Call for Papers:
Blood and Mortar: The Experience of Violence and its Aftermaths in History
11th Annual History Graduate Student Association Conference
University of Maryland, College Park
March 4, 2016
Violence and the troubled aftermaths of violence have been constants of human experience since our emergence as a species. But the ways in which humans have carried out violence, experienced it, dealt with its effects, conceived its meaning, its value, its uses, and sought to limit it, have all varied immensely across history and human societies. We continue to struggle with past and present violence in contemporary societies, from the legacies of bitter civil wars, to institutional and structural violence, to the trauma of interpersonal violence, which is itself bound up in historical and social realities and patterns. This conference will grapple with this vast nexus of past and present acts and systems of violence and the unfolding of history, human and non-human.
Violence, as we understand it here, need not be physical, nor must it only involve human actors: rather, we encourage submissions dealing with violence and its aftermaths as enveloped within a broad continuum of further specifications: physical, military, rhetorical, discursive, structural, spontaneous, sexual, ecological, economic—the list goes on. We are especially interested in papers dealing with the intersection of urban history and violence: for instance, in what ways has violence–whether state, private, ecological, economic, or other forms–been constructive and destructive of urban life? How does urban life both constrict and expand the possibilities of violence in human and animal life? Beyond urban history, we encourage submissions dealing with all facets of violence in history, and hope to form panels that will reflect more specific themes–-such as religion and violence, ecology and violence, and so on.
We welcome submissions from all sub-disciplines of history, as well as from graduate students working on history-related topics elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences. Since we aim for a genuine interdisciplinary dialogue about this topic, we strongly encourage graduate students from non-history disciplines to apply. We encourage submissions dealing with any period or place, from ancient to modern, America to East Asia and everywhere in between.
Paper proposals should be submitted by December 15, 2015. Proposal abstracts must be no more than 300 words and should include scholar’s name, home institution, e-mail address, the fundamental research question addressed in the paper, the evidence and methodological approaches to be used, and the argument to be made. Though conclusions need not be final, the areas of inquiry must be consistent between proposal and presentation.
If selected, participants will be asked to submit a ten to fifteen page final version of their paper by January 30, 2016. The best paper presented at the conference will receive a cash prize.
Submit proposals and questions by email to: