Call for Papers
The 116th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association
Reconstruction in History: Reimagining Democracy
August 9-11, 2023
California State University, Northridge
The 2023 Program Committee invites proposals for panels, roundtables, and individual papers
on any subject, and any geographic, chronological, or thematic area, including all aspects of Environmental History, but particularly those addressing the conference theme, “Reconstruction in History: Reimagining Democracy.”
Reconstruction in the United States represents nothing lessthan a second American Founding. The Reconstruction Amendments 13-15 (the end of racial slavery, birthright citizenship, and Black voting rights) offered a revolutionary transformational paradigm for Black citizenship and dignity that continues to reverberate to this day in the U.S. and abroad. The struggle between reconstructionist supporters of multiracial democracy and redemptionist advocates of white supremacy represent the fundament democratic challenge of the past, present, and future—and Reconstruction has a variety of international meanings as well. The idea of Reconstruction has taken on new dimensions in the context of a global health pandemic, the heightened concerns about democracy at home and abroad, and the
amplification of domestic racial divisions in the aftermath of the 2016 elections and the racial
and political reckonings of 2020. We are interested in Reconstruction in the U.S. and abroad in
broad and specific ways. We welcome papers, panels, and roundtables related to America’s
three periods of Reconstruction (the first decades after the Civil War; the civil rights movement
as a Second Reconstruction; and the period from 2008-present as a Third Reconstruction).
What are or have been comparable examples throughout the world? How have Americans
remade fundamental parts of our society and democratic institutions in the past, and how have
other peoples around the world remade their society in similar and different ways? What have
been successful models of Reconstruction that continue into the present? How can we use
global, domestic, regional, and local comparative frameworks to aid contemporary
Reconstruction efforts? Why do the politics of racial backlash continue to permeate
Reconstructionist dreams of freedom?
The Program Committee encourages proposals that enable conversations across specialist and
institutional boundaries and that engage the audience. We welcome submissions from a
diversity of history practitioners, including all faculty at 2-year and 4-year institutions, graduate
and undergraduate students, Phi Alpha Theta regional award winners, specialized scholarly
societies and associations, library and archival specialists, public history and museum
specialists, non-traditional scholars, and K-12 teachers.
Anniversaries may provide inspiration for panels and roundtables. These include, but are not limited to, Swedish independence (1523); publication of Shakespeare’s “First Folio” (1623); the
births of Adam Smith and William Blackstone (1723); the Boston Tea Party (1773); the Monroe
Doctrine, Congress of Central America’s Declaration of Independence, and Demerara Rebellion
in South America (1823); forming the First Spanish Republic and the city of Budapest, the
founding of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, League of Three Emperors, and Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, passage of the Comstock Law, the patenting of Levi’s jeans, and the
births of W.C. Handy and Willa Cather (1873); the end of the Irish Civil War, the Treaty of
Lausanne, and the Beer Hall Putsch (1923); the Truman-Dewey election, Burmese
independence, Gandhi’s assassination, the founding of Israel, the Organization of American
States, the World Health Organization, the RAND Corporation, and NASCAR, the Berlin Airlift,
the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
the Hiss-Chambers controversy, and the publication of the Kinsey Report (1948); Watergate
unfolding, the Paris Peace Accords, Secretariat winning the Triple Crown, the “Battle of the
Sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, the Chilean coup overthrowing Allende for
Pinochet, the Yom Kippur War, Spiro Agnew’s resignation and Gerald Ford becoming the first
vice-president appointed under the 25th Amendment, the Endangered Species Act’s passage,
and the deaths of Lyndon Johnson and Pablo Picasso (1973); and the Clinton scandal and
impeachment, U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, and the hate crime against
Matthew Shepard (1998).
To make inquiries about the conference, please email PCB-AHA executive director Michael
Green at email@example.com.
More information on submitting proposals, connecting with prospective panelists, and
attending the conference (venue, registration, lodging, etc.) will be available at
www.pcb-aha.org as these details are finalized. You can submit proposals at:
Panel proposals must include a contact person; a title and 250-word abstract of the panel or
roundtable; a title and brief description (100 words) of each presentation; a one-page C.V. for
each participant, which includes an email address and affiliation; and any A/V requests. The
Program Committee also welcomes individual paper submissions, which should include a title, a
250-word abstract, and a one-page C.V. with email address and affiliation.
REVISED DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 1.
Decisions regarding acceptance will be conveyed no later than March 1, 2022. Please note that
submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference if the proposal is
accepted. Upon acceptance, graduate student presenters will receive information about how to
apply for competitive travel subventions.