HOTCUS 2020 Postgraduate and Early Career Virtual Conference: America At and Beyond the Ballot Box

Friday 18 September 2020 

Keynote speaker: Professor Iwan Morgan (UCL Institute of the Americas) 

With the presidential election looming in November 2020, politics is paramount in the minds of those interested in the United States. This year also marks a century since the Nineteenth Amendment to the American Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote. While some gained the right to vote at that point, others had to fight for longer and many are still disenfranchised today. From critical elections throughout the decades to struggles in the streets over suffrage and citizenship, the twentieth century witnessed countless pivotal political contestations. Other figures and groups moved outside the bounds of parties and polls engaging in community activism, focusing on courts and laws, or even turning to violence. These topics remain prescient in our current political moment littered as it is with crucial elections, allegations of voter suppression, and widespread grassroots organising. The 2020 HOTCUS Postgraduate and Early Career conference provides a pertinent opportunity for emerging scholars to explore America at and beyond the ballot box. 

With the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s annual postgraduate and early career conference will be a one-day virtual event. Conference papers of 1,500-2,000 words (approx.), produced by each participant, will be circulated before the conference. Participants will then take part in online question-and-answer sessions about their work. Due to the altered format of the conference, we may have to accept fewer applications.

HOTCUS invites proposals for papers from postgraduate and early career researchers exploring topics related to the conference theme. Submissions should include a 300-word outline of your paper, along with a brief biography and one page CV. Proposals should be submitted to hotcuspostgrads@gmail.com. The deadline for submission is Friday 24th July 2020. For more information or any queries, please contact Tim Galsworthy (t.galsworthy@sussex.ac.uk

Paper/panel topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • National and local elections
  • Political parties
  • Voting rights as civil rights 
  • Disenfranchisement
  • Activism and social movements
  • Presidents and the presidency
  • Voting and the history of American feminism
  • Legal or constitutional questions
  • Liberalism, conservatism, populism, and radicalism 
  • Voting rights and mental health
  • Religion at the ballot box 
  • Rhetoric, propaganda, campaigning, and the media

This conference is designed for postgraduate and early career researchers and will include roundtable sessions specially catered to up-and-coming scholars.

Historically women have been disproportionately underrepresented on panels and HOTCUS is taking positive action, as permitted under s.158 Equality Act 2010, to enable and encourage the participation of women. For this reason all-male panel proposals will not be accepted. HOTCUS may constitute an all-male panel or other presentation where absolutely necessary (but any such consideration will be other than via the call for papers procedure).  HOTCUS would also especially welcome proposals from the BAME academic community, who have historically been under-represented at its events.