AHA Annual Meeting
"Loyalties": The 133rd Annual Meeting Theme and Call for Papers
Loyalty and disloyalty are forms of human attachment often associated with the history of politics. Yet loyalties function on multiple levels. Individually, or in groups, humans commit themselves to communities, loved ones, principles, a leader, a nation, a religion, an ideology, or an identity. Loyalties stabilize human society, undergird political and social hierarchies, promote courage and cowardice, disguise ethical lapses, and generate revolutions. The determination to maintain old loyalties or devise new ones can become a foundation for building nations, waging war, transforming and imagining new forms of human community, or defending institutions that maintain traditional ways of life.
Loyalties require communication, ritual, and imagery. They can be hegemonic or the outcome of powerful shifts in popular consciousness. Loyalties can also be disseminated through the propagation of ideas, or take the form of nostalgia, distracting from contemporary problems or complexities. Whether social, cultural, religious, economic, or political, loyalties can conceive a path to a utopian future, identifying those who are an impediment to that future as disloyal or as permanently loyal to an outsider group. Divided loyalties might also pose a problem: At what point, for example, can loyalty to party, faith, or community overwhelm loyalty to the nation?
We are interested in proposals that compare questions of conflicting or changing loyalties across time, space, and human experience—whether religious, ethnic, gendered, national, or otherwise—and how they have shaped trajectories of change. After a revolution, opponents of the new regime are often faced with a choice between swearing allegiance—thus betraying the values and leaders to whom they had promised loyalty—and imprisonment, exile, or execution. In contrast to such formal public dilemmas, loyalties that regulate private life can involve forms of expectation and obedience that are often unspoken, generationally specific, or resisted as archaic.
2019 Program Committee
Claire Bond Potter, The New School, 2019 chair
Brian W. Ogilvie, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, 2019 co-chair
Emily Clark, Tulane Univ.
Evan N. Dawley, Goucher Coll.
Ada Ferrer, New York Univ.
Durba Ghosh, Cornell Univ.
Julie A. Golia, Brooklyn Historical Society
David N. Myers, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Kenneth A. Osgood, Colorado Sch. of Mines
Amy Godfrey Powers, Waubonsee Community Coll.
Liz Robbins, Chicago Public Schools
Mark D. Sheftall, Bucknell Univ.
Timothy J. Smit, Eastern Kentucky Univ.
Thabiti Willis, Carleton Coll.
Loyalties can encompass a wide range of human attachments that might be based on politics, family, ethnicity, race, religion, class, clan, culture, partisanship, economics, nation, region, ties to the military, marriage, sex, and gender. Proposed panels might address the relationship among loyalties, and between loyalty and disloyalty. Disloyalty might take many forms: for example, revolution, treason, promise breaking, rejection of faith or national language, outmigration, or sexual infidelity. Furthermore, the determination to live outside of, or break from, family, religion, race, country, and community, while often raising questions of law, also inevitably positions these acts as simultaneously loyal and disloyal. Loyalty to self or principle might trigger fulfillment, and at the same time, accusations of disloyalty may result in shame, ostracism, or even death. Disloyalty to one’s own principles might be a necessary compromise to acting on loyalty to something larger than the self: beloved others, country, or co-religionists.
We look forward to a rich and varied set of proposals that will explore these issues. Proposals will be neither advantaged nor disadvantaged, however, by their relationship to the theme. The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals based on their individual strengths.
Mary Beth Norton (Cornell Univ.) is president-elect of the AHA; she will preside over the 133rd annual meeting. Claire Bond Potter (The New School) is the chair of the 2019 Program Committee, and Brian W. Ogilvie (Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst) is the co-chair.
Call for Proposals
All historians are welcome and encouraged to submit proposals. The AHA also invites historically focused proposals from colleagues in related disciplines and from AHA affiliated societies. The Program Committee will consider all proposals that advance the study, teaching, and public presentation of history.
The Association seeks submissions on the histories of all places, periods, people, 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 invite proposals for sessions in a variety of formats and encourage lively interaction among presenters and with the audience.
Session Proposals: Sessions last for 90 minutes. Most sessions will be limited to four speakers plus a chair. The Program Committee will accept proposals for complete sessions only. We encourage organizers to build panels that bring together diverse perspectives.
Poster Proposals: The 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, and historians working outside the United States. With the exception of foreign scholars and those from other disciplines, all persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA, although membership is not required to submit a proposal. All participants must register for the meeting when registration opens. The Association aspires to represent the full diversity of its membership at the annual meeting.
Although the annual meeting has a theme, the Program Committee does not consider proposals’ relation to the theme in evaluating them.
Electronic submission only, by midnight PST on February 15, 2018.
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