Myriad Materialities: Towards a New Global Writing of Colonial Ports and Port Cities

A two-day conference organised by the Colonial Ports and Global History (CPAGH) Network at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

10 and 11 July 2020

Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, Germany

Keynote Speakers: 

Emily Clark 

(History, Tulane University)

Jin-Ah Kim

(Musicology, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

This interdisciplinary conference draws attention to the materialities ‘beyond the marine’ of colonial ports and port cities, with a view to re/assessing colonial contact and its longer-term impact, and the concomitant circulation of goods and ideas across the centuries and continents. Situating these peopled encounters and penetrating their initial interface will shed new light on materiality and its mutability, notably the conditions by which the negotiation of identities and inscription of subjectivities are imbricated with different ecologies and infrastructures.  

Our conference thus moves toward a new global writing of colonial ports and port cities, exploring their myriad materialities through three intersecting perspectives. First is the perspective of gender. We invite participants to reflect on socially constructed underpinnings of masculinity and femininity, their constant state of flux and the creation of contested liminal spaces beyond binary frameworks. How can these nuances offer new readings of gender through the material cultures of food, entertainment and education, for example? 

Second is the perspective of race. Our conference will examine how colonial ports and port cities functioned as key sites not only of problematic racial hierarchies, but also of global interactions and the resistance and destabilisation of those hierarchies. We invite critical engagement with notions of whiteness and their perpetuated discourses, also highlighting the role, contributions and knowledge of non-white actors and agents. 

Third is the perspective of class. This sees a renewed attention to issues of social inequality and the wider systemic questions of institutionalization and Eurocentrism, whilst weaving a more intricate understanding of colonial presences and social structures. In what ways and to what extent can there be more equitable ways of engaging with unheard communities? We envisage socially-minded critiques and/or frameworks with which to explore related concerns, notably distributive justice, archives from below and their potentiality for articulating indigenous and other neglected voices. 

To this end, we invite researchers and practitioners to bring hitherto discrete methods and practices, including but not limited to global history, musicology, social anthropology, art history and literary studies into closer interdisciplinary dialogue. At a deeper level, we hope to foster a deeper understanding of colonial ports and port cities as spaces defined and redefined by their myriad materialities. 

We are delighted to have two distinguished keynote speakers. Emily Clark is the Clement Chambers Benenson Professor in American Colonial History at Tulane University. She specializes in early American and Atlantic world history. Her research interests include race, gender, religion and historical memory. Jin-Ah Kim is Professor at the College of Liberal Arts at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Honorary Professor at the Institute of Musicology and Media Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her research interests include transcultural processes and global history from East Asian and ethnological perspectives.    

Interested parties are asked to send an abstract of 250–400 words and a brief (1–2 page) CV to cpagh@torch.ox.ac.ukProposals are due 27 March 2020 by 11:59 pm GMT. We strongly encourage submissions from researchers and practitioners from underrepresented backgrounds. Co-authored papers (with no more than two speakers) are also welcome.    

CPAGH Steering Committee:

Dr Julia Binter (Social Anthropology)

Olivia Durand (History)

Dr Yvonne Liao (Musicology)

Dr Helena F. S. Lopes (History)

Dr Katharina Oke (History)

Min-Erh Wang (Musicology)

Dr Hatice Yıldız (History)

https://torch.ox.ac.uk/cpagh

@cpagh_TORCH

Bach Network Dialogue Meeting 2019

The ninth Bach Network Dialogue Meeting will be held at the historic house of Madingley Hall, Cambridge, from Monday 8 to Saturday morning 13 July 2019, with the formal programme running from the afternoon of Tuesday 9 to Thursday evening 11 July. By popular request we have again included a day before and after the formal programme, to facilitate networking, research discussions and the practicalities of travel.

The full programme can be accessed here.

The programme will feature sessions on a range of current topics, including the Bach 333 project, Bach and materiality, the Art of Fugue, Bach’s chorale pedagogy, musical authorship, and Bach’s contemporaries, as well as our ever-popular Early Career Forum and Flash Announcement session. Presenters and panellists will include Christine Blanken, Isabella van Elferen, Nicholas Kenyon, Kevin Korsyn, Michael Marissen, Paul Moseley, Derek K. Remeš, Barbara M. Reul, Stephen Roe, Stephen Rose, Joel Speerstra, Ruth Tatlow, Bettina Varwig, Christoph Wolff and Steven Zohn. In addition, we are delighted to welcome renowned harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani for an evening lecture recital, and director Paul Spicer to lead a choral singing session.

The schedule is designed with generous open discussion time, to give every delegate an opportunity to engage with the subjects. Every registered delegate is invited to speak for five minutes about their current research at the Flash Announcement Session. We encourage doctoral and post-doctoral students to present a short summary of their research topic at the Early Career Forum. There will also be time over meals and in the wonderful gardens to continue discussions informally.

Please register at www.bach2019.eventbrite.com

Contact: Mark Seow, Administrator of Bach Network Dialogue Meeting 2019
seow.bachnetwork@gmail.com