CFP: Cultivating Empire: Exploration, Science and Literature

Cultivating Empire: Exploration, Science and Literature

An Interdisciplinary Conference featuring the work and influence of Sir Joseph Banks

Lincoln, UK, 17-18 April 2009

Featured speakers: Richard Holmes (biographer of Shelley and Coleridge and
author of The Age of Wonder); G.S. Rousseau (historian of medicine: co-author
of Gout: the Patrician Malady); Stephen Daniels (geographer: biographer of
Humphry Repton); John Bonehill (art historian: co-author of William Hodges
1747-1797: The Art of Exploration); Anna Agnarsdottir (historian: editor of
Banks's Iceland papers); Martin Davies (novelist: author of The Conjurer's
Bird); David Robinson (historian of Banks and Lincolnshire); Neil Chambers
(Director of the Banks Archive and Editor of his Indian and Pacific

This multidisciplinary conference will examine the intersections between the
local and the global--the English shire and the colonial shore-- in the years
1750-1850. the conference has as its centre
Sir Joseph Banks but also aims more broadly to present critical work in the
following areas:

- the history of exploration and of colonial settlement (e.g. in Australiasia, the
South Pacific, Africa, India, the NW coast of America, the Poles, and in Britain
- the development of colonialism as a system (for instance, the application to a
global network of forms of administration and control pioneered on the English
country estate)
- the cultural impact of the exploration and settlement of previously-unknown
regions (e.g. in verbal and visual representations: art, theatre, poetry and
fiction, journalism, travel writing; and vis-a-vis Orientalism, Omai, Tahiti,
and India)
- natural philosophy in Britain and abroad (e.g. plant exchange, imperial botany,
geological mapping, imperial medicine, the Royal Society, Kew Gardens, Hooker)
agricultural improvement at home and in the colonies (e.g. Captain Bligh and the
breadfruit scheme, the import and export of crops and livestock, the Royal
Society of Arts)
- local history: the relationship of antiquarian study to the practice of natural
philosophy in the empire
- Sir Joseph Banks: any aspect of his life and work
archives and correspondence: the role of collections, letters and information
stores, then and now, in knowledge-production and staging empire
- the late eighteenth-century gentry as a class
- the exchange and cultural meanings of technologies and objects
- gender and sexuality in the fields of colonialism and exploration.

Submissions for 20 minute papers are invited from historians of science,
literary critics, geographers, students of local history, garden historians,
colonial critics and all others interested in the cultures of late eighteenth
and early nineteenth-century Britain. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent by email to by 20 February 2009.

Organisers: Neil Chambers, Sir Joseph Banks Archive, Nottingham Trent
University; Tim Fulford, Dept ELH, Nottingham Trent University; Ian Packer,
School of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Lincoln; The Sir
Joseph Banks Society.