Michael A. Morrison, 1948-2017

11/11/15 MorrisonDear Colleagues,

I write with the sad and shocking news that our dear friend and SHEAR president-elect Michael A. Morrison passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at his residence.

Michael served as a professor in the Department of History at Purdue University from 1991 to 2016, retiring after 25 years. Following his military service as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force, Michael received an A.A. from Henry Ford Community College; a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Dearborn; and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A beloved educator, Michael taught “Society, Culture and Rock & Roll,” as well as courses on 19th and 20th century U. S. political history. He was the recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Excellence Award and Purdue University’s Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 1998, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named him Indiana Professor of the Year.

Michael was co-editor of the Journal of the Early Republic 1994-2004, author of Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War,  many articles and book chapters, and editor and co-editor of additional works. His wife, Nancy Gabin, survives him.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Carol Lasser
President, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 2016-17
Emerita Professor of History, Oberlin College

CFP: Religion and Politics in Early America (Beginnings to 1820)

We seek proposals for panels and individual papers for the special topics conference on Religion and Politics in Early America, March 1-4, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Individual papers are welcome, but preference will be given to completed panel submissions.

This conference will explore the intersections between religion and politics in early America from pre-contact through the early republic. All topics related to the way religion shapes politics or politics shapes religion—how the two conflict, collaborate, or otherwise configure each other—will be welcomed. We define the terms “religion” and “politics” broadly, including (for example) studies of secularity and doubt. This conference will have a broad temporal, geographic, and topical expanse. We intend to create a space for interdisciplinary conversation, though this does not mean that all panels will need be composed of multiple disciplines; we welcome both mixed panels and panels composed entirely of scholars from a single discipline.

Panels can take a traditional form (3-4 papers, with or without a respondent), roundtable form (5 or more brief statements with discussion), or other forms.

Panel submissions must have the following:  

  1. An organizer for contact information
  2. Names and titles for each paper in the panel.
  3. A brief abstract (no more than 250 words) for the panel.
  4. A briefer abstract (no more than 100 words) for each paper.
  5. Brief CV’s for each participant (no more than two pages each).

Individual paper submissions must include the following:

  1. Name and contact information
  2. Title
  3. Abstract (no more than 150 words)
  4. A brief CV (no more than two pages)

Please send your proposals to religion.politics.2018@gmail.com by Friday, May 26, 2017.

If you have any questions, please email Abram Van Engen at religion.politics.2018@gmail.com.

Sponsored by:
The Danforth Center on Religion and Politics
The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy
The Society of Early Americanists
St. Louis University
Washington University in St. Louis

CFA: Inaugural SHEAR Second-Book Writers’ Workshop (Extended Deadline)

SHEAR is pleased to announce the creation of the SHEAR Second-Book Writers’ Workshop and to invite applications for its inaugural session at the annual meeting 20 – 23 July 2017 in Philadelphia.

The journey from first to second book can be a difficult one. From choosing a topic for a second book to finding the time and support to research and write, the structure that guides the writing of the dissertation and first book disappears. Many of us struggle with this transition. We wonder if it makes sense to continue a research trajectory clearly laid out in our first project or to try something entirely new. We search for research support at the same time as teaching and service obligations increase. For some scholars, these difficulties are compounded by the obligations of family and child rearing that can make residential fellowships or long-term travel seem impossible. Yet the second book is an essential step in career advancement: a requirement for the promotion to full professorships or even at some institutions, for tenure. Recognizing the unique challenges of this stage, SHEAR has launched a new program designed to support its members at this transitional point in their scholarly careers.

The SHEAR Second-Book Writers’ Workshop will replicate some of the structures of feedback that dissertation writers experience. The goals of the workshop include both practical advice and the motivation that comes from writing for and with your peers. To accommodate the many stages of second book production, the workshop will encourage flexibility in pre-circulated materials. Organized into genre-based groups, the workshop will provide a space for discussion of drafts of book proposals, fellowship applications, chapter drafts, and other documents related to the writing of a second book. A mentor who has successfully published a second book will lead each workshop group.

In 2017, workshops will take place in the afternoon of Thursday, July 20 prior to the plenary session. Committed mentors include: Johann Neem, Matthew Mason, and Amy Greenberg.

To apply to participate, writers of second books should submit via e-mail to Emily Conroy-Krutz (conroyk5@msu.edu) or Jessica Lepler (jessica.lepler@unh.edu) a single .pdf or Word file that contains a one-page CV and a one-page document comprising a description both of your second book project and of the document that you would like to circulate for the workshop. Applications to participate in the workshop should be submitted no later than March 15, 2017, and applicants can expect to hear back by mid-April.

Accepted participants’ materials for pre-circulation will be due June 15.

CFP: Lenses and Contacts: Framing Early America

Call for Papers

Lenses and Contacts: Framing Early America
McNeil Center Biennial Graduate Student Conference
Philadelphia, 5–7 October 2017

How vast is too vast? How small is too small? Where do you get your frames? In recent years, scholars have been questioning traditional boundaries and envisioning new frontiers. The advent (and departure?) of the Atlantic World has sparked new ways of framing the field and mapping the space of early America. Scholars are also polishing off traditional lenses of analysis such as politics, economics, and intellectual history. This conference will focus on  established historiographical frameworks and new directions. Papers could address topics including but not limited to: spatial lenses, including Atlantic, continental, global, and local; people, places, and ideas on the margins; histories from above and below; perspectives on race, class, gender, and sexuality in early America; ways of knowing, including religion, environmental, scientific, and medical histories; networks and crossings—disciplinary and otherwise.

Graduate students in any relevant discipline are invited to submit proposals, which should include a 250-word prospectus and a one-page curriculum vitae together in one pdf document labeled with the applicant’s last name. Please include your name, your paper title, your institutional affiliation, and your email address at the top of the first page of the proposal. Conference presentations will be limited to twenty minutes. Participants will receive some financial support for travel and lodging expenses. Applicants should e-mail their proposals by 15 March 2017 to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu.

Decisions will be announced in late May 2017.

Introducing The Panorama: Expansive Views from the Journal of the Early Republic

Check out the newly launched The Panorama, the digital forum for the Journal of the Early Republic. The Panorama explores teaching, researching, and communicating about the Early American Republic in an informal and collaborative fashion, supported by, and extending, the scholarship published in the JERThe Panorama is planning roundtables on a variety of subjects over the coming year, each with a series of posts by practitioners in the field; we look forward to having readers join freewheeling and productive conversations in the comments.

Deadline Extended: SHEAR Dissertation Prize

Deadline for submissions for the SHEAR Dissertation Prize extended to Friday, February 17.

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic invites submissions for the SHEAR Dissertation Prize. The Prize will be awarded to an exceptional dissertation pertaining to the history of North America from 1776 to 1861. Within that period, the dissertation may treat virtually any aspect of history, including political, social, cultural, or literary history.

Dissertations successfully defended in calendar years 2015 and 2016 are eligible. To submit a dissertation for consideration, please first send a one-page letter of inquiry accompanied by a brief prospectus, sample chapter, and current CV to:

Robert Lockhart, Senior Editor

University of Pennsylvania Press

3905 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

The prize committee will then invite finalists to send complete dissertations for consideration, and the winner will be announced at SHEAR’s annual conference in July, where a workshop with the prize committee will also be held. The author will receive a publishing contract, and the manuscript will be published as a volume in the book series Early American Studies, cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Call for Applications: JER Reviews Editor(s)

The Journal of the Early Republic (JER) seeks applicants for a three-year term editing its book reviews section, effective July 2017. The Editor (or Editors) of Reviews manages the solicitation, review, and acceptance process for book reviews and longer review essays published by the JER. Duties include identifying appropriate titles for review and corresponding with presses to ensure that JER receives review copies, identifying potential reviewers and assigning books to scholars with particular expertise in the subject matter, sending books to reviewers and following up with them until submission, providing editing for style and form for submitted reviews, allotting received reviews to particular issues, and organizing the sequence of reviews within a given issue. Minor institutional support to cover costs of shipping books to reviewers is highly desirable. Please submit letter of application and c.v. to jer@shear.org. Review of applications will begin March 1, 2017.

SHEAR Dissertation Prize

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic invites submissions for the SHEAR Dissertation Prize. The Prize will be awarded to an exceptional dissertation pertaining to the history of North America from 1776 to 1861. Within that period, the dissertation may treat virtually any aspect of history, including political, social, cultural, or literary history.

Dissertations successfully defended in calendar years 2015 and 2016 are eligible. To submit a dissertation for consideration, please first send a one-page letter of inquiry accompanied by a brief prospectus, sample chapter, and current CV to:

Robert Lockhart
Senior Editor
University of Pennsylvania Press
3905 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The deadline for submission of preliminary materials is February 1, 2017.

The prize committee will then invite finalists to send complete dissertations for consideration, and the winner will be announced at SHEAR’s annual conference in July, where a workshop with the prize committee will also be held. The author will receive a publishing contract, and the manuscript will be published as a volume in the book series Early American Studies, cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Welcome to The Republic!

We are excited to launch SHEAR’s new blog, The Republic! This blog will serve as the place to go for news about the organization and scholarship on the period.

Planning for this blog began in 2011, when the late Drew Cayton, then serving as SHEAR president, asked Caleb McDaniel and me to put together a working group to look into expanding the organization’s social media footprint. Rachel Herrmann and Beth Salerno joined us in crafting a proposal that addressed not only social media but also other ways in which the organization could incorporate twenty-first-century technology.

A number of SHEAR presidents—Harry Watson, Drew Cayton, Pat Cohen, John Larson, Ann Fabian, and Jan Lewis—and the members of the advisory council have been supportive in recognizing the need for SHEAR to make this move. Last year, Ann Fabian, with the approval of the advisory council, appointed me as SHEAR’s first social media coordinator. I asked Caleb and Liz Covart, whom many of you know from Ben Franklin’s World, to brainstorm our path forward. After the conference, we invited Vanessa Holden and Lyra Monteiro to join the committee. Late last year, the committee members and JER editor Cathy Kelly held a virtual meeting and discussed a number of possible approaches to take.

The committee members came away with several conclusions. First, we wanted SHEAR to have a viable and vibrant connection to the world of social media. We established Facebook and Twitter accounts several years ago, and they have proven successful in attracting the attention of both SHEAR members and non-members. In addition to taking a more active approach to social media during the year, we hope to have a more visible presence at the annual meeting. Second, we believed that our charge included more than just social media, so we altered the vision to include new media, which is a more encompassing description of what we intend. Lastly, we wanted to expand SHEAR’s reach in the digital world by establishing a blog. Most major historical organizations have taken this step, and it seemed appropriate for SHEAR to do so as well.

What can you expect from The Republic? On a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on the time of year, we expect to publish posts as diverse as author interviews, JER-related pieces, and pedagogical essays. We also hope that you will send us your relevant CFPs or perhaps even research queries that you have for other SHEARites. If you have an interest in contributing to the blog in some way, don’t be shy! Reach out to us at shearrepublic@gmail.com.

Mark Cheathem