The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

September 31 – Call for Papers: “Gender and Empire”

The 2020-2021 organizing committee for the Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History (Con-IH) invites graduate students to submit proposals for its twenty first annual conference. This year’s theme is Gender and Empire.

Con-IH is looking for submissions on a broad range of topics relating to localized, national, global, or transnational facets of empire intersecting with constructs of gender. What does it mean to study Gender and Empire now, in this precarious moment, as we face a massive international public health crisis, global anti-Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous racism and police brutality, transphobic violence, and ongoing social uprisings? Since the 1990s, studies on empire and its interconnection with gender and race have charted new directions. Scholars across the disciplines have asked how the spread of empire is shaped by gender, how imperial processes create specific gendered structures, institutions, and aesthetics, and how sexuality and desire are informed by imperial movements and regimes of knowledge. The field is now being transformed by new questions and methodologies, as scholars explore the foundational role of gender in histories of slavery, colonialism, capitalism, carcerality, divestment, and decolonization. Con-IH seeks to promote cross-disciplinary as well as cross-regional explorations that put themes of gender and empire in conversation with each other to ask broad-reaching questions for which we are creating the language to address now.

We welcome submissions from individuals at any point in their graduate program, particularly those in the early stages of research, that address one or more of the following themes, but the list is only suggestive:


  • Global South

  • Global Black Studies

  • Migration and Cosmopolitanism

  • Global Social Movements

  • Borders/Boundaries/Environments


  • Overlapping Histories of Slavery and Colonization

  • Trans Studies

  • Performance Studies

  • Archives/Memory/Knowledge Production

  • Material Culture


  • Public Health/Science/Technology

  • Beauty and Aesthetics

  • Sex, Care Work, and Domestic Labor

  • Policing and Carcerality

  • Violence, Militarization, and War

  • Racialization and Indigeneity

  • Religion and Secularism

Accepted papers will be grouped for presentation in four virtual roundtables starting in Spring 2021, each composed of two graduate students and two faculty commentators. Participation in Con-IH presents an unparalleled opportunity to engage in lively and lengthy discussions with an emerging cohort of researchers-in-training from around the world, as well as with faculty from Harvard and elsewhere.

Graduate students interested in participating in the conference should submit a 300-word proposal and one-page Curriculum Vitae in a single PDF document to Please title your submission “Lastname_ShortTitle.” Proposals must be received by September 31, 2020 in order to be considered. As the date approaches, additional information will be posted on the conference website at