Call for Proposals: “The UGR Turned On Its Head - Old Themes, New Directions”
The Eleventh Annual Underground Railroad Public History Conference - Organized by Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
April 13 - 15, 2012 at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York
New research on the Underground Railroad, slavery, abolition and the 19th century period has the potential to turn what we know about the Underground Railroad on its head. Old assumptions such as "There is little documentation of the Underground Railroad", "The UGRR was a string of safe houses to Canada" and numerous other ideas are challenged by new research and interpretations. New discoveries and interpretations will be the basis for 2012 UGR Public History Conference. We invite proposals that address reinterpretations, new research, teaching using new research, and showing how such research can be used to celebrate the story historically and contemporarily, as well as other proposals related to the Underground Railroad in the past and its relationship with us today.
Possible questions to be considered:
• What documented details can be gathered regarding UGRR activists and freedom seekers in specific counties and communities?
• What was the role of David Walker, Benjamin Lundy and others before Garrison in the creation of the radical abolitionist movement?
• How did the War of 1812 lay a framework for later escapes by the enslaved?
• How does the story of the re-discovered slave rebellion of 1811 in Louisiana relate to the Northeast or other parts of the country?
• What are the increasingly detailed accounts of UGRR figures such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, David Ruggles, Harriet Jacobs and how can they be interpreted for better understanding of this history?
• How can we preserve the voices of the past and relate them to us today?
• What are the international connections with UGR accounts being reclaimed in the US?
Proposals on related questions, not directly on this theme, are also welcomed.
Proposals may be for a 60-minute panel session, workshop, cultural/artistic activity, media production, poster, or other exhibit that addresses these questions and this theme. When possible, activities should encourage audience interaction. Proposals should include: title, brief content description, type of presentation, names and contact information of presenters, target audience, and technology needs.
Proposals should be submitted by September 30, 2011
Via postal mail to URHPCR, PO Box 10851, Albany NY 12201 or via email to email@example.com
For more information, visit or call 518-432-4432
“The gold standard of Underground Railroad conferences...bringing together an extraordinary spectrum of attendees, ranging from noted scholars and authors to large numbers of interested laypeople, in spirited and informative workshops which both bring history alive and open new avenues of research.”
-- Fergus M. Bordewich, author, Bound for Canaan
Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
researches, preserves, and retells New York's regional history of the Underground Railroad in its national and international context, highlighting the role of African-American freedom seekers and local abolitionists
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