Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola Hosts 16th Annual HGSA Conference

Loyola Hosts 16th Annual HGSA Conference

On November 2, 2019, the Loyola HGSA hosted their 16th Annual History Graduate Student Conference. With over 100 attendees and 15 individual panels, this year’s conference was a great success. Thank you to all who participated in the conference and helped to make it a productive and engaging day!

The theme, Conscience-Driven History, saw papers and presentations addressing questions of morals and ethics in producing and analyzing historical work. The diverse lineup of panels and posters was populated with students from across North America to discuss challenging history topics of significant relevance to today’s world. The day began with a poster session where conference attendees had the chance to engage with graduate and undergraduate poster presenters about their research on topics ranging from “Accountability: A Foreign Language to the Leaders of Our Country” (by Grace Ruane, Loyola University Chicago) to “Avukah: Student Zionism on Temple University's Campus (1925-1945)” (by Ellen Taraskiewicz, Temple University). After the poster session concluded, attendees split between a number of different panels, each featuring history graduate students from across the country. Panels focused on a wide variety of subjects, from “Histories of Medical Practice and Diagnosis” to “Narrative History and Asian Studies” to “Jewish Refugee Experiences and Holocaust in Public History.”

Continuing the theme of Conscience-Driven History, this year’s conference featured a lunch panel with three historians, Dr. Emil Kerenji (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), Ms. Lori Osborne (Frances Willard House Museum and Archives), and Professor Jennifer Scott (Jane Addams Hull-House Museum). These professionals have all worked on challenging projects that surround sensitive historical issues and shared stories about ethical decision making in the historical profession and the many ways historians do work. This year’s conference also saw a panel discussion on LGBTQ histories. Historians who are LGBTQ and historians studying LGBTQ communities joined a discussion of how our identities impact our research and how our research influences our identities. The session gave participants the opportunity to explore the complexity of historicizing one’s own community history and the accompanying joys, challenges, and sorrows. 

Conference Co-Chairs Cate LiaBraaten and Sophia Croll would like to thank Molly Sampson, volunteer coordinator, for her critical help in making the conference a success. We thank all Loyola students who volunteered as panel moderators, registration desk staff, and other logistical support, including: Matthew Amyx, Jenny Clay, June Coyne, Emily Davis Jennifer Duvall, Prakruti Maniar, Meghan McCoy, Ve’Amber Miller, Hannah Overstreet, Miranda Ridener, Elizabeth Schmidt, Anthony Stamilio, Davis Stubblefield, Emily-Paige Taylor, Casey Terry, Erin Witt, Sebastian Wuepper, and Alicia Zeimet. We would particularly like to thank the HGSA Officers for their support and assistance throughout the planning of the conference: Anthony Stamilio, Emily-Paige Taylor, Hannah Overstreet, Davis Stubblefield, and Alicia Zeimet. Finally, we thank the many faculty members from Loyola who volunteered to serve as commentators for the many panels throughout the day: Dr. Theodore Karamanski, Dr. Benjamin Johnson, Dr. Gema Santamaria, Dr. Anthony Cardoza, Dr. Kevin Kaufmann, Dr. John Pincince, Dr. Michelle Nickerson, Dr. Lewis Erenberg, Dr. Andrew Donnelly, and Dr. Elizabeth Hopwood. We extend a special thank you to the HGSA Faculty Advisor, Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, who provided invaluable advice and support throughout the conference planning process.