Opening the 2014 S-USIH on Thursday October 9, is a plenary entitled, The Ideology Problem in Teaching and Scholarship. Among the panelists is a surprise addition, Rick Perlstein, author most recently of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. See the blog post about this plenary for more information.
In the meantime, we wanted to draw attention to few of the events we have planned:
On Thursday night, the conference will open with a plenary on THE IDEOLOGY PROBLEM IN TEACHING AND SCHOLARSHIP. Panelists will include Andrew Hartman, Susan Curtis, David Sehat, Christopher Shannon, and Michael Kramer.
The KEYNOTE ADDRESS will be given Friday night by Kathryn Lofton, Professor of Religious Studies, American Studies, History, and Divinity, and Director of Undergraduate Religious Studies, at Yale University. Readers can find out more about Dr. Lofton HERE and read an interview with her about U. S. Intellectual History HERE.
On Saturday afternoon, we will hold another plenary, WHAT IS U.S. INTELLECTUAL HISTORY? This discussion will be led by Dan Wickberg, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, Kathryn Lofton, Ed Blum, and Andrew Jewett.
Our annual Book Award panel will take place on Saturday evening.
Food and drink receptions will precede both the keynote on Friday and the Book Award on Saturday.
In addition to these sessions, the 2014 conference will also feature a number of standout panels on subjects ranging from greed, media, and global intellectual history to Alfred Kazin, Christopher Lasch, and the culture wars.
Finally, look for more information on some new additions to the USIH conference, including “mentor breakfasts” and “dinner clubs” (smoking jackets and cigars optional).
We are pleased to announce our selection of Ajay K. Mehrotra’s Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (Cambridge University Press, 2013) as this year’s winner of the S-USIH annual book award for 2014.
Mehrotra’s important and ambitious book chronicles the early 20th-century transformation in American tax policy and public finance. It analyzes the shift from the nineteenth-century “regime of indirect, hidden, partisan, and regressive taxes” to the “direct, transparent, professionally administered, and progressive tax system” we know today. A book on taxation may well seem a curious choice for an intellectual history prize, but we were struck by how successfully Mehrotra weaves together the intellectual, legal, administrative threads of his argument. Mehrotra takes ideas seriously. He traces legal and administrative change to a prior “conceptual revolution,” wrought primarily by a cohort of professionally trained intellectuals, including Henry Carter Adams, Richard Ely, and Edwin R.A. Seligman. And he shows how notions of economic justice, political obligation, ethical duty, and democratic reciprocity underwrote the new progressive conception of what Mehrotra aptly labels “fiscal citizenship.” He also shows what happened to those ideas as they traveled through a contested political process and were embodied in a complex administrative apparatus with paradoxical and often unintended consequences. Mehrotra’s book is thus a history of ideas in action. It makes a signal contribution to the field by demonstrating how even the most seemingly mundane features of our world have strikingly rich intellectual histories.
For honorable mention we chose Raúl Coronado’s A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture (Harvard University Press, 2013). This stunningly well-researched and powerfully written book offers an alternative view of American literary and intellectual history, one that attends to voices from San Antonio de Béxar as well as Puritan New England or Jeffersonian Virginia. Through painstaking archival research and sophisticated readings of texts (many of which are helpfully included in the volume’s appendices), Coronado reveals a richly textured and contingent story of the creation of a transnational Latino political tradition and print culture, a story tracing a Spanish-American variation of Enlightenment rooted in Catholic traditions and the colonial experiences of revolution and political
S-USIH congratulates Professors Mehrotra and Coronado on their outstanding contributions to the field of American intellectual history.
The Society for U.S. Intellectual History Book Prize includes a cash award of $250 and a panel at the annual conference dedicated to the award-winning text. Professor Mehrotra will appear at a panel at this year’s conference in Indianapolis.
This year’s Book Prize Committee consisted of Leslie Butler, Dartmouth College (chair); Kevin Schultz, University of Illinois at Chicago; Margaret Abruzzo, University of Alabama. They will join Professor Mehrotra at the panel on his book at this year’s conference. The Society thanks the members of the committee for their outstanding service.
Intellectual historian and S-USIH member Dorothy Ross wanted to make this community aware of the dire situation of the American Sociological Association’s archives. The archival collective is massive, significant, and in danger of being lost. The ASA has sent out a call–SOAR (Save Our Archival Records)–to scholars across disciplines and around the world to help raise money and awareness of this problem.
For more information please see this page: SOAR.
The Society for U.S. Intellectual History is pleased to announce the creation of the Henry F. May Graduate Student Fund. To honor the legacy of Henry May, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History commits to assisting graduate students who seek to participate in activities sponsored by the society, and to the development of the next generation of American intellectual historians. This fund will initially be used to supplement funds needed for travel to and participation in the society’s annual conference. The society is also happy to announce that the first donation to this fund has been made by David Hollinger, the Preston Hotchkis Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Henry May was Professor Hollinger’s mentor and it is therefore altogether fitting that the foundational contribution comes from Professor Hollinger.
Henry F. May (1915-2012) was a distinguished historian of American thought, and has been credited with revitalizing the field of U.S. intellectual history and advancing the productive relationship between intellectual and cultural history in the mid-twentieth century. May’s life and career as an intellectual and cultural historian has served as a model for the many students he trained and the many more who have read and admired his work. May was Margaret Byrne Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley, where he taught from 1952 until his retirement in 1980. He was the author of five books, including The End of American Innocence: A Study of the First Years of Our Own Time, 1912-1917 (1959) and The Enlightenment in America (1976), the latter of which won the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for best book in American intellectual history. His interests were broad and non-period specific and exemplified a concern for the significance of ideas in history.
The society has decided to make this project its top fundraising priority and as a 501 3© non-profit organization can accept donations that are tax deductible. The intention is to raise funds that will be immediately available to graduate students. The treasurer of the society will be responsible for accounting for this fund and the president of the society will coordinate the vetting of applications and allocation of the fund. Applications will be available through the society’s website and by contacting the secretary of the society. The deadline for applications will be posted on the society’s website.
To donate to the Henry F. May Graduate Student Fund please click HERE.
The committee for the 2015 Conference of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History–Andrew Hartman (chair), Michael Kimmage, Claire Rydell, and Jonathan Wilson–is pleased to announce that the seventh annual S-USIH Conference will be held October 15-18, 2015 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
The keynote for the 2015 S-USIH Conference will be Corey Robin, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and author of Fear: The History of a Political Idea, and The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin.
We are in the midst of planning a conference theme and three exciting plenary sessions. A CFP and more details will be forthcoming after the 2014 S-USIH Conference in Indianapolis. In the meantime, we would like to mention one feature in the works for the 2015 conference: our friends at The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History will sponsor two sessions.
Mark your calendars. We look forward to seeing you all in D.C.!
Friday May 16 is the deadline for proposals of all kinds for the 2014 S-USIH conference. Please see the CFP and the page on this website dedicated to the conference for more information. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.
The call has gone out for candidates for S-USIH officers, who if elected will serve from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015. We encourage members who are interested to self-nominate by contacting the secretary, Ray Haberski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The offices open during this election are listed below and descriptions of these offices can be found in the society’s constitution:
Chair of Publications Committee
Chair, Conference 2016
Chair, Conference 2017
S-USIH ELECTIONS PROCESS, 2014
1. All S-USIH members are eligible to run for the offices listed in the organization’s constitution
2. Members who wish to run for office will be encouraged to self-nominate.
3. If a member is nominated by another member, nominators are encouraged to consult the nominee before making the nomination. The S-USIH secretary will confirm those nominations made by a second party.
4. The nomination process will open on March 28 and close May 2.
5. Candidates will not be notified who they are running against until the nomination period closes
6. The secretary will send out two reminders regarding the nominating process
7. The secretary will make the ballot public on May 5.
8.. Candidates will be encouraged to submit brief statements to the secretary, no more than 200-250 words, explaining their professional service and vision for S-USIH. These statements can include links to other pages with information on thecandidates (such as personal and professional webpages)
9. The secretary will post these statements to the organization’s website
10. Official voting will open May 5 and close May 9
11. The voting will be done electronically (more information to follow)
12. Elections results will be posted to the organization’s website by May 15
13. New office holders will take their positions on June 1
There are two ways to post messages and ideas regarding panels for the 2014 S-USIH conference. The first can be found at the CONFERENCE FORUM. Please click on the explanation I provided if you have any questions regarding how to use the forum.
The second is through a blog post that can also serve as place to suggest and exchange ideas regarding panels for the 2014 S-USIH conference. Please see the post PANEL IDEAS.
For information regarding the conference itself, including the CFP, please see 2014 S-USIH Conference in Indianapolis.
For information regarding the Kathryn Lofton, the keynote for this year’s conference, please see her biography at Yale University’s website and the interesting exchange prompted by an interview with Lofton.