12th Annual BU APHI Graduate Student Conference: "Making the American City" (March 20-21, 2020)

Sean Case's picture
Call for Papers
November 22, 2019
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Labor History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies


12th Annual Boston University American Political History Institute Graduate Student Conference

Making the American City


March 20 – 21, 2020

Boston, MA


Keynote Speaker: 

Robert O. Self, 

Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of American History and Department Chair,

Brown University


The Boston University American Political History Institute (APHI) welcomes submissions for its twelfth annual graduate student conference. This year’s theme asks panelists to consider the role of cities in U.S. political history. Cities have been laboratories for political movements and social reform, while the exercise of political power has shaped urban spaces and the experiences of people who live in them.

We invite submissions that examine the political history of cities across a range of themes. Cities have been central to partisan politics, from nineteenth-century party machines to the urban–rural divide which characterizes recent polarization; cities have also formed the arenas in which political contests over race, class, and labor have intersected. Gender and sexualities, as political identities, have been formed by the dynamic experience of city life. Cities are hubs for transnational exchanges in ideas, goods, and people, from diplomacy and immigration to material culture and consumption. The political history of the American city encompasses the growth of bureaucracy and institutions of governance; fierce debates (sometimes violent) over the shape and ownership of the built environment; the political impact of urban sprawl; and fraught wartime experiences in urban home-fronts. We are excited to receive submissions that cover many such themes from a variety of perspectives.

We ask prospective panelists to please submit a 300-word proposal and a one-page C.V in a single PDF document via email to aphigradconference@gmail.com. Submissions should be titled with “LastName_ShortTitle” and submitted by November 22, 2019. Presenters will be notified of their acceptances to the conference by December 11, 2019.

All presenters must be current graduate students, and distinguished faculty from both BU and the wider Boston area will serve as commentators for each panel. The most outstanding paper will receive the APHI Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Prize, which includes a $1,000 cash award. If proposals are accepted, full papers must be submitted to aphigradconference@gmail.com by February 20, 2020 for prize consideration. Please visit the conference web page at https://sites.bu.edu/aphi/grad-conference/ for more information and updates.