Vera Keller and Ted McCormick, Organizers
Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, 2012
Friends' Hall and Garden Terrace
Historians of Europe and early America come together in this conference to explore how the New World functioned as both a conceptual and real space for projecting alternate realities. New World ventures seemed to promise early modern Europeans a malleable state of nature upon which to project future realities. The hypothetical nature of such projections – the imagination of future natures, peoples, and technologies – gave them the agency to move knowledge away from accepted realities and norms. In this sense, the project was not merely the vehicle for the Europeanization of the world, but a medium through which far distant imaginings and realities transformed Europe. Particular attention will be paid to the role of the project as a genre in the development of new forms of political, economic, and scientific reasoning.