The Activist History Review invites proposals for its annual conference on June 18, 2018, organized around the theme of power.
Whether through “fake news,” “alternative facts,” or outright lies, evidence-based disciplines are under attack in the public sphere. Trump’s frequent falsehoods about the climate, healthcare, immigrants, African Americans, the U.S. military, NATO, Russia, and a host of other misleading statements have become a staple of American news. No matter how brazen Trump’s lies have been, polling suggests that the president’s supporters don’t mind, with only 3% regretting their vote in November.
The Activist History Review was born during the weeks after the 2016 election. The purpose of the journal is two-fold: to publish research by specialists that inform present-day debates and to provide a platform for activists and academics to coordinate their efforts. Though we don’t imagine the journal as an antidote to misinformation, we believe it contributes to an organized and informed resistance against the further marginalization of threatened, disenfranchised, and impoverished individuals and communities.
The first annual conference of TAHR encourages submissions on the theme of power. Trump’s appeal lies not in his ideological coherence or understanding of the issues, but as a conduit of power for various conservative constituencies who, until recently, pundits predicted might be demographically condemned to obscurity. Subsequent polling, the rhetoric of the 2016 campaign itself, and the election’s outcome suggest that many who voted for Trump in November were concerned with being permanently disempowered. If we are to understand a system of power premised on the promise and threat to “make America great again,” we must investigate the relationship to power conjured by those who utter it.
We invite panel, poster, roundtable, and individual proposals exploring power and its applications—broadly conceived—from academics and activists alike. Power might be expressed in systems of coercion associated with the state, but is also evident in relationships of production and consumption that touch our daily lives. Power is also applied rhetorically through ideological systems associated with politics, race, gender, sexuality, markets, and religion. Finally, power may be realized ecologically through our relationship to and interaction with pollution, climate change, and foodways. However we conceive of power, our willingness to resist its abuse will define our generation.
The conference will be held Saturday, June 16, 2018 at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Please email proposals of no more than 300 words for panels and individual papers to Andreas Meyris by Monday, April 9th, along with a brief bio and current contact information.
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Our collected volume of essays, Demand the Impossible: Essays in History As Activism, is now available on Amazon! Based on research first featured on The Activist History Review, the twelve essays in this volume examine the role of history in shaping ongoing debates over monuments, racism, clean energy, health care, poverty, and the Democratic Party. Together they show the ways that the issues of today are historical expressions of power that continue to shape the present. Also, be sure to review our book on Goodreads and join our Goodreads group to receive notifications about upcoming promotions and book discussions for Demand the Impossible!
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