CFP: Call for Papers for Rutgers University’s 39th Annual Susman Graduate Student Conference


The 39th Annual Susman Graduate Student Conference “THINKING WITH EMPIRE”

Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ Friday March 31st, 2017

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Todd Shepard, associate professor of history and co-director of the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Johns Hopkins University *

The Department of History at Rutgers University and its graduate students are pleased to invite their peers in the humanities and social sciences to submit papers to the 39th annual Susman Conference, “Thinking with Empire.”

Taking into account the veritable explosion of scholarly works published within the last fifteen years, this conference asks scholars to continue to re-think the conceptual, geographic, temporal and thematic boundaries of empire and the imperial. While this conference is certainly interested in exploring the many ways in which empire and the nation-state continue to be imbricated, it is also aimed at challenging scholars to think about the “imperial” as an analytic. According to historian Paul A. Kramer, “the imperial refers to a dimension of power in which asymmetries in the scale of political action, regimes of spatial ordering, and modes of exceptionalizing difference enable and produce relations of hierarchy, discipline, dispossession, extraction, and exploitation.”1 By using the “imperial” as an analytical tool, scholars may find themselves in a position to better articulate how relationships of power are made and unmade, both locally and globally.
Ultimately, this conference encourages you to not only think about empire, but perhaps more importantly, to think with empire. Doing so may lead to such questions as:

  • How do we delineate the temporal scope of empire? How do we account for or explain the “afterlives” of empire?
  • What are the many sites of empire?
  • How is empire negotiated in inter- and intra-imperial spaces?
  • In what ways does global sovereignty depend on local control?
  • If power depends on the production of difference, what critical roles do race and gender


    We welcome graduate students to submit proposals that explore any time period or geographical location related, but by no means limited, to the following themes and sub-themes:

  • Citizenship, subjecthood, & nationalism
  • Sexuality, intimacy, & embodiment
  • Affect & performativity
  • Gender & transnational feminisms
  • Race & the subaltern
  • Decolonization

    1 Paul A. Kramer, “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” The American Historical Review 116 (2011): 1348-1391.

  • Networks of trade, ideas, objects & people
  • Science and power
  • Political ecologies & the environment
  • Migration & diaspora
  • Labor & political economy

    Individual proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. on January 15th, 2017. Please submit all proposals to the Susman planning committee at Participants will be notified of acceptance by February 19th, 2017. Proposals should include a 150-300 word abstract with paper title and CV with author contact information. Please list any audio-visual requirements.

    *Each year, the Susman planning committee invites a graduate of the Rutgers doctoral program in history to present a keynote address. Todd Shepard received his Ph.D. in modern European history from Rutgers University in 2002. His book The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (2006) won the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize for the best work in English on any aspect of French history. He is currently at work on two book projects: Affirmative Action and the End of Empires: ‘Integration’ in France (1956-1962) and the Race Question in the Cold War World, and France, Sex, and “Arabs,” 1962 to 1979.

About Steve Mentz 1262 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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