News in American History

CFP: Universities Studying Slavery 2019 Fall Symposium “The Academy’s Original Sin”

When: October 9–12, 2019 
Where: Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 

Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati are proud to co-sponsor the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) Fall 2019 Symposium, entitled “The Academy’s Original Sin.” USS is a multi-institutional collaborative effort working to address historical and contemporary issues dealing with race and inequality in higher education and university communities and the complicated legacies of slavery in modern American society. 

This symposium encourages collaboration among—and unites scholars from—a broad range of colleges and universities to better understand the role of enslaved people and their relation to higher education. Slavery’s legacy in the American academy is demonstrated in myriad ways, from African American access to higher education and discussions surrounding reparative justice, to racism and discrimination within academe and battles to rename places/spaces on college campuses nationwide. The Fall 2019 Symposium continues the conversation, focusing on the enslavement of people of African descent and how that enslavement manifested itself in the development of U.S. educational institutions. Moreover, it will directly question these complicated legacies. 


This year’s symposium features pre-selected panel topics and participants are encouraged to submit proposals accordingly. (Symposium organizers reserve the right to include additional/alter current panels as interest dictates.) 

  • Legacies of the Middle Passage: This panel evaluates the lasting legacies of the transatlantic slave trade, focusing on a variety of responses to cultural trauma and efforts to heal and  transform. 
  • Teaching Trauma: As recent controversies have made clear, the history of slavery and the slave trade are often taught in wildly inappropriate ways in American schools. This panel explores the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to teaching this challenging material. 
  • The Ties that Bind: Histories of Religion and Race at XU and UC: This panel is exclusively designed for XU and UC faculty/administration to discuss developments on our campuses re: controversial spaces and historical legacies. 
  • Violent Evangelism: Weaponizing Faith & Teaching Place: Slaveholders and their sympathizers often defended slavery by pointing to its presence in the Bible as evidence of its place in a higher plan for social order. Interpretation of biblical stories like Cain and Abel, and that of Noah’s son Ham, offered proof that “Negroes” were accursed and their enslavement theologically condoned. This panel explores the Christianization of slaves, segregationist theology, and the ethics of disarmament. 
  • New-Age ‘Fieldwork’: Intellectual Chains of the 21st Century: Especially on large plantations, the institution of slavery created distinct occupational hierarchies, distinguishing between tradesmen, fieldworkers, house slaves (domestics, wet nurses, etc.), etc. Do academic hierarchies of the twenty-first century mimic these relationships of the past? What is the new “fieldwork” for the Diaspora, and how does the academy bridge the divide between the Ivory Tower and the local communities within which it physically stands? 
  • Legacies of Slavery: Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to present original research pursuant to the Symposium title. Potential participants are welcome to discuss their unique campus climate regarding the work of retributive justice, and to introduce the broad range of activities designed to facilitate (or hinder) and official acknowledgment of the sacrifices of black bodies for the development of the Ivory Tower
  • 40 Acres and a Myth: Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, an idea for massive land redistribution following the Civil War, is a staple of black history lessons. There are, however, numerous facets of the revolutionary idea Americans still do not understand. This panel looks to the past as a starting point for examining the concepts of social reconstruction, retributive justice, and reparations, and asks, “What contemporary concessions can/should be made to the descendants of slaves in the United States?” 
  • When Will We Be Satisfied?: Re-evaluating ‘Progress’ in a Post-King America August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that has resonated for decades. In what has become known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, King voiced the pressing demands of the civil rights movement, and posed a challenging question regarding the supposed progress of race relations in America. This panel invites presenters to respond to King’s query, “When will we be satisfied?” and the significance of the continued phenomenon of racism in America. 
  • Global Perspectives on Retributive Justice: Retributive justice is a theory of justice that holds that the best response to a crime is a punishment proportional to the offense, inflicted because the offender deserves the punishment. With specific regard to the legacy of slavery in the United States, this panel assumes agency and communion can further understand the experiences of victims, and invites presentations that broadly address retributive justice, value restoration and procedural justice. 

Contributions from researchers in a range of disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, history, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, urban studies and other fields are encouraged. Practitioners in cultural history institutions, and the visual and performing arts, are also encouraged to submit, as non-traditional and/or alternative forms of presenting research, e.g. in videos, visual art or performances, will be supported. 

Please email an abstract of the proposed paper/presentation (limit 500 words) and CV to by July 1, 2019. Presenters will be notified within two weeks if their proposal has been selected for a panel. 

The USS2019XUC Symposium registration will open on July 15, 2019


A block of rooms have been reserved under “USS 2019 Symposium” at the following locations, and all participants are invited to contact the hotels directly to confirm lodgings. The block of rooms will “close” either on September 15, 2019, or when all rooms on the block have been reserved. Blocks at both hotels are limited, so BOOK EARLY! 

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Cincinnati Uptown/University Area 
2500 S Market St, Cincinnati, OH 45219 
(513) 281-2200 
*ALL rooms/types $109* 
*STUDENT RATES available at this location for $99 (up to quadruple occupancy!), but rate must be approved/blocked by program coordinators. Preference for student rooms will be given to those presenting at the 2019 Symposium. 

Hampton Inn & Suites Cincinnati/Uptown-University Area 
3024 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219 
(513) 281-2700 
*ALL room types $119/$129* 

UC and XU will provide complimentary shuttles from CVG to both hotels: 
Wednesday, October 9, from 12pm-3pm 

UC and XU will provide complimentary shuttles from Saturday morning venue to CVG: 
Saturday, October 12, from 12pm-3pm 

Rates include breakfast, a limited number of “student” rates are available directly through symposium organizers, and tax-exempt status will be recognized at either hotel ONLY IF: You supply the hotel with a hardcopy of your institution’s tax-exempt certification upon check-in AND… pay for your room with your institution’s p-card/credit card, OR pay for your room prior to your arrival with a check from your institution.

For further information, click here>>

Posted: May 8, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

Library Company of Philadelphia First Biennial Innovation Award

The Library Company of Philadelphia is delighted to welcome applications for its first biennial Innovation Award. The Innovation Award will recognize a project—digital or analog—that critically and creatively expands the possibilities of humanistic scholarship. 

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of leaders in higher education, research libraries, and cultural heritage institutions who will evaluate how proposed projects make scholarly work new again. That scholarly work might take the form of an article, chapter, academic monograph, scholarly edition, or other project, in either print or digital form. “Innovation” will be defined broadly, and may include refashioning scholarly work with new partners, for new audiences, or into new forms.

The recipient of the Innovation Award will receive a $2,000 prize, a spotlight interview in our “Talking in the Library” podcast, and recognition at the 288th Annual Dinner of the Library Company of Philadelphia (October 29, 2019).

We welcome proposals from applicants in all fields and at all career stages, including graduate students, junior and senior faculty, as well as independent scholars. Visit the Innovation Award webpage for complete details.

Submissions are due by August 1, 2019.

For further details, click here>>

Posted: May 8, 2019
Tagged: Awards and Prizes

In Memoriam: Professor Jesse Lemisch (1936–2018)

Jesse Lemisch passed away August 24, 2018. Professor Lemisch earned his B.A. at Yale University and an M.A. in history at Columbia University. He returned to Columbia to receive his Doctorate in American Studies in 1963. He was an author, professor, and an outspoken historian. He was best known for being a “New Left historian” writing history from below and challenging “top-down” traditions of academic historical writing. 

For full details and obituary, click here>>

For a piece written by Marcus Rediker in memory of Jesse Lemisch, click here>>

Posted: May 6, 2019
Tagged: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Dr. Jo Ann (Jody) Carrigan (1933–2018)

Jo Ann (Jody) Carrigan passed away September 12, 2018. Dr. Carrigan joined the Department of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1970, where she stayed until her retirement in 1996. Dr. Carrigan specialized in U.S. urban history, medical, and public health history. She served as a volunteer Adjunct Professor for Medical History in the medical humanities program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Carrigan was also active in a number of historical organizations and associations, which include but are not limited to the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Southern Association of Women Historians. Dr. Carrigan was also on the advisory board of the Journal of Southern Studies.

For full details and obituary, click here>>

Posted: May 6, 2019
Tagged: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: G. Wesley Johnson Jr. (1932–2018)

G. Wesley Johnson Jr. passed away November 16, 2018. Johnson studied at Harvard University, Columbia University, and Stanford University. He began his teaching career in 1965 as an assistant professor at Stanford University. He was also a founding editor for The Public Historian and a founding member of the National Council on Public History. While not the founding father of public history, Rebecca Conrad notes that “he gave it an identity and a structure” in her History@Work In Memoriam Essay Published February 18, 2019. After founding The Public Historian in 1978, the first issue was titled “The Birth of a New Field.” 

For full details and obituary, click here>>

Posted: May 6, 2019
Tagged: In Memoriam

NCPH 2020 Call for Proposals

The National Council on Public History is in the midst of celebrating its 40th anniversary, and we are planning on capping the party off with our 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia! Interested in joining in on the fun? Consider submitting a proposal for the conference, which will run from March 18-21, 2020. Our theme for the conference is “Threads of Change,” and all proposals are due by July 15, 2019. We look forward to hearing from you!

For further information, click here>>

Posted: May 6, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

2019 OAH Award Winners

The Organization of American Historians sponsors annual awards and prizes given in recognition of scholarly and professional achievements in the field of American history.
Please join us in congratulating the following 2019 OAH award and prize winners

Read more >

Posted: May 1, 2019
Tagged: None

CFP: War College of the Seven Years’ War at Fort Ticonderoga

Call for Papers
War College of the Seven Years’ War
at Fort Ticonderoga
May 15–17, 2020

In 2020 Fort Ticonderoga will open a new exhibit focusing of the institution of the militia and its development over the long 18th century. The topic prompts discussions about the role of the citizen, the subject, and the soldier in the broader Seven Years’ War. Even more than previous conflicts, the global Seven Years’ War called thousands more men into military service. The expansion of recruitment into regular, provincial, and militia service in various theatres across the globe made the impact of the war felt much more broadly as the soldiers themselves, as well as their families and communities, dealt with the impact of war. Fort Ticonderoga seeks proposals for papers broadly addressing the period of the Seven Years’ War for its Twenty-Fifth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War to be held May 15–17, 2020.

Fort Ticonderoga seeks out new research and perspectives on one of the most important military and political events of its era. We seek papers from established scholars in addition to graduate students and others that relate to the origins, conduct, or repercussions of the Seven Years’ War broadly speaking. We are especially interested in topics and approaches that engage the international quality of the conflict as well as representing the variety of peoples and places involved. 

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives covering the period from the 1740s to the 1760s. Papers may include or engage:

            • Material Culture

            • Biographical Analysis

            • Campaign Histories

            • Archaeological Investigations

            • Cultural, Social, and Political Ramifications

            • Indigenous Populations

Sessions are 30 minutes in length followed by 10 minutes for audience questions. Fort Ticonderoga may provide speakers with partial travel reimbursement. Please submit a 300-word abstract and CV by email by June 1, 2019, to Richard M. Strum, Director of Academic Programs:

Posted: April 30, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

CFP: Veterans: Enduring, Surviving, and Remembering War

Veterans: Enduring, Surviving, and Remembering War
An International Conference
September 12–13, 2019
U.S. Naval War College

In 2018, the University of Massachusetts Press launched “Veterans,” the first academic book series devoted to the postwar lives of military personnel and the enduring human consequences of war. To celebrate its launch, series editors Brian Matthew Jordan and J. Ross Dancy invite individual paper and full panel proposals for a two-day conference, to be hosted by the U.S. Naval War College, exploring veterans in history. In keeping with the goals of the series, the conference aims to build connections and foster conversations between disparate historiographies. As such, we invite historians who work on any time period or conflict to submit proposals. Paper and panel topics may include but are not limited to:

      •    Veterans as custodians of historical memory
      •    Veterans as historians, relic collectors, and autobiographers    
      •    Veterans and their struggles for benefits and recognition
      •    Medical and disability histories of veterans
      •    Veterans and politics
      •    Transitions to peacetime and civilian life
      •    Veterans and posttraumatic growth    
      •    Veterans’ fraternal organizations and culture 
      •    Veterans’ relationships with families and children 
      •    Veterans’ relationships with other generations of veterans    
      •    The socioeconomics of veteranhood    
      •    The experiences of women veterans
      •    Veteranhood and race and/or ethnicity    
      •    Veterans in historical memory
      •    Veterans engagement in and relationship to anti-war activism
      •    Methodologies for exploring veterans in history

Individual paper or full panel proposals must be submitted by June 15, 2019, and include an abstract of 300 words and one-page curriculum vitae for each presenter. Panel proposals should include a brief statement about the thrust of the session and must include a chair. All proposals including panel proposals should be submitted as single .pdf files.

Submissions and inquiries should be addressed to:
Dr. J. Ross Dancy 

Posted: April 30, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

CFP: Arts Special Issue: World War, Art, and Memory: 1914 to 1945

The two world wars of the first half of the twentieth century, World War I (1914–1918) and World War II (1939–1945), wrought extraordinary levels of destruction. Much of the artistic production during the period reflected grim and complicated realities, while a number of works of art of the post-war period played a role in the memorialization of the wars or served as critical commentary on the wars’ historical legacies. We are calling for article proposals that explore how art expressed the collective experience and memory of these two monumentally important global conflagrations and of conflicts that occurred in the interwar years. 

We seek articles that address the ways in which individuals, groups, and nations employed art to shape the collective memory and remembrance of these profoundly transformative conflicts. The articles can address all aspects of the visual arts in a variety of forms, including the applied arts and New Media. While the Eastern and Western fronts in Europe are expected to receive the most attention, both wars were truly global. Therefore, we welcome proposals that address any national context. In particular, we wish to explore the representation of these aspects of war: the experience of those who directly encountered battle; how imagery affected and connected those on “the home front”; how art formed evolving historical narratives of war; sites of memory and the memorialization of key people, events, and places.

To propose an article for this special issue of Arts, please send a CV, article title, and short abstract to the editor, Andrew M. Nedd, at

Please note that there is a two-stage submission procedure. We first collect proposals by June 15, 2019. Before August 1, we will invite selected abstracts to be submitted as full papers (max. 15,000 words) for peer review by December 1, 2019.

Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access journal published quarterly online by MDPI.

For further information, click here>>

Posted: April 30, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers