Call for Papers

"Intercultural Origins of St. Louis and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1800-1840"
Saint Louis University
March 22-23, 2018

To honor the bicentennial of Saint Louis University, the Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University, in collaboration with other academic units, will host a conference entitled "Intercultural Origins of St. Louis and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1800-1840" to be held on March 22-23, 2018. We invite proposals for papers and panels exploring how the larger political, economic, and cultural forces of the time intersected with the life of the city and the region.

Politically, the Louisiana Purchase, the debates about Missouri statehood, the opening of the West, and the ensuing migrations had a profound effect on forging American nationhood. Economically, the location of St. Louis city allowed it to become a transportation hub linking several great rivers, attract much of the rapidly developing continental trade, and become a major center of fur trade. The explosive growth of the city would make it an early example of the challenges of urbanization. Culturally, the relationships between St. Louis and the region demarcated a distinctive terrain at the western edge of European colonizing empires and Indian homelands, where highly diverse peoples and cultures interacted with one another and underwent profound changes in the process. Walking the streets of St. Louis, one would encounter Americans, Indians, Canadians, Creole French, Mexicans, Africans, both slave and free, and later the Irish and Germans. As their mutual otherness was negotiated and domesticated, it became an indigenous component of local culture.

We are especially interested in these cultural interactions, in the ways the differences were navigated and creative adaptations made. Creolization, hybridity, and mixing take place even if the dialogue between the various groups is asymmetrical and constrained by relations of power. Other possible themes might include: St. Louis and Saint Louis University, St. Louis and the Fur Trade, St. Louis and Exploration of the Trans-Mississippi West, St. Louis and Slavery, St. Louis and the Indigenous Peoples, St. Louis and the Politics of Statehood, and St. Louis and the Urban Experience.

Proposals should include: a one-page abstract of the paper with the title and name of the author; the author's brief curriculum vitae; postal address; email address; and phone number. For panels, include the same information for the moderator and panelists, plus a one-page description of the panel's theme. Complete proposals should be emailed as attachments in MS Word to: Mary Bokern at, with a subject line "Intercultural Origins of St. Louis Conference." The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2017.



Annual Conference

"The Tasks of the Translator: Developing a Sociocultural Framework for the Study of Translation across the Early Modern World (15th-18th Centuries)"
Saint Louis University
March 20-21, 2017

Featuring Plenary Speaker Professor Lawrence Venuti (Temple University), "Translation Proverbs: The Instrumentalism of Conventional Wisdom".

The Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University is organizing “The Tasks of the Translator: Developing a Sociocultural Framework for the Study of Translation across the Early Modern World (15th-18th Centuries),” conference to be held in St. Louis on March 20-21, 2017.

The conference aims to bring together historians, social scientists, and literary scholars whose work explores the experiences, backgrounds, and legacies of translators and interpreters across the world from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Studies of early modern interculturality, globalization, and empire are increasingly taking language and translation into account when analyzing cultural encounters and transmission. Analyzing institutional and individual practices and strategies as well as the social and cultural contexts in which translators and interpreters were embedded can offer new perspectives about such encounters and cultural transmission. This approach also promises to reveal new insights about the social, political, and intellectual networks that translators and interpreters participated in and helped construct.

Click here for conference program.

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