HOTCUS Annual Postgraduate & Early Career Conference: ‘The Uses and Abuses of the American Past’

Saturday, 20 October 2018, The University of Nottingham

Keynote Speaker: Professor Michael Cullinane, University of Roehampton

Recent political debates across the United States have witnessed different groups claim and contest aspects of the American past to advance their causes. From the changing role of America in the world to tumultuous conversations about civil war monuments, the Standing Rock demonstrations, arguments over school history curricula, and debates about contemporary racial politics influenced by the immigrant history of the United States, the meaning of American history has been invoked on behalf of a myriad of causes. In a mid-term election year, amidst apparently deepening divides of politics, identity and culture, the significance of the American past is only likely to become more contested. As we reflect on the fiftieth anniversary of the turbulent year of 1968, it is pertinent for scholars to discuss and debate the uses and abuses of the American past and historical memory.

HOTCUS therefore invites proposals for twenty-minute papers or panels (of three speakers) from postgraduate students and early career researchers that explore ideas of American historical memory across diverse themes throughout modern American history, from 1890 to the present. Topics might include:

  • Presidents and presidential memory
  • War and the legacies of conflict
  • Social movements for rights and justice and the importance of historical memory
  • Contesting the history of race, citizenship, identity, and immigration
  • Environmental history and the conservation of the landscape
  • Cultural memory and memorialisation
  • Technologies of preservation, reproduction and simulation
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Diplomatic and political history
  • Teaching history and curricula development
  • New methodologies and innovative approaches to researching the American past

With postgraduate students and early career researchers in mind, this conference also includes roundtable discussions on topics such as applying for research grants and postdoctoral fellowships, publishing, and teaching, each led by experienced academics.

Abstracts for papers or panels (300 words per paper) and a brief CV (100 words) should be submitted to [email protected] by Sunday, 22 July 2018. For more information or queries, please contact Mark Eastwood ([email protected]).

In order to address issues of representation and inclusion, panels composed entirely of male presenters will not be considered. HOTCUS would also especially welcome proposals from the BAME academic community, who have historically been under-represented at the conference. The event is generously funded in part the British Association for American Studies (BAAS).  BAAS has funded six £50 travel grants for PG and ECR attendees. Please state in your submission if you would like to be considered for one of the BAAS travel grants.