Conference Archive

2021 - The History of Sociability

The theme of the 2021 conference was the history of sociability. Although the Internet Age has brought some changes to sociability, humans continue to interact in ways, including through material routes (food, alcohol, public houses, sport, manners), hierarchy and power (the theatre state, competition, courtly decorum), and communicative realms (literary sociability, gender, class belonging, opinion formation), that were similar across various historical eras. In a time when the discursive realms of forming public opinion are becoming increasingly artificial and coopted by hegemonic state apparatuses, it is imperative to examine the history of sociability. The conference analyzed the various ways humans socialized and continue to socialize during four epochs: the Medieval World, the Early Modern World, the Modern World, and the Internet Age. The theme was intentionally broad to encourage scholars from different disciplines with various geographical and chronological concentrations to present works that allowed for comparison across a wide breadth. This encouraged interdisciplinary comparisons. Given that sociability has a particular relevancy to contemporary society, it also encouraged community engagement, a goal of the conference.

William Woys Weaver delivered the keynote address, "The Pretzel as Commensality: Breaking Bread and the Communal Table.

2019 - Gender and Trauma: Material, Methods, Media

This 2019 conference attempted to build a bridge between representatives of trauma research and of gender studies in order to identify new relevant sources, develop new methods and questions, and pose critical questions to existing research results. To this end, an interdisciplinary dialogue was facilitated between researchers in different research fields as well as with teachers, activists, artists and people affected by trauma. Material and sources, themes and approaches circulated among the contributors and audience to understand how the concepts of ‘masculinity,’ ‘femininity,’ or ‘queerness’ are shaped and influenced by traumatic events such as war, genocide, economic crisis, environmental disaster, domestic violence and other forms of violence. Through this portfolio of themes as well as disciplines and professions, the conference offered an opportunity for a great thematic diversity and multi-perspective dialogue in trauma studies.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela delivered the Friday evening keynote address, "Trauma and Women's Voice in Public Testimony: Presencing the Future Past

Dagmar Herzog delivered the Saturday morning keynote address, "Sexual Violence and the Nazi Holocaust"

Co-Organized by:

Jason Crouthamel, Grand Valley State University

Julia B. Köhne, Humboldt University-Berlin

Peter Leese, The University of Copenhagen

Villi Kivimäki, Tampere University-Finland

2018 - Playing With History

Gaming and simulations have long served as pedagogical tools in the history classroom. History-oriented games also produce substantial business for the board-gaming and video-gaming industries. Their appeal derives from the thrill of role-playing and speculation on the limitless possibilities of historical scenarios and human actions—and in an age of declining humanities enrollments, their appeal as pedagogical devices to enhance student engagement is obvious. Moreover, professional historical scholarship is increasingly focused on disrupting the received wisdom of long-held teleological conclusions and pondering more fully the contingent and conjunctural dynamics of global-scale historical developments. This conference will consider these trends and practices while serving as a regional training and gaming hub for Reacting to the Past—the innovative pedagogy used in numerous disciplines, such as Foreign Languages, English, Political Science, Anthropology, Communication Studies, and, of course, History. 

The conference was “workshop style” this year.  Thursday evening that was a reception for conference attendees at HopCat sponsored by Reacting To The Past.  The conference sessions were held on Friday, with a reception prior to the keynote address held in the Regency Room sponsored by MCHE.   Following the address, guests were invited to the Seven Monks.





On Top Of The World: Sizing Up Global History

Dr. Michelle Moyd


Human Rights in the Atlantic World and Beyond

Mr. Hector Tobar


Revolution, Reform and Rebellion: The Role of Agency and Memory in Historical Understanding

Dr. Fritz Fischer

Dr. Anthony Chase


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

Dr. Jan Gross

Stephen Feinberg


Collisions and Encounters: Migrations in a Global Perspective, 15th Century to Present

Dr. Melanie Shell-Weiss

Dr. Donna Gabaccia


Born in Revolution: History, Gender, and the Power of Conflict

Grace Lee

Dr. Beatrix Hoffman


Education and Society

Dr. Edward St. John

Dr. William Reese


Civil Wars in Domestic and Global Context: Conflict & Resolution from the Battlefield to the Homefront

Dr. Eric Foner

Dr. Brooks Simpson


Indigenous Peoples of the Globe: Colonization and Adaptation

Sherman Alexie

Dr. Ned Blackhawk


Gender and Society: Explorations, Discoveries, and Revelations

Bonnie Anderson

Dr. Judith Zinsser


The History of Racism, Slavery and its Aftermath: Recognizing the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Dr. Wilma King

Dr. David Blight


New Perspectives on War and Society

Dr. Jonathan Shay

Dr. Omer Bartov


World History in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. David Christian

Dr. Jerry Bentley


Challenging Historical Borders: Exploring Intersection between Nations, Regions, and Disciplines

Ric Burns

Dr. Patricia Limerick


From Slavery to Freedom in the Atlantic World

Charles Johnson

Dr. Ira Berlin


Culture and Social Change

Dr. Richard Stites


The History of the Great Lakes Region

Dr. Robert Swierenga


The Uses of History

Dr. Richard Norton Smith


History and the Telling of It

Dr. John Harley Warner


Historical Perspectives on Diplomacy and Negotiation

Dr. David Pletcher


The Problem of Identity in History

Dr. Claudia Koonz


The Individual and Society in History

Dr. Joyce Appleby


History and the Telling of It

Dr. Natalie Zemon David


History & Culture

Dr. Lawrence Levine


Private and Public Life

Dr. Steven Ozment


Civil Divisions

Dr. Eric Foner


17th  Great Lakes History Conference



16th  Great Lakes History Conference



15th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Robert Ferrell


14th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Thomas Bonner


13th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Paul Murphy


12th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Thomas Bonner


11th Great Lakes History Conference

James Redfield


10th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Athan Theoharis


9th Great Lakes History Conference

Walter Johnson


8th Great Lakes History Conference

Robert Wall


7th Great Lakes History Conference



6th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Roger Daniels


5th Great Lakes History Conference

Bennett Wall


4th Great Lakes History Conference

Dr. Warren Cohen


3rd Great Lakes History Conference

David Trask


2nd  Great Lakes History Conference

Alfred Low

Charles Dollar


1st Great Lakes History Conference


Page last modified February 9, 2022