Location: Australia
Call for Papers Deadline: 2009-11-27

7-9 July, 2010, The Australian National University, Canberra

Keynote addresses by Associate Professor Sankar Muthu (University of Chicago) and Associate Professor Vanessa Agnew (University of Michigan).

Other confirmed speakers include Professor Peter Cryle (University of Queensland), Professor Ian Hunter (University of Queensland), Professor Jonathan Lamb (Vanderbilt University), Professor Iain McCalman (University of Sydney), Professor Gillian Russell (ANU).

This conference is an attempt to think through the enabling possibilities and discursive functions of the concept ‘humanity’ and its associated terms (L’Homme, Menschlichkeit, Humanität) during the long eighteenth century. It seeks to illuminate both the role that conceptions of the human played in the politics and culture of the period and the legacy those conceptions bequeathed to subsequent generations.

We invite papers that historicise Enlightenment conceptions of humanity from diverse perspectives, including but by no means restricted to the philosophy of history, anthropology, cosmopolitanism and its critics, natural and international law, theories of human difference and the ‘contact zones’ of travel and colonialism. We also invite papers which address the manner in which those conceptions were manifested, and contested, within a range of social and cultural spaces – from philosophy, to state policy, to the creative arts, and from Europe to the wider world.

Themes for 20 minute papers might include, but are not limited to:

– nature and culture
– theories of historical progress or decline in the long eighteenth century
– language theory in the long eighteenth century
– theories of sexual difference and gender roles in the long eighteenth century
– nationalism and cosmopolitanism
– conceptions of human rights
– the representation of human identity and difference
– the impact of cross-cultural contact on theories of humanity and vice versa
– the natural and the supernatural
– legacies of the Enlightenment.

We will be looking to publish selected papers from this conference and we welcome proposals from post-graduate students.

Please send a title, 300 word abstract and short biography to [email protected] by Friday 27 November 2009.

For more details please see

Dr Ned Curthoys
Dr Alexander Cook
Dr Shino Konishi
College of Arts and Social Sciences
Australian National University
Canberra, Australia

Email: [email protected]
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