Graduate conference 2018
"back to the future: visions of tomorrow in history”
Friday, MAY 3, 2019 (all day)
The “The history of the future” can, at first, seem like a contraction in terms. But the past several years have seen increasing scholarly interest in the study of past futures. Not only are utopian, dystopian, and apocalyptic visions of the future interesting in their own right, but they also offer historians a lens to reexamine core disciplinary issues of contingency and historical change. Looking at the hopes and fears people had for future can tell us about their priorities and reveal what kind of change they considered possible or likely.
The future was (and is) the site of political contestation. Scientists, politicians, avant-garde artists, science fiction writers, revolutionaries, environmentalists, parents, teachers, religious figures, and corporations all have had different ways of knowing, envisioning, and shaping the future. Debates over what the future should be like—and whether humanity will be around to see it—continue to animate debates to the present day.
- The conference will take place on May 3, 2019 on Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois. The keynote speaker will be Professor W. Patrick McCRAY, a historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, author of The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnology, and a Limitless Future (2013). You may read more about Professor McCray at http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/w-patrick-mccray/ and http://www.patrickmccray.com. His keynote lecture will be on “Memories of the Future: Past Visions of Limitless Tomorrows (And Their Relevance Today).”
"Generations in History: Youth, Age, and Metrics of Cultural Change”
Convened by Emily Curtis Walters
Friday, May 11,
2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Harris Hall 108 (Leopold Room), 1881 Sheridan Rd, Evanston
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. Continental breakfast and welcome
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Panel I: Generations, Institutions, and Power
- William FITZSIMONS (Northwestern), “Government through Generations: A History
Decentralized Politics and the Development of Generation Groups among Proto Ateker-speakers in East Africa, c. 1100-1800 CE” of of
- Melody SHUM (Northwestern), “Moving Hong Kong to Kwang Chow Wan: Transnational and Trans-imperial Childhoods in Chinese Elite Communities (
- Michelle BEZARK (Northwestern), “A Bill for Better Babies: Early Federal Social Welfare Work and Nationalizing the American Child”
- Yuri DOOLAN (Northwestern), “The Problem of the ‘Mixed-Blood’ Child: Camptown Women, Intercountry Adoption, and the First Generation of Korean Amerasians”
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Coffee break
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Panel II: Generations, Networks, and Historical Change
- Joy SALES (Northwestern), “Welga! (Strike) — Filipino American Labor Leaders and Intergenerational Solidarity”
- Angela TATE (Northwestern), “When and Where I Enter: Black Women’s Internationalism in the Age of Washington and Du Bois, 1890-1915”
- Jay CARROLL (Northwestern), “Russian or Royal?: The Russian Influence on British Ballet in the Wake of Diaghilev”
12:45 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 3:00 Keynote: Professor Sabine FRÜHSTÜCK (University of California Santa Barbara), "The Ends of Innocence and the Problem of Generations in History"
- Sabine Frühstück (UC Santa Barbara) is the Director of the East Asia Center at UCSB, and the author of Playing War: Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan (2017), as well as Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army (2007), and Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan (2003). Her work has also appeared in several journals, including East Asia Forum Quarterly, The Asia-Pacific Journal, and Critical Asian Studies, as well as many edited volumes.
3:00 - 3:15 p.m. Coffee break
3:15 - 4:45 p.m. Panel III: Generations, Families, and Intimate Relationships
- Laura MCCOY (Northwestern), “Unfortunate Inheritances: Sons and the Debts of their Fathers in the Early American Republic”
- Claire ARNOLD (Northwestern), “'More Than a Brother': Siblings as a Force in the 19th-Century Family"
- Emily CURTIS WALTERS (Northwestern), “Of Lives and Landscapes: “Britain’s 1939 Generation and the Great War”