In honor of the 100th anniversary of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the NCSA committee invites proposals that explore the notion of the vista in the nineteenth century. From personal gardens to public parks, from the street level to the top of a skyscraper, or from the microscope to the panoramic photograph, the nineteenth century was a moment when the idea of the vista changed from a narrow sightline to a sweeping, expansive view. How did theorists alter our historical perspective, broadening our notion of the world through science or religion? In what ways did power systems affect urban vantage points? How did man-made vistas reflect socio-cultural ideals? How did domestic spaces or nightlife transform with the widespread use of gas or electric lighting? How does the conceptual vista operate metaphorically? Topics might include horticulture, landscapes and seascapes, new technology, photography, sightseeing, film and the theater, urban planning, visions and dreamscapes, shifting perceptions of the gaze, or literary or artistic descriptions or depictions of viewpoints. In contrast, papers may consider the absence of vistas, such as mental or physical confinement or elements that obfuscate a view.
Please send 250-word abstracts with one-page CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th, 2017. Abstracts should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. We welcome individual proposals and panel proposals with four presenters and a moderator. Note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. Presenters will be notified in November 2017. We encourage submissions from graduate students, and those whose proposals have been accepted may submit complete papers to apply for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. Scholars who reside outside of North America and whose proposals have been accepted may submit a full paper to be considered for the International Scholar Travel Grant (see the NCSA website for additional requirements: http://www.ncsaweb.net).