* The call for submissions for this event has now ended. You can access a list of recommended readings suggested by our contributors here *

The HOTCUS committee recently released a statement offering unequivocal solidarity with organizations and individuals in the United States who are challenging police brutality, white supremacist violence, and structural racism in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder in Minneapolis. The vicious force enacted upon protesters, including the Trump administration’s violent threats, evidences an intrinsic white supremacy at the heart of American law enforcement and governance. The United States is at a critical juncture, and organisations including HOTCUS play an important role in contextualizing the current events and promoting historical research that may help us to understand antecedents, causes, meanings, and implications. 

To this end, we invite submissions from our community in the UK and beyond for a HOTCUS Seminar on the Urgent Past, which will take place online, via Zoom, on 19 June 2020, 13.00-15.00, BST. Submissions should propose a 5-minute contribution to the discussion from members researching historical topics relevant to the crisis. There will be time for questions and general discussion, including an opportunity to highlight particular groups working to support protesters. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Police brutality in the United States
  • Mass incarceration
  • African American protest cultures and strategies of resistance
  • Analogies with the past (including the 1960s)
  • White supremacist groups and activities
  • Civil rights education, and the inadequacies of the curriculum (including in the UK)
  • Race and the American city
  • The contested position of Confederate monuments

If you would like to contribute, please email hotcuscommittee@gmail.com with a 150 word outline of your topic by 11 June 2020, 17.00 BST. Please also recommend a related text for our community reading list. We particularly invite contributions from BAME scholars who have been traditionally underrepresented at HOTCUS events, as well as postgraduate researchers and those working beyond the academy. 

Please register in advance here if you would like to attend the event. Please direct general questions or queries to Megan Hunt, megan.hunt@ed.ac.uk

Please remember to support the work of protesters and civil rights groups in any way you can. Here is a link to notable organizations: