Call for Papers – A Nation Divided: Conflict in US History and Politics

The financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 represented a decisive moment in the recent past, leading to the resurfacing and, to some extent, the redefinition of a multiplicity of dormant and deep-­seated conflicts: from social movements such as Occupy Wall Street to workers’ movements such as fight4fifteen, from Black Lives Matter to a new white backlash. Within the United States, these conflicts led to a crisis of political and national identities, with the re­emergence of nationalism and nativism, progressivism and socialism. In the international context, conflicts have characterized relations between states, not in the traditional form of war, but as clashes over economic and financial policies, the management of contemporary crises, such as the migration crisis or the environmental one, and at a more general level on the role of nation­ states facing a crisis of the international order. These trends continued during Trump’s Presidency. Both on the international and on the domestic front, the last two years have been characterized by an exceptional level of political, social, institutional and cultural conflict. Not by chance, a series of grassroots movements that have developed to advance their vision of the state and society, such as the new wave of the feminist movement or the mobilization against climate change, has grown and thrived in response to Trump’s actions.

The emergence of different forms of social, political and economic conflict in times of crisis is certainly not a new phenomenon. These trends have already emerged in the past centuries, not only in the United States but also elsewhere. Starting from these premises, the third issue of USAbroad seeks to reflect on the complex and multifaceted notion of conflict and its role in promoting political, economic, social and cultural change. The goal is to understand how conflict has manifested itself and shaped American society, economy, and politics over time, but also how it has influenced relations between the United States and the rest of the world. USAbroad invites submissions discussing any periods of U.S. history that address the theme of “conflict” in its broader meaning, from political, to social, cultural, racial, and institutional. Understanding conflict as a crucial catalyst of change, we are interested in problems of historical causation, action and reaction, crisis, progress and advancement.

While considering each proposal received, the editors encourage and look forward to receiving papers that sit within the following historiographical trends:

  1. The New History of Capitalism (the new historiographical tendency toward the integration of several histories—and of their methodologies and approaches—such as business and economic history, social and labor history, intellectual history, political and policy history)
  2. Women’s History and Gender Studies (women in the labor movement; old and new feminisms; LGBTQ+ rights and social change; transnational social mobilization; studies on families and on the role of women in politics and workspaces)
  3. Environmental History (climate change and global warming; conflicts over resources; neo­environmentalism; the history of environmental policies; history of environmentalism; history of environmentalist movements)
  4. International Relations and Conflicts (trade wars; transatlantic crisis; the definition and redefinition of US international role; nationalism and hegemony; relations between the US and Latin America; relations between the US and the Asiatic continent)
  5. Presidential and institutional studies (domestic federal relations, sectional/regional cleavages, conflicts between states and the federal government).

Applicants are asked to submit an abstract of approximately 500 words, along with a résumé including their main publications, by May 19. Please send your proposal by email to: usabroad@unibo.it Applicants will be notified regarding the status of the submission by May 31. The selection of abstracts will be based on a range of criteria including: scientific originality (how does the proposed paper differs from existing literature in the field), use of primary sources (on what sources is the paper based) and adherence to the themes of the call for papers. Abstracts that do not clearly address these three criteria will not be considered for publication. Please note that a final version of the accepted essay must be submitted by September 20.

You can also download the Call for Papers in PDF