Second Global 19th Century Conference to be Hosted at UCR February 25-26

By Eli Brown, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
February 26, 2015

The Workshop on the Global 19th Century will be hosting “Contiguities. Connections. Detachments.” at UCR for its second conference. This conference, organized by Dean Joseph Childers and Professor Heidi Brevik-Zender, is designed to promote interdisciplinary investigations and cross-disciplinary examinations of significant events throughout the “long 19th century,” which ranges from late 18th century to early 20th century, from a global viewpoint.

Initially, this was a singular conference in 2010 that didn’t have plans to reoccur. But after additional interest and requests, Dean Childers and Professor Brevik-Zender decided to create the second conference, and now plan to have one every 4 to 5 years. The conference is co-sponsored by the UCR Graduate Division, the Departments of English, comparative literature, and history, and foreign languages, and is funded by a grant from the Center for Ideas and Society. During the conference, speakers who have shown they are “aware of the global and interdisciplinary connections” of the 19th century, through their proposals, will present papers, topics, and research to attendees.

During the 19th century, “communication, transportation, industry, and rapidity of change,” as Childers states, all had vast effects on the global society we see today. Brevik-Zender also notes that the conference is interested most in “talking across disciplines,” and opening the minds of those in a particular field who might not have thought of the same topics they research from another field’s viewpoint, thus, broadening everyone’s understanding of the global concepts of the 19th century. The speakers in attendance are also not simply recruited by a call for papers; they are specifically invited to curate a “challenging, fun and extraordinarily productive” atmosphere to the conference, according to Childers.

Professor Brevik-Zender and Dean Childers hope to bring this conference into digital spaces in the future as well. They have had publishing presses approach them to create a book for each conference, which is a typical practice, but declined because they would like to create a more interactive space. They are working currently with the UCR library and hope to create “avenues for communication even at early stages of research,” says Childers, and to “promote a safe space of trust surrounding academic and intellectual property” by creating a website where contributors may submit their research to be workshopped and reviewed by peers.

More information on the conference can be found at the conference website, http://ideasandsociety.ucr.edu/conferences/global-19th-century-conference/, or by liking their page on face book at https://www.facebook.com/theglobal19thcentury.

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