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HGSA Conference

“Controversies: Pushing the Boundaries of Historical Inquiries”
February 21, 2015
The 6th Biennial Interdisciplinary Purdue Gradate History Conference
Purdue University Department of History
West Lafayette, Indiana

The History Graduate Student Association of Purdue University is pleased to announce that the conference entitled “Controversies: Pushing the Boundaries of Historical Inquiries” will take place on February 21, 2015. The conference administrators welcome proposals on historical and historiographical controversies from various disciplinary backgrounds. Additionally, the conference theme applies to controversial sources, especially those emerging in the digital age, such as Twitter, php forums, and Usenet archives. “Controversies” illustrates our philosophy of historical inquiry. First, new histories should challenge established conventions and interpretations. Second, good historians problematize. Propelling the discipline forward requires innovation and sometimes-controversial ideas. “Controversies” resonates with the upcoming 2015 OAH conference whose theme is “Taboos”. Further, “Controversies” reflects the exciting and innovate scholarship emerging out of the traditionally conservative discipline of history. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students with or without previous conference experience are invited to submit a proposal. Similarly, the conference is open to emerging independent scholars. There are no geographic or temporal restrictions. We welcome participants from all academic disciplines with a historical dimension to their proposal. 

To apply, please submit a one-page abstract (approx. 300 words), paper title, and a short curriculum vitae (two-page max) as either a MS Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF document (.pdf) via email to by November 23, 2014. Accepted papers should not exceed 12 double-spaced pages (approx. 4,000 words), excluding footnotes/endnotes. Please inform us if your presentation requires any audio/visual technology. All approved submissions will receive a confirmation email by early January. Conference participants are expected to make their own travel, lodging, and meal arrangements for the conference. Limited lodging is available with some graduate students by prior arrangement. Inquire for specifics after proposal acceptance.

Keynote speaker TBA

The following is a non-exclusive list of paper topics of interest:

  • Patricide/Matricide/Infanticide/Abortion/Regicide
  • Sexuality/Gendering Practices
  • Porn Studies/Sex Work
  • Religious Fundamentalism/Cults/Demonology
  • Insanity
  • Burial Practices/Cryogenically Frozen/Assisted Suicide
  • Taxidermy
  • Israel/Palestinian Conflict
  • Human Rights Violations
  • Genocide/War/Civil War
  • Holocaust Deniers
  • Climate Change Deniers
  • Racialized Icons/Mascots: Redskins, Blackhawks, Braves, Fighting Irish, etc.
  • Food Culture/Obesity/GMOs/Monsanto/Food Labeling
  • Racial Invisibility at Historical Reenactment’s
  • 1st Amendment Effacement—Apologies by Celebrities and Public Officials
  • Supreme Court Cases (Citizens United, Kelo v. New London, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, etc.)
  • Prisoner Abuse/Torture (Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, etc.)
  • Terrorism/Mass Surveillance
  • Disproportionate Justice/Corporate Accountability
  • Stop and Frisk/Racial Profiling/Mass Incarceration
  • Drug Legalization/Medical Marijuana
  • Union Reform/Teacher Tenure
  • Lobbying on Washington
  • Space/Time
  • Defining “Revolution” (Arab Spring, Tiananmen Square, Occupy Wall Street, etc.)
  • UN/EU/NATO/Arab League
  • NGOs
  • Historical Figures in Memory and/or Popular Culture
  • Interpreting the Past/Composing Controversial Histories
  • Nationalism and Memory: Monuments, Statues, and Agendas
  • New Transnational Approaches