2011 S-USIH Conference

Theme Narratives

Call for Papers
U.S. Intellectual History: Narratives
Fourth Annual U.S. Intellectual History Conference
and Annual Meeting of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History
Co-sponsored and hosted by the Center for the Humanities,
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
New York City
November 17-18, 2011
Submission deadline: June 15, 2011

The Conference Committee of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) invites paper and panel proposals for its fourth annual conference, to be held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, on November 17-18, 2011. S-USIH is very pleased to announce that the keynote address will be delivered by Pauline Maier of MIT, author of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 and American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.

This year’s conference theme is “Narratives.” The theme highlights the fact that stories are essential to the study of American thought. Intellectual historians catalogue and interpret the narratives used by the figures they study, and construct narratives themselves in composing their own accounts of the past. The committee invites participants not only to reflect on narrative itself, but to compare and contrast it with other forms of expression, such as argument or declaration. While proposals that relate to the theme are particularly welcome, the conference committee encourages all submissions that are relevant to any aspect of U.S. intellectual history.

The most typical panels will feature three academic papers and one commentator, who will also serve as the panel chair. But submissions for sessions that will use other formats are also invited. Varieties of alternate sessions might include: roundtables (a series of ten-minute extemporaneous presentations on a topic followed by discussion among the panel and audience), discussion panels (in which the papers are circulated online in advance of the conference and the entire session is devoted to discussions of them), brownbags (one-hour long, lunchtime presentations), “author meets critics” events, retrospectives on significant works or thinkers, interviews, or performances.  The conference organizers are happy to consider any proposed format that will fit a two-hour long session slot or a one hour-long lunch session (though session organizers should be aware that there are fewer of the latter than the former).

Submissions of both individual papers and complete panels (or alternate-format sessions) will be accepted, as well as applications from those who would be interested in moderating a session. Paper submissions should feature a 200-word abstract of the paper itself, and a one-page CV. Panel proposals must include an abstract of each presentation, a separate description of the panel itself, and one-page CVs for all participants. Submissions for alternate-format sessions must also include a full description of the proposed format. Those interested in chairing a session or commenting should send a CV indicating areas of expertise and interests. All submissions must include a postal and email address, and phone number for each participant. Individual papers in traditional panels should last no more than twenty minutes. All persons appearing on the program will be required to register for the conference and to become members of S-USIH.

All submissions must be emailed as attachments in MS Word or Google docs format. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

The Society for U.S. Intellectual History, which will formally come into existence this year, will be the academic and professional organization devoted to the promotion of the historical study of American thought. In 2007, a group of scholars with a common interest in U.S. intellectual history founded a weblog devoted to this area of interest. Today, this website serves as a clearinghouse for information on U.S. intellectual history, and it was recently named “Best Group Blog” of 2010 by Cliopatra, the blog of the History News Network. The previous three annual USIH conferences have attracted a great deal of attention to the organization and, more importantly, to the subject of the history of American thought. Because of this enthusiasm, the founders of the U.S. Intellectual History group have decided to open their doors to new members by transforming their organization from a small, informal group into a larger professional association: the Society for U.S. Intellectual History.

Send all submissions to: Other queries may be directed to:
S-USIH 2011 Conference Committee Mike O’Connor
[email protected] S-USIH Conference Committee Chair
[email protected]

2011 Conference Committee