Intersecting Histories: Transforming Identities, Places, and Beliefs

A Graduate Student Conference

Presented by

CGU's History Department & Graduate Student History Association

Conference Program


Call for Papers

A 250 word abstract
must be received by
February 13, 2009

Via email:

Via mail:

School of Arts & Humanities
Claremont Graduate University
121 East 10th St.
Claremont, CA 91711

The eminent historian, Lawrence Levine, wrote:

Culture is not a fixed condition but a process: the product of interaction between past and present. Its toughness and resiliency are determined not by a culture’s ability to withstand change, which indeed may be a sign of stagnation not life, but by its ability to react creatively and responsively to the realities of a new situation. The question…is not one of survivals but of transformations.

This conference seeks to explore the broad spectrum of meeting points, crossings, (or “the event” as intersection), and transformations that may have occurred throughout history. What happens when paths cross? How are people, places and beliefs transformed? What are the contingencies or constrictions for this process? How does consideration of various power relations throw light upon this focal point?

We are seeking papers that spur an innovative discussion to our query and explore diverse interpretations. The intent of the conference is to provide a forum for graduate students in all disciplines to present research that is historically grounded yet creatively investigates these points of intersection—the nodes which connect and shape peoples, places or beliefs.

We conceive of identities broadly, which would include notions of gender, race, class, and nation, but many more as well. We think of places as the loci of one’s surroundings—from the very local to the global. A place could include a building or river (built or natural environments), a neighborhood or nation (real or imagined). A place might also include the internal spaces/places of the individual or group—their physical bodies and their mental and emotional universes. These elements surely lead to discussions of beliefs, which include religions and other systems of spiritual beliefs, as well as various mentalities and issues pertaining to social consciousness.

Papers may discuss one or more of these issues, and they may even demonstrate cultural continuities and strategies of adaptation or retrenchment. They may also discuss the intersection of disciplines and methodologies and are encouraged to utilize diverse approaches.

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