Call for papers

The convenors welcome proposals for papers, panels and roundtables on any geographical area, time period, or field of history, especially those relating to the theme of 'urgent histories'.

AHA and affiliated streams include environmental history, labour history, children and youth, religious history, Pacific history. Further details on each association can be found below.

Abstracts are due by 29 February 2020.

Make a submission

Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network

In 2019 Australia grappled with floods, bushfires, drought and a decline in the water quality in the Murray-Darling Basin. Divisive debates on water usage and fossil fuels raged during the lead up to the Federal election. Climate change has seen tens of thousands of citizens protesting on the streets.

Environmental issues abound in our own backyard and around the globe, and many debates over their significance and resolution refer to the past: as a baseline, a cautionary tale, an exemplar, and more. It seems that seldom has there been a greater need for environmental history to engage in the public discourse. The AHA 2020 theme ‘Urgent Histories’ could not be more apt.

We invite proposals for presentations that address the conference theme and will also consider other research on environmental history from any geographical area, time period or subject, including reflections on environmental historical practice and methods. We welcome submissions from independent scholars and practitioners, and proposals for contributions to a workshop session on teaching environmental history. Individual papers and panels of three are welcome, as are proposals for roundtables and non-conventional, interactive sessions.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘Environmental History’ stream.

For questions regarding the Environmental History stream, please email Dr Margaret Cook or Dr Rohan Lloyd.

The Australian Society for Sports History

The Australian Society for Sports History (ASSH) was founded in 1983 at the fourth biennial ‘Sporting Traditions’ conference. It has since grown to be one of the world’s largest sports history organisations.

ASSH invites presentations on contemporary and historical aspects of sport at the 2020 AHA annual conference, ‘Urgent Histories’. The ASSH stream and annual meeting will take place on Thursday, 2 July 2020. Further details about ASSH can be found at sporthistory.org.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘Society for Sports’ stream.

For questions regarding the Australian Society for Sports History stream, please email Associate Professor Robert Hess at robert.hess@vu.edu.au.

Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand

Urgent economic, business and social histories

The Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand (EHSANZ) would like to encourage those working in the field of economic, business and social history to put forward papers for the Australian History Association conference 2020.

Economic history has become a vibrant interdisciplinary area of inquiry in recent years, with renewed interest from partners in history and economics, policymakers and the public. This strand will bring together scholars from business, economic and social history to discuss the latest sources, techniques, interpretations, questions and challenges for working in this field.

We are looking for presenters who will highlight innovative approaches for examining the material and economic past, and/or are using economic history to make distinctive contributions to historical scholarship and contemporary debate. This is a great chance to showcase world class economic history scholarship, and encourage further growth and collaboration in this field.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the 'Economic History' stream.

For questions regarding the Economic History stream, please email Dr Claire Wright.

Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations

The relationship between France and Australia has had enduring political, cultural and social impacts on both countries, their respective regions and the world. The complex geo-political shifts currently taking place in the Pacific and the recent strategic rapprochement between the two middle powers are rooted in a long history of engagement at local, regional and global levels. We invite participants to reconsider established historical narratives in light of these contemporary challenges and transformations.

Papers may consider but are not limited to:

  • pre-colonial, indigenous French-Australian relations – first encounters and how they can inform understandings today
  • war and commemoration
  • environmental history – in the context of current dialogue between France and Australia, and potential cooperation (or not) over climate change action
  • entangled colonial histories
  • current regional geopolitical cooperation – the Indo-Pacific – and joint regional policies
  • cultural links and their historical origins.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘ISFAR’ stream.

For questions regarding the ISFAR stream, please email isfarinc@gmail.com.

Religious History Association

Image credit: Gozzoli, St Francis with Al Kamil, 15th Century (Wikimedia)

Urgent Encounters: dialogue across religious division

The Religious History Association invites proposals for individual papers (20 minute presentations with 10 minutes discussion), roundtable or panel proposals (90 minutes in total for individual papers and commentary), or ‘Worth a Thousand Words’ sessions (10 minute presentations on a single photograph, object or image) that explore the encounter between beliefs and the dynamics of dialogue across religious division in any period and context.

Ingeborg Gabriel identifies three strands of interreligious dialogue, that of life, of creed and of ethics. Presentations in this stream might therefore explore the lived experience of encounter between people of different religious traditions, engagement across belief systems that has been focussed on doctrine, theologies or institutional commitments, as well as historical examples of social and political issues informed by diverse religious positions. Papers might explore diversity within religious traditions, approaches to ecumenism, and encounter between belief and non-belief.

We are especially keen to hear from scholars of Islam and of engagement with Islam. Papers on other aspects of the history of religion will also be considered.

Convening Committee at the University of Divinity: Matthew Beckmann, Kerrie Handasyde, Katharine Massam, Glen O’Brien, Max Vodola.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘Religious Histories’ stream.

For further information about this association please visit therha.com.au/conferences.

Society for the History of Children and Youth

The inaugural 'Children’s History' stream will be launched at the 2020 Australian Historical Association conference to be held at Deakin University in Geelong from 29 June to 3 July 2020. Despite some groundbreaking work being done by Australian scholars in the histories of children and youth, for a long time we have lacked our own organisation. In the United States the Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) was founded in 2001, followed by the Children’s History Society (CHS) in the United Kingdom in 2015, both contributing to the development of a flourishing international community of scholars. The Asian-Australasian Regional Network (AARN) of SHCY was founded in 2017 and is developing a network of scholars who are from this region or interested in the histories of children and youth in this region.

To celebrate this development, we invite submissions of papers or panels for this historic inaugural 'Children’s History' stream, which we plan to run on Wednesday 1 July 2020 commencing with a plenary featuring:

  • Prof. Shurlee Swain (Australian Catholic University) on the development of the historiography of children and youth in Australia and its relevance to contemporary issues and political inquiries
  • Dr Simon Sleight (King’s College London) speaking about international trends in the history of children and youth, drawing upon his experience co-founding the Children’s History Society UK and his recent work on transnational/global histories of children and youth
  • Prof. Barry Judd (University of Melbourne) and Assoc. Prof. Kat Ellinghaus (La Trobe University) on the ethics and responsibilities of researching histories of Indigenous children in Australia.

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘Children's History’ stream.

For questions regarding the Children’s History stream, please email Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy.

Australian Society for the Study of Labour History

Paper proposals for this strand are to be submitted direct to the AHA conference organisers. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like for it to be considered under the ‘Labour History’ stream.

For further information about this association please visit labourhistory.org.au.