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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Call for Papers: Firearms and Freedom: The Relevance of the Second Amendment in the Twenty-First Century

Herblock, “The Gunfather,” October 26,
1992.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Location: London, England
Date: June 11 2015
Deadline:  February 16 2015.

The Second Amendment is arguably the most controversial part of the American Constitution. Europeans discuss the issue often but the unique place of firearms to US history and culture is widely misunderstood. We hope to go beyond the usual presentation of the issue, exploring the roots of the modern discussion and placing it in the broader contexts of American history, politics and culture. We attempt to answer questions in relation to the Second Amendment. Why was it considered important enough to include in the Constitution? How was it interpreted in the nineteenth and early 20th centuries? How does it affect women and minority groups historically and today? Why do so many Americans sustain faith in the freedom to bear arms? Why does the discussion now appear as an un-bridgeable cultural divide?

Hosted at the British Library conference centre by the Eccles Centre and UCL Institute of the Americas, this one-day conference will be an interdisciplinary examination of the Amendment and its relationship with the concept of American freedom. We invite submissions of paper proposals, which should include a 300-word abstract and a brief CV.  Possible topics might include the National Rifle Association, the Black Panther Party, “gun culture”, the relationship of guns with American minorities, the role of women in relation to firearms, and the history of the Second Amendment, but we will consider papers on other related issues. We seek to explore the issue in as balanced a way as possible. All participants will be expected to make their conference contributions available to be considered for publication.

Please direct your paper proposals, confirmations of attendance, and any questions about the one-day conference to either:

Kevin.yuill@sunderland.ac.uk
joe.street@northumbria.ac.uk

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