45th Conference on D.C. History
November 1-4, 2018

Hosted by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m.

The Conference Committee of the D.C. History Conference cordially invites presentations for the 45th annual conference. In 2018, the conference explores the theme “Mobility, Migration, and Movement.” We mark several historic moments, including the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass' birth for whom mobility meant an escape to freedom and movement entailed a life-long commitment to abolition, civil rights, and women’s suffrage; we acknowledge and consider migration to the Washington Metropolitan Area; and we explore the role of WMATA fifty years after its creation, reflecting on how transportation continues to shape Metropolitan Washington.


We invite inquiry and exploration into the complex meanings of mobility, migration, and movement in a city that has witnessed the Great Migration of African Americans, has the second-largest community of El Salvadoran residents in the United States, and in a country that has welcomed the largest numbers of people of African descent in its history between 1990 – 2010.

We suggest but do not require, submissions that touch on the conference theme and that consider some of the following questions: intersection of race, politics, governance, and history in the D.C. area. How does 1968 resonate today? We specifically seek submissions from cultural historians and community members as well as academics and encourage the participation of students at all education levels in the Conference

  • How might we think about spatial, cultural, and social connections between and among the multiple transnational communities that have settled in the nation’s capital?
  • How do we talk about mobility and migration?
  • How might we think about transnationalism in the District of Columbia?
  • How has the work of disability rights activists and the legacy of the ADA transformed the culture, institutions, and public spaces of the region?
  • How do conversations about immigration intersect with a history of conversations about migration both to and within the Washington Metropolitan Area?
  • How might we consider concepts of displacement or root shock?
  • How might we think about WMATA’s role in helping create the landscape of the District, Maryland, and Northern Virginia?  
  • How might we think of movement as a complex concept – both in terms of moving in or through a place, but also in terms of civil rights and community organizing?
  • What connections might be drawn between Frederick Douglass’ work and the work of other Washingtonians?
  • What does the archaeological record tell us about migration and mobility in Metropolitan Washington?



Panel: Submit a 150-word description of the panel session proposal complete with panel title and titles of each presentation. Include role of each panelist, professional titles and institutional affiliations (if applicable) and a CV or resume, with the name of the moderator, and a 150-word abstract for each presentation. Supply contact information for the panel organizer and audio-visual/IT equipment needs.

Individual Paper: Submit your paper title and a 150-word abstract along with a CV or resume, professional title and institutional affiliation (if applicable), contact info, and audio-visual/IT equipment needs.

Workshops & Forums: Submit a 150-word proposal for a workshop or forum designed to engage participants in an interactive experience exploring a critical issue to D.C. history or contemporary issues in the city.  Submit a description of your workshop/forum including all IT/audio-visual requirements as well as requirements for tables or other display areas and contact information.

Poster Presentation: Submit a 150-word abstract describing your large format visual presentation of your research. Presenters are expected to be present during the poster session to share their research with a broad range of conference participants. Poster presenters should hav a mounted poster at least 2’ x 4’ in size.

Film or Performance Experience (one hour or less running time) - Friday evening: Submit a brief description of your film including topic, running time, audience age restrictions if any, project status (finished piece or work in progress), and interest in a Q & A.

Walking or Bus Tour: Submit a description of tour topic, location, length (running time and distance), start and stop points, ticket price, ages of audiences, and guide’s professional and contact information.

Author Talk: Submit contact information and description of published book, including publication date. Authors selling books on site must supply a volunteer to handle sales independently.

History Network - Friday, midday: Organization or projects focused on history are encouraged to set up a table to promote their work and recruit new members. To participate in the History Network marketplace of ideas, in addition to contact info, please indicate whether you need an entire six-foot display table, or can share with another presenter.


Moderated panels take place on Friday and Saturday and last one hour and 15 minutes. Typically, three speakers each take 20 minutes to present their research, followed by 10-15 minutes of discussion with audience participation.

The conference opens on Thursday evening, with the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture honoring the memory of this pioneering scholar of African American history. Friday morning begins with a Plenary Session followed by three to four concurrent panel sessions through Saturday.

PLEASE NOTE: Participants are encouraged to incorporate a PowerPoint slide show or other audio or video complement. You will be required to transfer any files/media in advance of your presentation. Laptops and projectors will be supplied. Specific details will be provided upon acceptance.

Please address any inquiries to the Conference Committee Co-Chairs Izetta Autumn Mobley and Dr. Amanda Huron at conference@dchistory.org 

To see panels and information about past conferences, visit http://www.dchistory.org/event/dchistcon/



The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m. Submissions should be submitted online at http://cdchs.submittable.com/submit 


The D.C. History Conference began as a collaborative effort by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the D.C. Public Library, and The George Washington University. Its mission has remained constant: to provide a friendly and rigorous forum for discussing and promoting original research in the history of local Washington, D.C., and its metropolitan area.

Each year, two sessions bring together the community of D.C. historians: the Letitia Wood Brown Memorial Lecture, honoring the memory of this pioneering scholar of D.C. history; and the plenary session addressing the state of D.C. historical studies, which in recent years has included conversations with journalists, authors, archivists, and teachers.


The 45th Annual Conference on D.C. History is presented by the Association of Oldest Inhabitants of D.C., the DC Historic Preservation Office, the District of Columbia Office of Public Records, The George Washington University, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Special Collections Division of the DC Public Library, and the University of the District of Columbia.

Visit http://www.dchistory.org/event/dchistcon/

History Network - Friday, midday: Organization or projects focused on history are encouraged to set up a table to promote their work and recruit new members. To participate in the History Network marketplace of ideas, in addition to contact info, please indicate whether you need an entire six-foot display table, or can share with another presenter.