U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Forum: S-USIH 2015 Panels

As stated in the CFP for the 2015 S-USIH Conference, submissions must take the form of proposals for full panels. In other words, we will not accept individual paper proposals. With this in mind we would like this post to serve as a forum to help people network. If you have a panel idea but need more panelists, or a paper idea but need a panel, submit such information below. Also feel free to email the conference committee: [email protected]

Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2015. We look forward to receiving your proposals!

38 Thoughts on this Post

  1. Hey everyone — I have an idea for a paper on Kenneth Clark that looks at the question of publics by examining his attempt to appeal to various groups of people during his career. So this could fit either on a panel concerned with a certain time period (post-war politics, for example) OR a certain problematic (liberalism, poverty, urban issues, etc).

    • I might have something that would mesh well with your idea: I’ve been working on John Courtney Murray’s approach to irreligion in the 1960s and 70s, when he recognized the necessity for the Catholic church to engage on a “footing of equality” with those outside the church if it was to reach the wider public. I’ve been in his papers, which include the essays written by his students in his “atheism seminar.” If you are still looking for panelists, and this sounds like a fit, contact me at [email protected]

    • Hello. I hope it is not too late, but I would be very willing to be included in a panel, especially if the problematic would be liberalism, poverty, urban issues. I am working towards a dissertation on Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the “Moynihan Report” as revealing the Achilles’s heel of the mid-1960s racial liberalism, focusing on the racialized and hetero-normative notions of motherhood and especially fatherhood (and masculinity) voiced in the Report. If you are interested I would like to contribute with a work on the gender conservatism inherent in Great Society Liberalism and its economic policy outcomes.
      Thank you in advance and looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. I have two possible panel proposal ideas:
    One is on Gender and Intellectual history. My contribution would be on Pragmatist and Feminism. If you are working on gender and intellectual history in any way please contact me. Have one possible paper from a second participant on gender and 20th century sex researchers.

    The second paper I have is on Chicago School Theologians and Pragmatism. If you are working on theologians and social thought or Pragmatism we might have a deal.

    • We are now two ( myself and Paul Murphy) proposing a panel on theological pragmatism and new humanist thought associated with the Chicago theology and comparative religion departments. If you have a third paper that would fit this panel we are looking for you.
      Please contact me at the email above.

      • We are now three. If you have something that you feel fits the objectives of this panel we are open to a fourth member.

  3. Hi all,

    I’m trying to organize a panel around one of two possible topics: “Middle-Class Anxieties In Neoliberal Times” or “U.S. Postwar Education as Intellectual History.”

    These panels may be up your alley if you focus on neoliberalism, the corporatization of public space(s), mid/late 20th-century U.S. history, the Cold War, the history of education, or U.S. middle-class culture(s).

    (Just to situate where my own stuff relates to these potential panels: My research focuses on the history of standardized testing in the U.S. during the mid/late 20th century. My aim for S-USIH Con 2015 would be to craft a paper that examines how standardized test preparation became a space for middle-class Americans to invest and sublimate their anxieties about the neoliberal turn.)

    If you are at all interested in either theme, or have any suggestions, please drop me a line at [email protected]. Thank you! –KJ Shepherd

    • UPDATE! 3/6

      We are currently a full panel in search of a chair/discussant!

      As it stands, our panel has been slightly tweaked, to “Middle-Class Anxieties In the Postwar Era.”

      (The works in this panel also incorporate some elements of the other pitched panel, by all focusing to some degree on the role that different educational technologies have played in postwar middle-class anxieties.)

      If you are interested, please drop me a line at [email protected]. Thanks!

  4. A couple panel ideas that I’d be interested in assembling if there are others who’d want to join:

    1. a panel on the intellectual work regarding the relationship between arts and aesthetic-centered thought and public life/democratic values. my work is US 20th-century, drawing heavily on Dewey and educational thought, but no reason this would have limited to 20th c.


    2. a panel on trans-Pacific ideas; American imaginaries about the Far East. here, my contribution would center on literary work of Holger Cahill, champion of visual modernism and director of the WPA Federal Art Project in the 1930s.

    if you’re interested in either, shoot me an email at [email protected]

    Mike Wakeford
    UNC School of the Arts

    • Evelyn Burg–I got your email and tried to reply today; not sure if you got it b/c I got routed thru a verification protocol that seemed a little wonky. Let me know!

  5. a for a panel, including a paper I would like to present, about how US imperialism also represents a unique brand of narcissism through the bifocal lens of patriotism and democratic capitalism. Simply put, because there has always been a strain of imperialism (and a bit of narcissism) in US history, it would seem that the two concepts are interrelated and interdependent. I welcome others to join me in forming a panel to further explore themes around US imperialism and the intellectual foundations (along with the social psychology that comes with it) that supports and drives it, especially since 1945.

    As part of this panel (or something similar to it), I’d want to present a paper tentatively titled “We’re #1:” How US Imperialism Drives America’s Obsession With Itself, and the World’s Obsession With America.” My own approach would involve looking at the relationship of US imperialism and narcissism on two levels. One level would involve contemplating how narcissism via US imperialism has become a central feature of American culture. A second level would be a consideration of how the US exports both imperialism and narcissism to the rest of the world, both in terms of military and economic power and the terrorism that it engenders, and in terms of more ordinary notions of how the world sees itself as reflected in American popular culture. I will rely on both Richard Hofstadter’s work and Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism (1979) as guideposts for my paper.

    Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in developing this or a similar panel with me. Thanks a bunch!

    Donald Earl Collins
    Adjunct Associate Professor, History
    University of Maryland University College

  6. We currently have two panelists — Jeremy Young (Grand Valley State University) and Dustin Abnet (Cal State-Fullerton) for a panel about Emotions and Ideas in American History. We are seeking a third panelist and potentially a chair/commenter (though we have some ideas about that, and haven’t asked around yet).

    The theme of the panel is the intersection of the history of emotions — a key emerging field in the historical profession — and American intellectual history. While most work thus far on the history of American emotions has focused on mapping the cultural trends that inspire emotional responses, we are interested in moving beyond this paradigm and examining how individual and collective emotional experience helps shape big ideas in history.

    Dustin’s paper examines the interwar debate over endocrinology and its implications for democracy; it frames this discussion as an argument about the morality of using technology to control the emotions of ordinary people. My own paper is a historiographical exploration of what I call the “experiential turn” in American history — an approach to historical analysis that foregrounds emotional experience as a driver of historical change.

    If you’re interested in participating in our panel, feel free to email me at [email protected]. Look forward to hearing from you!

  7. Hi all,

    I’m looking to put together a panel that deals with the ways in which intellectuals have attempted to put into action the ideals associated with participatory democracy.

    My paper would deal with the efforts of intellectuals at the Institute for Policy Studies, a radical liberal think tank in Washington D.C. that opened its doors in 1963, to create a theory of neighborhood government in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the term participatory democracy came out of the 1960s and the New Left, the panel that I have in mind would be more broadly conceived, both chronologically and thematically. Thus, I would be interested in papers that address time periods other than the 1960s and in relation to areas unrelated to community organizing or neighborhood governance.

    If interested, please send an email to [email protected].


  8. I would like to solicit participants for a panel on the 1970s.
    I’ve been working on a project tentatively entitled: “Too Much of Nothing: America in the 1970s.” It began as an elegiac epilog to the long-60s, but has since grown into a study of a longer-term transition away from modernity.
    My immediate focus (specifically for this paper) is the intellectual privileging of subjective thought and intuitive behavior (in contrast to the intellectual privileging of objective thought and rational behavior that defined the era climaxing in the mid-60s). It is by now generally acknowledged that the 70s were a pivotal decade economically and politically, and these topics have been confronted (adequately if not conclusively) elsewhere; however, the pivotal nature of the 1970s from a cultural-intellectual perspective has been analyzed less satisfactorily, and still awaits a convincing synthesis.
    I’ve heard diffuse rumors from multiple sources that “plenty of people” are interested in or are working on 1970s-related subjects (which technically need not be confined to the decade itself); so I’d love to hear from anyone who would like to join me in building a panel around 1970s themes (economic or political matters are NOT off limits, since the paradigm changes I’m exploring certainly interacted with dramatic shifts in those areas).
    Please email me at [email protected]. Only recently did I realize that the submission deadline was April 15 instead of June 1 (as it was in olden times); so please don’t wait until your proposal is perfect: instant suggestions are welcome and can be refined later.

    • COMMENTATOR NEEDED: We now have an excellent panel on “The 1970s and the End of Consensus Modernity,” which addresses the topic from three distinct yet related perspectives: intellectual, scientific, and literary. All we need now is a chair/commentator. Please email me at [email protected] if you are interested or would like more details before deciding. Thanks!

  9. I would like to organize a panel on the topic of the history of scientific ideas during the Cold War. Papers could consider relationships between the history of ideas in the Cold War context, or other topics in intellectual history related to the Cold War conflict or era.

    My own paper explores how innate intelligence came to be understood by psychologists, demographers, and other human scientists as a form of human capital at the disposal of nation states. The paper has a transnational dimension and particularly interrogates the intersection of intelligence testing and population studies to consider the political implications of changes in thought about intelligence quotient.

    Send me an e-mail at [email protected] if you are interested in contributing a paper or acting as chair/commentator.

    • I would like to join your panel. My paper topic is on the history of the idea of race, public policy, mass incarceration, and the militarization of policing in a Cold War context.

      • This panel is now complete. Thank you to all those who wrote to express interest in joining, and best of luck.

  10. My name is Ian Carr McPherson. I will be attending Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York this fall, and I completed my MA in American history at Saint Louis University in 2013. I would love to jump right back into my academic work, which focused on the political theology of the Christian Right. I was actually slated to be on a panel at S-USIH the year Sandy hit and cancelled the conference.

    I was hoping to propose some work on the early 1980s nuclear disarmament movement and the evangelical response, but I am open to other ideas. I would draw from my MA thesis, “For Such a Time as His: Francis A. Schaeffer and the Political Theology of the Christian Right,” though I could also do some larger work that wouldn’t focus on Schaeffer directly. (I would love to move on from him.)

    If anyone needs another panelist or would like to put something together, let me know! I’m at [email protected]

  11. My name is Dan Hummel and I’m currently finishing a dissertation at UW-Madison on the intellectual history of Christian Zionism in the mid-20th century and on Jewish-Christian relations more broadly. I’d be interested in developing a panel looking at the intersection of politics and interfaith relations in the this time period and perhaps on the role of theology in the public discourse about American pluralism. I am open to other ideas that generally overlap with these areas of interest, however. Please email me at [email protected] with suggestions or questions. I’m also happy to join an existing panel needing one more paper on a related topic.

  12. I’m a PhD student at UW-Madison in the beginning stages of a dissertation exploring the modernist transformations of philosophical naturalism during the post-WWII period. I’m looking to present a paper on analytic philosophy and Zen Buddhism. If anyone has an as-yet incomplete panel, or would be interested in organizing one, please get in touch: [email protected]

  13. Hi all, I’m a doctoral student in the History of Science at Johns Hopkins and would like to put a panel together about the formation of the American social sciences. I would like to present a paper on the influence of August Weismann’s germ-plasm theory of heredity on sociology and economics at the turn of the twentieth century. I think that any topic dealing with the social sciences would be appropriate for the panel.

    • Hi Emilie,
      I’m interested in a similar panel submission. I’m working on the pre-WWII history of human ecology within the history of sociology, how human ecologists theorized capitalist competition as organic, and specifically how these ideas were deployed in U.S. colonial spaces. Let me know if you’re interested in collaborating at this late date. You can also email me directly at cmanganaro at mica dot edu.

    • Hi Emilie,
      I am a doctoral candidate at University of Sydney, and I’m writing about interwar anthropology and debates about objectivity and representation. I largely research race statues and their relation to theories of statistics and anthropometry. If you are still looking for panellists, I would be very keen to put in a paper for your panel.

    • Dear Emilie,

      If you panel is still open, I have a proposal on Catharine Cox Miles, a psychologist who pioneered gender assessment with Lewis M. Terman in the 1930s.

      With thanks,
      ABD in American Religions, UVa
      [email protected]

      • If this panel is still looking for contributors and/or commenters, I’m finishing a history of the idea of race in US political science in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. I might even prefer to serve as commenter. The papers look really interesting. I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC.

  14. My name is John Worsencroft and I am a doctoral candidate in history at Temple University. I would like to put a panel together that explores (broadly) changing notions of gender, citizenship, and the state’s relationship to the American public during the 1960s and 70s.

    My paper will look at the draft and the military during the Vietnam War and how these institutions and systems were used by liberal policymakers to fight the War on Poverty, to combat institutionalized racism, and to defend “traditional” notions of family with a male breadwinner at its head.

    I have a couple of names in mind for a commenter/chair, but I need two other panelists to join me! I should point out that because we are getting very close to the deadline, I am happy to do all of the ‘leg work’ to submit the panel proposal. Please email me at [email protected] with paper suggestions.

  15. Hi, I’m a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University and I work on the history of higher education in the postwar United States. I am planning on presenting a paper on the origins of American Civilization programs in the U.S. and their transformation over the midcentury decades, paying particular attention to the politics of revisionism involved in this process. I could imagine a variety of panels into which a project like this could fit: Cold War social science, the mechanics of discipline formation, the culture wars, the politics of interdisciplinarity, and others.

    Please get in touch with me if you think you have a paper that could speak to any of these issues and you’d be interested in putting together a panel. My email is: [email protected]

  16. I’m rather late to the game on this one, but I’ll try anyway: I’m working on an essay dealing with Carl Becker’s later writings, particularly his thoughts on global politics and the crisis of liberalism. It would likely fit well on a panel concerned with Becker himself, political thought in the thirties and forties, or liberalism more broadly. If anyone’s in the market for such a thing, drop me a line at alexander.i.jacobs [at] vanderbilt.edu

  17. Hi all, my name is Sarah Nelson and I’m a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University. I currently have a paper in the works on the “little magazine” as a site of intellectual/cultural community-building in the ‘30s-‘40s. Using Partisan Review as a case study, I do a close reading of the various ways in which the physical object acted as an agent and conduit through which a transatlantic community of Left-spectrum modernists made sense of political and literary values in the late interwar period. This kind of paper would do well with anyone interested in the history of intellectual community-building; the role and function of print media in the transmission and transmutation of political and literary ideas; the history of the Left and radicalism (or, conversely, the history of American conservatism); history of modernism and modernists, domestic or transnational, etc. If anyone has a project that could seemingly fit in any of these categories (or others), please let me know! My email is [email protected].

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