Click Here to Submit Your Proposal
Deadline to Submit a Proposal is September 23, 2013
To many Americans, the word “frontier” conjures up a familiar yet distinct image of self-reliant pioneers subduing the American wilderness for the benefit of future generations. The notion of the frontier as a place that shaped a unique American identity and forged a democratic American society – grounded in the scholarship of Frederick Jackson Turner and the dime novels of Ned Buntline, and burnished by subsequent generations of popular writers, film directors and television producers – is almost unassailable mythology today.
In Europe, though, frontier signifies something different than in the United States – it means “boundary.” The American concept of frontier is seemingly dynamic – it doesn’t refer to a fixed place but rather to something on the move, constantly being pushed back. A national boundary, on the other hand, presents a static appearance, although any student of history knows how unstable countless national boundaries have proven to be.
When he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1960, John F. Kennedy spoke in rather abstract terms of a “New Frontier,” a “frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, … of unfilled hopes and unfilled dreams” – a frontier that beckoned from the future, rather than recalled the past.
No matter how they are defined, all frontiers are, at some point, new. The National Council for History Education invites proposals for presentations and poster sessions on the theme of “New Frontiers in History” for its 2014 conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Explore how the challenges posed by frontiers – new or old, concrete or abstract – have shaped the ebb and flow of history. Consider how boundaries – not merely those between nations, but between public and private sectors, between church and state, between genders – have shifted or been redefined throughout history.
All proposals will be evaluated on their intellectual content as well as their ability to engage the audience – that is, whether they are historically accurate and address interesting and important questions appropriate to historical inquiry and effective teaching.