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No. 4, October 2005

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Dear Colleagues,

We hope that you have all had a good start to the Fall semester. As our project leader, Kathryn Kish Sklar, takes up her position as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University, we wish to take the opportunity to advise you of new developments in our planning.

Although our fundraising efforts for travel funds from the NEH were unsuccessful, we are happy to report that we have procured additional sponsorship from the American Studies Foundation in Japan to cover our remaining local conference expenses for presenters. We thank our colleague Rui Kohiyama for this good news.

Other news this summer brought changes to our conference program. Amy Kaplan informed us that she is unable to travel to Oxford for the weekend of our conference. We are disappointed by this news but continue to be in contact with Amy as our project develops. We are very happy to report that Melani McAlister, Associate Professor of American Civilization at George Washington University, has accepted our invitation to chair the "empire" panel. Melani McAlister is the author of Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000. She is currently working on a book about American evangelicals, popular culture, and foreign policy.

Temma Kaplan was also obliged to withdraw from the conference. Her departure persuaded us to reshape our program to focus on our four original panels: women, mission, nation, and empire. Additional changes to our conference program have been made to adjust to the reality of changing titles and perspectives as our presenters continue to work on their research projects. The revised conference program is attached to this newsletter.

As we have completed the task of shaping the intellectual content of our conference, the burden of work falls to logistical matters. Our colleagues at the Rothermere American Institute will contact you shortly to organize local accommodations and provide information about transportation to Oxford from the London airports of Heathrow and Gatwick. As our conference takes place during the Oxford term, accommodations are at a premium and need to be finalized.

We ask all conference presenters to begin to think about their stay in Oxford. Some panelists have already told us that they will spend two nights in Oxford; others will stay three nights. Our budget permits us to finance up to three nights for conference presenters. Additional nights will be at panelists' expense.

Colleagues who are not presenting papers but wish to attend the conference and participate in our discussions will also be contacted by the Rothermere American Institute with details of the costs of conference registration, local accommodation options, and transportation details.

For those of you who wish to spend an evening in London, you will be able to leave Oxford after the conference ends (4 p.m. on Saturday), travel to London, and have time for theater or dinner, or both.

For those of you who are able to spend more time in the U.K. and wish to do research in missionary archives, please consult the Mundus gateway site for mission archives at

Several of the more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials held in the United Kingdom are held in Oxford and in nearby London and Birmingham. The Papers of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and twenty additional mission collections are housed at the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, University of Oxford (Archivist, Amanda Hill). These include the Women's Mission Association for the Promotion of Female Education in the Missions of the SPG. Additionally, Saint Anthony's College, Oxford, houses the personal papers of several British missionaries. The University of Birmingham houses the papers of the Church Mission Society and eighty-seven additional mission collections, including the Records of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East and the personal papers of many women missionaries (archivist, Philippa Bassett). In London, the School of Oriental and African Studies houses the papers of the London Missionary Society and 133 mission collections (archivist, Susannah Raynor). Finally, in the nearby town of High Wycombe, BibleLands houses the papers of the Turkish Missions Aid Society, a British organization founded in 1854 specifically to support American Missions in the Ottoman Empire (archivist, Jean Hatton). We plan to be in contact with the archivists of these major collections and hope that they will attend our conference.

As our arrangements for the conference progress, we look forward to working with you. In the meantime, we would like to remind conference presenters that their final papers should be sent electronically to the conference organizers no later than February 1, 2006. We will be happy to receive final papers before that date. Colleagues who are participating in our web project should send their papers to us by February 20. All papers should be double-spaced, approximately 35 pages in length including footnotes, and follow the citation conventions of the Chicago Manual of Style.

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With best wishes from the organizing committee,
Kathryn Kish Sklar, Rui Kohiyama, Barbara Reeves-Ellington and Connie Shemo;;;



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