Power and Persuasion: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Constructing and Contesting Legitimacy
12th Annual University of Maryland History Graduate Student Association Conference
Deadline for Abstract Submission: December 21, 2016
Legitimacy is a concept that has long been the purview of political science and political history, but is by no means limited to those fields. In fact, the formation, enforcement, and disruption of legitimacy bears directly on many facets of human life, from the most intimate relationships to global issues of war and peace. The importance of legitimacy, in discourse and practice, makes it a compelling focus for deeper exploration and understanding. What then is legitimacy? According to Max Weber, “Action, especially social action which involves social relationships, may be oriented by the a ctors to a belief ... in the existence of a ‘legitimate order.’” But how do social actors in history create and contest such “legitimate orders”? Who gets to decide who, and what, is “legitimate” and what is “illegitimate”? Legitimacy is realized, or rejected, in processes of exchange between individuals, institutions, states, and other groups, in an attempt to create and control a legitimate, valid order of things. This conference will consider how concepts and practices of legitimacy have been and are still created within human societies, within environments of resistance, contestation, and counter-constructions.
Call for Papers
With the goal of better understanding the diverse discourses and practices of legitimacy found throughout history and across human societies, this conference encourages submissions from various disciplines, fields, geographical areas, and time periods. While traditional discussions of political legitimacy are encouraged, we also welcome submissions dealing with topics outside of the narrowly construed political realm, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Feminism, gender, and sexuality
- Race, ethnicity, and class
- Urban history, indigenous communities, and the environment
- Empire, colonialism, and nationalism
- Religion, ideology, science, and philosophy
- Knowledge production, education, and the history of the body
- Spatiality, geography, and audio/visual culture
We encourage submissions from all chronological periods, from antiquity to the modern world, and all geographical focuses.
The 12th Annual History Graduate Student Association conference provides the opportunity for graduate students to present and discuss their research with colleagues and peers, and to develop our thoughts and ideas on demanding topics. Presentations will be grouped into panels in order to facilitate greater discussion and interaction between scholars. Panels will consist of graduate presenters, a graduate student commentator, and a faculty chair. The best paper presented will win a cash prize.
The conference will feature a series of morning and afternoon panels, a lunchtime roundtable, and an address by our keynote speaker. The conference will conclude with the announcement of the prizewinner. No registration fee required, breakfast and lunch included.
- Proposals must be submitted by December 21, 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org as a Word or PDF attachment
- Must be no more than 300 words
- Include: scholar’s name, home institution, email address, fundamental research question addressed, evidence and
- methodological approaches used, and main argument made.
- Conclusions need not be final, but areas of inquiry must be consistent between proposal and presentation.
If selected, participants will be asked to submit a ten to fifteen page final version of their paper by January 30, 2016 .
For questions, contact conference co-chairs Thomas Messersmith or Dustin Cranford at email@example.com