CFP: Interdisciplinary Symposium on “Voting Rights: 1870, 1920, 1965, 2020”

By March 8, 2019

I imagine there would be some great Mormon connections, such as fresh examinations of the Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker Act, that our community could make for this conference.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Utah State University (Logan, UT)

March 19-20, 2020

In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting many women in the nation the right to vote for the first time. Fifty years earlier, Utah had been among the first territories to enfranchise women in 1870, and Utah then allowed women’s suffrage again in 1895 after statehood. Despite these advances, the history of enfranchisement still excluded key groups, even after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

To reflect on the meaning of the 150th anniversary of this extension of the franchise in Utah history and the centennial of the national amendment, Utah State University will host an interdisciplinary symposium in March 2020 entitled: Voting Rights: 1870, 1920, 1965, 2020, featuring a keynote address by Prof. Carol Anderson (Emory University). This symposium is designed to commemorate the historic events that gave political rights to women, but also to go one step further in reflecting on two important questions:

  1. Who was left out of these landmark changes and with what consequences?
  2. And how do we contextualize ongoing struggles for access to voting rights?

We envision broadly interdisciplinary panels with scholars at all career stages (from graduate students to faculty), and our intent is to provide some travel funding for those chosen to participate.

Since its founding in 1888, Utah State University has included women in its faculty and student body and is proud to host this event. With initial support from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center for Women and Gender, and others in the university community, we invite individual paper proposals for two panels investigating the thorny history of voter access and voting rights in the United States. In particular, we aim to cover both the history of female suffrage and those who have struggled to gain the vote, to that end we especially invite papers that address these struggles in Utah and the West; papers are also welcome that frame these issues in international contexts.

To apply, send a 1-page c.v. and a 250-word abstract to Prof. Susan R. Grayzel at  no later than May 1, 2019. A committee will choose speakers and notify applicants in June 2019. Please contact Prof. Grayzel with any further questions.

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