The 2024 JHI Graduate Student Symposium: ‘The Uses and Abuses of History’ – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 1 June, 11:59 pm

The 2024 JHI Graduate Student Symposium: 'The Uses and Abuses of History' - CALL FOR PAPERS


Call for Papers, deadline – 1 June 2024

The Journal of the History of Ideas and the JHI Blog invite graduate students from all institutions, disciplines, and stages of their degree to propose papers for our sixth-annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held via video conference on Saturday, 28 September 2024. The event aims to convene a diverse group of graduate students from different disciplines working on a variety of topics, periods, genres, and regions.

The theme for this year’s symposium is ‘The Uses and Abuses of History’. The 2024 symposium will explore how knowledge about the past has been used or abused by intellectuals, groups, and actors—either productively transformed or subjugated to political, imperial, or otherwise oppressive agendas. Scholars are encouraged to look beyond established interpretations of history and seek timely and critically minded approaches and investigations.

Papers might engage with such themes as:

  • The instrumentalization and exploitation of history and the underlying conditions that have allowed these attempts to take place;
  • Case studies of areas, periods, and contexts where historical knowledge became the subject of public controversy and conflict;
  • Exploration of tensions between professional expertise and democratic history-writing, objectivity, positionality, and public engagement;
  • Modes of social power and burdens of responsibility that have determined changes in the historical profession in the past and present;
  • The role of public histories in shaping not only the future of the discipline but also creating new tools for understanding the past;
  • Critical reevaluations of theorists of history or the introduction of figures previously unknown or undervalued.

Proposals should be no longer than 500 words and should make clear how the paper responds to this call, the argument it intends to make, and the source base. Please also acknowledge the project’s context (e.g., a seminar paper, a dissertation chapter, article to be submitted to a journal, a fledgling idea, etc.).

Please send your proposal along with a CV in a Word doc file to The deadline for submission is 1 June 2024. We will notify selected participants by 10 June 2024.

The symposium asks more of participants than typical conferences do and hopes to provide more as well. Before the event, each participant will pre-circulate an article-length paper (7,000–9,000 words). The event will consist of several sessions conceived as “workshops.” Participants are expected to read and annotate one another’s papers before the event, to inform and promote lively, substantive discussion and provide suggestions for revision and continued research.

All questions can be directed to the JHI Blog editors at