(En)gendering the Atlantic World

April 20-21st, 2018


Please click here to register.

The faculty and students of the Atlantic World Workshop at New York University are delighted to announce our upcoming conference, “(En)gendering the Atlantic World.” Over the last five decades, historians have demonstrated that focusing on gender enables a deeper understanding of the diversity of human experience, ideologies, and epistemologies that shaped the Atlantic World. This conference builds on that work, considering both ideologies and human experience in using gender as a central framework for investigating the intertwined histories of the peoples and polities of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. How did ideologies of gender mold, refine, and/or challenge other structures of power in the Atlantic? What does centering gender provide us with that is otherwise lost, erased, or silenced? What new methodologies and approaches are made available by reading existing archives through the lens of gender?

The updated schedule for the conference can be found here. 

Kathleen M. Brown, David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, will be giving the keynote address. She is the author of the award-winning Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (1996) and Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (2009), among many articles and essays. Her current project, Undoing Slavery: Abolitionist Body Politics and the Argument over Humanity,  offers a study of the transatlantic abolition movement set in the context of contemporary transformations in international law, medicine, and domestic ideals. Using a framework informed by the history of the body, she examines issues of “freedom” and coercion in the transportation of slaves, convicts, and indigenous peoples and the extraction of slave labor. 

Susanah Romney, Assistant Professor at New York University, will offer our lunchtime plenary entitled, “Gender and the Act of Possession at Early Modern Contact Points” on Saturday, April 21st. Her book, New Netherland Connections:Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth-Century America, is the winner of the 2014 Book Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians; the 2013 Jamestown Prize, given every two years by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; and the 2013 Hendricks Prize, given annually by the New Netherland Institute. She is now at work on a new project looking at gender, settlement, and land claims in the seventeenth-century Dutch empire in North America, Guyana, South Africa, and Java.

“(En)gendering the Atlantic World” also features a roundtable including Jennifer Morgan (NYU), Camilla Townsend (Rutgers), Carolyn Roberts (Yale), and Marisa Fuentes (Rutgers) that critically revisits the concept of “ungendering” as employed by Hortense Spillers, and its usefulness and limitations for making sense of social configurations in the Atlantic World. 

The conference will be held at the Glucksman Ireland House of NYU, located at 1 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003. This conference is open to scholars of all ranks, as well as the public.

Please contact Lila Chambers (lila.chambers@nyu.edu) or Elise Mitchell (elise.mitchell@nyu.edu) with any questions.

This conference has been made possible through generous support from New York University’s Center for the Humanities, Glucksman Ireland House,  the NYU Atlantic Workshop, and the NYU Department of History Graduate History Student Association.