Call for Papers “Activism From Below: Grassroots Organizing in the U.S. from the Civil War to Now”

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Call for Papers

“Activism From Below: 

Grassroots Organizing in the U.S. from the Civil War to Now”

U.S. History Symposium

Queen’s University Belfast – March 19-20, 2020

Throughout the history of the United States, social and political movements have depended upon individual activism, grassroots organizing, and community engagement for success. This conference aims to explore the various and changing ways in which both the theories and methods of activism have been defined and/or challenged, as well as the experiences of the people and organizations who have formed the foundations of mass movements. 

We therefore invite papers from scholars at all stages to present research that examines the history of activism in the U.S., through considerations of the people, places, and practices of grassroots mobilization. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Methods of Participation
  • The tension between intersectionality and the desire for mass, unified movements 
  • Issues relating to changing notions of race, class, gender, and sexuality 
  • Identity and Citizenship
  • Places and spaces of activism 
  • Activism in the digital age
  • Activism and Public History

The keynote speaker will be Professor Bryant Simon, author of A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948, (1998), Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, (2004) and Everything But the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks, (2009), The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives (2017). The keynote address will be delivered on March 19, with panels to follow the next day.  

Papers from Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers are particularly encouraged. Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words, along with your academic affiliation (if applicable) and professional title, to by November 14, 2019.

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