The 31st annual Great Lakes History Conference, sponsored by Grand Valley State University, will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 20-21, 2006. All fields of history as well as other disciplines are invited to submit proposals related to this year’s theme: “New Perspectives on War and Society.” In the last two decades, scholarship on war and its impact on social, political, economic and cultural life has broken new theoretical ground and re-shaped the ways in which historians conceptualize the larger significance of mass violence, trauma, and society. We invite scholars from a wide range of fields and disciplines to exchange ideas and research on this topic.
We are pleased to announce two distinguished keynote speakers for this year’s conference. Professor Omer Bartov will provide an address on racial war and extermination on Saturday Oct. 21. Prof. Bartov is a Distinguished Professor at Brown University who has published extensively on the history of the Holocaust and genocide studies, including The Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century, Hitler’s Army, and most recently The ‘Jew’ in Cinema: From The Golem to Don’t Touch My Holocaust. In addition, on Friday Oct 20 Dr. Jonathan Shay will provide a keynote address on medical and social responses to combat trauma. Dr. Shay is a distinguished psychiatrist who has worked with the Veterans Administration, US Naval War College, and the Office of Army Deputy Chief of Staff. Dr. Shay’s research on psychological trauma in Vietnam veterans has been documented in his acclaimed books, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (with a forward by Senators John McCain and Max Cleland).
We welcome papers and arranged panels addressing this year’s topic. We encourage comparative work across regions and chronological boundaries. The conference will be organized around themes that have dominated recent scholarship. Papers are encouraged to touch on, but are not limited to, the following:
Race, violence, and war
Gender and sexuality
Social and political consequences of war
War and revolution
Economic consequences of war
Memory and memorialization
History of the ‘home front’
Health and medicine
Theories on violence (origins and consequences)
Brutalization and its effects on social and political systems
Militarization and its role in society
Propaganda, media, and perceptions of war
Terrorism and warfare in the 21st century
Children in war
War in film and popular culture
Literature and war (including narratives, memoirs, and fiction)
If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words and a curriculum vitae by May 15, 2006. Please include your address, email, and phone number. Those interested in commenting on a session should send a CV and indicate areas of expertise. Papers must take no longer than 30 minutes in a 2-paper session or 20 minutes in a 3-paper session. Sessions will last 90 minutes.
Conference headquarters will be at the L.V. Eberhard Center of Grand Valley State University in downtown Grand Rapids. Hotel accommodations will be available at the Days Inn of Grand Rapids, which is across the street from the Eberhard Center. The conference is within easy walking distance of museums and restaurants. Grand Rapids is served by most major and regional airlines.
Registration and program information will be sent in the summer 2006.
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