SHAFR 2018 Call for Papers

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Call for Papers

The 2018 Conference of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations





The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) invites proposals for its annual conference, to be held in Philadelphia, June 21-23, 2018.  While particularly keen to explore the theme of leadership in revolutionary times, noting the role of Philadelphia in the American Revolution and the centenary of the World War I armistice, the Program Committee welcomes papers and panels that offer traditional and fresh thinking about foreign affairs in all its varied forms.  The deadline for proposals is December 1, 2017.

SHAFR is dedicated to the study of the history of the United States in the world, broadly conceived. This includes not only diplomacy, statecraft, and strategy but also other approaches to Americans’ relations with the wider world, including (but not limited to) global governance, transnational movements, religion, human rights, race, gender, trade and economics, immigration, borderlands, warfare, the environment, and empire. SHAFR welcomes those who study any time period from the colonial era to the present.


Panel sessions for the 2018 meeting will run one hour and forty-five minutes. A complete panel typically includes three papers plus chair and commentator (with the possibility of one person fulfilling the latter two roles) or a roundtable discussion with a chair and three or four participants. The Program Committee is open to alternative formats, which should be described briefly in the proposal. Papers should be no longer than twenty minutes, and must be shorter in situations where there are more than three paper presentations.  Proposals should list the papers in the order in which participants will present.

Individual paper proposals are also welcome, though complete panels with coherent themes will be favored over single papers.  Those seeking to create or fill out a panel should consult the Panelists Seeking Panelists Forum or Tweet #SHAFR2018.

SHAFR is committed to inclusion and diversity, and encourages proposals including members of groups historically under-represented within the organization, historians residing outside of the United States, and scholars working in other disciplines.

Graduate students, international scholars, and scholars whose participation might expand the organization’s breadth are encouraged to apply for SHAFR travel grants to subsidize the cost of attending the conference. Please see below for links to the online application forms. As with paper and panel proposals, the deadline to apply for these fellowships is December 1, 2017.

Job Search Workshop

The 2018 program will include SHAFR’s annual Job Search Workshop to help prepare applicants for employment within and beyond the academy. Graduate students and recent PhDs will have the opportunity to receive individualized feedback on their cover letters and CVs. Those submitting proposals for the conference may indicate their interest on the online submission form. One need not be a panelist to participate, and priority will be given to first-time workshop participants.


All proposals and funding applications should be submitted via Applicants requiring alternative submission means should contact the program co-chairs at [email protected].

Each participant may serve only once in any capacity on the program (for example as a presenter or commentator) and not more than twice during the conference. 

New for 2018: Requests for AV equipment must be made at the time of application and are not guaranteed to be fulfilled. Presenters requesting AV service will be asked to provide a concise rationale and to indicate if their presentation can be made without this technology.  

Any special scheduling requests (e.g., that a panel not take place on a particular day) must be made at the time of application.

Generally, an annual membership in SHAFR for 2018 will be required for those who participate as part of the program at the 2018 meeting. The president and program committee may grant a limited number of exceptions to scholars whose specializations are clearly outside the field of the history of the United States in the world, broadly conceived.  Instructions on how to become a SHAFR member will be included with notification of accepted proposals.

For more details about the conference please visit the main conference web page.

We look forward to seeing you next June in Philadelphia!

SHAFR 2018 Program Committee

Jeffrey A. Engel (Southern Methodist University), Co-Chair
Kate Epstein (Rutgers University-Camden), Co-Chair
Benjamin Coates (Wake Forest University)
Lisa Pinley Covert (College of Charleston)
Kurk Dorsey (University of New Hampshire)
Thomas Field (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
Perin Gurel (University of Notre Dame)
Gretchen Heefner (Northeastern University)
Mary Ann Heiss (Kent State University)
Matthew Karp (Princeton University)
Christopher Nichols (Oregon State University)
Nicholas Sarantakes (U.S. Naval War College)  
Timothy Sayle (University of Toronto)   
Katherine Unterman (Texas A&M University) 
James Wilson (Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State)
Molly Wood (Wittenberg University)

Divine Graduate Student Travel Grants

In 2017-2018, SHAFR will offer several Robert A. and Barbara Divine Graduate Student Travel Grants to assist graduate students who present papers at the conference. The following stipulations apply: 1) no award will exceed $300 per student; 2) priority will be given to graduate students who receive no or limited funds from their home institutions; and 3) expenses will be reimbursed by the SHAFR Business Office upon submission of receipts. The Program Committee will make the decision regarding all awards. A graduate student requesting travel funds must make a request when submitting the paper/panel proposal. Applications should consist of a concise letter from the prospective participant requesting funds and an accompanying letter from the graduate advisor confirming the unavailability of departmental funds to cover travel to the conference. These two items should be submitted via the on-line interface at the time the panel or paper proposal is submitted. Funding requests will have no bearing on the committee's decisions on panels, but funds will not be awarded unless the applicant’s panel is accepted by the program committee in a separate decision. Application deadline: December 1, 2017.


SHAFR Global Scholars and Diversity Grants

SHAFR also offers competitive Global Scholars and Diversity Grants to help defray travel and lodging expenses for the 2018 annual meeting. The competition is aimed at scholars whose participation in the annual meeting would add to the diversity of the Society. Preference will be given to persons who have not previously presented at SHAFR annual meetings. The awards are intended for scholars who represent groups historically under-represented at SHAFR meetings, scholars who offer intellectual approaches that may be fruitful to SHAFR but are under-represented at annual meetings, and scholars from outside the United States. "Scholars" includes faculty, graduate students, and independent researchers. To further acquaint the winners with SHAFR, they will also be awarded a one- year membership in the organization, which includes subscriptions to Diplomatic History and Passport. Applicants should submit a copy of their individual paper proposal along with a short CV (2-page maximum) and a brief (2-3-paragraph) essay addressing the fellowship criteria (and including data on previous SHAFR meetings attended and funding received from SHAFR). Please submit your application via the on-line interface. Funding requests will have no bearing on the committee's decisions on panels, but funds will not be awarded unless the applicant’s panel is accepted by the program committee in a separate decision. Application deadline: December 1, 2017.