CFP: Building Bridges in the Americas: 2022 Biennial Scholars Conference on American Jewish History

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Call for Papers
November 10, 2021
Louisiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies, Literature, American History / Studies, African American History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies

Call For Papers

Building Bridges in the Americas

2022 Biennial Scholars Conference on American Jewish History

Tulane University, May 15-17, 2022

The Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, invites submissions until November 10, 2021.

This conference seeks to emphasize and explore connections, dialogues, and debates in American Jewish studies from transdisciplinary perspectives. We seek papers across a wide range of eras and geographies, including North America,  South America, and the Caribbean. We encourage papers that engage with how Jewish Studies scholarship reaches across regions, communities, historical periods, and/or disciplines to open up new areas of inquiry.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Building Bridges in the Americas.” Bridges facilitate movement from one point to another, often spanning a seeming impasse to take us from one place to another. By enabling new relations and migrations, bridges direct flow. Historical actors have sometimes imagined themselves or their lives as bridges between disparate experiences; as feminist writer Cherríe L. Moraga puts it, “I am a woman with a foot in both worlds; and I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue. Sometimes I feel it urgently.” With the imagery of bridges in mind, possible conference topics might include: indigeneity; Jews of color; multiracial, interfaith, queer and trans experiences; migration; cultural flows; translocality; diversity and inclusion within the Jewish community; less represented voices, populations, and subjects; new models of periodization; ties between American Jewry and Israel; and Jewish studies’ relationship to other fields of study.

Although we particularly welcome submissions connected to the theme, the Scholars Conference Committee will gladly consider proposals exploring any aspect of American Jewish history and culture. The Committee encourages the submission of complete panels and nontraditional types of panels, including seminars, roundtables, and lightning sessions. It will also consider individual paper submissions. In all cases, the Committee urges contributors to approach the conference as an opportunity to share ideas through interactive conversation and accessible presentations. International scholars, graduate students, and scholars with limited financial resources are all encouraged to apply. Once acceptance decisions are made, a limited number of travel grants will be made available.

*AJHS is aware of Covid concerns and will provide an updated cancelation policy upon registration.

Submission instructions:

  • Paper abstract (250 words)
  • For panels or other organized sessions, short panel description (150 words), with individual paper abstracts attached for formal panels.
  • Brief participant bio (120 words), including email address and phone number.
  • Indicate technological or accessibility needs.
  • Indicate if you can only participate remotely. Our expectation is that (COVID permitting) the conference will be in person, but regardless, we will have a limited number of remote presentation slots for those who know they cannot be there in person.
  • Indicate what language you prefer to present in. The majority of the conference is likely to be in English, but we welcome abstracts and papers in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Hebrew.
  • Please note, any single person may serve no more than two times in the conference in two different roles (e.g. presenter on panel x and respondent to panel y).

Remote Attendance:

We encourage all presenters to attend the conference in person.  However, we recognize that some scholars will be unable to attend in person, and some may need to change plans at the last minute as the COVID pandemic evolves. anels and roundtables may contain a mixture of in-person and remote participants, provided that half or more of the panelists/discussants plan to attend the conference in person.  While we realize that a hybrid format will be challenging to implement, we are investing in technology to minimize disruptions while allowing maximum participation for our colleagues. You may submit an individual proposal even if you can only attend remotely.


Panels should be composed of three presenters and a chair.  Each presentation should be approximately 15-17 minutes, so as to leave time for audience Q&A, and we strongly discourage simply reading a pre-prepared text.  Those who would like a respondent on their panel should consider a roundtable, or include the respondent in one of the three presenter slots.

Roundtables may include 4-6 people, including the moderator if they will be responding.  The length of individual presentations on panels will vary based on the number of participants, but prepared discussion, including introduction of panelists, should last no more than 60 minutes total in order to leave time for audience Q&A.


Please also note that conference requirements will be subject to university, city, state, and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19.  Currently, all Tulane students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated, and guests to campus must either be vaccinated or show proof of a recent negative PCR test.  Masks are currently required for all indoor events on campus, regardless of vaccination status.  Proof of vaccine is also currently required for indoor dining in the city of New Orleans. 


Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email and/or reach out to our conference co-chairs Michael Cohen ( and Laura Leibman ( 

Contact Email: 
Categories: CFP