Ohio Valley History: Universities, Slavery, and History's Role in Institutional Reform

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Call for Papers
June 1, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, Public History, Race / Ethnic Studies, Slavery

 Call for Proposals  

Ohio Valley History 

“Universities, Slavery, and History’s Role in Institutional Reform”  

Ohio Valley History invites manuscript proposals for a special issue on the history of higher education’s connection to slavery and Jim Crow.  Responding to student demands over the last decade, dozens of universities have begun to research their historical relationship to African Americans. Driven by extraordinary stories, such as Georgetown’s 1832 sale of 272 enslaved people to keep that university afloat, and the more commonplace memorialization of benefactors who were slaveholders and slave traders, individual researchers and entire institutions have dedicated themselves to uncovering more institutional history.  In turn, this research has helped inform conversations at institutions grappling with issues surrounding the continued memorialization of white supremacists, struggling to create truly inclusive cultures, and engaging in difficult conversations around reparations. 

Not surprisingly, many of these institutions are in the South, but Universities Studying Slavery, an organization created to encourage cross-institutional learning, now includes schools in nearly every region of the United States and even a few universities from outside the U.S. Several institutions in the Ohio Valley and Upper South are at various stages of this conversation.   

The editors of Ohio Valley History hope to elevate this conversation in a region that has been slow to acknowledge the centrality of slavery to its history and the many ways in which the enslavement of African Americans continues to influence the present.  We hope this call will encourage authors to propose papers that ask what role history can and should play in current efforts to create inclusive environments on college campuses. Papers that explore a specific institution’s historical connections to slavery and Jim Crow are also welcome and encouraged. 

A collaboration of The Filson Historical Society, Cincinnati Museum Center, and the University of Cincinnati, Ohio Valley History is a quarterly journal of the history and culture of the Ohio Valley and the Upper South. In addition to articles, the quarterly features historiographical and review essays, notes and documents, and reviews of books, exhibits, and historical sites. With over 3,000 subscribers, it is one of the nation’s largest regional journals. It is published in both print form and electronically on Project MUSE. 

Anyone interested in participating in this special issue should submit an abstract of no more than six hundred words by June 1, 2020 to:   Patrick A. Lewis, The Filson Historical Society, patricklewis@filsonhistorical.org We project a deadline of November 6, 2020 for complete articles from accepted proposals.  The special issue will appear in the spring of 2021. Please direct any questions to Patrick Lewis or David Stradling, University of Cincinnati, david.stradling@uc.edu