The organisers of the 5th annual LSE International History PhD Conference & Workshop are pleased to announce the call for papers for a weekend combining conference presentations and academic training. The conference aims to encourage students to think about their topic’s context and its wider relevance, critically examining their research in terms of the role and craft of historians. Professional historians will always need to convince their peers of the strength of their arguments but, in this time of shrinking budgets for higher education, historians will need increasingly to justify our research to non-historians. Is it enough to study history for history’s sake? How is commitment to the historical narrative maintained alongside relevance outside academia? In what ways do specific research interests contribute to broader historical narratives? Moreover, historians just embarking on a years-long academic programme focused on a specific topic are likely to be asked routinely by non-historians, “To what purpose are you spending so much time studying that?”
The topic and period of the papers are open. This is an excellent opportunity for history students to present their research in a comfortable environment, and especially to think critically about what the methods and place of their research in historiographical context, and why they have chosen it. We envision that presentations will be in two parts, one part relating to the research itself and the second part to an analytical reflection.
For example: what aspects of social, cultural, intellectual or political history are addressed? How does the research contribute to historical debates, contemporary social, cultural, intellectual, economic or political phenomena, and/or everyday life? Put simply, why is the research worth conducting?
All presenters will be asked to deliver a 15-minute talk on a paper of around 5,000 words in length. The talk will be followed by a 20-minute panel discussion in which participants will ask questions about your paper and address particular themes that have emerged.
We particularly encourage first and second year students to take advantage of this opportunity to present in an informal and relaxed forum. Even if you have little or no experience in giving papers, the workshop style provides you with the chance to practice your presentation skills in a low-pressure environment.
If you are interested in presenting, please email a proposal between 200 to 400 words outlining the paper you would like to give along with a possible title to Maria Chen and Daniel Strieff at email@example.com. Please submit proposals by 1 September 2010 and papers (of roughly 5,000 words) by 20 September 2010.
Maria Chen and Daniel Strieff
International History Department
London School of Economics
London, UK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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