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University of Illinois Springfield

Department of History University of Illinois Springfield

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Midwest Labor and Working-Class History

CALL FOR PAPERS

2014 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History (MLWCH) Colloquium

“Resistance and Remembrance: Collective Identities and the Uses of History”

University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014

Proposals Due: Friday, November 15, 2013
Completed Papers Due: Monday, January 27, 2014

In this neoliberal era, some scholars have noted an ascendant individualism and the decline of traditional solidarities. Yet in many settings, collective identities—based in class, race, nation, faith, sexuality, etc.—retain enormous significance for both defenders and critics of capitalism. These identities are often rooted in a sense of shared history. With this in mind, this year’s colloquium will explore collective identities and their relation to historical memory. We ask, what kinds of solidarities have been forged by working people, and how have these solidarities been challenged and reconfigured? How have actors across the political spectrum deployed collective identities and linked them to ideas about the past? How do acts of remembering and forgetting shape working people’s struggles? And what can the practice of history contribute to today’s progressive social movements?

MLWCH is designed to give graduate students, activists, and educators an opportunity to learn about new avenues of research and to network with one another in a collegial atmosphere. MLWCH is built around panels with precirculated papers in order to encourage discussion and audience participation. We welcome proposals from scholars working in any discipline and whose work examines any geographical area or historical period. We hope to include a wide variety of topics and approaches. A keynote panel featuring scholars and Chicago-area activists will be held on the evening of Friday, February 28. Others panels will be held throughout the day on Saturday, March 1.

Submissions for both individual papers and panels of two to three papers are accepted. For individual papers, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short CV. For panels, please send a panel proposal of no more than 250 words, abstracts of no more than 250 words for each paper, and CVs for each presenter. Submissions are due Friday, November 15, 2013. Completed papers will be due Monday, January 27, 2014.

Please direct submissions and queries to mlwch2014@gmail.com.