Christopher McKnight Nichols is the AHA member in the “spotlight” this week at the AHA blog. You can read a great short interview with Chris at the site. As many of you know, Chris was on the 2013 S-USIH annual conference committee–which was chaired by Allison Perlman. As a historian with interests that cut across the fields of diplomatic, political, and intellectual history, Chris took the lead in creating an interesting panel on international history at this last conference.
The fifth annual S-USIH conference is this week in Irvine, California at the University of California campus. The highlights of the conference include a keynote address from UC-Berkeley intellectual historian David Hollinger entitled: “Christianity and Its American Fate: Where History Interrogates Secularization Theory.”
There are 40 panels, two plenaries, and a roundtable devoted to the first annual S-USIH book award recipient, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen for An American Nietzche. We have an international collection of scholars attending, presenting and chairing at this year’s conference, as well.
On October 11, 2013, the New York Historical Society will celebrate the centennial of the original Armory Show with an exhibition of more than ninety masterworks from the 1913 exhibition, including the European avant-garde, icons of American art, and earlier works that were meant to show the progression of modern art. The Armory Show came at a time of great upheaval, and the exhibition will revive the sights and sounds of 1913 New York. The show runs until February 23, 2014 and showcases many works of art from American artists. A friend and member of S-USIH, Casey Nelson Blake, (Professor of History and Founding Director of the Center for American Studies, Columbia University), is the Senior Historian for the event.
The Armory Show was a stunning exhibition of nearly 1,400 objects that included both American and European works, but it is best known for introducing the American public to the new in art: European avant-garde paintings and sculpture. One hundred years later it is hard to imagine what it would have been like to see works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent Van Gogh, all together for the very first time. The exhibition created a huge sensation in New York. It traveled to Chicago and Boston, and was even more controversial in Chicago, where students burned paintings by Matisse in effigy. The exhibition’s travel turned it into a national event, and the polemical responses to the show have come to represent a turning point in the history of American art.
Fifth Annual Conference on Public Intellectuals Harvard University, April 11-12, 2014 CFP Deadline: December 1, 2013
Call for Papers: “Public Intellectuals and Power: In and Out of Academe”
Since the 1950s, writers and thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Thomas Bender, Noam Chomsky, Kenneth Clark, bell hooks, Irving Howe, Russell Jacoby, Toni Morrison, Richard Posner, Ayn Rand, Bertrand Russell, Edward Said, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Sowell, and Cornel West have debated the meaning and purpose of public intellectuals. Many have openly criticized what they call the increasing corporatization of academic work within the academy. Increasing specialization and the narrowing of disciplines, some argue, have led to a growing paucity of radical ideas and true critical alternatives while fostering a growing obsession with a mass-media-infused culture. Others on the ideological right maintain that leftist public intellectuals do not pay enough attention to supposed practical needs or market forces and are too protected by and safely ensconced in tenured ivory towers, talking and writing only to themselves and training students to do the same. In seemingly contradictory fashion, other conservatives have contended that leftist intellectuals have too much power and influence on government elites with their hopelessly naïve and outmoded ideas.
This conference seeks to bring together scholars and researchers in all disciplines whose work focuses on public intellectuals in the 20th and 21st centuries. We hope to engage these issues while moving beyond past debates into new considerations of the role of intellectuals in public life. The conference also seeks to provide a forum for self-reflection by public intellectuals in the past and present.
For 2014, we seek proposals that address the theme, “Public Intellectuals and Power: In and Out of Academe” in the 20th and 21st centuries. Papers addressing this theme might fall under a sub-topic such as one of the following, by way of example only: Intellectuals in power or critical of power; Intellectuals in war; Race; Gendering discourse; Intellectuals and the media; Comparative national and global perspectives; Classic works on public intellectuals. Paper topics from all disciplines and areas are welcome and encouraged.
All participants should be able to attend the full two-day conference. It will be held on the campus of Harvard University. Presenters will have 20 minutes to present their topics, followed by discussion with the audience for 10 minutes. Papers are not to be read but presented informally; responses are friendly and supportive. This differs somewhat from traditional conference panel presentations. The success of the conference depends greatly on all of our participation. The keynote speaker, Howard Gardner, will talk about his career as a public intellectual.
Proposals of 300 words should indicate how your paper contributes to an understanding of the conference theme. Include your identifying information: name, title, institution, and email address. Please send a copy to both Larry Friedman (email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>) and John Lenz (email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>). The deadline for receipt of all proposals is December 1, 2013.
Oregon State University has inaugurated an great new speaker series, Culture and Religion in the United States. The list of speakers for this semester speaks to the powerful intersection between intellectual and religious history–a connection that has yielded great posts and conversations at the S-USIH blog. Christopher McNight Nichols, a member of the S-USIH conference committee this year, wanted to make our community aware of the speaker series and encourage folks who might be in the area to attend. The first speaker will be David Hollinger, who will also deliver the keynote address at the 2013 S-USIH conference in November. Chris has been been working with religious historian Amy Koehlinger and German intellectual historian David Luft to build up this program, which is generously supported by the Horning Endowment for the Humanities at Oregon State University.
We have created a forum on this site to help participants arrange details of the 2013 S-USIH conference. A link to the forum can also be found on the conference page on this site as well.
Just as a reminder: if you have not yet registered for the conference and/or joined (renewed) S-USIH please do so as soon as possible. The organization relies on these funds to run the conference.
All conference participants and attendees must register for the conference and become members of the S-USIH. When registering for the conference, please be sure to fill out this page. If you already have registered, please take a minute to fill out this page. This information is critical to ensure that not only that we have the most current affiliations for participants, but their preferred email so that we can provide updates, as needed, about the event.
Any questions can be directed to Allison Perlman at email@example.com
Society for U.S. Intellectual History
2013 Annual Meeting and Conference
How do I register for the conference? Do I have to be a member of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History to participate?
How much time will I have to present my paper at the conference?
Sessions will last an hour and forty-five minutes. Paper presentations should be no more than twenty-minutes to leave time for, at minimum, fifteen minutes of discussion at the end of each session.
Will there be audio-visual equipment available for me to use during my presentation?
Yes. Most of the rooms at UC Irvine have screens, projectors, computers, DVD players, and VCRs. You may also project a presentation from your laptop. However, if you are a Mac user, please remember to bring a dongle with you; we do not have them available at UCI and you will need one to connect your computer to the VGA cable in the room.
What is the closest airport to UC Irvine?
One’s best bet is John Wayne Airport in Orange County/Santa Ana, and we strongly encourage you to fly in and out of this airport. UC Irvine is approximately four miles from the airport and the Radisson (see below) is about a mile and a half from the airport. The Radisson offers free shuttles to and from John Wayne Airport. The next closest airport is in Long Beach, which is approximately twenty-five miles from UC Irvine. Shared shuttles from the Long Beach airport to the Radisson run approximately $42 each way; however, please note that this is the fare for a shared ride, not for a direct ride to the hotel. Car service or direct shuttle service from the Long Beach airport can run between $89-$100 one-way. LAX is approximately forty-five miles from UC Irvine. Without traffic, it takes about fifty minutes to an hour to drive from LAX down to Irvine. The cheapest shuttle option from LAX that we have been able to find runs approximately $55 one-way.
Where should I stay while I’m in town for the conference?
We have secured a block of rooms at the Radisson Newport Beach hotel. Rooms for S-USIH participants will cost $129/night for single occupancy, and $139/night for double occupancy, inclusive of a daily breakfast buffet that serves both hot (eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, etc) and cold (cereals, pastries, yogurt, etc) items. There is a free shuttle to and from the John Wayne Airport; we also have arranged shuttles to take conference participants to and from UC Irvine each day from the Radisson. There are approximately fifteen restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, and it is an easy cab ride to other spots in Newport Beach, Irvine, and Costa Mesa. We strongly encourage participants to stay at the Radisson. Please use this code when you reserve your room to assure that you receive the S-USIH rate: UCIHIS.
What are some of the highlights of this year’s conference?
We are thrilled to host forty excellent panels on this year’s program. In addition, we are honored that David Hollinger will be delivering the keynote address. Scheduled for Saturday, November 2 at 2:15pm, Dr. Hollinger’s talk is entitled “Christianity and Its American Fate: Where History Interrogates Secularization Theory.”
We also have planned what promise to be wonderful plenary sessions. The first plenary, to be held on November 1, focuses on the intellectual history of conservatism. The second, to be held the evening of November 2, will discuss intellectual histories of American foreign Relations. Please see the schedule for more information.
I’ve heard that Orange County is nearly impossible to navigate without a car. Is that true?
Well, sort of. But we will provide transportation to and from the conference and there are a number of restaurants (many of which include bars) within walking distance of both the hotel and the UC Irvine campus. You will not need a car while you are in Irvine unless you’d like to take advantage to our proximity to sites of interest in Orange County (like the Nixon Library and Museum) and Los Angeles (like the Huntington Library or the Reagan Library).
What dining options are available near the campus and the hotel?
The Radisson has a full-menu restaurant as well as a bar that serves a variety of appetizers. There are a number of restaurants within walking distance from the hotel, including Il Barone (Italian), Juliette (New American, Wine Bar), Bistango (Tapas, Small Plates), Saagar (Indian), Arnie’s (Delicatessen), La Salsa (Mexican), Fuji Grill (Japanese), and Specialty’s (Café, Bakery). ‘
Across the street from UC Irvine is the University Center shopping area. Click here for a full list of restaurants.
I am planning on driving to the conference. Will parking be available?
Yes! Parking is free at the Radisson Newport Beach hotel. If you are also planning on driving to UC Irvine, please contact Allison Perlman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information about securing a parking permit.
What will the weather be like in Irvine in November?
If all goes as usual, it should be sunny and beautiful, in the 60s and 70s during the day. Please note that the temperatures do drop at night.
How far is the beach from the Radisson and UC Irvine?
Approximately a ten-minute drive. It is a bit too far to walk, but is an easy cab ride away.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
You can send any questions to Allison Perlman (email@example.com).
Wilfred M. McClay has been named the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History Liberty at University of Oklahoma (the same home institution as S-USIH blog chair Ben Alpers). McClay leaves his long-time position as the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities and Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to join an institution with intellectual historians including Alpers, David Chappell, and David Wrobel. When I asked Bill about his recent appointment he told me that he is ”delighted to be coming to OU, and in no small part because of the extraordinary concentration of fine intellectual historians in that community, as well as because of the inspiring leadership of OU President David Boren, who is unarguably one of the finest public-university presidents in American higher education.” Please follow this link to read the official OU press release on Bill’s appointment.