OI 2021 annual conference

Material World/ Virtual World:  the Physical and the Digital in Vast Early America          

The 26th OI annual conference is scheduled to convene June 17-19, 2021, ONLINE.

Due to the difficulties posed for us all by the COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed the 26th OI annual conference from June 2020 until June 2021. Because of ongoing public health concerns we are proceeding with the conference in an online format this year. A program and registration details will be announced soon.

Conference theme and format

The OI 2021 conference focuses on two intersecting ways of comprehending the vast early American past: the material and the virtual.  New methods and multi-disciplinary perspectives are encouraging and advancing scholarship on both material culture and digital space, and how scholars are integrating the two.  The OI annual conference for 2021 debuts a new conference format alongside a thematic focus on the ways that digital and material scholarship are remaking our understandings of Vast Early America.

The OI’s 2021 annual conference also emphasizes important collaborations.  We want to build on, and expand, exciting new developments in the field, including those showcased at the 2019 OI annual conference in Pittsburgh on “the local and the global: scales in Vast Early America,” the recent past and future William and Mary Quarterly – Early Modern Studies Institute (WMQ-EMSI) workshops at the Huntington on digital projects, archaeology, and material culture, and the critical conversations happening right here at William & Mary, including those resulting from the 2019 Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) conference.

The conference will begin with a set of “leading stories,” methodological, theoretical, or subject specific foci introduced in an opening plenary that will then continue as organizing themes through subsequent workshops and other sessions. The program committee will group submissions according to these themes. The leading stories and initial workshops will be expanded upon and explored through seminars (to consider work in progress), lightning rounds (for early work in development), and guided conversations (about interdisciplinary conversations and shared trajectories). 


Program committee:

Jody Allen, William & Mary
Sara Bon-Harper, James Monroe’s Highland and William & Mary
Jillian Galle, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Ashley Glassburn, University of Windsor
Audrey Horning, William & Mary and Queen’s University, Belfast
Susan Kern, William & Mary
Ann Little, Colorado State University
Bertrand van Ruymbeke, Université de Paris
Buck Woodard, American University