Conference-planning is serious stuff. It’s a juggle of logistics, departments, people, managers, funding bodies, applicants, researchers, venues, spreadsheets and long, long emails.
It’s also a lot of fun. You get to chat with people and get them excited about an exciting thing. You get to plan panels and days and sessions and outings. And perhaps most fun for a researcher, you get to hear a lot about different areas of research, some quite different from your own.
One of the really fantastic parts of the MBL conference is its remit: all disciplines, all eras. Your two co-organizers (and more on us in a future post) are an early medievalist who deals in gender history and archaeology and a 19th century historian with interests in land ownership. This covers a lot of distance. But what drew our interests together was the use of the land, how the land can be carved to reflect identity, and how that identity can be a masculine one.
We’ve tried to craft the CFP to reflect our interest in seeing how all disciplines and all eras would approach the topic of masculinities in the British landscape, and thus far we haven’t been disappointed. We’ve received abstracts or queries from post-colonial historians, folklorists and prehistorians, just to name a few. We hope to hear from our colleagues in art history, criminology and literature, again to just name a few. We want this to be a conference of all-comers. In other words, yes, we do want to hear from you and how you think you can approach the subject.
So where are we now? At the moment, we’re collecting abstracts alongside pushing the CFP into as many places as we can find. We’re organizing the just-announced postgraduate bursaries (of which we’re very proud.) We’re sending extraordinarily long emails to each other dealing with details of costs, registration and meetings. We’re working with wonderful colleagues at Harlaxton College in hammering out the logistics of the venue and registration. And we’re eagerly checking our email, waiting to hear from you.
Organizing a conference isn’t a secret thing. We’ll post every now and again on how things go, so you can know what we’re up to on this side and give you a chance to watch a conference being pulled together by colleagues on the opposite sides (sort of) of the UK. At the moment, it’s a lot of strategizing and emails, and we’re waiting to hear from you. Let’s have a chat about masculinities in the British landscape.