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CFP: Nature’s Publics

*CALL FOR PAPERS, due 7/15/09

*Nature’s Publics: The Making of Publics for knowledge of the natural world

*in Europe, 1500-1800*


Montréal, Québec, Canada

18-20 March 2010

            The history of European society and culture between ca. 1500-1800 is characterized in part by new discoveries about the heavens andthe material or physical characteristics of the earth and its inhabitantsand the widespread distribution of this new knowledge. *Nature’s
Publics* takes this growing area of scholarly and public interest as the subject for an interdisciplinary conference to be held in Montréal, Quebec, Canada from
18-20 March 2010 under the sponsorship of *Making Publics: Media, markets, & association in early modern Europe, 1500-1700*, a project based at McGill University in Montréal, Quebec Canada and funded under the Major
Collaborative Research Initiative of Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council.  Scholars who have agreed to give keynote talks include Lesley Cormack (Simon Fraser University), Mary E. Fissell (Johns Hopkins
University), Anthony Grafton (Princeton University), and Stephen D. Snobelen (University of King’s College and Dalhousie University).

Proposals are invited for papers, 20-30 minutes in length, devoted to the making of publics for knowledge of natural philosophy, natural history, medicine, geography, cosmography and related subjects in Europe between 1500
and 1800. We would especially welcome papers devoted to the collective relations of the investigators; the agencies or groups engaged in publishing or disseminating knowledge of the new discoveries; the forms and mechanisms employed in the communication of ideas or information about the natural world; the institutions or communities in which this new knowledge was received and assessed or criticized; or the role played by “nature’s
publics” in shaping or reshaping conceptions of public life, including ideas about membership in publics and about their practices.  We would also welcome proposals on the above topics from scholars studying historical and
cultural developments in the Americas during the period on which the conference is focused.  Our budget is limited, but funding is available to those presenting papers to help defray the majority of the cost of travel
and accommodation.

Those interested in presenting papers at this conference should send via email by Wednesday, 15 July 2009 an abstract of no more than 800 words and a short CV of 2-3 pages to David Harris Sacks, Richard F. Scholz Professor of History and Humanities, Reed College at dsacks@reed,edu, with a copy to Vera Keller <vera.keller@mail.mcgill.ca>.  For further information about *Making Publics*, please consult the project’s website: *
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