Two grad student history conferences/calls for papers:

Third Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference

Call for Papers

Ideas and Ideology in the Global Past

The Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) committee invites graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to submit proposals for the Third Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference to take place at the University of California, Berkeley, on February 27-28th, 2015.

The history of ideas, from science and religion to philosophy, has a rich tradition of nation-based scholarship. Yet ideas, as non-material and communicable things, can easily move across barriers of language and space. The recent turn toward studying histories that escape national and regional frames offer historians of ideas and ideology a fruitful way to examine how concepts emerged, grew, and transformed across national or imperial borders. Historians stand to learn much about the making of the past, and the contemporary world, by examining ideas about the natural world, theology, concepts of governance, and local expertise across space and between societies. Points of entry include the migration of knowledge, the relationship between ideas and material events and processes, the resistance to and exercise of new ideas, the transference of ideas across time periods and geographies, and how ideology informs and is informed by techniques of governance.   

The following list contains a sample of potential questions with which our conference seeks to engage:
How did commercial exchange and cross-cultural interaction change definitions of what is human, divine, natural, or machine?
 How were the boundaries of scientific truth and objectivity established across cultures?
How did modes of representing ideas change to accommodate interactions among different linguistic groups?
 In what vehicles did ideas travel across cultures and polities, and how was the traffic of ideas governed?
 How did ideas about the purpose of states change as people came into contact across cultures and political boundaries?
How did the spread of empires, nation-states, or markets change basic understandings of community, class, power, value, environment, religion, accountability, identity?

When did ideas transcend cultural difference to give rise to transnational social movements?
How did the scale of human imagination change as people interacted across cultures?
This conference will consider the creation and elaboration of ideas and ideologies from diverse perspectives and time periods - from antiquity to the recent past.  We invite papers from graduate students and postdoctoral students that engage the history of ideas, ideology, and how they are realized in culture, politics, economics, science, gender, and society.  Scholars working in any subfield and any time period are encouraged to apply. 

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in participating in the conference should submit a 350 word proposal and one-page curriculum vitae (in Word, RTF, or PDF format) to Participants will be asked to pre-circulate their paper drafts.  We will not accept panel proposals. Applications must be received by October 3rd, 2014, in order to be considered. Notification of acceptance will be made in late October. For additional information, please e-mail the conference organizers at or check our website at

The University of Illinois at Chicago History Graduate Society announces its 7th annual Windy
City Graduate Student History Conference: “Historicizing the State.” The two-day conference
will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago on October 17-18, 2014.
Since Benedict Anderson invited historians to envision nation-states as Imagined Communities,
scholars have wrestled with questions regarding the naturalness of the state. This conference
invites scholars to explore the historical processes of state formation.

Possible working paper topics include (but are not limited to):
Theories/Theorists of State Power
The State and Empire
National Subjectivity
Borderlands/Construction of Nation-States
State Regulation and Sponsorship of Economic Institutions and Markets
Immigration and Naturalization
Legal Analysis
Prison Industrial Complex
The “Welfare State” and the “Warfare State”
State/Non-State Militias

This year’s keynote speaker is James T. Sparrow, an Associate Professor of U.S. History at The
University of Chicago. Professor Sparrow’s recent book, Warfare State: World War II Americans
and the Age of Big Government, challenged the periodization of the New Deal as the era of “big
government” to instead argue the United States harnessed its participation in the Second World
War to vastly expand the federal government's involvement in citizens’ lives. Sparrow’s new
project, “The New Leviathan” examines American sovereignty during the atomic age. Sparrow’s
methodological interests extend to new media fields and the opportunities they provide in
capturing and preserving archival material.

This is an interdisciplinary conference. Presentations from history graduate students in all
research areas are welcome. Graduate students working on historical topics in other social
sciences and humanities are also encouraged to apply. Please send a 250 word abstract and a
short CV to by September 15th, 2014. For panel proposals, please
send a 200 word panel abstract along with paper abstracts and presenters’ CV’s. 


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