Call for Proposals – Attending to Women, 1100-1800: Performance

September 30-October 1, 2022
Newberry Library

Proposal Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

In 2018, “Attending” asked how Early Modern women’s action and agency shaped their lives and world. In 2022, we will turn to performance, asking how women’s performances of power, gender, and art before 1800 provide powerful paths towards understanding their lives and our own today. The conference will ask such questions as: How do medieval, early modern, and Indigenous women draw on various forms of power, from the racial to the religious, to perform different roles? How was the category of “woman” itself contested, reinforced, and complicated through the performance of gender? What did women choose to perform through music, dance, and visual art? Lastly, what responsibilities and possibilities do we have as scholars who teach and share our work with the public?

The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote dialogue, augmented by a keynote lecture and a plenary panel on each of the four conference topics: power, gender, art, and public humanities/pedagogy.

We welcome proposals for workshop sessions. The submission deadline is Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

Workshops are 90-minute sessions organized by a group of two to four leaders who circulate readings, questions, and other materials in advance through the conference website. Leaders spend no more than twenty minutes framing the issues and opening up the conversation, then facilitate active participation and focused discussion. The best workshops are often comparative and interdisciplinary, and all allow participants to share information, pass on knowledge, ask advice, and learn something new. All workshop organizers are expected to register for, attend, and participate in the entire conference, not just their workshop.

For more information about the conference, including a list of plenary speakers and information about submitting a workshop proposal, please visit the conference website here:

If you have any questions about the conference, please send an email to

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