CFP: Society for the History of Discoveries

Lydia Towns Discussion

2022 Annual Meeting of  the Society for the History of Discoveries

Where: St. Louis, Missouri

When:  September 29 –October 1, 2022

Venue: St. Louis University, co-sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 

Our 2022 Annual Meeting, will be held in the Pere Marquette Gallery at St. Louis University, and cohosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The opening reception will take place on Thursday evening (September 29), followed by the conference the following two days, and a post-conference excursion on Sunday (October 2).


At the Heart of the Continent:  Native Americans and Newcomers in the Upper Mississippi Region


Often referred to as the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis was founded by French fur-traders in 1764, ceded to Spain within the year, returned to French control in 1800; then bought by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was a territory that was rich in people and natural resources. Directly across the Mississippi River from the city are the Cahokia Mounds, a major center of the Mississippian peoples who flourished in the area through the fifteenth century. Several Native American nations lived in this region in the historic era as well, including the Osage or “People of the Middle Waters.” Trajectories of cultural contact, trade, and exploration radiated in all directions from this land. This intriguing place offers the inspiration for our conference.

Papers, 20 minutes in length, are invited on all points of view of this theme, including: discovery, exploration, conquest, resistance, settlement, economy, daily life, and all aspects of cultural encounters.

The Committee also welcomes proposals from SHD members, scholars, and independent researchers that address all aspects of geographical discovery and exploration. SHD welcomes submissions from graduate students and emerging scholars, and papers on teaching the history of exploration, broadly defined. Preference will be given to those papers that are particularly aligned with the conference theme, but all paper proposals of high quality, regardless of geographic orientation, will be considered.

The audience at SHD meetings is diverse and includes academics and members of various professions. All are especially interested in the processes and consequences of geographical exploration and discovery. Presenters are encouraged to use images (maps, paintings, photographs, etc.). For the benefit of the audience all visuals have to be presented as PowerPoint-compatible projection

Please provide a proposal that includes the following components:

  • the title of the presentation
  • the author’s name and address, including email address and affiliation
  • an abstract summarizing the paper’s scope and conclusions (maximum of 500 words)
  • a statement about the originality of the contents of the paper: how much is new, unpublished material, based on research in primary sources, etc.
  • a statement indicating whether PowerPoint or other digital media will be used and whether internet access is necessary for the presentation
  • a brief biographic sketch of the author(s)

Paper proposals are due July 15, 2022, and should be submitted via the SHD website 

Special note: We plan to hold this meeting in person, but we will continue to monitor the epidemiological situation, and we will inform participants should it become necessary to pivot to a virtual platform – we hope that will not be the case!

Inquiries via Dr. Lydia Towns, SHD Secretary: