Commemorating Violent Conflict s and Building Sustainable Peace

Elaine Frantz's picture
Call for Papers
February 15, 2019
Ohio, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Military History, Public History, Social History / Studies

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Call for Papers: Abstracts due by February 15, 2019
Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace: An International Conference at Kent State University Commemorating the May 4, 1970 shooting by the Ohio National Guard of Kent State Students during a demonstration against the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia and the occupation of the Kent State campus by the Ohio National Guard

Kent, OH, USA
October 24-26, 2019

Sponsored by: The School of Peace and Conflict Studies of Kent State University, The Peace History Society, The Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association
Co-sponsored by the Kent State Provost’s Office; College of Arts and Sciences; Political Science Department , and History Department

Many decades before school shootings became sadly commonplace in the U. S., Kent State University
students were killed on May 4, 1970, by the Ohio National Guard during a demonstration against the US
war in Vietnam and Cambodia. Documenting violence and delivering accountability are critical steps in
peacebuilding following violent conflicts ranging from lynchings to political assassinations to wars to
genocide. As the Kent State experience demonstrates, memorializing and commemorating are equally
important responses—particularly when the violence has been nation-states using violence against their
own citizens. Scholarship on memorializing has blossomed in recent decades, as has research on
peacebuilding in a variety of conflict and post-conflict settings.

Kicking off a yearlong commemoration of May 4, 1970 at Kent State, this interdisciplinary joint conference
of the Peace History Society, the Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association, and Kent
State’s School of Peace and Conflict Studies invites research papers focused on the interconnected
themes of commemorating violent conflicts and building sustainable peace, broadly conceived.
We welcome both single papers as well as full panel proposals. Each paper proposal must include a title, a
250-word abstract, and five to six keywords.

All submissions are due by February 15, 2019
Program acceptance notifications will be communicated by March 15, 2019
The final program will be published online by May 1, 2019

The conference welcomes paper submissions dealing with the following global themes:

Peace Activism, including but not limited to:
o Student movements
o Military activism (resistance of troops to violence and wars)
o Enduring war and peace tropes such as “support the troops”
o The dynamics of nonviolent action and civil resistance
o Gendered, racialized, class dimensions and other intersectionalities of peace activism
o The impacts of seminal events, such as the May 4 Shootings, Chicago Riots and other
events associated with peace or anti-war activism
o Architectural dimensions of urban spaces used by social movements
o The physical and spatial aspects of mobilization and occupation

State Violence and Wars, including but not limited to:
o State sponsored violence within higher education: the Kent State and Jackson State
shootings, Orangeburg Massacre, Gwangju Uprising or others across the world
o State repression and violence against nonviolent social movements
o US international wars and their legacies
o Gendered, racialized, class dimensions and other intersectionalities of wars
o State control of public and private protest spaces

Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice Following Conflict, including but not limited to:
o Peacebuilding following violent conflicts worldwide
o The challenges of transitional justice following state-sponsored violence and widespread
human rights violations
o Roles of architecture, art, literature and poetry in commemorating, memorializing and
o Roles of monuments and museums in peacebuilding and transitional justice

Social Violence and Social Responsibility, including but not limited to:
o The enduring legacy of May 4, 1970 in US and world history
o The causes and consequences of gun violence in schools and society
o The politics of police violence and community safety
o Universities and their responsibility to question, teach and memorialize violent conflicts
o Overcoming town-gown divides
o Mapping and visualizing techniques used in protest representations
o The identity divisions sown by violent conflict and how to overcome them

Submission due date and process:
Paper proposals must be submitted online through the ISA website, by February 15, 2019
Registration deadline is August 1, 2019 for presenters

For more information:
Landon Hancock 330 672 0904
Patrick Coy, 330 672 2875

Contact Info: 
Landon Hancock (, 330-672-0904)
Patrick Coy (, 330-672-2875)
Contact Email: