Publication Date

December 22, 2016

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

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 23rd international congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (known usually by its French acronym, CISH), scheduled to be held in Poznań, Poland, in 2020. 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.

The major and specialized themes for the sessions and roundtables of the congress will be selected by the general assembly of CISH, scheduled to meet in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in September 2017. In preparation for this selection process, CISH has invited its 50 national committees, 32 international affiliated societies, and 9 internal commissions to forward to the secretary general of CISH their proposals under three heads:

  • Major themes (4 will be selected; one day devoted to each during conference)
  • Specialized themes (20 will be selected; half day devoted to each during conference)
  • Roundtable themes (20 will be selected; half day devoted to each during conference)

The AHA, through its Committee on International Historical Activities, is the US 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, 2017, to Dana Schaffer at Please include “CISH 2020” in the subject line and indicate the type of theme (major, specialized, or roundtable) for the proposal. Descriptions should be no longer than 5,000 characters. 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 23rd international congress may wish to consult an overview of the 22nd Congress held in 2015 in Jinan, China, for which the four major themes were the “China from Global Perspectives,” “Historicizing Emotions,” “Revolutions in World History: Comparisons and Connections,” and “Digital Turn in History.” Details about CISH and the 2015 congress can be obtained from

The members of the AHA’s Committee on International Historical Activities are Joel Harrington (Vanderbilt Univ.), chair; Jean Allman (Washington Univ., St. Louis); Yinghong Cheng (Delaware State Univ.); Gregory P. Downs (Univ. of California, Davis); and Kris E. Lane (Tulane Univ.).

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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