CFP- PCB-AHA 2023 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers

The 116th Annual Meeting of the

Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association

Reconstruction in History: Reimagining Democracy

August 9-11, 2023

California State University, Northridge Northridge, CA

The 2023 Program Committee invites proposals for panels, roundtables, and individual papers on any subject, but particularly those addressing the conference theme, “Reconstruction in History: Reimagining Democracy.” Reconstruction in the United States represents nothing less than a second American Founding. The Reconstruction Amendments 13-15 (the end of racial slavery, birthright citizenship, and Black voting rights) offered a revolutionary transformational paradigm for Black citizenship and dignity that continues to reverberate to this day in the U.S. and abroad. The struggle between reconstructionist supporters of multiracial democracy and redemptionist advocates of white supremacy represent the fundament democratic challenge of the past, present, and future—and Reconstruction has a variety of international meanings as well. The idea of Reconstruction has taken on new dimensions in the context of a global health pandemic, the heightened concerns about democracy at home and abroad, and the amplification of domestic racial divisions in the aftermath of the 2016 elections and the racial and political reckonings of 2020. We are interested in Reconstruction in the U.S. and abroad in broad and specific ways. We welcome papers, panels, and roundtables related to America’s three periods of Reconstruction (the first decades after the Civil War; the civil rights movement as a Second Reconstruction; and the period from 2008-present as a Third Reconstruction).

What are or have been comparable examples throughout the world? How have Americans remade fundamental parts of our society and democratic institutions in the past, and how have other peoples around the world remade their society in similar and different ways? What have been successful models of Reconstruction that continue into the present? How can we use global, domestic, regional, and local comparative frameworks to aid contemporary Reconstruction efforts? Why do the politics of racial backlash continue to permeate Reconstructionist dreams of freedom?

The Program Committee encourages proposals that enable conversations across specialist and institutional boundaries and that engage the audience. We welcome submissions from a diversity of history practitioners, including all faculty at 2-year and 4-year institutions, graduate and undergraduate students, Phi Alpha Theta regional award winners, specialized scholarly societies and associations, library and archival specialists, public history and museum specialists, non-traditional scholars, and K-12 teachers.

Anniversaries may provide inspiration for panels and roundtables. These include, but are not limited to, Swedish independence (1523); publication of Shakespeare’s “First Folio” (1623); the births of Adam Smith and William Blackstone (1723); the Boston Tea Party (1773); the Monroe Doctrine, Congress of Central America’s Declaration of Independence, and Demerara Rebellion in South America (1823); forming the First Spanish Republic and the city of Budapest, the founding of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, League of Three Emperors, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, passage of the Comstock Law, the patenting of Levi’s jeans, and the births of W.C. Handy and Willa Cather (1873); the end of the Irish Civil War, the Treaty of Lausanne, and the Beer Hall Putsch (1923); the Truman-Dewey election, Burmese independence, Gandhi’s assassination, the founding of Israel, the Organization of American States, the World Health Organization, the RAND Corporation, and NASCAR, the Berlin Airlift, the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Hiss-Chambers controversy, and the publication of the Kinsey Report (1948); Watergate unfolding, the Paris Peace Accords, Secretariat winning the Triple Crown, the “Battle of the Sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, the Chilean coup overthrowing Allende for Pinochet, the Yom Kippur War, Spiro Agnew’s resignation and Gerald Ford becoming the first vice-president appointed under the 25th Amendment, the Endangered Species Act’s passage, and the deaths of Lyndon Johnson and Pablo Picasso (1973); and the Clinton scandal and impeachment, U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, and the hate crime against Matthew Shepard (1998).

To make inquiries about the conference, please email PCB-AHA executive director Michael Green at [email protected].

More information on submitting proposals, connecting with prospective panelists, and attending the conference (venue, registration, lodging, etc.) will be available at www.pcb- as these details are finalized. You can submit proposals at

Panel proposals must include a contact person; a title and 250-word abstract of the panel or roundtable; a title and brief description (100 words) of each presentation; a one-page C.V. for each participant, which includes an email address and affiliation; and any A/V requests. The Program Committee also welcomes individual paper submissions, which should include a title, a 250-word abstract, and a one-page C.V. with email address and affiliation.


Decisions regarding acceptance will be conveyed no later than March 1, 2022. Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference if the proposal is accepted. Upon acceptance, graduate student presenters will receive information about how to apply for competitive travel subventions.

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