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No. 6, March 2006

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Call for Papers, 2003 | May 2004 | October 2004 | March 2005 |
| October 2005 | February 2006 |

Dear Colleagues,

Our Competing Kingdoms conference is only one month away. We very much look forward to welcoming you to Oxford University, where our two years of planning come to fruition.

Some of you will have noticed a new name on our program. Melani McAlister is prevented from joining us at Oxford. We are fortunate to welcome Jay Sexton, a historian of American foreign relations in the History Department at the University of Oxford.

In our final pre-conference newsletter, we want to remind you of the goal of our conference and clarify the format for our discussions.

Twenty-two years after Jane Hunter published her groundbreaking scholarship on the history of American missionary women, our goal is to move the study of missionary women from the margins to the center of historical scholarship. We seek to unlock the potential of an undeveloped field of study and stimulate new questions about American missionary endeavors and cultural interactions.

Our conference is intended to be a workshop, where the emphasis is on discussion. We expect to generate debate within and across our four sessions of women, mission, nation, and empire. Please read all thirteen papers before you come to the conference and be prepared to engage with them. The papers are posted on our website at Please bring at least one question per paper. Through our discussions we hope to bring greater cohesion to the papers in preparation for our edited volume.

In addition, we ask you to read at least one web-project paper (posted papers that will not be presented at the conference) that connects with your work. Abstracts are posted to facilitate familiarity with the themes and issues of those papers. Several web-project authors will attend the conference and participate in our discussions.

The format for our sessions is as follows. Each panelist will take ten minutes to present a summary of her or his paper. Because we have read the papers, a more detailed presentation is not necessary. The summary should include the topic under study, key sources, the chief arguments, and the contribution of the paper to historical scholarship on women and the missionary endeavor. The chair of each session will take fifteen minutes to draw the threads of the papers together and pose questions for discussion. We will then have at least one hour per session for discussion.

In our round-table on Saturday morning, the chairs will draw together our conversations and offer suggestions for discussion of a future plan of research. Before we leave Oxford, we will organize in break-out groups to discuss future directions to continue the work of scholars engaged in this project and for all attendees to organize cooperative future activities, particularly conference panels at professional associations.

If you have questions about the format of the conference, please feel free to contact me. If you have questions about local arrangements in Oxford, please contact Emma Ruckley at

We look forward to seeing you in Oxford in late April!

Best wishes,
Barbara Reeves-Ellington for the organizing committee


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