Call for Papers: Windy City Graduate Student History Conference

The University of Illinois at Chicago History Graduate Society announces its 7th annual Windy City Graduate Student History Conference: “Historicizing the State.” The two-day conference will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago on October 17-18, 2014.

Since Benedict Anderson invited historians to envision nation-states as Imagined Communities, scholars have wrestled with questions regarding the naturalness of the state. This conference invites scholars to explore the historical processes of state formation.

Possible working paper topics include (but are not limited to): Citizenship
Theories/Theorists of State Power
The State and Empire

National Subjectivity
Borderlands/Construction of Nation-States
State Regulation and Sponsorship of Economic Institutions and Markets Immigration and Naturalization
Legal Analysis
Prison Industrial Complex
The “Welfare State” and the “Warfare State”
State/Non-State Militias

This year’s keynote speaker is James T. Sparrow, an Associate Professor of U.S. History at The University of Chicago. Professor Sparrow’s recent book, Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government, challenged the periodization of the New Deal as the era of “big government” to instead argue the United States harnessed its participation in the Second World War to vastly expand the federal government's involvement in citizens’ lives. Sparrow’s new project, “The New Leviathan” examines American sovereignty during the atomic age. Sparrow’s methodological interests extend to new media fields and the opportunities they provide in capturing and preserving archival material.

This is an interdisciplinary conference. Presentations from history graduate students in all research areas are welcome. Graduate students working on historical topics in other social sciences and humanities are also encouraged to apply. Please send a 250 word abstract and a short CV to by September 15th, 2014. For panel proposals, please send a 200 word panel abstract along with paper abstracts and presenters’ CV’s. Please forward widely!