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From the News column of the December 2011 issue of Perspectives on History

Help Shape the Next International Congress of Historical Sciencess

Joel Harrington, December 2011

Propose Theme Ideas by January 16, 2012

The AHA's Committee on International Historical Activities invites historians to submit theme proposals and participate in the critical process of shaping the contours of the 22nd international congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (known usually by its French acronym, CISH), scheduled to be held in Jinan, China, in 2015. As noted in the October 2011 Perspectives on History, CISH has begun preparations for the 2015 congress. The congress is held every five years to discuss all aspects of history across temporal and spatial boundaries with the goal of instituting "a permanent dialogue between fields of knowledge and different cultures." This is the most significant global gathering of its kind for historians.

During the first, preparatory phase, conference organizers seek to identify broad themes that can accommodate new research in various geographical regions and chronological periods. These large themes may contain up to 10 more specialized themes. Following the final selection of themes at a general assembly of the CISH in Budapest in September, 2012, historians around the world will then be asked to propose specific panels under each of these rubrics.

As a crucial prelude to this process, CISH has invited its 50 national committees, 32 international affiliated societies, and 9 internal commissions to forward their proposals to the Secretary General of CISH, thus giving an opportunity to historians to help shape the 22nd congress.

The AHA, through its Committee on International Historical Activities, is the U.S. National Committee for CISH, and has the responsibility for collecting and forwarding to the CISH bureau ideas for themes. AHA members (and other historians) are invited, therefore, to submit their suggestions by January 16, 2012, to Joel Harrington through e-mail addressed to CISHProposals@historians.org with "CISH 2015" in the subject line. Suggestions of names (along with complete contact information) of potential organizers for any of the specialized themes or roundtables are also welcome and encouraged.

Members interested in suggesting themes (major, specialized, or roundtable) for the 22nd international congress may wish to consult an overview of the 21st Congress held in 2010 in Amsterdam, for which the three major themes were the "Fall of Empires," "The City as Culture," and "Connections between Religion and Power." Additional details about CISH can be obtained from www.cish.org/EN/index.htm.

The members of the AHA's Committee on International Historical Activities are: Joel Harrington (Vanderbilt Univ.), chair; John Garrigus (Univ. of Texas, Arlington); Joseph Harahan; Carol Harrison (Univ. of South Carolina); Harry Liebersohn (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Joel Harrington (Vanderbilt Univ.) is the chair of the AHA's Committee on International Historical Activities.