The 131st Annual Meeting Call for Proposals and Theme

Patrick Manning, Anand A. Yang, and Edda L. Fields-Black, October 2015

Logo for the 2017 annual meeting in Denver.

Call for Proposals

The AHA’s annual meeting is the largest yearly gathering of historians in the United States. All historians are welcome and encouraged to submit proposals. The Association seeks submissions on the histories of all places, periods, and topics; on the uses of diverse sources and methods, including digital history; and on theory and the uses of history itself in a wide variety of venues. We seriously consider all proposals that advance the study, teaching, and public presentation of history.

We invite proposals for sessions in a variety of formats and encourage lively interaction among presenters and with the audience.

Session Proposals: The AHA 2017 annual meeting will move to 90-minute sessions. To accommodate this change, most sessions will be limited to four speakers plus a chair. The Program Committee will only accept proposals for complete sessions.

Poster Proposals: The 131st annual meeting will feature a poster session to allow historians to share their research through visual materials. Proposals for single, individual presentations may be submitted as posters.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals from all historians, whatever their institutional affiliation or status, as well as from affiliated societies, historians working outside the United States, and scholars in related disciplines. With the exception of foreign scholars and those from other disciplines, all persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA. The Association encourages the representation of the full diversity of its membership at the annual meeting.

Although the annual meeting has a theme (see below), the Program Committee does not consider proposals’ relation to the theme in evaluating them. Electronic submission only, by midnight PST on February 15, 2016.

Please review the annual meeting guidelines and more information at historians.org/annual-meeting/future-meetings before applying. Send questions about policies, modes of presentation, and the electronic submission process to cfp2017@historians.org. Questions about the content of proposals should be directed to Program Committee chair Anand Yang (aay@uw.edu) and co-chair Edda Fields-Black (fieldsblack@cmu.edu).

Find more information on the 2017 Annual Meeting here.

The Theme of the 131st Annual Meeting
"Historical Scale: Linking Levels of Experience"

Historians focus their research and teaching on selected levels of experience: they portray microhistory, global history, regional history, or oceanic history. For the 2017 annual meeting, contributors are encouraged to trace links among scales—spatial, temporal, and topical. The focus of the 2017 program on linking historical scales provides one way to seek coherence in the ever-widening range of historical study. Such exploration of scale in history, though timely, is hardly new. Thus, in the days of preeminence of national histories, it was not uncommon for historians to recount the national experience through local or provincial narratives. But in 2017, we hope to push the boundaries of scalar analysis, developing practice and language by which researchers and students may describe links from the specific to the general or the other way around.

The purpose of studying historical scale today is not so much to perfect national narratives as to develop insights into historical connections. The notion of “scale” refers most obviously to geographic space but also to time, topic, and perhaps other dimensions. In linking spatial scales, one sees, for example, how worldwide decolonization and the specifics of the Algerian struggle for independence each brought changes to the other. The contemporaneous rise of Protestantism and Safavid Shi’ism each drew on yet inflected, respectively, the long-term trajectory of Christianity and Islam. For music, the sounds and orchestration of each tradition are of interest in themselves, yet music is also influenced by the social order it inhabits, while musical messages affect adjoining arts and sometimes set the tone for large-scale social change.

The possible links among historical scales are immense in number. One may hope to locate an occasional nexus of specific historical factors that combine to bring about change, even if they are at quite different scales. Juxtaposition and interaction of small and large geographical terrains, short and long periods of time, specific topics and wide-ranging topical scope—these are proposed as an underlying theme in addition to the many specific subjects of panels on research and teaching. Overall, it may be that eclectic links of papers and panels throughout the conference will reveal links across the scales of history, documenting the interdependence of historians working in various specializations.

2017 Program Committee

Anand A. Yang, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, 2017 Chair
Edda L. Fields-Black, Carnegie Mellon Univ., 2017 Cochair
Carl Edward Ashley, US Dept. of State
John L. Brooke, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
Kate Brown, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County
Erika Bsumek, Univ. of Texas, Austin
Zephyr L. Frank, Stanford Univ.
Katherine L. French, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Robert L. Hardmond, Brooklyn Technical High Sch.
Dina R. Khoury, George Washington Univ.
Joy Elizabeth Schulz, Metropolitan Comm. Coll.
Jonathan K. Skaff, Shippensburg Univ.
Valentina K. Tikoff, DePaul Univ.
Kerry R. Ward, Rice Univ.

AHA members proposing sessions should note that adherence to this theme is optional. The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals based on their individual strengths.

Patrick Manning (Univ. of Pittsburgh) is president-elect of the AHA; he will preside over the 131st annual meeting. Anand A. Yang (Univ. of Washington, Seattle) is the chair of the 2017 Program Committee, and Edda L. Fields-Black (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) is the cochair.


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