U.S. Intellectual History Blog

FORUM: 2016 Annual Conference

Please use this page to collaborate on creating COMPLETE PANELS for the 2016 conference.

The committee is especially eager to ensure ethnic, gender and institutional diversity at the conference. We welcome the participation of graduate students, independent scholars, and all faculty ranks.

Proposals may be for traditional paper sessions, roundtable format with audience comment, workshop/seminar-style discussions, “author meets critics” events, retrospectives on significant works or thinkers, or other formats that encourage the exchange of ideas.

Panels which take up our theme of “tools and traditions” in American intellectual history are encouraged, as are panels engaging the following topics, periods and methods:

  • Gender as a Tool of Analysis
  • Feminist Thought
  • Latino/Borderlands
  • Religion
  • Technology
  • Early America
  • Nineteenth Century America
  • History of Capitalism

12 Thoughts on this Post

  1. Hello, I am looking to submit to a panel for the 2016 conference. I work generally on the history of Islam in America and trace the ways capitalism has reshaped the experience of citizenship for American Muslims and specifically those with an Arab background.

  2. I’m looking for a panel for the 2016 conference. I work on 20th century American history and explore the cultural responses to urban crisis during the 1960s and 70s with particular interest in race and sexuality. The paper I want to present deals with early hip hop’s appropriation of public space in NYC during the 1970s.

  3. I am looking to put together a panel on Tools and Traditions -of- American Intellectual History. This could combine a discussion of the history of our subfield with papers about new approaches to intellectual history. I would present a paper on the latter aspect of the panel, which would present the results of quantitative and computational (topic modeling) techniques I have used to analyze and represent changes to American philosophy during the second half of the 20th century. Those are encouraged to contact me at [email protected]

  4. I am looking to assemble a panel on the evolution of the idea of the “immigrant” in the nineteenth-century U.S. My paper will deal with how the “immigrant” developed into a distinctive administrative category under the New York State authority that regulated immigration through the Port of New York from the 1840s through the 1880s. As collectors of data and overseers of a state-wide immigrant welfare system, this authority played a major role in shaping American discourse about immigration in terms of citizenship, race and ethnicity, and political economy. My work falls along the nexus of political and intellectual history, so I would be especially excited to have co-panelists who do gender analysis and/or who use cultural or literary methodologies. It would also be terrific to have someone who works on Chinese exclusion as well. If you are interested, please contact me at: [email protected]

  5. Hello fellow historians, I’m hoping to join a panel on either feminist thought or gender as a tool of analysis. My contribution would be a paper tentatively titled, “Undoing Patterns of Effacement: The Female School of Deconstruction and the Transformation of American Feminism, 1969-1991.” If you have need of a co-panelist, then please contact me at: [email protected]

  6. Hello All,
    I am interested in joining a panel on thinking about either the changes in late twentieth century (thinking post 1960s here) liberalism. I would be happy to be on a panel that explores this from the angle of historicizing the concept of neoliberalism or one that explores the trials and travails of progressive liberalism. My own paper would be on communitarian criticisms of liberalism and the concept of the self that animated these critiques. Contact me at [email protected]

    • SUSIH ideas
      Hi Anthony,
      I am interested in your paper idea, and I think my paper idea might fit with it; I’ll import my draft title and abstract below. I realize that your focus on criminology seems distant from the immediate topic of my coverage, but I can picture your focus as a case study of ideological commitment and change. Then, with perhaps another paper on another era’s ideological tensions (I see Brad Baranowski’s ideas on this same forum), I could foreground those treatment with evaluation of the psychological origins of values commitments. . I welcome your thoughts on my paper draft, on a possible panel, and on other presenters.
      Without Attention, Mental Tools Have No Use: William James’s Psychology of Philosophizing and Deliberation Across Values Differences
      The pragmatist impulse to treat ideas as tools has the power to pull ideas out of their abstractions into the concreteness of practical consequences. A consequence of this feature of pragmatism has been the impulse to regard ideas as human thought embedded in processes of inquiry rather than as icons of unchanging truth. William James said ideas are “instruments, not answers to enigmas”; and John Dewy even called his pragmatism “instrumentalism” to identify the use of ideas as tools for identifying problems and solving them. Louis Menard, in The Metaphysical Club, helped to popularize this robust way of understanding pragmatism as an action-oriented philosophy, impatient with abstraction, ready for practical use.
      The instrumental power of pragmatic ideas requires a gatekeeper to initiate the process and to set directional aim. These first steps of pragmatism’s instrumental purpose point to the crucial role of selective attention for initiating and sustaining the pragmatic role of ideas as tools. These steps offer an ironic role for some abstractions as psychological precursors to pragmatism’s action steps.
      This presentation will be in two parts: first, an examination of the crucial role of psychology, especially James’s “Sentimental of Rationality” and his psychological writings on attention, in establishing the basis for pragmatism’s action steps, and second, an inquiry into the potential application of James’s psychology of philosophizing, which was his use of psychology to understand the basis of philosophical commitments, for understanding sharp values differences. The presentation will conclude with an evaluation of recent cultural and political divides presented in the language of James’s psychology of philosophizing.

  7. I’m interested in doing a paper on intellectual debates about emotions in politics — both in the Gilded Age and in the present day. I imagine this might fit well with nineteenth-century panels, panels on politics or current events, or panels on theories of power, but I’d be up for joining any sort of panel where my contribution would be relevant; if you’re interested, let me know at jcyoung84 [at] gmail [dot] com.

    • Jeremy, maybe we could work together and do a panel on Gilded Age Politics? I would like to do a paper on the rebellion against both churches and the major political parties which gave birth to the first major Social-Democratic party in the 1900s. I’d love to work with you!

  8. Hello All,
    I would like to put together a panel the history of (higher) education in the United States during the twentieth century. Ideally, the panel would focus on the experience of students in the classroom, though that’s not a necessary requirement. If you have an idea for a paper that you think could work in such a context, please write me at [email protected]

  9. Anyone interested in taking part in a panel on Alex Haley’s Roots, please e-mail me: balpers at ou.edu. This year is its 40th Anniversary.

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