CFP: Cultures of Exclusion in the Early Modern World Enemies and Strangers, 1600-1800

University of Warwick, Thursday 18 – Friday 19 May 2017

When walking through the streets of London, Joseph Addison urged readers of The Spectator to ‘make every face you see give you the satisfaction you now take in beholding that of a friend’. Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the ways early modern people embraced sociability, and created new spaces and ‘languages’ of interaction. Yet, not all strangers who met became ‘friends’. Most remained relative strangers, and others became ‘enemies’. How did people determine who was a potential friend, ally, or enemy? Why, how, and in what ways, were individuals and groups socially ‘excluded’? Did physical appearance and conduct, status, occupation, religion, ethnicity, gender, and place of origin, determine whether one was ‘in’ or ‘out’?

Many early modern historians of social relations, popular print, urban history, gender history, criminality, material culture, and the history of the body, senses and emotions, have recently touched upon these issues. Nevertheless, many fundamental questions about the ways men and women understood and managed their social interactions remain. This timely two-day interdisciplinary collaboratory takes the idea of ‘cultures of exclusion’ as a starting point to explore how social relationships were theorised and constructed, and how and why certain groups and individuals were excluded from particular social interactions and spaces.

We welcome abstracts and/or proposals for panels from postgraduates, early career researchers and faculty staff whose research intersects with these themes, as well scholars from any discipline working on Britain, Europe or the wider world.

Professor Garthine Walker (University of Cardiff) is our confirmed keynote speaker. Her paper (title TBC) will hosted in the Zeeman Building at the University of Warwick on the 18th May 2017, held in conjunction with the University of Warwick’s Early Modern Seminar and Eighteenth Century Seminar.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of inclusion and exclusion
  • Social relationships and identity formation
  • Sociability and spaces for social encounters
  • ‘First impressions’ – first meetings and encounters
  • Visual and discursive representations of outsiders and social outcasts
  • Exclusionary objects and material artefacts
  • Senses and emotions – smell, touch, sound and sight
  • Disguise and deception
  • Appearance – beauty, ugliness, dirt, disease, and disability
  • Conflict and quarrels
  • Rumour, gossip, slander, libel
  • Regulating and managing friendship
  • Religious affiliation, belief and belonging, inter-denominational conflict and/or cooperation
  • National and Ethnic inclusion and exclusion
  • Gendered representations of inclusion, conflict or ‘otherness’
  • Social deviants, beggars, runaways, slaves and criminals

Publication of a selection of papers is envisioned. Please send abstracts/panel proposals of no more than 300 words for a 20-minute paper to by 12 December 2016, along with a brief biography. Proposals should include the full name, affiliation and email address of all participants.

The event is generously sponsored by the Humanities Research Centre, University of Warwick, the Department of History, University of Warwick, the European History Research Centre and the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS).

Contact Info:

The organisers of this event are Naomi Pullin: (University of Warwick) and Kathryn Woods: (University of Warwick).

The event will be held at the University of Warwick.

About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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