2019 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife

Laurie Nivison's picture
Call for Papers
February 10, 2019
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Music and Music History

Entertainments at Taverns and Long Rooms in New England, 1700-1900

The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (founded 1976) is pleased to announce the subject of next year's conference, Entertainments at Taverns and Long Rooms in New England, 1700-1900, to be held in Deerfield, Massachusetts, June 21-23, 2019.

The Seminar is now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, and performances concerning all types of popular entertainments, including singing and small theatrical groups, street musicians, strolling magicians, and animal showmen, operating in New England taverns, long rooms, coffeehouses, exhibition rooms, assembly halls, barns, and open-air rotundas from 1700 through 1900. Performers to be considered will include magicians, slack-wire artists, rope flyers, tightrope walkers, pantomimists, electrical machine operators (and accompanying healers), demonstrators of automata and perpetual motion machines, puppeteers, sleight-of-hand artists, ventriloquists, peep-box entertainers, lantern showmen, card-players, trick riders, prize-fighters, fortune tellers, firework specialists, parachute jumpers, and hot-air or hydrogen balloonists. Also of interest are papers addressing gambling, vaudeville, and prostitution, as well as stationary exhibits such as waxwork museums and profile or physiognotrace machines, and community-based amateur entertainments. Preference will be given to analytical papers exploring subjects such as the cultural origin of these acts; the roles of ethnicity, race and class; their actual popularity; the involvement of children; patterns of advertising and self-naming; the influence of maritime presence and activities; as well as the larger role of competing professional English and French theater and singing troupes. Special consideration will be given to talks accompanied by demonstrations. Our primary focus is on New England, but papers dealing with New York State, adjacent areas of Canada, and the middle and southern colonies are also encouraged.

The Seminar seeks presentations that reflect original research, especially those based on primary or underused resources, such as material culture, archaeological artifacts, advertising and flyers, letters and diaries, vital records, and federal and state censuses, as well as newspapers, portraits, prints and photographs, business records, recollections, autobiographies, and handed-down memories (i.e., oral histories).

Entertainments in Taverns and Long Rooms in New England, 1700-1900, will be held in Deerfield, Massachusetts, June 21-23, 2019 and will consist of approximately seventeen lectures or presentations of twenty minutes each, with related tours and workshops. Selected papers will appear as the 2019 Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar to be published about eighteen months after the conference.

To submit a paper proposal for this conference, please e-mail a one-page prospectus that cites sources and a one-page vita or biography by February 10, 2019.

Contact Info: 

Peter Benes, Director 
The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
Historic Deerfield
P.O. Box 321
Deerfield, MA  01342