CfP: 2nd Rocky Mountain Workshop on African History (Salt Lake City, Utah, August 7-8, 2020)

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2nd Rocky Mountain Workshop on African History

BYU Salt Lake Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

August 7-8, 2020

This is a call for papers, panels, and discussants for the 2nd Rocky Mountain Workshop on African History. Inspired by the success of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa, the Rocky Mountain Workshop is designed to provide an intensive and critical discussion of pre-circulated papers on any aspect of African history. Papers with historical dimensions but originating from other disciplines, such as anthropology or political science, are welcome.

Over the course of two days, the meeting will provide Africanist historians with diverse backgrounds and research interests with the opportunity to present works in progress and receive both substantial commentary and supportive discussion from colleagues in a workshop atmosphere. Although anyone is welcome to present, the organizing committee especially encourages the presentation of unpublished research from Africanist historians based in the Western United States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming). We envision that this workshop will become a fixture for this diffuse community of Africanist scholars, and serve to strengthen the exchange of ideas among this group.

The workshop will be held at the BYU Salt Lake Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 7-8, 2020. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake City is a great environment to foster scholarly discussion. The Rocky Mountain Workshop will not be open to the public in order to preserve the intimate nature of the meeting, but Africanist historians may participate in the workshop in three ways:

(1) Present a work in progress

Paper proposals should include the participant’s name, contact information, affiliation, tentative paper title, and an abstract of no more than 250 words. The abstract needs to articulate clearly the research question(s) of the paper, the argument or hypothesis of the paper, the type of evidence that will be consulted, and the historiographical and/or theoretical contribution that the research will make to the field of African history.

(2) Propose a panel of papers

Panels should be comprised of 3-4 participants, and a panel proposal needs to include the participants’ names, contact information, affiliations, tentative paper titles, and paper abstracts. The panel proposal also needs to include a brief statement of no more than 250 words that explains the theme of the panel, and how each of papers relates to the theme. Panel proposals can either include a discussant, or the organizing committee can choose a discussant for the panel. The organizing committee strongly encourages individuals to organize panels that include a diversity of panelists in terms of gender, ethnicity, institutional background, and academic level.

(3) Serve as a discussant

Proposals to serve as a discussant should include the participant’s name, contact information, affiliation, and historical themes, areas of specialty, and/or geographical regions on which s/he would be willing to comment. The discussants will be responsible for providing written feedback on the papers to which s/he is assigned, 10-15 minutes of commentary, and then leading a discussion about the papers with panel attendees.

Proposals should be submitted using the Google forms available on the Rocky Mountain Workshop website: The submission deadline 
is December 31, 2019. Notification of accepted proposals will occur by January 31, 2020, and will include details about paper pre-circulation, workshop registration, and accommodations.

Once proposal notifications have been sent out, participants will be required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of $100 to reserve their place at the Rocky Mountain Workshop.

Questions and concerns should be directed to


The 2020 Organizing Committee

Leslie Hadfield, Brigham Young University

Dima Hurlbut, Boston University