2022 NCHE Online Conference - Historical Communities of Promise and Practice

John Csepegi's picture
March 17, 2022 to March 20, 2022
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, History Education, Teaching and Learning, World History / Studies, Social History / Studies

Join the National Council for History Education (NCHE) for the online Historical Communities of Promise and Practice conference on March 17-20, 2022.  

In June of 1827, the famed German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote a letter to a friend that included a poem entitled United States. The poem opens with the lines “America, you are better off/ Than our ancient continent.” Goethe suggested that in America history could begin anew, unencumbered by the past and its “ruined castles” and “useless memories.” Released from historical burdens, America contained the promise of freedom and democracy.  

Not long after Goethe proclaimed America a beacon of hope, Frederick Douglass declared it a land of unfulfilled desires for millions of enslaved people. The country remained firmly within the grips of history. In his autobiography, Douglass asked, “Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? Was there ever a time when this was not so? How did this relation commence?” For Douglass, realizing the aspirations of the country demanded a political practice of agitation. Writing in 1857, he argued, “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle.” The American community was, in fact, several communities each operating within its own historical context.  

How communities define themselves, interact with one another, and change over time has been a subject of examination for thousands of years. In ancient Athens, women and foreigners were inextricably woven into the fabric of daily life but barred from participating in the practice of political life. This tension was exposed in the plays of Aristophanes and Aeschylus as the people of Athens attempted to struggle with their own limitations and glimpse an alternative vision of community. In the 1960s, the struggles of Mexican laborers in the fields of California produced a worker’s rights movement and helped to forge a broader ethnic identity. Today, Hispanics make up nearly 1/5 of the U.S. population but this label fails to capture the complex political, cultural, and ethnic identities it purports to represent. Distinct communities exist within larger ones and form around a variety of factors: political, racial, ethnic, sexual, economic. These communities offer a sense of identity, recognition, and purpose but are never static or easy to define making this subject ripe for study.  

The NCHE Online Conference features over 50 Breakout and Poster Sessions, Virtual Field Trips to historic sites across the country, the NCHE Exhibit Hall, and additional evening events.  Keynote Speakers for the conference are: Alexis Coe (Political Historian & Author), Peniel Joseph (University of Texas), Peter Kastor (Washington University in St, Louis), LaGarrett King (University of Missouri), and Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).  

The national conference is a place where historical thinkers can come together and share their passion for teaching and learning.  Join teachers, historians and university faculty from around the nation for four days of the Best in History Education!

Contact Info: 

John Csepegi, Director of Conferences & Events
National Council for History Education
13940 Cedar Road, #393
University Heights, OH  44118
(240) 888-4105

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