CfP: British American Nineteenth Century Historians Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 11th - 13th Oct 2019

Rebecca Fraser's picture
Call for Papers
April 26, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Native American History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Call for Papers
 26th Annual BrANCH Conference
 Edinburgh University, 11th – 13th Oct 2019
The BrANCH committee is pleased to invite proposals for our 26th annual conference, to be held at Edinburgh University, 11th – 13th October 2019.   

The Parish Lecture for 2019, we are delighted to announce, is Professor Susan O’Donovan, editor and author of several major books in the field of African American history including Becoming Free in the Cotton South Harvard University Press, 2007) and Freedom: A Documentary History. Her forthcoming publication in David Blight and Jim Down’s edited collection, Beyond Freedom: New Directions on the Study of Emancipation, (University of Georgia Press, Under Contract) concerns what happens to our understanding of freedom when we take slavery fully into account. 
Professor O’Donovan will present a paper based on her current research and is entitled, ‘Becoming Citizens: Thinking about the Political Lives of Slaves.’

Abstract: Slaves have been traditionally portrayed as a people anchored tight to a plantation, an immobility broken only by the occasional fugitive or coffle line.  In my current work, I flip the narrative.  In studying slaves in motion rather than slaves in a place, the story changes. It returns workers as agents to capital’s domain. It redistributes power, and sometimes in surprising directions. Most of all, it repopulates the political universe because when slaves were on the road, on the go, and often on their own, they traveled with their mental and sensory faculties fully intact.  What I demonstrate then is a new way of knowing both slavery and slaves, one that had ‘serious potential for changing the rules of the game.’ And so, I argue, it did.
The BrANCH Keynote for 2019, we are equally delighted to announce, is Professor Jacqueline FearSegal, whose publications include White Man’s Club: Schools, Race and the Struggle of Indian Acculturation. (University of Nebraska Press, 2009) and recent editor of Carlisle Industrial School: Histories Memories, and Reclamations, (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). Her most recent project, ‘Beyond the Spectacle: Native North American Presence in Britain,’ brings together an international team of researchers and Native North American people to amplify the stories of Indigenous travellers in the historical record and in the current moment. Professor Fear-Segal will be speaking to us on the subject of her current research project with a talk entitled, ‘Elimination and Survivance: Beyond the Spectacle of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West “Indians.”’
The BrANCH Committee would like to invite both panels and individual papers on all aspects of U.S. history from the period 1789 to 1917. We particularly encourage panels that open new lines of communication between established thematic specialties as well as individual papers that cut across traditional categories of historical inquiry in imaginative and innovative ways. 

In line with BrANCH’s diversity initiative, proposals for single-gender panels are unlikely to be accepted. Sponsored panels and postgraduate contributions are especially welcome. Due to limitations of space on the programme we are also unlikely to accept paper proposals from those who presented at last year's conference (Madingley, 2018). This does not prevent them from chairing a panel however.

Subsidies for UK-based postgraduate participants are available for those not in receipt of support from their home institutions. These will be offered on a first come first served basis. 

Please send a brief CV and a summary of the proposed paper or panel (no more than 3 speakers per panel and 300 words per paper, please) by Friday 26th April to the Conference Secretaries at:

Please note that all programme participants will be expected either to be members or register as BrANCH members before the conference. Further information on membership and forthcoming events can be found at the BrANCH website: or you can email the Chair,

Best wishes,
BrANCH2019 Conference Secretaries
Dr Rebecca Fraser (
Professor S-M Grant (

Contact Info: 

Dr Rebecca Fraser (
Professor S-M Grant (

Contact Email: