News in American History

In Memoriam: George Athan Billias (1919-2018)

Author, husband, Professor emeritus, father, Bronze star recipient. These are just some of the titles that George Athan Billias held during his 99 years. Dr. Billias passed away on August 16, 2018, at his home in Worcester, Massachusetts. He received his first teaching position at the University of Maine in Orono, where he taught until 1961. The following year he accepted the position of director of the American history graduate program at Clark University. He taught there for 27 years and held the title of Jacob and Frances Hiatt Professor of History. Billias authored, edited, and coedited fourteen volumes. He is most noted for his work American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989; A Global Perspective.

For full details and obituary, click here>>

Posted: February 19, 2019
Tagged: In Memoriam

CFP: The New Populisms and the White Working Class

This volume seeks papers that take the concept of white working class seriously, as both category and thing-in-itself, while focusing a critical gaze on its deployment, use, and misuse.

While a majority of the United States working class did not support the Trump bid for the presidency, research indicates that in key states (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania), white voters identified as working class formed a key part of the electoral victory for Trump. White working class voters who had voted for Obama in 2008 had, by 2016, crossed party lines in just enough numbers to affect the outcome. This has brought the use of the term white working class into the public eye, though in a blurred focus. This volume seeks to bring together scholars and activists from a wide variety of disciplines to examine and assess the terms used to describe the white working class, explore the contours of the new populism, and debate their relationship.

The concept of a white working class, as both an identifiable sub-class, and as an analytic concept, is, and should continue to be, troubling. For many scholars and researchers studying class formation, and questions of class and culture, there is an identifiable working class, understood by their position within the complex relationship of production, distribution, and consumption. Though the working class is bounded by and intertwined with race, ethnicity, and gender, class analysis in itself identifies a distinct group of people bearing similar relationships to capital. Yet the persistence of racism, inequalities of gender, sex, and race, and the magnification of xenophobia and ethnocentrism in public debate demand further reckoning with how class functions, how class identities are formed (or deformed,) and how class is represented.

This volume seeks papers that take the concept of white working class seriously, as both category and thing-in-itself, while focusing a critical gaze on its deployment, use, and misuse. We want to take the term apart, unpack its implication, understand its history, and if we are bold and creative enough, perhaps even come to a different, altered conception of this troubling and contentious phrase. The volume welcomes contributions from across the disciplines, and from a variety of ideological and analytic approaches. While the volume was inspired by events in the United States, we also welcome contributions from across the globe, particularly from non-majority white labor markets. Deadline for abstracts of no more than 500 words to on March 1st; Deadline for full papers September 1st

For further details, click here>>

Posted: February 18, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

CFP: The Lost Alternatives of the 1960s

We seek to bring together scholars with diverse interests and from a variety of disciplines for a two-day conference on September 27 and 28, 2019, focusing on the ideas and legacy of the “counterculture.” The “counterculture” (defined broadly) was a formidable site of intellectual production and political debate, and an important part of the larger and longer history of twentieth-century American intellectual and political life.

We seek paper proposals on a range of topics focused on the “counterculture”: capitalism, poverty, wealth, distribution, and consumerism; race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; the environment; medicine and pharmacology; health and wellness; spaces and architecture; education, expertise, and epistemology; spirituality and religion; and politics, institutions, and governance. What did the “counterculture” seek to make or remake, and how? What did it mean to be a “participant” in the counterculture, how did “participants” see themselves and what they were doing, how was their sense of self and mission captured in the production and presentation of their books and pamphlets, and how did other parts of society see them? Were the ideas and movements of the “counterculture” a culmination or something new? What was the legacy of the ideas of the “counterculture”? How can contextualizing the “counterculture” in the social, political, and economic moment of 1968 lead to fresh scholarly interpretations?

Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog (1968), Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet (1971), and the Our Bodies, Ourselves Collective’s Women and Their Bodies (1970) were three texts among many others that reflected the ideas of the “counterculture.” While we are especially interested in papers that address the three core texts—The Whole Earth Catalog, Diet for a Small Planet, and Our Bodies, Ourselves—or the themes framed by them, there is no requirement that the papers specifically address those texts.

Submission Guidelines: Please submit (A) An abstract of no more than 500 words; (B) A biography of no longer than 100 words; (C) A CV.

Proposals are due by March 4, 2019. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by the third week of March, 2019.

For additional details, longer description, and to submit a proposal, click here.

Posted: February 18, 2019
Tagged: Calls for Papers

AEJMC’s History Division Covert Award Call

Covert Award Call:

AEJMC's History Division announces the 35th annual competition for the Covert Award in Mass Communication History.

The $500 award will be presented to the author of the best mass communication history article or essay published in 2018. Book chapters in edited collections also may be submitted.

The award was endowed by the late Catherine L. Covert, professir of public communications at Syracuse University and former head of the History Division.

An Eletronic copy in pdf form of the published article/essay/chapter should be submitted via email to Professor Sheila Webb,

The deadline for submission is March 1, 2019.

The publication may be self-submitted or submitted by others, such as an editor or colleague.

Posted: February 18, 2019
Tagged: Awards and Prizes

Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics

The Center for Civic Education will conduct a five-year series of Presidential Academies for teachers and Congressional Academies for students that will include a two-week experience each summer in conjunction with exemplary scholars and mentor teachers. This year's Academies will take place July 7-20. Participants will be immersed in the study of constitutional history and principles following the intellectual framework of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum. The We the People program is an innovative course of study that focuses on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The project will provide:

  • High-quality professional development in the content and methods of history and civics for a group of 51 new and veteran teachers of high-need students per year with goal of improving their improving subject knowledge and pedagogy. The professional development will include high-quality interactive instruction and a professional learning community aided by a History and Civics Online Forum. The stipend for teacher participants is $500.
  • High-quality, interactive instruction in history and civics for a group of 102 high-need high school students per year with the goal of improving their content knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The students will be aided by a Student Online Forum.
  • Outreach and follow-up activities through the use of a series of eight online videos by leading scholars and four webinars that will help extend the teachers’ professional development and can also benefit students and the general public.

The Academies will take place concurrently at Goucher College (Baltimore, MD), which is conducive to thoughtful lectures, discussions, and individual and collaborative work and is convenient for visits to numerous National Parks and the nation’s Capital.

Teachers will be selected from schools with strong administrative support for work with high-need students. For each teacher, two high-need students from that teacher’s school or school district will apply jointly and participate in the Academies. At most sessions the teachers and students will meet separately but there will be times for joint activities during the summer and school year.

If you have questions, send them to

The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2019, and participants will be notified of the decision by April 1.

For further information, click here>>

Posted: February 18, 2019
Tagged: Meetings, Conferences, Symposia

Call for Graduate Student Submissions in Louisiana History

Call for Graduate Student Prize Submissions: The Hugh F. Rankin Prize is awarded by the Louisiana Historical Association each year to the graduate student in history who submits the best unpublished article-length essay in Louisiana history or a related topic. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited graduate program at either the M.A. or Ph.D. level, and the essay must be based on original research and must have been completed during 2018. Part-time graduate students are eligible.

The award will be a cash prize, to be presented at the banquet of the LHA’s annual meeting ( The winning essay will be considered for publication in the LHA journal Louisiana History.

The deadline for submission is March 1, 2019.

Please send submissions to: Dr. Michael S. Martin, Managing Editor, Louisiana Historical Association:

For further information, click here>>

Posted: January 10, 2019
Tagged: Awards and Prizes

James K. Polk and His Time: A Conference Finale to the Polk Project

Join us in April to celebrate the completion of the James K. Polk Project. Begun in 1958, the project is about to finish its fourteen-volume letterpress and digital series of the Correspondence of James K. Polk. These volumes, featuring annotated transcriptions of thousands of letters from 1817–49, enable twenty-first-century readers to use the nineteenth-century documents. They have nurtured diverse scholarship on antebellum America.

Hosted by the University of Tennessee History Department, “James K. Polk and His Time: A Conference Finale to the Polk Project” will be held at the East Tennessee Historical Society, in Knoxville, on April 12–13, 2019. Academic scholars, public historians, and community members will take stock of what we now know about the eleventh U.S. president and assess the contributions of the project to historical study. Presentations will include a keynote address by Amy S. Greenberg, a roundtable of Polk experts chaired by John C. Pinheiro, and a screening of a Polk documentary by Brian Rose.

See the conference website to read the preliminary program, register (it’s free), and book your hotel room. Contact us with any questions at

For further information, click here>>

Posted: December 27, 2018
Tagged: Meetings, Conferences, Symposia

Call for Proposals: Pacific Northwest Labor History Assoc. Conference

General Strike 1919-2019 – Radicalism, Repression, and Solidarity

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of a watershed year in American and Canadian labor history, especially in the West. The year was defined by the Seattle and Winnipeg General Strikes, the Centralia Massacre, and the wave of state sponsored repression of immigrant workers during the Palmer Raids. Reflecting on these events a century later encourages us to consider the significance of radicalism as well as ways that organized labor has both enforced and overcome racial and gendered barriers to solidarity.

The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association seeks presentations performances, and papers that examine labor history of the past 100 years, especially related to: Labor Radicalis; Patriarchy and Feminism; Employer and State Repression; Racism, including White Supremacy; Immigrant Workers and Xenophobia.
Full Call for Proposals at PNLHA website.

Proposals Due by January 7, 2019.

For futher information, click here>>

Posted: December 18, 2018
Tagged: Calls for Papers

Continuing the Struggle: The ILO Centenary and the Future of Global Worker Rights

Washington, DC
Updated dates: November 21-22, 2019
Call for Participants with a new submission deadline of February 1, 2019

October 29, 2019, will mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the first International Labor Conference (ILC), held in the Pan American Union Building in Washington, D.C., under the nascent International Labor Organization (ILO). This conference will mark the centenary of that watershed event. It will be both retrospective and prospective. It will look back to analyze and evaluate a century of efforts to advance workers’ rights around the globe. It will look forward to ponder the ways in which global supply chains, financialization, and the growth of the “gig” economy and other forms of non-standard work challenge the ILO system and raise questions about the very definition of employers and employees and the basis of labor relations.

The conference invites participants who can contribute to the exploration of a range of themes related to the ILO’s work. These include: Global Workers, Global Supply Chains, Global Lives, Gender, Sexuality and Labor Rights, Building Workplace Power and Global Workers' Rights.
On Shifting Ground: Labor Standards, Policy and the Future of Work.

Please send paper, presentation, or panel proposals to
Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2019

For further information, click here>>

Posted: December 11, 2018
Tagged: Calls for Papers

Journal of American History CFP: Sex, Suffrage, Solidarities: Centennial Reappraisals

The year 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. What are our obligations to this moment? What are the crucial questions and unresolved problems in the histories and historiographies of suffrage in the United States? The Journal of American History will observe the centennial with a sustained, multidimensional appraisal. From late 2019 through 2020, we intend to publish a variety of scholarly analyses across our many platforms. Our ambition is to foster creative thinking about the amendment, its discursive and material frameworks, and its complex, often-unanticipated legacies. Our theme for the project—Sex, Suffrage, Solidarities—is intended to provoke new questions about the amendment and the political, economic, and cultural transformations of which it has been a part.

Read more here >>

Read more >

Posted: December 4, 2018
Tagged: Calls for Papers, News of the Organization