Archive for July 31st, 2014

Interdisciplinary Conference on Frederick Douglass [Abstracts due August 31, 2014]

After walking Cedar Hill in the early morning Douglass would settle at his desk, responding to and beginning new correspondence. Photo National Park Service, Frederick Douglass NHS.Interdisciplinary Conference on Frederick Douglass

The Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) of West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, is calling for papers for its interdisciplinary conference on Frederick Douglass to be held on the WCUPA campus on October 15, 2014. WCUPA is the place where Douglass gave his last public lecture, titled “Against Lynch Law” on February 1, 1895, just nineteen days before he died. FDI has commemorated this event with both a historical marker formally issued from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2006, and with the recent dedication (October 1, 2013) of DeBaptiste Plaza, a place for all who come to our campus to reflect on Douglass and his connection to WCUPA, with an impressive, inspiring, life-size statue of a young Frederick Douglass as its centerpiece.

FDI is fortunate to have its 20th anniversary coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, among other things, represented a Congressional response to American racism that brought a legal end to Jim Crow, forever changing U.S. public policy. FDI considers this a unique opportunity to engage in extensive critical reflection and robust academic discussion about the life and legacy of Douglass, which is so integral to America’s ongoing civil rights struggle. Since the conference is interdisciplinary, papers may address Douglass’s work in relation to a broad range of topics, including, but not limited to the following: the 20th century civil rights struggle, feminism, mass incarceration, human trafficking, and voter ID Laws.

Papers may also address Douglass’s work either on its own or in relationship to other 19th century African-Americans such as David Walker, Ida B. Wells, Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, Maria Stewart, etc. Papers are welcome from any academic discipline. Again, the topics listed here are merely examples of what FDI is looking for at our conference. Other topics pertinent to Douglass and his legacy are also welcome.
WCUPA is located in West Chester, Pa. and is the county seat for Chester County, Pa. West Chester, Pa. is approximately 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Pa. For those participants who will be flying to the conference, the Philadelphia International Airport is the nearest airport to the university.

Please submit a 250-500 word abstract to no later than August 31, 2014. Authors will be notified of acceptance by September 10, 2014, and completed papers (approximately 3,000 words for 20 minutes of reading time) will be due no later than October 10, 2014.

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