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CFP: 39th Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association

Feb 14, 2014

"Inequalities: Politics, Policy, and the Past"—Call for Papers: 39th Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association.

Few problems have been more central to the work of social science historians than inequalities—whether our concern has been the social, political, and economic inequalities that divide people in the same country or the vast disparities of wealth, power, and military might that distinguish different countries and even regions of the world.

In recognition of these long–standing interests, we seek panel proposals that consider the myriad ways that history, politics, and policy intersect to shape these inequalities as well as the equally numerous ways that these inequalities intersect to shape the development of history, politics, and policy. This is a topic that we construe broadly. We are interested not only in work that sets out to identify the causes and consequences of various inequalities but also work that is appropriately mindful of the nuance, complexity and ambiguity that inevitably attends the study of inequalities, such as the tensions that can arise between ambitions of equality and structures of inequality or the ways that clear political intentions can nevertheless lead to unintended policy consequences. We are interested in work that addresses the political construction of inequality and political challenges to it, exploring not only the role of formal politics, law-making, and policy implementation but also the role of informal politics and social movements. We are interested in work that explores the politics of inequalities over space and time and at different scales; that interrogates the relationship between the global, the national, and the local; and that examines the processes by which inequalities become embedded in place. We are interested in work on inequality that is sensitive to the ways in which state-building and policy-making are linked to the everyday rhythms of work and family life, the lived experience of class, gender, and race and ethnicity, the currents of popular culture, and the underlying trends and forces of demography. We are interested in work that comprehends the significance of politics and policy to the past as a process that is simultaneously top down and bottom up.

Although the interest of social science historians in inequalities is not limited to a particular time or period, we also recognize that the year 2014 marks important anniversaries of a number of political moments that altered the politics of inequality worldwide, including the conclusion of the Haitian Revolution in 1804, the Peruvian war of independence in 1824, the Taiping Rebellion in 1864, the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and the U.S. government’s enactment of the GI Bill of 1944 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We are hence interested in paper panels that explore these or other comparable moments in time, which have not only functioned as hinges of history, altering its ongoing trajectory, but have also reflected and reinforced existing power relations and demographic dynamics. As these examples suggest, many state–building processes occurring in the wake of these moments have sought to broaden definitions of citizenship and economic security, but have instead often reinforced demographic and geographic inequalities.

The 2014 Program Committee seeks panel proposals that speak to the theme of "Inequalities," but we also welcome, as always, individual papers and panels on all aspects of social science history. The 2014 conference will be held here in Toronto.

Starting early in 2014, proposals for individual papers and complete sessions will be accepted at http://ssha.org, which provides instructions for submission. The deadline is 14 February 2014; we prefer the submission of complete sessions. If you want to organize a session, we recommend that you first contact a network representative. Network representatives, who are open to all possibilities, screen all papers and panels in their areas. (Current networks, with their representatives’ email and web addresses, are listed on the SSHA website.) If you are not certain which network your paper proposal best fits, just ask the representatives of the networks closest to your interests. SSHA will continue to make competitive grants for graduate student travel, now with additional help from the Charles and Louise Tilly Fund for Social Science History, which also supports a graduate student paper prize.

Program Committee:
Anthony S. Chen, Sociology and Political Science, Northwestern University, anthony–chen@northwestern.edu
Margaret O’Mara, History, University of Washington, momara@uw.edu
Kenneth M. Sylvester, ICPRS and Population Studies, University of Michigan, kenms@umich.edu


Web Sitehttp://ssha.org
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