"Americae Pars Magis Cognita, Frankfurt, 1592"
by Theodoro De Bry
University of Miami Libraries
Atlantic Studies Research Group
Since 2006, an active interdisciplinary research group in Atlantic Studies has been meeting regularly, with participating faculty and graduate students from Anthropology, Art History, English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures. The Atlantic Studies group at UM is part of the remarkable flourishing of interdisciplinary research in the last decade that works across national boundaries while at the same time rethinking the regional models inherited from U.S.-based area studies. We support and encourage work in all aspects of the historical and contemporary Atlantic world, drawing on our interests in Atlantic history, the black Atlantic, trans- and circumatlantic studies, and postcolonial studies. UM is particularly well situated to facilitate such work, at the hub of the contemporary Atlantic world, linking Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America to each other and to Europe and west and southern Africa.
At the heart of the Atlantic Studies project is an ongoing monthly works-in-progress seminar, in which faculty and graduate students meet to discuss pre-circulated chapters or articles. Recent presenters have included Edmund Abaka (History), Kristen Block (History, FAU), Tracy Devine-Guzmán (Modern Languages and Literatures), Eduardo Elena (History), Jenna Gibbs (History, FIU), Michael Miller (History), William Nelson (History), Frank Palmeri (English), Yvette Piggush (English, FIU), Bianca Premo (History, FIU), and Kate Ramsey (History). We have also sponsored and cosponsored several visiting speakers: David Armitage (Harvard), Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique and Henry Robert Jolibois (Université d’État d’Haïti), Rafe Blaufarb (Florida State), Joyce Chaplin (Harvard), Kathleen DuVal (UNC Chapel Hill), and Rob Nixon (Wisconsin).
The Atlantic Studies Research Group has staged two important symposia. In February 2010, with support from the Center for the Humanities, we organized a national conference held jointly at UM and Florida International University on the topic “Atlantic Narratives.” This two-day event brought together scholars from across the United States to think critically about how the Atlantic paradigm has shaped the narratives we write and vice versa. Several of the essays were featured in a special issue of Clio, edited by Tim Watson. In May 2012, thanks to American Studies and the Department of History as well as several other funders, we ran an intensive workshop for advanced graduate students and recent PhDs on the theme of “Atlantic Geographies.” Over four days fifteen participants shared their works-in-progress as well as attended a lecture and seminar led by Professor Vincent Brown (Harvard University).
We are on hiatus until fall 2013 (when the co-conveners return from leave), but please check our website in the coming months for an exciting program for 2013-14.