CFP Society For the History of Discoveries 60th Anniversary Conference

Lydia Towns's picture
Call for Papers
April 30, 2020
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, French History / Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies

Call for Papers

2020 Annual Meeting

The 60th Anniversary of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

When:  12-15 November 2020

Venue: Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection 

Our 2020 Annual Meeting, 12-15 November, will be held at the Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection. The opening reception will take place on Thursday evening (November 12), followed by the conference on November 13 and 14. At that time, the Historic New Orleans Collection will be hosting a major exhibit on Spanish Louisiana, that will include numerous Spanish documents rarely seen in the United States. Conference participants will have opportunities to view HNOC’s regular cartographic holdings, and an optional historical excursion is planned for Sunday, November 15, following the conference.

Theme: New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta: Cultural Crossroads

Louisiana is home to some of the earliest Paleo-Indian sites in North America, and the area which became New Orleans was settled by the Chitimacha people as early as 400 AD. Spanish expeditions, under Panfilo de Narváez and Hernando De Soto, entered the area in the sixteenth century, and French fur traders began to settle in Native American villages in the delta region in the late seventeenth century. New Orleans was founded as a French city in 1718, was later ceded to the Spanish in 1763, and finally became a part of the United States under the provisions of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In the 1710s enslaved Africans were shipped to Louisiana in large numbers, and after the Haitian Revolution (beginning in 1791) French creoles and Creoles of color, fleeing the violence, settled in New Orleans. Germans, too, had a presence in early Louisiana, beginning in 1721, with the Karlstein settlements just north of the city. This culturally rich and unique region offers the inspiration for our conference.

Papers, 20 minutes in length, are invited on all points of view of this theme, including: discovery, exploration, conquest, resistance, settlement, economy, daily life and all aspects of cultural encounters.

In addition, to help celebrate the Society’s Diamond Anniversary, the Committee encourages papers reflecting on the history of SHD, and the state of the field.

The Committee also welcomes proposals from SHD members, scholars, and independent researchers that address all aspects of geographical discovery and exploration. SHD welcomes submissions from graduate students and emerging scholars, and papers on teaching the history of exploration. Preference will be given to those papers that are particularly aligned with the conference theme, but all paper proposals of high quality, regardless of geographic orientation, will be considered.

SHD is pleased to be able to award travel funding of up to $500 each for two graduate students to participate in the annual meeting through the Dr. Mary Emily Miller Endowment. Further information may be found at: Those who wish to apply for this award should include a letter of request, including a preliminary travel budget, when submitting their paper proposal.    

The audience at SHD meetings is diverse and includes academics and members of various professions. All are especially interested in the processes and consequences of geographical exploration and discovery. Presenters are encouraged to use images (maps, paintings, photographs, etc.). For the benefit of the audience all visuals have to be presented as PowerPoint-compatible projections.

Paper proposals are due April 30, 2020. Please provide a proposal that includes the following components:

  • the title of the presentation
  • the author’s name and address, including email address and affiliation
  • an abstract summarizing the paper’s scope and conclusions (maximum of 500 words)
  • a statement about the originality of the contents of the paper: how much is new, unpublished material, based on research in primary sources, etc.
  • a statement indicating whether PowerPoint or other digital media will be used and whether internet access is necessary for the presentation
  • a brief biographic sketch of the author(s)

Paper proposals should be submitted as e-mail attachments, with the subject line SHD 2020, to:

Dr. Anne Good, Program Committee Chair,

Questions?  Please contact Dr. Good at


Contact Info: 

Lydia Towns,

Secretary- Society for the History of Discoveries

Contact Email: