Announcing This Year’s Public History Roundtable!

The Loyola University History Graduate Student Conference is pleased to announce this year’s public history roundtable: Chicago Public History in Motion. This roundtable discussion will focus on three public history projects currently underway in Chicago: History Moves, a community-curated museum on wheels; the National Public Housing Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of American public housing and its residents; and “Documenting Women’s Activism and Leadership in Chicago 1945-2000,” an archival project to document and share the history of women’s activism. This year’s speakers are:

  • Dr. Jennifer Brier, Principal Investigator/Curator, History Moves
  • Dr. Brad Hunt, Board Member, National Public Housing Museum
  • Mary Ann Johnson, President, Chicago Area Women’s History Council

Roundtable participants will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and possibilities of these projects currently in motion in Chicago and to consider broader issues of community engagement and activism in urban public history. All conference attendees are welcome and encouraged to participate in the conversation.

Chicago Public History in Motion will take place during the third panel session from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. of the conference. We hope to see you there!

Announcing This Year’s Keynote Lunch Panel

The Loyola University History Graduate Student Conference is proud to announce this year’s keynote lunch panel:“State-Sanctioned Violence: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Choices.”

This timely conversation builds on the longstanding urgent discourse on state-sanctioned violence in the United States, now further intensifying in response to growing mass incarceration and the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement. As part of a history graduate student conference, the panel aims to place state-sanctioned violence in a transnational and transhistorical context while also considering actions to take in the present, particularly in a university setting. Joining this year’s panel are:

  • Sheila Bedi: Clinical Associate Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law, Attorney at Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center
  • Dr. Kathleen Belew: Assistant Professor of U.S. History, University of Chicago
  • Rachel Caidor: Assistant Director, Campus Advocacy Network at University of Illinois at Chicago, Co-Curator of “Blood at the Root: Unearthing the Stories of State Violence Against Black Women”
  • Dr. Kim Searcy: Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago

The panel discussion will take place in Kasbeer Hall during lunch, beginning with prepared remarks by panelists and followed by Q&A with the audience. We look forward to a thoughtful and critical discussion and welcome participation by all conference attendees.

Panel Preview #1: Civil Rights and Space in Postwar U.S. Cities

We are a little less than three weeks out from the start of our 10th annual conference. And in anticipation of what’s to come, we are going to be previewing some of the upcoming panels. The first one on the docket is “Civil Rights and Space in Postwar U.S. Cities.”

“Space” can be a somewhat nebulous term, but its multitude of meanings can also help us see underlying similarities, especially when it comes to issues of access and power in postwar urban environments. For the purposes of this panel, space can refer to neighborhood housing/housing discrimination (Anderson-Rath), hospitals (Arenberg), and school districts (Horn).

Jessica Anderson-Rath’s paper “The Tenant Rights and Open Housing Movement of Albany, N.Y.” looks at the long tradition of de facto housing discrimination against African American residents of Albany in the 1960s and how two female-led organizations worked to address neighborhood housing conditions. Jessica is a doctoral candidate in American history from the State University of New York at Albany.

Marc Arenberg’s paper “‘Disease Knows No Color Line’: The Civil Rights Movement and the Building of Community Hospital in Evanston, Illinois” examines the impact the Brown v. Board of Education decision had on hospital integration, instead of the usual focus on school integration. Marc is in his final year of the Masters program in history at Northeastern Illinois University, and he hopes to continue his studies next year in a PhD program.

Lastly, Ariana Horn’s paper “The High Price of Intergroup Education: Teaching Goodwill, Resisting Legislated Integration” probes school segregation in 1960s Milwaukee and argues Milwaukee school districts remain one of the most segregated in the nation largely due to the success of intergroup education’s insistence that religious and racial integration would occur naturally after goodwill was achieved through patient, non-confrontational “voluntary cooperation of civic groups, employers, churches, labor unions” and schools. Ariana is a doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Call for Participants: Social Justice, Sustainability, and Activism in Public History

Public History Roundtable: Social Justice, Sustainability, and Activism

Saturday, November 9, 2013

2:45pm – 4:30pm

In Conjunction with the 10th Annual Loyola University Chicago

History Graduate Student Conference

LUC Water Tower Campus

 You are invited to participate in a roundtable designed to foster discussion about the active roles of historians in promoting social justice as well as social and ecological sustainability. The roundtable features Dr. Paul Schadewald of Macalester College, graduate student conference participants, and public history professionals from the Chicago area.

Roundtable Image

Mundelein College Civil Rights Students Mobilization, April 1968
Women and Leadership Archives, Loyola University Chicago

How to participate:

Follow the conference blog or the Lakefront Historian to view a detailed introduction to the roundtable, consider pre-circulated case statements, and offer your comments and contributions.

Attend the roundtable prepared to discuss your experiences with social justice and sustainability in public history as a patron, staff, or stakeholder in an institution that engages the public over historical topics

Attend the roundtable, and be willing to informally engage participants and fellow audience members about the topic.

Simply attend the roundtable and listen.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Rachel Boyle at
Follow the conference Twitter hashtag #hgsa2013

Creating, Maintaining, and Contesting Power in the Atlantic World, 1600-1778 [Preview]

This is the first in a series of presentation previews of the 8th Annual Loyola University Chicago Graduate Student History Conference, to be held November 5, 2011. If you would like to learn more about the topics or the scholars, please leave a note in the comments of this post.

The period 1600-1800 marked a tumultuous time in the British Atlantic.  Population growth, demographic change, and economic transformations pushed England into a period of social instability.  This tension was exacerbated by Civil Wars, regicide, overseas expansion, and repeated conflicts with the French and other Continental powers.  The tenuous line between stability and instability brought issues of power and control to the forefront of social and political discourse. Moreover, Britons on both sides of the Atlantic spent considerable time addressing these notions in both explicit and implicit ways.  Each time someone created or challenged authority, it shed light on the myriad forces that created the infrastructure for social relations in the Atlantic world.

Erin Feichtinger’s paper “Unhappy Wretches: Interpretation of Emotions in the Ordinary of Newgate’s Account shows how English officials attempted to maintain order through the written word.  By exploring the Ordinary of Newgate’s Account, Feichtinger sheds light on what values, ideals, and attitudes the Ordinary attempted to foster, or in some cases, eliminate.  In doing so, the Ordinary was able to shape political discourse through exercising power over the condemned.  Peter Kotowski’s “The Best Poor Man’s Country?  Indentured Servitude in Pennsylvania, 1650-1750,” approaches the issues of authority and power from a different perspective.  In trying to re-examine the historiographical narrative of Pennsylvania, Peter Kotowski offers an opposite view to Feichtinger’s work.  Rather than focusing on those who manipulated power, Kotowski uses indentured servants to show how they were manipulated and controlled in Pennsylvania during the first half of the eighteenth century.  In doing so, he calls for a reassessment of both the historiography of servants, and the literature on Penn’s Woods.  Finally, Aaron Brunmeier’s “The Quartering Act, Taverns, and New York City’s Radicalization: A Reinterpretation of the Imperial Crisis, 1765-1770,” looks at the public sphere of the New York Tavern as a locus for contested notions of control.  Brunmeier argues that tensions over the implicit and explicit implications of the Quartering Act manifested themselves in popular and radical protest stemming from the tavern.Read More »

The Field Is Set!

The Loyola University Chicago Graduate Student Conference committee has selected panelists for our November 5 conference. Quality and quantity of submissions far outpaced our expectations, causing us to face many tough choices. We weighed the strength of each submission with the creation of coherently themed panels–no easy task. Fueled by coffee and donuts, we prevailed.

We welcome to our 8th annual conference scholars from Wisconsin-Madison, Cal Berkeley, Northern Illinois, Loyola Chicago, Brown, Cal State Northridge, George Mason, Texas, Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Chicago, Buffalo, Minnesota, Miami of Ohio, TCU, Nebraska-Lincoln, Notre Dame, Harvard, UC Santa Barbara, Iowa State, Southern Illinois, University of North Carolina, Northwestern, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Yale.

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