowness and spirituality.
  • Speed and exchange: The impact of Atlantic crossings on Anglo-American culture.

We will accept proposals for 15 minute presentations and panels; we are also happy to consider experimental approaches and poster ideas. Please e-mail proposals (not exceeding 500 words) to

The closing date for applications is June 4th, 2017. Participants from inside and outside academia are equally welcome!

Contact Info: 

The IHS PhD Scholarship: $1,500 for PhD Students in the Humanities/Social Science- Fellowship up to $15,000 the following year.


The IHS PhD Scholarship is a $1,500 award to support PhD students interested in answering important societal questions in order to increase freedom and well-being in our world.

In addition to receiving funding, scholarship winners benefit from additional opportunities and financial awards through IHS, as well as invitations to career development events and access to IHS’s vast academic network. Winners will be eligible for a fellowship up to $15,000 the following year.

Eligibility and Application Details
If you are enrolled in a PhD program in the humanities and social sciences and are interested in developing the ideas that lead to more peaceful and prosperous societies, we encourage you to apply. We’re accepting applicants for the 2017-2018 academic year until February 28,2018.

Contact Info: 

Nigel Ashford
Institute for Humane Studies
at George Mason University

Contact Email:

Disciplining the Modern Family: Gender, State, and Society

The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities
The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies

January 2-4, 2018

With the rise of the modern nation-state, the interest in the family as an institution and in its functions in modern life expanded as well. Rulers, bureaucrats, revolutionaries, writers, and readers all looked to mobilize families and individual family members to their goals.  Approaches to the family varied greatly: some perceived it as the torchbearer of traditional values and practices that must be protected from new perceptions of self and society; others saw it as a site for the promotion of social and cultural reforms. The family was presented as the solution to all kinds of problems, from issues of health and sexuality to questions of controlling populations, winning wars and maintaining and enhancing economic production. Gender was an essential part of every approach to the family, as each of these approaches entailed a different understanding of masculinity and femininity and their role in society. Such approaches did not stop in the borders of the nation-states, particularly with the rise of modern imperialism, colonialism and migration. Around the world, men, women and children continued to live, produce and reproduce in families, but the form, meaning and uses of their families changed dramatically from generation to generation. Family forms and practices became the markers of culture and served to distinguish between identity groups. Thus the family became a site for conflicts, on the individual, communal, national and international levels.

The workshop will convene a small group of younger as well as established scholars who deal with these issues based on their individual research in varied historical arenas, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle-East, Africa, South and East Asia. Participants will pre-circulate their papers, and all workshop participants will read and comment on them. A specific discussant will also comment on each paper.

We invite proposals for original and integrative papers from all geographic areas, on themes such as:
  • How states attempted to shape and reshape families since the 18th century?
  • The construction and disruption of gender roles within the family
  • The family in a transnational and global framework – family and empire, families beyond borders
  • Motherhood, fatherhood and their changing meanings
  • The roles of children in the family
  • The nation/state as a modern family
  • How masculine domination is reinforced and challenged via the family?
  • The relationship between family, gender, and class
  • Alternative families and alternatives to the family
  • Changing notions and practices of love and sexuality within the family
  • Family and work, the family as an economic unit
  • Family and religion
  • Changing legislations of families
  • Families and war

Proposals should include:
(1) Name and affiliation
(2) Title and a short abstract (150-200 words)
(3) Brief CV (1-3 pages)

Proposals, as well as further inquiries, should be sent by email to the workshop secretariat: (

The deadline for submitting proposals is 15 June 2017.
Accepted proposals will be notified by 15 July 2017.
Full papers (up to 7,000 words) are due by 1 November 2017.

The organizers will cover airfare cost (economy class) and four-night accommodation in Tel Aviv. The workshop will be conducted in English. It is open to the public and participation is free of charge.
We would be grateful if you could distribute this call for papers among your colleagues.

Prof. Billie Melman (, Prof. Iris Rachamimov (, Dr. Sivan Balslev (, Mr. Matan Boord (
Workshop’s secretariat: