Voices & Agencies



Under the headline "Voices and Agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865," this network brings together ten scholars from the fields of American Studies, Postcolonial Studies, British Studies, and Romance Studies. In six workshops across three years, with invited lectures that are open to the public, the network engages questions of agency and voice in the Atlantic world between the seventeenth century and the end of the American Civil War.

The basic premise is that the early Atlantic brought forth divergent agencies and shifting concepts of the self, and that their study affords a critical engagement with the way today's ideologies impact on the study of historical agencies. Questions of methodology lie at the core of this network, as it seeks to outline an approach that does justice to the unique character of early texts without forcing them to service today's myths and ideals.

We therefore interrogate the ways in which contemporary scholarship can bring the voices and agencies of the past into dialogue with contemporary concerns without superimposing today's ideologies onto them.