HOTCUS 2021 Winter Symposium: Americans in the World, February 20, 2021, on Zoom.

Jane Adams presided over the International Congress of Women in The Hague in 1915, Jesse Owens made sporting history at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Eslanda Robeson attended the All-African Peoples’ Conference in Ghana in 1958, and in 1968 Dale Smith marched with German student activist Rudi Dutschke in Berlin. These individuals all played a crucial role in connecting America to the world and likewise played a central role in complicating the ideological underpinnings of the American Century abroad. 

In a field long dominated by an institutional focus on diplomatic exchanges, military interventions, and foreign trade, diplomatic history’s cultural turn has significantly shifted its gaze to the role of non-state actors—students, artists, missionaries, athletes, and scholars,  among others—to examine their impact on the United States’ connections with the world and their multivalent role in the creation of America’s informal empire.

Redirecting historical attention to the motivations and actions of non-state actors nurtures a more comprehensive interrogation into how the United States established cultural and ideological influence abroad and illuminates the meaningful contributions individuals have made to imagined communities such as the Free World or America’s Moral Empire. This shift in focus allows us to explore the complex relationships between individual historical agents and the American ideological project abroad.

Dr Kaeten Mistry (University of East Anglia),  author of Waging Political Warfare: The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War (2014) and co-editor of Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy (2020), will deliver the keynote.

Please submit paper or panel proposals to Uta Balbier (uta.balbier@kcl.ac.uk) by December 31, 2020.  Individual paper proposals and three-person panel proposals are equally welcomed.  Please limit proposals to 300 words per paper and provide a brief biographical description with your submission. Accepted panellists should expect to submit papers prior to the conference date for pre-circulation.

To help the symposium organisers arrange panels, please note your gender with your submission.

HOTCUS is dedicated to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. We will give preference to panels that reflect the diversity of our field in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and institutional affiliation. We will also give preference to panels that include a mix of participants from across the career spectrum (i.e., from postgraduate to professor). 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.

Potential topics may include (but are not limited to):

Transnational Civil Rights

Missionaries and America’s Moral Empire

Study abroad and educational exchanges

US arts and artists abroad

Scientific networks

The global New Left

US athletes and sports abroad

Youth organisations Peace movements