Call for Proposals:
The 2012 National Underground Railroad Conference seeks to create a cultural, historical, and interpretive exchange between domestic and international descendent communities of southern freedom seekers.
The 2012 National Underground Railroad Conference seeks a program that includes the full diversity of academic and grassroots research, documentation, and interpretation of the Underground Railroad. Whenever possible, proposals should consist of presenters of both sexes, all age groups, and members of racial and ethnic minorities. We welcome scholars who practice their craft in a variety of venues, including: independent researchers and educators; community organizations; archeological investigations; museums; archives and libraries; historical societies; living history and reenactment groups; academic institutions at all levels; and the National Park Service.
The Program Committee is keen to encourage a wide variety of forms of conversation. Please feel free to submit such nontraditional proposals as poster sessions; roundtables that home in on significant topics in Underground Railroad history; discussions around a single historical person, image, or archeological/historic site in Underground Railroad history; a series of sessions organized around a single thread that will run through the conference; working groups that tackle a common issue or challenge; workshops that develop professional skills in the documentation or education of Underground Railroad history; or multimedia representations, documentaries, and performances whose central topic is Underground Railroad history. Teaching sessions are also welcome, particularly those involving the audience as active participants or those that reflect collaborative partnerships and/or conversations among students, teachers, public historians, research scholars, and educators at all levels and in varied settings.
We prefer to receive proposals for complete sessions, but will consider individual papers and performances as well.
Proposals of specific interest
- Dispersal of Gullah Geechee culture through the migration of freedom seekers;
- Military and political defense of freedom in Spanish Florida;
- The War of 1812 and its Impact on southern Freedom seekers;
- Black Seminole maroons and the Seminole Indian Wars;
- Freedom seekers along the Trail of Tears and in Indian Territory;
- The Underground Railroad between the United States and the Caribbean;
- Black Indian Freedom Seekers along the U.S.- Mexican Borderlands;
- Creation of southern maroon communities;
- Freedom seekers in the South's maritime system;
- Cultural representations of southern Underground Railroad history (i.e. music, living history, exhibits, performance, documentaries);
- Strategies to preserve and interpret Underground Railroad and Freedom seeker stories
- Strategies to teach local Underground Railroad history to children
Other topics of interest include stories of southern freedom seekers during the War of 1812 and the American Civil War in commemoration of the 200th and 150th anniversaries, respectively, as well as the American Revolutionary War. The conference will also commemorate the 450th anniversary of the City of St. Augustine's founding and the important role of Africans to this history.