CFP: On Top of the World: Sizing Up Global History (Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 20-21, 2017)

As part of an explosion of recent work on the theory and practice of global history, the 2017 Great Lakes History Conference has issued a call for papers on the theme  “On Top of the World: Sizing Up Global History.” The conference is to be held at Grand Valley State University from October 20-21, 2017.

In recent years, historians embraced new approaches to world history that moved beyond traditional western Civilization models. The prolific expansion of empirical historical research about non-western regions enabled this transformation. However, much of this research remains concealed from the larger public. This conference proposes to explore the avenues that connect empirical historical research on global history and area studies to those who present it to the public, including teachers, journalists, digital humanists, archivists, and museum professionals. This conference also seeks to examine the ways that empirical research and global history and area studies inform contemporary political conversations. In essence, it contemplates the ways academic conversations move beyond pure research to public dissemination and political action.

To address these issues, our keynote speaker will be Michelle Moyd, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Associate Director of The Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of African soldiers in the First World War. She is the author of Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa (Ohio University Press, 2014) and the soon-to-be-published Africa, Africans, and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). She also has written for The Guardian and the popular website Africa is a Country.

This conference will follow a workshop-oriented format. It invites workshop proposals and papers that address new empirical research on global history and area studies. It especially encourages workshop proposals that focus on the intersections of research, teaching, public dissemination, and activism. The latter could include workshops with round-table discussions on pedagogical devices, teaching methods, digital humanities, and the presentation of history in the media. Research workshop formats typically include pre-circulated papers that receive extended discussion among paper commentators and other fellow readers. Workshop size can vary. However, four core participants are recommended. Some funds may be available for workshop organizers to offset travel costs. Individual paper submissions will also be considered for inclusion in relevant workshops.

If you are interested in organizing a workshop, please send a workshop abstract of approximately 300 words and curriculum vitae by July 15, 2017 with attention to Dr. Michael Huner at: Please include your institutional affiliation and email address and list of other possible workshop participants with their email addresses and institutional affiliations. 200-word abstracts for individual paper submissions (with CV, email, and institutional affiliation of author) can also be sent to the email address listed above.

1 comment

  1. Jane Vieth - Reply

    I have a couple of ideas for a paper on World War II at your 2018 conference. I am completing a book on Joseph P. Kennedy’s ambassadorship from 1938-1940 to the Court of St. James’s. I can do a paper on his views on American isolationism and his advocacy of a compromise peace with the outbreak of war as well as his support for Britain’s appeasement policy in addition to his support for aid to Britain.
    I could also do a paper on the “real” hero of World War II, Lord Halifax because he turned down the position that he was groomed for, the prime minister-ship of great Britain and therefore allowed Winston Churchill to become Britain’s wartime leader.
    I gave a paper at hour conference about 12 years ago. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I would like to do so again.

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