CFP: “Why Does it Happen? Complicity and Resistance to Genocide in World History”

The Michigan Council for History Education (MCHE) and the Great Lakes History Conference invite proposals for:

“Why Does it Happen? Complicity and Resistance to Genocide in World History”

October 10-11, 2014

Grand Valley State University
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Fortieth Annual Great Lakes History Conference, held in conjunction with the Michigan Council for History Education, will focus on issues associated with the Holocaust, and the topic of genocide throughout history. Considering that this year is the 100 year anniversary of World War I, this topic is especially timely because “the Great War” led to the Holocaust and so much of the violence of the twentieth century. The Great Lakes program committee will accept proposals that speak to a broad range of topics associated with the research and pedagogy of war, violence, recovery, race/ethnicity, trauma, reconciliation, memory, and moral responsibility.

Our target audience includes scholars of genocide and the Holocaust, public historians, professors and teachers who all shape how we come to understand the significance of state sponsored terror, and the Holocaust. The theme “Why Does it Happen? Complicity and Resistance toGenocide in World History,” suggests an extensive range of actions and reactions to genocide, and should attract a wide range of compelling presentations. Additionally we are interested in issues related to pedagogy and assessment, asking fundamental questions about the way we teach histories of genocide.

We encourage not only the presentation of research by academics, graduate students, and undergraduates, but also papers, roundtables, and panels from scholars, teachers, librarians, archivists, activists, and public historians that speak to the many understandings of “Why Does it Happen” over time. The program committee will also entertain non-related proposals that may lie on the periphery of this year’s theme.

This year’s Keynote Address will be given by Jan Gross, Professor of European History at Princeton University, where he holds the title of Norman B. Tomlinson ’16 and ’48 Professor of War and Society. His lecture will be titled “On the Periphery of the Holocaust: Pillage and Killings of Jews by their Neighbors.”

The deadline for submission of proposals, consisting of an abstract (500 words or less) and one-page c.v., is May 1, 2014. For full panels or roundtables, please have one contact person submit the materials for the group. Send proposals via email to the program committee in care of Gordon Andrews (

Gordon Andrews
Grand Valley State University, History Department
1 Campus Drive, D1-160 MAK
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-3298
(616) 331-3285
Visit the website at

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