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Cameron Seglias

C Seglias

PhD Candidate

Address
Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin

Research Interests

  • Eighteenth-Century Transatlantic Antislavery
  • Print Culture and the History of the Book
  • Religion and the Public Sphere
  • Mysticism
  • Anti-consumerism and Critiques of Early Modern Capitalism
  • Modern and Post-Modern Anglo-American Poetry and Poetics
  • Theater and Performance

 Education

10/2015 - 09/2017 

MA in North American Literature and Cultural Studies

John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin                                             

Thesis: “Hints Left in Writing: Print History, Hermeneutics, and the Creation of a Readerly Ethics in John Woolman’s Journal

First Advisor: Prof. Frank Kelleter

Second Advisor: Prof. Mary Ann Snyder-Körber

08/2008 - 05/2012 

BA in Languages and Literature 

Bard College

Senior Project: “Within This Hazel”

Advisor: Prof. Robert Kelly

Board Members: Prof. Ann Lauterbach, Prof. Karen Sullivan

Fellowships and Prizes

04/2019

Barra Foundation International Research Fellowship

Library Company of Philadelphia/Historical Society of Pennsylvania

11/2018

Willi Paul Adams Prize

Award for the best MA Thesis

John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin

10/2018 -

German Research Foundation (DFG) Doctoral Fellowship

05/2012

The Flow Chart Foundation/Academy of American Poets Prize

05/2011

Irma Brandeis Prize

Award for the best thesis proposal in the Humanities

Bard College

05/2011

Mary McCarthy Prize

Award for the best undergraduate prose

Bard College

Work Experience

11/2017 –
09/2018 

Research Assistant

Department of English and American Studies

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Coordinator for English Language Offerings
Schreibzentrum|Writing Center

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

10/2016 -
04/2017 

Teaching Assistant

Department of Literature

John F. Kennedy Institut, Freie Universität Berlin

08/2012 -
08/2013   

Academic Assistant

Bard College Berlin

05/2011 -

09/2011

Archivist

Department of Art History

Bard College

Other Academic Experience

09/2017

Certification as Academic Writing Instructor

Schreibzentrum|Writing Center

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

09/2010 -

05/2011

Student Member, Professorship Appointment Committee

Department of Medieval Studies

Bard College

Professional Memberships

Member, German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS)

Member, Charles Brockden Brown Society

Member, Society of Early Americanists (SEA)

Innocents, Saints, and Apostates: Slavery and Antislavery in the Colonial Period (Department of Culture, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Winter 2020)

War and Peace in American Culture and Literature from the Colonial Period to the Present (Department of English and American Studies, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Summer 2018)

The Term Paper (Schreibzentrum|Writing Center, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Spring 2018, Winter 2017)

Interest, Question, Argument (Schreibzentrum|Writing Center, Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Summer 2018, Winter 2017)

Understanding North America A (Teaching Assistant, Department of Literature, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Winter 2016)

Paradoxes of Liberty: Antislavery and Colonial Power in Crisis, 1675-1793 (dissertation project)

Dissertation in Culture

Mentoring team:
First supervisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Kelleter
Second supervisor: Prof. Dr. Florian Sedlmeier
Third supervisor: Prof. Dr. Laura M. Stevens

My dissertation reexamines late-seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglophone antislavery literature in terms of investments in religio-political colonial projects (especially in New England and Pennsylvania), changing conceptions of liberty and property ownership, and in terms of print culture and book history. In so doing, I emphasize a set of overlooked paradoxes central to early antislavery texts and practices. Rejecting previous scholarly accounts that revolve around moral and humanitarian explanations for early antislavery, my project unpacks the ways in which resistance to racial slavery involved both explicit opposition to human bondage and tacit acceptance of the political and economic forces that were slavery’s very conditions of possibility.

Printed texts by under-examined writers, ranging from the Puritan judge Samuel Sewall and the Quakers Ralph Sandiford and Benjamin Lay to early republican writers of African descent including Lemuel Haynes, Richard Allen, and Absalom Jones, are read alongside and against more canonical texts by John Locke, John Woolman, and Olaudah Equiano in order to make the case that early antislavery was less about slavery tout court than it was about anxieties around emerging capitalism and the fate and broken promises of settler colonial experiments. As such, these writers perform acts of what Michel Foucault has called “counter-conduct.” In this conception, resistance always bears an interior relation to power.

In short, I am interested in how conflicting accounts of freedom emerging out of the period of the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution in the seventeenth century came to both limit and provide the intellectual and material grounds for antislavery thought throughout the eighteenth century. With this analysis, I hope to shed much-needed light on the entanglements between developing articulations of race, capitalism, and antislavery thought.

Publications

Seglias, Cameron. Book Review: “The Quakers, 1656–1723: The Evolution of an Alternative Community by Richard C. Allen and Rosemary Moore with specialist contributors.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (forthcoming).

Seglias, Cameron. “Historical Poem/Historisches Gedicht.” Translated by Max Zschorna. Abwärts! 37 (2020). (Poetry).

Seglias, Cameron, and Laura Katzman. “1898: Imag(in)ing the Caribbean in the Age of the Spanish-American War,” 25.06.2019, Berlin, H-Soz-Kult (January 2020): <www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-8595>.

Seglias, Cameron. “Für James Nayler.” Translated by Max Zschorna. Abwärts! 35 (2020): 18-19. (Poetry).

Seglias, Cameron. For Else. Annandale-on-Hudson: Metambesen, 2014. (Poetry).

Seglias, Cameron. “Julian Beck/Now in Paradise.” Mousse Magazine (June 2014).

Seglias, Cameron. “Anon.” Bard Papers (Spring 2012): 32-33. (Poetry).

Seglias, Cameron. “To Build the Cathedral of Ephemeral Materials: The Question of a Contemporary Poetics.” Forum (Spring 2010): 5-10.

Conferences and Invited Talks

“No Country for Poor Men: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism in Early Pennsylvania” (“The Many Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Early America,” 12th Biennial Conference of the Society of Early Americanists, Virtual Conference, 3-7 March 2021).

Panel Chair, “Religion and Mammon in Early American Literature” (“The Many Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Early America,” 12th Biennial Conference of the Society of Early Americanists, Virtual Conference, 3-7 March 2021).

“Anglophone Antislavery and Colonial Power in Crisis” (“Discourses and Practices of Colonialism and Settlement in North America,” MA Lecture Course Guest Talk, Winter Semester 2020/2021, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, 3 February 2021).

“Slavery, Colonial Crisis, and the Biopolitics of Containment in Eighteenth-Century America” (“Disaster and Disease in North America,” Ringvorlesung Lecture Series, Winter Semester 2020/2021, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, 25 November 2020).

“Slave Revolt and the Practices of Containment” (“Library Company Fireside Chats: A Digital Series,” Webinar for the Library Company of Philadelphia, PA, 13 August 2020).

“Religious Exclusion, Print Participation: Benjamin Lay and Philadelphia Quakers, ca. 1738” (“Participation in American Culture and Society,” 67th Annual Meeting of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, 4-6 June 2020). (Postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic).

“‘Black as Cain:’ Eighteenth-Century Dissenting Protestantism’s Ambiguous Antislavery” (“Dissent of the Governed, c18 and c21,” 12th Biennial Conference of the Charles Brockden Brown Society, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 3-5 October 2019).

“The Published Self: Modernity, Ethics, Eighteenth-Century Antislavery” (Talk at the Helmerich Center for American Research, Gilcrease Museum, University of Tulsa, OK, 13 September 2019).

Conference Co-Organizer (“American Ambiguities: Is Now the Era of Our Disconsent?” 12th Annual Graduate Conference, Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, 22-24 May 2019).

Panel Chair, “Flickering Enlightenment: Ambiguity in Early America” (“American Ambiguities: Is Now the Era of Our Disconsent?” 12th Annual Graduate Conference, Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, 22-24 May 2019).

Workshops and Summer Academies

The Futures of American Studies Institute, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 22-28 June 2020. (Postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic).

“Antislavery and Colonial Anxiety, 1729-1791” (Heidelberg Center for American Studies Spring Academy, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, 22-28 March 2020). (Cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic).

“The Published Self in the Eighteenth-Century Abolitionist Public Sphere” (“Transatlantic Conversations: New and Emerging Approaches to Early American Studies,” Society of Early Americanists/Obama Institute Workshop and Conference, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 4-6 October 2018).

Outreach

“Slavery” (“The 1776 Report and Its Afterlives: Critical Responses from German American Studies,” Digital Teach-In, Universität zu Köln, 4 February 2021)

Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
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