Many Memories, Many Publics: The Past as Nation-Building

Samantha Bryant Announcement
Nebraska, United States
Subject Fields
Contemporary History, Digital Humanities, Educational Technology, Political History / Studies

Many Memories, Many Publics: The Past as Nation-Building

City Campus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

April 1-2, 2016

In his novel Requiem for a Nun (1951), William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” From Obergefell v. Hodges to the 2015 shooting in Charleston, present events have facilitated academic debates about how different publics understand and interpret the past. Similarly, memories of the past – informed by region, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality – also shape understandings of contemporary events. Diverse understandings and diverse publics require public and academic humanists to approach and engage these pasts, recent and distant, in new, innovative ways.

The Eleventh Annual James A. Rawley Conference in the Humanities invites papers from junior scholars that consider how the past as a form of nation-building, remains contested, negotiated, reshaped, and interpreted in art, literature, history, primary and secondary education, and mass media. The History Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks contributions from advanced undergraduate and graduate students of history, literature, media studies, religion, American Studies, philosophy, museum studies, anthropology, education, and related fields. Papers focusing on new interpretative methods in digital scholarship, primary and secondary education, and museum studies are especially welcome. Submissions are also encouraged to engage with the influence and meaning of region, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality within and among different publics and their pasts.

Possible paper topics include (but are not limited) to the following:

  • Uses of material culture (i.e. textiles, architecture, artwork)
  • Uses of non-print, technological media (i.e. film, television, music)
  • Teaching and historicizing “Black Lives Matter”
  • Borderlands histories
  • Subaltern studies

Submission Guidelines:

Individual paper proposals must include a paper title, a 250-word abstract (maximum), and a one-page C.V. (including contact information and department and institutional affiliation). Panel proposals must include a one-paragraph description of the panel, one-paragraph individual paper abstracts, and a one-page C.V. from each panel participant. All submissions must indicate whether or not they require multimedia services such as PowerPoint or video. Participants whose paper proposals are accepted will be asked to submit a 15-20 page paper by the end of February 2016. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2015. Successful candidates will be notified in late January 2016.

Please e-mail submissions and/questions to:


Contact Information

Clayton Hanson and Samantha Bryant, James A. Rawley Conference in the Humanities Co-Chairs  

History Graduate Students’ Association

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Department of History

612 Oldfather Hall

Lincoln, NE 68588-0327

Contact Email