Local Stories, National Narratives: A Conference in Honor of John L. Brooke 

Kevin Vrevich Discussion

The Ohio State University Department of History, with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to announce: 

Local Stories, National Narratives: A Conference in Honor of John L. Brooke 

June 2-3, 2023 

The Ohio Union, Columbus, OH 

John L. Brooke embodies the characteristics of a superlative historian, incomparable mentor, and transformative educator. Winner of the Merle Curti Award for Intellectual History from the Organization of American Historians, the National Historical Society Book Prize for American History, the Bancroft Prize for American History, and the SHEAR Best Book Prize (twice!), John’s scholarship has earned him more than just the highest accolades in his field; it has influenced a generation of scholars who look to him for inspiration and mentorship. Whether as a dissertation advisor or informal mentor, John recognizes that encouragement is as important as instruction and has fostered relationships that help students flourish as scholars and as people. While this conference is a testament to the impact John has had in the fields of American social and political history (not to mention global environmental history), it is even more a tribute to the personal impact he has had in the lives of those who have benefited from his generous tutelage. It is with great honor that we recognize him at this conference on the occasion of his retirement. 

This two day conference explores not only the legacy of John’s work on the historical profession but brings together his former students and distinguished invited guests to explore central themes of John’s work that have influenced our own. Friday evening, June 2nd, will include a plenary panel exploring John’s scholarship in a historical perspective. Saturday, June 3rd, will present informal panel discussions on: 

  • Politics and the State 
  • Community and the Local 
  • Religion 
  • Civil Society and the Public Sphere 

The conference will end on Saturday evening with a toast to John and his influence on us and the field of American history. 

The full conference schedule, as well as additional information, may be found HERE. For those who wish to attend, please visit the page to register for the free conference. 

For those unable to attend who wish to pass along congratulations, remembrances, or (polite) roasts of John, please e-mail Kevin Vrevich (kvrevich@wesleyan.edu). For any other information or questions, please e-mail one of the conference organizers. 

With Thanks to John, 

Emily Arendt, Montana State University Billings

Mark Boonshoft, Virginia Military Institute 

Kevin Vrevich, Wesleyan University