Traces of Early America


Early American History, interdisciplinarity, digital humanities, invigorating conversation, and early-career camaraderie. What more could anyone ask from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies’s biennial graduate-student conference? The answer is:  you.

Be sure to mark September 26–28 on your calendars as the dates for this year’s conference, “Traces of Early America.” “Scholars encounter early America through its traces, the vestiges and fragments left behind,” the conference organizers write. “And in reconstructing the fleeting and ephemeral, scholars also attempt to trace early American encounters. This conference will bring together graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines to explore the various meanings of traces—as material objects, cultural representations, and academic practices.”

The McNeil Center would love to see you attend in person; registration details and an exciting program can be found on the conference website. If you’re unable to make it to Philadelphia that weekend, be sure to regularly visit the conference website during the coming weeks for details on how you can participate remotely. The conference will definitely feature a live Twitter feed, through which distant colleagues can follow the sessions, discuss, and submit questions to the panels. A possible live video stream remains in the works—and if all goes as planned, you’ll be able to locate that feature through the conference website, as well.

From the history of copyright to the history of children’s coloring, from Native American labor to Muslims in early America, from friendship to proslavery, and from “Frolic Architecture” to queer night at the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club, this year’s conference promises to be a knockout. We’ll be there—one way or another—and we hope you will, too.


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