The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

Feb. 3 University of Michigan: Graduate Student Conference in U.S. History

Disentangling Empire: The United States and The World
Graduate Student Conference in U.S. History, University of Michigan
Department of History
May 8-9, 2015

In the United States- a nation that emerged from an anti-colonial revolution, consolidated discourses of expansionism and imperialist models of coercive labor, and cemented power through foreign intervention- the idea of empire is central to understanding national history and identity. This conference considers the origins, formation, and ongoing implications of United States empire(s), inward and outward, in order to engage with various subfields and disciplines. Positing race, gender, and violence as central categories of analysis, how are colonial and neocolonial hierarchies central to nation-building and crafting narratives of justified force? To name a few aspects, this conference asks how racial logics, state involvement, colonial imaginaries, gendered politics, and economic intervention were, and still are, deeply entangled in American empire(s)? We open this space as an opportunity to consider the dynamic contours of imperial projects and invite research papers that both enrich and complicate experiential narratives of imperial subjects. How have colonial histories been ingrained and reimagined in the formation of nationalist notions of American exceptionalism? What are the interconnections between imperial power and notions of health, hygiene, domesticity, as well as the politics of difference and respectability? How can we draw comparisons between experience(s) of empire in the Americas, or apply the framework of empire to urban spaces, indigenous nations and conceptions of citizenship within the United States and furthermore, the North American continent? Spanning various disciplines and historical periods, this discussion will serve as an intellectual space to reassess the various manifestations of American imperialism in historical patterns. While empire has been central to studies of the global and transnational past, we propose a broad examination of the various physical and conceptual spaces used to create and reinforce empire and hegemony.

We encourage paper proposals from a wide range of subfields including political history, colonial history, Atlantic World history, Pacific Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, legal history, literary history, ethnic studies, American Studies, gender history, transnational history, immigration history, economic history, and the history of foreign policy. Furthermore, we welcome individuals to submit paper proposals investigating the formation of empire in all periods of American history and spanning across various geographic fields of study. Proposals should include a 300-500 word abstract and a one-page c.v. Proposals should be in the form of individual papers only; a graduate student steering committee will make the selections and assemble the panels. Please direct any questions, and email your application materials, by February 3, 2015.

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