Judging by the number of alarmist recent articles about the decline of the humanities, it seems apparent that the humanities—history, philosophy, languages—are embattled disciplines in American higher education. But judging by the program of the upcoming Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) nferencenference, the humanities have never been better.
The 2015 S-USIH Conference, which will be held October 15-18 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., will feature 59 panels and roundtables with scholars hailing from academic disciplines ranging from history to English to law to sociology to anthropology to philosophy, spanning a diverse set of topics, including democracy, foreign policy, religion, popular culture, wellness, and the environment.
Corey Robin, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center who was featured in this New York Times article, will deliver the keynote address on Friday afternoon (October 16). Robin is the author of Fear: The History of a Political Idea, and The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. He is also a prolific and award-winning blogger at coreyrobin.com. Conference Chair Andrew Hartman recently interviewed Professor Robin here.
The 2015 conference will also feature three exciting plenary sessions. Kicking the conference off on Thursday night is a plenary on the topic of “Little Magazines: Past, Present, Future” that will include Jackson Lears (Raritan), David Marcus (Dissent), Dan McCarthy (The American Conservative), Rachel Rosenfelt (The New Inquiry), and Bhaskar Sunkara (Jacobin).
The Friday night plenary session will be on the topic of “Public Intellectuals since Russell Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals.” In addition to Russell Jacoby (University of California-Los Angeles), this panel will include Jonathan Holloway (Yale University), Claire Potter, (The New School), and Leo Ribuffo (George Washington University).
The final plenary session, which will take place on Saturday night, will be on the topic of “Museums, Archives, and the Idea of the National.” This plenary features Taína Caragol (Curator for Latino Art and History, National Portrait Gallery), David Ferriero (Archivist of the United States), Eleanor Jones Harvey (Senior Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum), and Arthur Molella (Director Emeritus, Lemelson Center, Smithsonian Institution).
The 2015 conference will also feature a number of special sessions, including a panel dedicated to the winner of the S-USIH Book Prize, Ruben Flores’s Backroads Pragmatists: Mexico’s Melting Pot and Civil Rights in the United States. It will also include panels sponsored by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (SAAP), and the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Members of the press and everyone else may register for the conference here. We look forward to seeing everyone in DC!