Friday, July 3, 2009

Call for Papers: The Family and Human Relationships in History

Since I have been writing some rather family centric posts I thought I should point out that the Mormon Scholars in the Humanities is having a conference next May on that subject. Here is the official release:

Call for Papers

The Family and Human Relationships in History, Literature, Art, and Philosophy

May 21-22, 2010, Claremont, CA

A conference sponsored by Mormon Scholars in the Humanities

Every story, it is said, is a family story. Yet in stressing the freedom and self-sufficiency of the individual, modern culture de-emphasizes the degree to which people are born in dependency, of specific parents, and develop in and through relationships with others, most closely in the family. By considering the family, family history, and human relationships, we invite inquiry into changes in the culture of the family over time, inquiries into family memory, depictions of the family and the individual in art and literature, and philosophical investigations of the role of family, friends, and mentors in personal development. Some questions to consider:

* How do models and philosophies of the family and relationships illuminate depictions of the family in history, literature, and the arts, and vice versa?
* How has the notion of genealogy shaped different forms of representation in the arts and in sacred literature, as well as philosophies of history, morality, and ethics?
* To what degree is our identity a gift of others, and to what degree is it an individual accomplishment and responsibility? Do degrees of autonomy and dependence differ from era to era, culture to culture, and even from individual to individual?
* In what sense is the family the basic unit of society? What do the humanities teach us about the family as a social institution or about the roles and responsibilities within a family? About successes and failures of the family?
* If one goal of personal development is a certain kind of maturity in the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and moral realms, what are the processes by which individuals achieve it? Do these types of development have necessary social dimensions? In light of possible family and social aspects of self-development and freedom, in what ways are individuals also responsible for others, and for themselves?
* How do LDS history, values, and doctrine pertaining to the family and to the notion of genealogy influence the work of the Mormon scholar in the humanities? How do they challenge or support the fundamental assumptions of humanities scholarship today?

Creative submissions relevant to the conference theme in story, verse, drama, or visual form are also invited.

We encourage LDS scholars in all fields of the humanities, arts, and history to propose papers or complete panels in response to the topic. Panel proposals should include a general title, presenters’ names and contact information, and paper abstracts.

To accomplish its mission of supporting LDS scholars, MSH will, in conjunction with the conference, offer individual mentoring on scholarly research and writing for publication.

Please send 200-word abstracts and brief CV to David Paxman at (without the 9’s), by January 15, 2010.

I would love to develop the recent themes we have been discussing into a paper, but next year's Society for Military History Conference is the same weekend, its being hosted 5 minutes away from me, and I have one paper submitted already with another in development. Even it those don't pan out I will need to do some networking with other professionals in my primary field. Plus, depending on how my applications go I will meet my dissertation advisor there. However, if anybody wishes to participate in a collaborative effort in preparing a paper that they can present in Claremont I am game. For instance, I can provide the historical context from ancient societies while somebody else can discuss modern social data concerning the Saint's civic activity.

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