WCBS 2018: September 28-29, San Antonio, TX

Please join us this September in San Antonio, Texas for the 2018 meeting of the Western Conference on British Studies. San Antonio is a wonderfully easy meeting place, with historic sites and the fabulous River Walk for dining and entertainment. Registration for our 2018 WCBS meeting in San Antonio TX is now open.  You can download the WCBS 2018 Registration Form here. This year’s keynote speaker is Carla Pestana, Professor and Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World at UCLA. We will also hear the traditional address given by the outgoing WCBS President, Andrew Muldoon (Metropolitan State University of Denver).

Our conference hotel is the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. The conference rate of $139/night is available from Thursday, September 27 through Saturday September 29.  The conference sessions will run on Friday September 28 and Saturday September 29. Please mention the WCBS when making your hotel reservations.

The WCBS Program Committee, co-chaired by Susan Grayzel and Joseph Ward of Utah State University, is pulling together a meeting that promises to be both interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in its temporal span. Scholars of Britain, the British Atlantic World, and the British Empire broadly defined are invited to participate.

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Thomas (Tom) C. Kennedy (1937-2017)

Tom Kennedy (University of Arkansas), historian, sports fan, singer, poet, husband, father and grandfather, and a long time member of the Western Conference on British Studies and great friend to many in the organization (and father to one), passed away in late January.  Tom taught in the History Department of the University of Arkansas for nearly forty years.  His research focused on Quakers and Quakerism in Britain and the United States and included publications such as British Quakerism 1860-1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community (Oxford University Press, 2001) and A History of Southland College: The Society of Friends and Black Education in Arkansas (University of Arkansas Press, 2009).  WCBS members will know of Tom’s long service to the organization, including stints as Program Chair and President (1985-86).  A fitting tribute appears in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazettehttp://www.nwaonline.com/obituaries/2017/jan/29/tom-kennedy-2017-01-29/

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Bob McJimsey Prize Winner 2015

The WCBS is pleased to announce that the 2015 Bob McJimsey Graduate Student Prize was awarded to Ryan Butler (Baylor University) for his paper “Reformation Women and ‘She-Bishop’ Hannah More: Care for the Poor in Comparative Perspective,” presented at our October 2015 meeting in Austin, Texas.

Graduate student presenters at the 2106 Tempe meeting are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration for the Bob McJimsey Graduate Student Prize.

The WCBS offers a cash prize to the best paper presented at the annual meeting and submitted to the competition. Graduate students are encouraged to submit their papers immediately following the WCBS meeting. The deadline for submitting papers presented at the October 2016 meeting is 30 November, 2016.  Please see the Awards page for details.

Past winners include:

2014 (Calgary) Ashley Sims (University of Alberta) “Settling the Score: Petty Crime and Private Property in Early Modern Scotland.”

2013 (Kansas City) Mandi Barnard (University of Kansas) “Criminality and Ethnic Identity in Victorian London.”

2012 (Las Vegas) Ronnie Morris (York University) “‘On Liking’: Parish Children and the Transition to Apprenticeship in Eighteenth Century London.”

2011 (Denver)  Tobias Harper, (Columbia University) “`Bringing Together’, Falling Apart: The Post-War British Honours System, 1945-1980″

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WCBS Calgary Review

Over 70 scholars came together on a  sunny weekend in Calgary Alberta to participate in the 41st annual meeting of the WCBS.  Panelists came from across the Western CBS ‘region’ and we were also joined by presenters from Arkansas, California, British Columbia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Ontario, Pennsylvania, parts of the UK, as well as a number of local students from Alberta post-secondary institutions. Many of the 19 panels were tied in to this year’s theme, “Crisis, Conflict, Conciliation” and included papers from literary scholars, medievalists as well as historians of Britain and its Empire.

Highlights of the meeting included a thought provoking plenary address from Professor Stephen Heathorn (McMaster University) on Douglas Haig and historical memory, and the customary presidential address by outgoing WCBS president, Greg Smith (University of Manitoba) on potentially criminal children in eighteenth-century London.  We were also joined by NACBS Vice President, Susan Pennybacker (UNC Chapel Hill) who is making the rounds to regional CBS meetings to engage members in discussions about national business.

All graduate student presenters are encouraged to submit their paper (as read at the conference) to the Bob McJimsey prize committee by 1 November, 2014.

 

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Recent Publications by WCBS Members

Ward, Joseph P., ed (Utah State). European empires in the American South: colonial and environmental encounters. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2017.

Winter, David R. (Brandon Univ.) “Becket and the Wolves: Imagining the Lupine Welsh in a Thirteenth-Century Latin Preaching Exemplum  from Llanthony Secunda Priory.” In T. Sharp et. al., eds. From learning to live: schools, law and pastoral care in the Middle Ages: essays in Honour of Joseph W. Georing. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2017.

Prasch, Thomas. (Washburn Univ.) “Cannibalism as cultural critique: Peter Greenaway’s The cook, the thief, his wife, and her lover (1989) and Thatcherism.” In Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper, eds.  What’s eating you?: food and horror on screen. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.

Levine, Philippa. (UTexas Austin) “A child of decolonisation.” In Antoinette Burton and Dane Kennedy, eds. How empire shaped us. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Rosenheim, James. (Texas A&M) “The Pleasures of a Single Life: Envisioning Bachelorhood in Early Eighteenth-Century England.” Gender & History 27:2 (2015): 307-28.

Levine-Clark, Marjorie. (Univ. Colorado Denver) “Gendered roles, gendered welfare: health and the English Poor Law, 1871-1911.” In Tracy Penny LIght, Barbara Brookes, Wendy Mitchinson, eds. Bodily subjects: essays on gender and health, 1800-2000. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015.

Frank, Christopher. (Univ. of Manitoba) “The Sheriff’s Court or the Company Store: Truck, the Arrestment of Wages, and Working-Class Consumption in Scotland, 1837-71.” Labour History Review 79:2 (2015): 139-165.

Lubenow, William C. (Richard Stockton College) “Only connect”: learned societies in nineteenth-century Britain. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2015.

Sheetz-Nguyen, Jessica A. (Univ. Central Oklahoma) and Marilyn Button (Eds.). Victorians and the case for charity: essays on responses to English poverty by the state, the church, and the literati. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2014.

Brundage, Anthony and Richard A. Cosgrove. (Univ. of Arizona) British Historians and National Identity: From Hume to Churchill. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014.

Smith, Greg T. (Univ. of Manitoba) “Long-Term Trends in Female and Male Involvement in Crime.” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime, edited by R. Gartner and B. McCarthy . New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

MacMillan, Ken. (Univ. of Calgary) “To Punish and Correct: the rise of criminal courts in Bermuda, 1615-1622.” Atlantic Studies 10:3 (2013).

S.L. Chester and David R.C. Hudson. (Texas A&M) “The Transportation of Irish Swordsmen to Sweden and Russia and plantation in Ulster (1609-1613).” Archivium Hibernicum, 66 (2013)

Knafla, Louis A. (Univ. of Calgary) Kent at Law, 1602. 4 Volumes. Kew, Surrey: List and Index Society, 2002-13.

Bronstein, Jamie. (Univ. New Mexico, Las Cruces) “Sowing Discontent: The 1921 Alien Land Act in New Mexico,” Pacific Historical Review vol. 82 no. 3 (August 2013): 362-95.

Smith, Greg T. (Univ. of Manitoba) Summary Justice in the City: A Selection of Cases Heard at the Guildhall Justice Room, 1752-1781 Boydell & Brewer for the London Record Society, 2013

MacKay, Lynn. (Brandon Univ.) Respectability and the London Poor, 1780–1870: The Value of Virtue. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013.

Button, Marilyn D. and Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen, (Univ. Central Oklahoma) eds. The Victorian Case for Charity: Essays on Responses to English Poverty by the State, the Church and the Literati. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2013.

Prasch, Thomas. (Washburn Univ.) ‘“A Strange Incongruity”: The Imaginary India of the International Exhibitions’ Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal 34:5 (2012): 477-91.

Tusan, Michelle. (UNLV) Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide, and the Birth of the Middle East.Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Sheetz-Nguyen, Jessica A. (Univ. Central Oklahoma)  Victorian Women: Unwed Mothers and the London Foundling Hospital. London: Continuum Books, 2012.

Sheetz-Nguyen, Jessica A. (Univ. Central Oklahoma) “Go ye therefore and teach all nations: Evangelical and Mission Sermons, the Imperial Stage.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Modern British Sermon 1689-1901, edited by Keith A. Francis and William Gibson Robert Ellison, John Morgan-Guy, and Bob Tennant. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

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WCBS 2013: Kansas City Report

Thank you to all of our participants at the 2013 WCBS meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.  Attendees were able to attend seventeen panels, ranging in topics from political, cultural and social history, to gender and literature, to Irish Home Rule to aspects of Empire, to single out but a few topics.  Chronological breadth extended from the early modern to the twentieth century.

Many panels took on the conference theme “Borders, Boundaries and Frontiers” including the keynote speaker, Professor Peter Stansky (Stanford) who delivered a fascinating and stimulating talk on British writers and travel literature in the 1930s.

The conference will reconvene for its 41st annual meeting in 2014 in Calgary, Alberta.  As 2014 will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, the program committee is encouraging papers that will speak to the theme:  “Crisis, Conflict, Conciliation”.  As usual, we welcome any papers that take up the theme in both obvious and unique ways, including class or gender conflict, economic crisis, artistic disputes, reluctant conciliation, imagined crises, and so on.

Please encourage any graduate student presenters to submit their papers to the Bob McJimsey Prize committee.  Click on the awards tab.

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Recent Publications

Congratulations to Michelle Tusan (UNLV) on the publication of her book:

Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide, and the Birth of the Middle East (University of California Press, 2012) 

Today the West tends to understand the Middle East primarily in terms of geopolitics: Islam, oil, and nuclear weapons. But in the nineteenth century it was imagined differently. The interplay of geography and politics found definition in a broader set of concerns that understood the region in terms of the moral, humanitarian, and religious commitments of the British empire. Smyrna’s Ashes reevaluates how this story of the “Eastern Question” shaped the cultural politics of geography, war, and genocide in the mapping of a larger Middle East after World War I.

The book is also available in a free electronic edition: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/5626s1fw

 

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Recent Publications by WCBS Members

Marjorie Levine-Clark’s Presidential Address to the WCBS, “The Politics of Preference: Masculinity, Marital Status and Unemployment Relief in Post-First World War Britain” was published in Cultural and Social History: the journal of the Social History Society 7:2 (2010): 233-252.

Louis A. Knafla, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Director of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Calgary recently edited a collection of essays with Haijo Westra, entitled Aboriginal Title and Indigenous Peoples: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (UBC Press, 2010).

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Report: WCBS 2010 Austin, TX

The meeting in Austin, Texas in September drew a healthy crowd of scholars from the UK, the USA and Canada, with 20 panels, two plenary sessions and 80+ participants.  As is our customary practice, one of our plenary speakers was outgoing president David Hudson of Texas A&M University.  Dr. Hudson’s talk, entitled “Poles apart? John Redmond, Roman Dmowski, and the road less traveled”, offered some clever exploratory remarks on a subject of comparative history between the Irish National League and the National Democracy movement in Poland.

The other plenary address was by Brian Levack of the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Levack’s entertaining talk, “Demonic Possession in England and Scotland” was delivered before a full audience.

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Fr. Gordon McBride (1941-2010)

Richard Cosgrove forwarded the following announcement:

Longtime members of the Western Conference on British Studies will learn with regret of the death on July 10, 2010, of Gordon McBride, an early member of WCBS. McBride earned a doctorate in British history from the University of Cincinnati with a specialization in Tudor history. In the 1970s he was an associate professor of history at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. He left this position to study for the Episcopal priesthood and was ordained in 1984. Since 1985 he served on the staff of Grace St. Paul’s church in Tucson, Arizona. His homilies combined both vocations with frequent allusions to history. McBride is survived by his wife, Dr. Kari McBride, associate professor of women’s studies at the University of Arizona, four children and eleven grandchildren.

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