The focus of the conference is the British Empire during its “decade of crisis” between the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763 and the passage of the Tea Act ten years later. Over the course of this decade, Britons drastically transformed the way they viewed themselves and their empire. For the first time, British imperial policy extended to the governance of the French Catholic inhabitants of Canada, the Native people of the trans-Appalachian interior of North America, Africans in the new colony of Senegambia, and the twenty million inhabitants of Bengal subject to the authority of the East India Company.
In Britain itself, the governance of this vastly extended empire engendered an enormous amount of bitter debate and anxious discussion in the halls of power as well as in the popular press. Among historians of each of the different parts of the British World, this decade has long been seen as one of crucial importance.
However, while invaluable work has been done to examine British and indigenous relations and exchanges in specific colonial contexts, as well to examine connections between the metropolis and specific colonial regions, there has been as yet few attempts to interrogate the links across and between the colonial regions and to set developments in particular regions into the context of the transformation of the British Empire as a whole. The organizers aim to address this need by bringing scholars working on various aspects of the British World into dialogue and debate over the causes and character of the imperial transformation of the 1760s and early 1770s.
Submissions are invited for individual papers on these themes. Note that the conference will be organized around the discussion of pre-circulated papers. Accepted papers must be submitted for circulation to participants no later than February 1, 2010. Each proposal should include a brief precis of the paper topic and a clear indication of how the paper will undertake to connect the specific research subject to larger events and processes taking place across the British Empire. The deadline for receiving proposals is September 1, 2009.
Paper proposals (as well a brief C.V.) should be submitted via e-mail to the conference organizers, Robert Olwell and James Vaughn, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send all queries to the same address.