Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Two Upcoming Conferences

There are two exciting upcoming conferences that you should consider attending. The Conference on Faith and History is having its biannual meeting at Pepperdine University in September 2014. Below is the preliminary announcement:

The CFH's 29th Biennial Conferences will be September 24-25 (Student Research Conference) and September 25-27 (Fall Conferences) at Pepperdine University in Malibu CA. The conference theme will be "Christian Historians and Their Publics," and the general program chair is Jay Green, Covenant College TN.

Prof. Green writes: Contemporary historians have a somewhat complicated relationship with "the public." We long to have "public" audiences who will be challenged and shaped by our work, but most of us tend to produce highly specialized scholarship and write primarily for other scholars. When we do address the public, our often "myth-busting" strategies can come across as patronizing, contemptuous, and even politically motivated. As historians, who are our "publics"? And what responsibilities, if any, do we owe them? Are their public venues for historical understanding that we should be exploring? Does our peculiar identity as Christians have any bearing on the publics we address, what we have to say, or how we say it? Are there Christian ways of thinking about and doing public history? Is there a Christian public for our work as historians?

The Fall 2014 Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History will gather at Pepperdine University in beautiful Malibu, California, to explore these and many other questions related to Christian Historians and Their Publics.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some ideas you may want to consider for paper, panels, and plenary sessions:

  • Christian Historians' Vocational Responsibility to the Church
  • Should Historians Seek a Public Platform? Why or Why Not?
  • Historical Thinking among Ordinary Christians
  • The Status and Quality of Popular History Written for Christian Audiences
  • Responding to Popular Christian Social Memory
  • What Professional Christian Historians have to Learn from "the Faithful"
  • Historians and Social Media
  • The Undergraduate Class as a Public
  • Historians and the Status of "The Evangelical Mind"
  • The Encounter between "Popular" and "Professional" Christian Historians
  • The Christian Historian as Public Intellectual
  • Christian Museums and Historic Sites
  • Writing Institutional Histories
  • Writing Congregational Histories
  • Writing Local History
  • Writing School Curricula
  • Negotiating Professional Convictions and Public Needs/Tastes/Assumptions
  • Christians in Public History
  • Christian Faith and Advocacy History
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Christian Historians in Government Service
  • Invitations to the Local "Rotary Club"
  • Responding to History-themed Films
  • History as Entertainment/Pastime
  • The Challenges of Giving "Historical Context" to Contemporary Issues
  • Historical Authority in Public
  • The Historian as Expert Witness
  • The Historian as Political Activist
  • The Historian as Journalist/Pundit
  • The Historian as Wikipedian We are currently only in the planning stages, and haven't yet released an official "Call for Papers." But if you have ideas for plenary speakers, sessions, or individual papers, please send them to Jay Green ( at Covenant College.

    Secondly, the American Society of Church History is holding a joint conference with the British-based Ecclesiastical History Society in April 2014 at Oxford, England. Below is the call for papers.

    Call for Papers: ASCH-EHS 2014 Spring Conference

    The American Society of Church History (ASCH) and the Ecclesiastical History Society in Britain (EHS) will be holding a special joint meeting, Thursday to Saturday, April 3-5, 2014, in Oxford, England. 
  • The primary theme of the conference is Migration and Mission in Christian History. The program committee invites proposals for individual papers or full sessions on this theme. Papers could examine themes such as: Christianity in migrant communities in the early generations of re-settlement; missionary efforts directed towards non-Christian migrants or those from a different Christian tradition; or the migrations of missionaries themselves.
    From the scattering of the Jerusalem Church in 70CE through the ‘barbarian’ invasions of the Roman Empire, the Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlements of England, and the migrations of the religious refugees in the Reformation era, to the Atlantic slave trade, the Irish, Scottish and European diasporas of the nineteenth century and the African and Asian ones of the twentieth, people movements have profoundly shaped the course of Christian history. They have disrupted religious commitments, forged new ones, and inspired and constrained mission. There is hence enormous scope for papers from all periods of Christian history.
    The ASCH and EHS hope to produce an edited volume and/or special issue of Church History with papers from the conference that engage explicitly with the above theme. Individual paper proposals and proposals that are part of a session must relate to the above theme in order to be considered for publication.

    The program committee also invites ASCH members, EHS members, and other interested scholars to submit session proposals on any aspect of the history of Christianity and its interaction with culture. These could include proposals for formal sessions, panel and round table discussions, consideration of a major recent book, critical assessments of a distinguished career, and other relevant themes and issues. Panels should exhibit diversity of gender, rank, and scholarly location in their composition: those bringing together scholars from both societies would be especially welcome.
    Sessions will be two hours in length and should allow for three or four papers, a formal response, and Q&A with the audience.

    There will be two deadlines for proposals: 21 October 2013 and 20 January 2014 (12 noon, London time). The earlier deadline will allow the program committee to make decisions by late November/early December 2013, to facilitate the booking of flights. It is possible that, if the program is already quite full, only a limited number of proposals submitted to the second deadline will be accepted.

    Paper proposals should consist of:-
    1) A short description of less than 300 words
    2) A biographical paragraph or CV summary of the applicant
    3) A current mailing location, e-mail address, and phone number for the proposed presenter.
    Session proposals should contain all of the above for each of the presenters as well as:

    1) The session title
    2) A brief description of less than 300 words outlining the theme or topic of the session
    3) Biographical data and contact details for the chair and the respondent (which can be the same person)

    The availability of audio-visual equipment cannot be guaranteed at this stage, but please indicate if you would like to use it if possible.

    Please send proposals, by e-mail, to
    Further information about the conference will be available in due course on ASCH and EHS websites, and will be e-mailed to those whose proposals are accepted. The program committee reserves the right to reconfigure sessions as needed.

    NOTE: All program participants must register for the conference and be members of the ASCH or EHS (which can offer temporary membership) at the time of the Meeting.
    John Wolffe, President of the EHS and Program Chair
    Bruce Hindmarsh, President of the ASCH
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