Call for Proposals: "Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World," College of Charleston, June 15-17, 2017, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Mary Battle's picture
November 1, 2016
South Carolina, United States
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Public History, Slavery


Conference: "Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World," June 15-17, 2017, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Hosted by: The Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, Addlestone Library, and the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program at the College of Charleston

Conference website: 

In partnership with various local, national, and international cultural heritage organizations, academic institutions, and historic sites, the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World Program (CLAW), and the Addlestone Library invite proposals for a conference on transforming public history practices in Charleston and the Atlantic World to be held at the College of Charleston and other partner sites in Charleston, South Carolina, June 15-17, 2017. The conference organizers welcome proposals for workshops, roundtables, panels, and individual papers from public history professionals, scholars, educators, librarians, and artists that address issues surrounding the interpretation, preservation, memorialization, commemoration, and public application of major themes in Atlantic history, including but not limited to: slavery and coerced labor; empire and resistance; economic, trade, and labor networks; race, class, and gender identities; cultural interchange; religious influences; social and political activism; music, performance, film, and visual art; art history and architecture; foodways; and rural and urban development. Public history contexts for these themes may include museums and historic sites; libraries, archives, and universities; historic preservation and archaeology projects; historic landscapes and neighborhoods; film, media, and television; popular culture; monuments, commemorative markers, and ceremonies; school curriculum and textbooks; digital projects; interactive games and crowd-sourcing projects— and much more.

Special Focus
Based on the United Nation’s declaration of 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent, and the conference location in Charleston, South Carolina, on the second anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Mother Emanuel Church, the planners particularly encourage proposals relevant to transforming practices of interpreting the history of slavery and its race and class legacies in Charleston and historically interconnected international sites—though we welcome proposals on a range of public history issues in geographic areas throughout the Atlantic World and beyond.

The program committee seeks proposals for the following:
Roundtables: Discussions facilitated by a moderator with three to five participants about a historical or professional topic or issue. Proposals should be 500 words.
Workshops: Interactive presentations led by facilitators to encourage learning about a professional topic or issue. Proposals should be 500 words.
Panels: We prefer to receive proposals for complete three to four presentation/paper sessions but will consider individual presentations as well. You are welcome to include a chair and/or moderator, or the conference committee will appoint a chair. Proposals should be 500 words.
Individual Papers: If accepted, we will place your individual presentation on a panel or roundtable selected by the committee. Proposals should be 250 words. 

Please submit proposals with session title, presentation title(s), contact information, and institutional affiliation for all participants in a PDF or Word format to Mary Battle at Deadline for proposals is November 1, 2016

Please note that select presentations from CLAW conferences typically result in an edited volume, see CLAW Series with the University of South Carolina Press for more information:

About the Conference Theme
Starting in the fifteenth century, the Atlantic Ocean became a corridor of trade and migration—both voluntary and coerced—between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In the centuries that followed, the violent encounters, power struggles, cultural exchanges, labor systems, and economic ties between and within these trans-Atlantic connections became ever more complex and intertwined, producing distinctive race, class, and gender experiences and hierarchies throughout the Atlantic World and beyond. How have cultural heritage institutions, public historians, scholars, artists, activists, filmmakers, and educators in various international regions engaged with and depicted the diverse histories of the Atlantic World? How have these representations changed over time, and how will they continue to change in the twenty-first century? 

Questions to consider include:

*What are some of the major barriers and opportunities for making diverse Atlantic World histories more accessible to range of local, national, and international audiences?

*What is the state of preservation for tangible and intangible heritage in the Atlantic World?

*How do different audiences engage with underrepresented race, class, gender, and labor experiences in the Atlantic World, and how does this change across different national and regional contexts?

*How do we build collaborations among historic sites, museums, cultural centers, academic institutions, community organizations, and/or local stakeholders to address underrepresented histories in the Atlantic World?

In the coming months, the conference website will continue to be updated with information regarding conference partnerships, registration, schedule, special offers, and lodging.

Contact Info: 

Mary Battle

Public Historian

College of Charleston's Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture