"Unwieldy Archives:" 15th Annual Graduate History Symposium, University of Toronto

Michelle Fu's picture
Call for Papers
May 2, 2019 to May 3, 2019

Unwieldy Archives: The Past, Narratives, and History

The 15th Annual Graduate History Symposium

May 2-3, 2019, University of Toronto

Archives can be unwieldy institutions. This conference asks participants to reflect on the relationship between the archives they use and the histories they write. As historians, how do we deal with the power and politics of archives? A historian's curiosity as they begin their archival research can quickly be met with frustration. The archive itself or particular documents might be destroyed or inaccessible, the silences in the archive can seem insurmountable, or the documents found in archives might be unable to capture the ephemerality of the historian's subject of research. How do historians work around -- and through -- such silences?

Please join us for the 15th Annual Graduate History Symposium to be held on May 2-3, 2019 in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. We welcome participants from all geographic, temporal, and thematic backgrounds to submit paper or panel proposals considering the ways archives shape historical narrative. Papers might engage as much or as little with the theme of the conference as is pertinent to the presenter's work. Topics to consider might include:

  • Archives and power
  • Oral history
  • Transnational archives
  • Family archives/family history
  • Histories of gender and sexuality
  • Histories of colonialism, imperialism, and empire
  • Archiving performance
  • Senses in the archive
  • Visual culture
  • Indigenous histories
  • Histories of children and youth
  • Environmental history
  • Histories of migration
  • Affective archives
  • Archives and trauma
  • Material culture
  • Food history
  • Animals in the archive
  • Digital archives/digital history
  • Classification and its (dis)contents
  • Historical epistemology
  • Archives, social memory, and commemoration

The conference will feature a keynote presentation by Professor Kirsten Weld from Harvard University, as well as a scholars' roundtable and social mixer. We are also excited to renew our partnership with Past Tense Graduate Review of History to offer an essay competition for conference participants. The recipient of this award for the best conference paper will be published in an upcoming issue of Past Tense. 

Please submit a 250-word proposal and a short biographical sketch to aghstoronto@gmail.com by Monday February 25th, 2019. Successful submissions will be notified by the end of March 2019. The deadline for paper submissions for the Past Tense essay prize is Monday April 15th, 2019. 


Contact Info: 

Michelle Fu, AGHS 2018-2019 Co-Chair


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