“Born in Revolution”: History, Gender, and the Power of Conflict

The Women’s and Gender Historians of the Midwest (WGHOM) and the Great Lakes History Conference
invite proposals for:

“Born in Revolution”: History, Gender, and the Power of Conflict

 October 12-13, 2012

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

In her autobiography, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones aptly described the lives of many other individuals and nations over the course of history:  “I was born in revolution.” As the world events of spring 2011 unfolded in such diverse locations as the statehouse of Wisconsin and the streets of Egypt, historians tried to make sense of 21st century political, economic, social and religious upheaval in the context of the revolutionary changes of the past.  In particular, one question that has arisen and that forms the focus of this conference is the ways in which gender informs, undermines, or bolsters revolutionary struggles.  Perhaps she was born in revolution, but Mother Jones also made revolution her lifelong goal through teaching, labor organizing and activism.

This conference will bring together academics, teachers, activists, archivists, students and the public to explore the idea of revolutionary change in history, especially as it concerns the question of gender. Honoring our conference location in Michigan, our 2012 theme highlights through one of our keynotes the role of revolutionaries in Michigan’s history with a screening of a new biographical film about Grace Lee Boggs, Detroit activist and feminist [http://americanrevolutionaryfilm.com/].

We encourage not only the presentation of research by academics, graduate students and undergraduates, but also papers, roundtables and panels from teachers, librarians, archivists, activists, and public historians that speak to the question of gender history and its revolutionary potential.  Possible themes might include:
–Revolutions broadly defined (social, political, cultural, economic)
–Female revolutionaries
–Documentary projects, oral histories or new available resources relating to revolutions
–Revolution and Gender
–Revolution from below – local activism and gender dynamics
–Specific revolutionary moments, e.g. Arab Spring 2011

The deadline for submission of proposals, consisting of an abstract (500 words or less) and one-page resum�/c.v., is May 1, 2012.  For full panels or roundtables, please have one contact person submit the materials for the group. Send proposals via email to the program committee in care of Tammy M. Proctor (tproctor@wittenberg.edu

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