The New World of Projects, 1550-1750

Please rsvp to emsi@usc.edu by Friday, June 15, 2012

Vera Keller and Ted McCormick, Organizers

Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, 2012
Huntington Library
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.


Conference Participants

Saturday, June 23



Coffee and Registration
8:45am

Welcome: Amy Braden for EMSI
9:15-9:30am


"Why Projects"

Ted McCormick and Vera Keller
9:30-9:45am


Problems of Translation

9:45-11:15am
Chair: Kristen Block, Florida Atlantic University
Sarah Rivett, Princeton
"Savage Sounds and Missionary Linguistics in Seventeenth-Century North America" (abstract)
Abigail Swingen Texas Tech University
"The 300 Malefactors: Convict Transportation and Unfree Labor in the English Caribbean Colonies"


Surveying, Modelling, and Manipulating

11:30-1:00am
Chair: Abigail Swingen, Texas Tech University
Thomas Leng, Sheffield
"Mastering the market in colonial staples: Benjamin Worsley’s ‘project' of the growth of sugar" (abstract)
Anya Zilberstein, Concordia and Rachel Carson Center
“ 'Mostly Temperate': Projecting the Climate in Northeastern America" (abstract)

Lunch ~ provided for those who rsvp by Friday, May 15, 2012
1-2:15pm


Abundance

2:15-3:45pm
Chair: Neil Safier, UBC
Fredrik Jonsson, Chicago
"Cornucopian Projects" (abstract)
Ted McCormick, Concordia
"Population, Wealth, and Government: Three Seventeenth-Century Projects at the Disciplinary Margins" (abstract)


Learned Projectors

4-5:30pm
Chair: Kristine Haugen, Caltech
Mordechai Feingold, Caltech
"Projectors and learned Projects in Early Modern England" (abstract)
Vera Keller, Oregon
"Projecting New Worlds in Europe" (abstract)

Sunday, June 24



Coffee and Registration
8:30am


Back to the Future

9-10:30am
Chair: Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, USC
Joyce Chaplin, Harvard
"Projecting into the Future" (abstract)
Koji Yamamoto, Edinburgh
"Moses Stringer: A Chymical Projector taking an Imperial Turn" (abstract)

Perfecting Nature

10:30am-12noon
Chair: Joyce Appleby, UCLA
Eric Ash, Wayne State
"Transforming the Future of the Fens: Drainage, Improvement, and Projectors in Seventeenth-Century England" (abstract)
Carl Wennerlind, Barnard
"
From Hartlib to Linnaeus: Science, Spirituality, and Political Economy" (abstract)

Lunch ~ provided for those who rsvp by Friday, May 15, 2012
12:00-1:15


Comment and general discussion

1:15- 2:15pm
Chair: Peter Mancall, USC
Mary Terrall, UCLA

Current Conference

Annual Conference, 2016:
Global Maritime History

Past Conferences

Annual Conference, 2015:
World and Ground: New Early American Histories

Annual Conference, 2013
: Ephemerality and Durability

Annual Conference, 2013: Objects in Motion in the Early Modern World

Annual Conference, 2011: Ingenious Acts: The Nature of Invention in Early Modern Europe