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I would like to organize approximately 6 panels for the 2009 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (SCSC) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, 28-30 May, on "The Supernatural in Early Modern European Society." Below you will find a fuller description of the theme, possible ideas for panels, information on SCSC itself, and information on the submissions process and my plans to revise the papers in these panels into an article collection. I hope that you will consider submitting a proposal or volunteering to chair or comment on a session! The Topic It is widely acknowledged that early modern Europeans lived in a "superenchanted" world, and these panels are designed to explore what it means to live with that mindset and in such an environment. In particular, what does it mean to say something is "supernatural" in early modern Europe, and are gradations in the natural, such as supernatural and preternatural, useful analytical terms? What are the relationships between the supernatural and the natural that early modern Europeans take for granted? Given that there are proper and improper supernatural agents, how is legitimacy defined? What are the ways in which the supernatural is experienced in daily life, and what are the sources historians can use to access early modern interpretations and experiences of the supernatural? Do the concept and experience of the supernatural change over time or vary culturally? How do confessional differences affect early modern Europeans relationships with and expectations of the supernatural? Panel topics can explore ideas raised by the questions in the previous paragraph, but any idea within the theme of the supernatural will be considered. Other potential topics could include: · The role of the witch hunts in defining the supernatural · Folklore involving supernatural experiences · The relationship between the supernatural and superstition in early modern theology · Attempts to distinguish the natural and supernatural in early modern scientific writings I would like to use the papers in these panels as the foundation for an article collection to be submitted in early-mid 2010. Once I receive the proposals and get a sense of the dominant themes, I will begin contacting publishers. My impression is that Brill and Ashgate would be interested in publishing such a collection (I have direct experiences with Brill), but any other suggestions for publishers will be gratefully accepted! The Conference The SCSC is one of the leading American conferences on early modern studies and is having its 2009 conference in Geneva as part of the celebrations on the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth. An interdisciplinary conference, the SCSC normally includes presenters from all over Europe and North America and actively seeks the participation of scholars from all over the world. While the conference's primary language is English, the Society will accept presentations in French, German, and Spanish. The 2009 conference is the Society's most ambitiou; further information about the preparations that have already been made can be found at: http://www.sixteenthcentury.org A panel for the SCSC consists of three presenters, a chair, and a commentator. Presenters speak for approximately 20 minutes, chairs make sure that the presenters are introduced and keep the panel running smoothly, and commentators provide a brief (5-10) synthesis and analysis of the presenters' work. Further information about the conference's organization is available at the website listed above. If you are interested in participating as a presenter, chair, or commentator, please submit the following information to me (Kathryn Edwards; KathrynEdwards@sc.edu ) by 5 November 2009. I will then form tentative panels and submit the information via the SCSC online submissions process. Panelists will be notified about acceptance by January 2009 at the latest. (Please note that, because of the size of the conference, the SCSC cannot pay for participants' expenses, but we have made arrangements for hotel discounts in Geneva.) For presenters: · A title for your paper · A 250-word abstract of your paper (please, no longer) · Full contact information: please include your postal address, email address, academic affiliation, and fax and telephone numbers · A brief cv (you can send it to me in whatever form is easiest for you) For chairs and commentators: · Full contact information, as described above · A brief cv I hope you will be able to participate in these sessions, and I look forward to reading your proposals! Sincerely, Kathryn A. Edwards University of South Carolina