CFP: Great Lakes History Conference – “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.  The Great Lakes program committee will accept proposals that speak toa broad range of topics associated with the research and pedagogy of war, violence, recovery, race/ethnicity, trauma, reconciliation, memory, and moral responsibility. 

 Those audiences include 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 to Genocide 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 speakers are Dr. Jan Gross and Mr. Stephen Feinberg.  Dr. Gross is a Professor of European History at Princeton University, and holds the title of Norman B. Tomlinson ’16 and ’48 Professor of War and Society.  His lecture is entitled “On the Periphery of the Holocaust: Pillage and Killings of Jews by their Neighbors.”  Mr. Stephen Feinberg is a former Special Assistant for Education Programs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  His address is entitled “Pedagogical Issues and Concerns When Teaching about the Holocaust.”

 The deadline for submission of proposals, consisting of an abstract (500 words or less) and one-page c.v. is June 16, 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 (

Dr. Gordon Andrews
Grand Valley State University, Dept. of History
1 Campus Drive, D-1-160 Mackinac Hall
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-3298
Visit the website at

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