Dear readers, it is that time again! The second annual UC Davis Graduate History Conference is only eleven days away. I have attached a flier for the event to this post. The flier was created by the two principal organizers for the conference, Lawrence Abrams and Kaleb Knoblauch. These two outstanding graduate students have worked incredibly hard, and at their own expense, to follow up on their success from planning and hosting last year’s inaugural graduate student conference. The History Department at UC Davis is one of the leading institutions for the study of History in the United States, a fact which has been re-affirmed this year through a number of departmental successes, including the awarding of a Bancroft Prize to one of our professors, Andrés Reséndez, for his work on a book called The Other Slavery. The UC Davis History Department deserves to be the home of a graduate conference that will do justice to its place in academia, and we thank Abrams and Knoblauch for their work in making this ambition a reality.
In being consistent with the theme of last year’s event, this year’s conference is also called “Historians Without Borders, History Without Limits.” It is a three day event that will include eight student panels, a keynote lecture by professor Ian Campbell–called “Stories in Surprising Places: Finding and Reading Culture in Non-Literary Documents”–and a special plenary discussion about interdisciplinarity and pedagogy by the Writing Across the Curriculum program. Lunch will be provided on Friday, May 19, and both breakfast and lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21.
There is a new feature to the conference this year. The entire first day of the conference will be devoted to the work of undergraduate students from the History Department. Six students will present their research in two panels. The panels will be commented upon by the conference’s organizers. So, although the conference is nominally described as a “Graduate” History Conference, the undergraduate presenters, the special guests, and the participating professors will make it a truly department-wide affair.
As the flier states, the three-day conference will include panels on “Labour, Resources, Representation, Memory and Cognition, Modernity, Language, Music, Humour, Fashion, War, and More…” I will be presenting my HIS 203 project in a panel entitled “Say, Think, Do: Discourse and Cognition in History.” My paper is entitled “‘With How Little Regard to Truth:’ Edward Long and the Politics of “African Ethnicity” in a Slave Society, 1760-1774.” It explores the political dimensions of an often-cited discussion about African ethnicity by the eighteenth century Jamaican planter and historian, Edward Long.
If you happen to be in the area of the California Central Valley on the weekend of May 19-21, I hope that you will come out and join us for this highly anticipated event and hear about some of the great work currently being done by both students at this premier research institution, as well as by their esteemed guests from academic institutions across the country and the world. Thanks, and I hope to see you there!