“The Long Struggle for the Ohio Valley, 1750-1815”
October 26-27, 2012
François Furstenberg, (Université de Montréal, Department of History)
Eric Hinderaker (University of Utah, Department of History)
The Filson Institute for the Advanced Study of the Ohio Valley and the Upper South proposes a two-day academic conference to examine the long contest for the Ohio Valley between 1750 and 1815. The conference, which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, at The Filson Historical Society, marks the two hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812.
The conference seeks to explore the multi-faceted contest among Native Americans, the French, Spanish, British, and Americans as each struggled to dominate the Ohio Valley between the Seven Years War and the War of 1812. In these years of warfare and conflict, distant polities sought to control an enticing but poorly understood region, while individuals, households, and communities engaged in complicated forms of interaction, exchange, violent confrontation, and cultural transformation. In 1750, European empires competed for a region that was home to a large and varied Indian population; by 1815, it had become the first western frontier of the United States. The contest reshaped the lives of individuals and the prospects of numerous Indian polities, transformed the landscape through new agricultural and labor practices, and redirected the trajectory of American nationhood and the shape of the Atlantic World.
The organizers of the conference welcome paper and panel proposals that adopt a variety of approaches to the study of eighteenth and early nineteenth century Ohio Valley, including political and imperial history; transatlantic perspectives; social and cultural life and exchange; trade and economics; ethnographic analysis; environmental change; gender and sexuality; women and family; race and slavery; military history and violence; religious history; and memory studies.
The organizers seek paper and panel proposals that explore a variety of questions related to this contested era of Ohio Valley history, such as:
• Imperial ambitions and objectives
• Native American life and culture
• Cultural exchange, conflict, and adaptation
• Women’s lives on the frontier
• African Americans and slavery on the frontier
• The Ohio Valley and the Atlantic World
• The American Revolution
• Evolving racial and cultural identities
• Gender and sexuality
• Environmental change
• Agriculture, commodity production, and trade flows
• Population displacement and migration
• Pan-Indian coalitions
• Diplomacy and treaty making
• U.S. federal government policy
• Warfare and violence
• Middlemen and cultural brokers
• Speculators versus settlers/squatters
• Legal regimes
• Contested memories of the frontier era
A selection of revised essays from the conference will be published as part of The Filson’s “Ohio Valley and the Nation” book series with Ohio University Press.
Please send three copies of a proposal of no more than one page clearly outlining subject, arguments, and relevance to the conference topic, along with a vita of no more than two pages, to The Filson Institute Conference, The Filson Historical Society, 1310 S. Third St., Louisville, Kentucky 40208.
Proposal deadline is April 30, 2012 (postmarked). Single papers or conference panels are welcome. For panel proposals please provide a one-page summary of the panel in addition to paper proposals and vitas from each participant. The conference will meet in consecutive plenary sessions, with three sessions each day. Papers will be placed on-line on The Filson Historical Society’s website prior to the conference. Funds will be available to help defray some travel costs for presenters. For questions concerning the conference, please contact Dr. A. Glenn Crothers at the address above or e-mail at email@example.com, or consult The Filson website at http://www.filsonhistorical.org/institute.html.