Call for Conference Proposals: "Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World," College of Charleston, Deadline November 1

Mary Battle's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2016
South Carolina, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Archival Science, Atlantic History / Studies, Public History
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World

June 15-17, 2017, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA


Workshop Day: June 14, 2017
Conference 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
CFP DEADLINE: November 1, 2016
Please see the conference website for more information:

Keynote Lecture: Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum for African American History and Culture
For more Plenary Speaker information please see here:
The program committee seeks proposals for the following:
  1. Roundtables: Discussions facilitated by a moderator with three to five participants about a historical or professional topic or issue. Proposals should be 500 words.
  1. Workshops: Interactive presentations led by facilitators to encourage learning about a professional topic or issue. Proposals should be 500 words.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 affiliations for all participants in a PDF or Word format to Mary Battle at Deadline for proposals is November 1, 2016.
About the Conference
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 from Charleston to the Atlantic World to be held at the College of Charleston and other partner sites in Charleston, South Carolina, June 15th-17th, 2017, with a pre-conference workshop day on June 14th. The conference organizers welcome proposals for workshops, roundtables, panels, and individual papers from public history professionals, scholars, educators, librarians, archivists, and artists that address issues surrounding the interpretation, preservation, memorialization, and commemoration of, as well as public engagement with, underrepresented topics in major themes of local, regional, and Atlantic World 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; foodways; 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 local, regional, and international sites—though we welcome proposals on a range of public history issues in geographic areas throughout the Atlantic World and beyond.
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 surrounding these trans-Atlantic connections became ever more complex and globally 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?
For inquiries or to submit a proposal, please contact Mary Battle at or
Contact Info: 
Mary Battle, PhD
Public Historian, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
College of Charleston
Contact Email: