Facing the Future of Early American Studies

Jul 10, 2023 - Jul 12, 2023 at - | Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Daniel K. Richter

Facing the Future of Early American Studies

Call for papers: 

We invite proposals for a conference on the future of Early American Studies to be held in Philadelphia on July 11 and 12, 2023, the Tuesday and Wednesday directly before the annual conference of the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic.*

This conference reflects upon the future of Early American Studies in light of the scholarship and mentorship of Daniel K. Richter, director emeritus of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. In keeping with his inclusive and ecumenical style, we invite proposals in a range of formats and hope that scholars at all stages of their careers will participate in this opportunity to engage in robust intellectual exchange.

Proposals should be forward-looking, grounded in analytical research, and serve as examples of how Early American Studies might build upon Richter’s rich questions and interests. We plan offerings in the following formats:

— Themed Panels with Pre-circulated Papers 

— Short Keyword Expositions (i.e. “Facing east,” “Mid-Atlantic,” “mourning war”)

— Short Expositions on Primary Sources

— Roundtable Discussions (e.g. Interfacing Public/Academic History, Advocacy and Descendent Communities, Undergraduate Teaching and Research)

Sessions will be organized around some of the major themes in Richter’s own scholarship, including:

  • “Property, Propriety, and Power”
  • “Native Voices in a Colonial World” 
  • “Native Americans and the Power of Trade”
  • “Epidemics, War, and the Remapping of a Continent”
  • "Planting Patriarchy” 
  • “Dutch, French, Spanish and English Counterpoints”
  • “Producing and Consuming in an Atlantic Empire” 
  • “People in Motion, Enslaved and Free”


Interested participants should submit a 300-word proposal, a two-page CV, and a suggestion of up to three of the themes listed above to which their contribution best speaks.

Proposals should be sent to mceas@sas.upenn.edu by January 4, 2023.

The program committee for this conference includes Virginia Adane (University of Nantes), Zara Anishanslin (University of Delaware), Holly Brewer (University of Maryland), Lori Daggar (Ursinus College), Kathleen DuVal (University of North Carolina), Nicole Eustace (New York University), Catherine Kelly (The College of William and Mary and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture), Seth Perry (Princeton University), Jessica Roney (Temple University), and representatives from the McNeil Center.


*This will be a hybrid conference. Some support for travel and lodging will be provided to participants who can attend in person.