Reminder: CFP Disability in the Vast Early Americas Conference

Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy's picture


Call for Proposals:

Disability in the Vast Early Americas

October 21-22, 2023

University of Notre Dame (Hybrid)

In association with the University of Notre Dame and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, conference organizers, Laurel Daen and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy, invite abstracts for a conference on “Disability in the Vast Early Americas” to be held as a hybrid event at the University of Notre Dame on October 21-22, 2023. We hope that work presented at this conference will lead to publication in a special collection.

The conference organizers invite papers that examine the experiences, representations, concepts, and categories of disability among diverse peoples in the Americas from the pre-Columbian era to approximately 1850. We conceive of disability broadly and encourage works that address intersecting structures of oppression that include ableism. We also welcome papers that utilize disability as an analytic to interrogate how power operated within the early Americas.

Our “vast” geographic scope includes scholarship on North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America as well as related developments in Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Britain. We welcome interdisciplinary and collaborative work as well as submissions that expand the methodological approaches to disability history. We also invite papers that consider new or alternative meanings of “disability” in the premodern era.

 We seek to make this conference accessible and look forward to meeting the access needs of participants as fully as possible. We value the well-being and safety of all attendees; with the ongoing pandemic, we will center the needs of disabled and ill colleagues as well as others who are particularly vulnerable. All sessions will be hybrid (virtual and in-person) with ASL interpretation. We have allotted funds to help defray the costs of travel for those who would benefit. Graduate students, people who are precariously employed, and non-university affiliated scholars are encouraged to participate.

Instructions for submitting abstracts:

The organizers welcome proposals for individual papers as well as complete panels. Panels should consist of three presenters and a chair/commentator. All proposals should represent original scholarship not already published or in production and be written in English. 

Please submit paper abstracts of 300-500 words and a brief bio of 250 words as one Word or accessible PDF document. Panel submissions should include abstracts and bios for each presenter as well as an abstract for the entire panel. Send materials to Laurel Daen ( and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy ( by February 15, 2023. Applicants will be notified by March 15, 2023. For questions or additional information, please contact the conference organizers.