From the XYZ Affair to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, scandals have persistently haunted American presidents. Almost every administration has faced public scrutiny for decisions taken or not taken, for cover-ups or spin, and personal or government transgressions. Scandals not only tarnish reputations of presidents seeking re-election, many also have a long legacy in historical conciousness. Ulysses S. Grant is still dogged by the Whiskey Ring, Warren G. Harding by Teapot Dome, Richard Nixon by Watergate, Ronald Reagan by Iran-Contra, and Bill Clinton by Monica Lewinsky, to name but a few.
The Department of History at Mississippi State University, in conjunction with the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum at the Mitchell Memorial Library and the Presidential History Network, will host a two-day symposium, October 24-25, 2019, to analyze the history and memory of American presidential scandals. We invite scholars from all disciplines to submit paper proposals that investigate the ways in which scandal has been: managed or mismanaged by presidents and administration staff; shaped by the history of the era; prosecuted in the court of public opinion; depicted in popular culture or historiography; interpreted by international onlookers. Other proposals related to the theme of the symposium will receive full consideration.
Proposals for individual 20-minute papers or complete panels (3-4 papers) should include a 250-word abstract for each paper (and a 250-word overview for a complete panel) and a one-page CV for each presenter. Email submissions to Richard V. Damms (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 April 2019.
The event will open with a keynote address by Bruce J. Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University.
For further information, contact Richard V. Damms by email or at: (+1) 601-484-0167
Richard V. Damms
Mississippi State University