Call for Panelists: Mental Illness in Early America, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) Annual Meeting in Cleveland, OH, July 18-22, 2018

Gregory Wiker's picture
Call for Papers
November 10, 2017
Ohio, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies

My name is Gregory D. Wiker. I am a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Rochester. I am interested in forming a panel on the theme of mental illness for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) Annual Meeting in 2018. SHEAR will hold its Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18-22, 2018. The event will be held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center. For the meeting, SHEAR welcomes proposals on all aspects of the history of the Early American Republic, c. 1776-1861.

My research focuses specifically on the establishment and operation of the first mental health institute in Bermuda (known at the time as the "Lunatic Hospital") in the mid-nineteenth century. I place the establishment of the Hospital within the context of an era of reform that occurred on, but was not limited to, the island. While I would be particularly interested in forming a panel focused on mental illness and reform, I would be eager to create a panel with anyone who is working on any aspect of mental illness in early America.

I would like to form a three- or four-person panel with two individuals to preside and comment. SHEAR emphasizes in their call for papers that it prefers panels with "gendered, racial, institutional, and interpretive diversity, representing as well different professional ranks and careers."

If you are interested in presenting a paper on this panel, please email me at with a brief description of your paper proposal and a bio by Friday, November 10th. If you are interested in commenting or presiding, please email me with a brief bio by the same date. This will give us the time we need to put together the necessary materials for the proposal for submission by the deadline of December 1st.

Contact Info: 

Gregory D. Wiker

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