A major international conference will take place in the Netherlands in 2020, in the city that was home to many of the Mayflower passengers for nearly 12 years before their voyage to America.
Of the 100 English 'Pilgrims' undertaking the 1620 Atlantic crossing, 50 hailed from the city of Leiden, where they had lived as religious refugees since 1609.
Among them was William Bradford, the later governor and chronicler of Plymouth Colony. The Mayflower voyage and the foundation of Plymouth Colony have become linked with origin narratives of the United States, which ignore not only the Pilgrims’ almost 12-year sojourn in Leiden and the larger Atlantic networks in which they were operating, but also the continuing impact of colonialism on indigenous societies and cultures.
The conference will take place from August 26-28, 2020, in the city where their pastor John Robinson led the Separatist congregation and William Brewster operated a secret dissenting press.
It will challenge the Anglo-American approach which has so often dominated the popular narrative of the early colonisation of North America, and prioritise a “four-nations” approach to include Dutch and Native American perspectives. Taking the Mayflower anniversary as starting point and central concern, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to interrogate the myths, power-bases, mobility, and knowledge production of colonial pasts through three distinct but related strands:
The organisers are planning to edit a series of publications according to these themes and participants will be invited to submit their work for consideration following the conference.
Confirmed keynote speaker: Francis J. Bremer, Professor Emeritus of History at Millersville University, and internationally renowned Puritanism scholar and coordinator of the website New England Beginnings.
Paper and panel proposals from scholars in a wide range of disciplines are welcome – including history, literary and cultural studies, art history, religious studies, indigenous studies, linguistics, law, anthropology, and archaeology. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Proposals for individual papers or panels (normally comprising three papers of 15-20 minutes) should be submitted by November 15, 2019. Paper abstracts should be c. 300 words and accompanied by a short bio (for panels, include abstracts and speakers’ bios). Abstracts can be sent to Johanna C. Kardux, firstname.lastname@example.org (please put in the subject heading “Mayflower400”). Submitters will receive notification of acceptance by January 1, 2020.
For more information see the Leiden Mayflower400 conference website
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