2020 Proposal Submission

*Submission Deadline was September 23, 2019*
Submitted Proposals will be notified of the committee's decision by November 18.

NCHE Call for Proposals
Past, Present, and Future: NCHE at 30

March 19-21, 2020

Implicit in the study of history is an awareness of the past, present, and future. Being aware of how things change over time and our ability to develop historical consciousness is, arguably, what makes us human. So, it is fitting that in celebration of its 30th anniversary, NCHE’s conference theme explores how the past, present, and future are entwined and how knowledge of history informs, changes, and enriches our lives. 

Understanding the past and making sense of the complex flows of history enables us to consider the various paces and patterns through which change occurs. We often evaluate change broadly through the concepts of progress and decline; depending on context and outcomes, change for some people represents progress while others consider such a change a threat. The injustices of the past often motivate women and men of conscience to press for a more inclusive and humane future. Mohandas Gandhi led India to independence through moral actions, resisting colonial oppression while encouraging people of different faiths to find common ground. In the spring of 1903, Mother Jones led the March of the Mill Children to protest child labor, an act that contributed to the creation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The struggle to eradicate child labor continues today around the world. In 2018, students at Florida’s Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School started a movement against gun violence as a result of a school shooting. In their case, we know the past and present but not the future ramifications of their response to this event. In 2020, we celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment with the awareness that much remains to be done to overcome the sexism and exploitation of women in the United States and internationally. As our knowledge of these issues continues to grow, our conception of time and space also evolves. How has the rise of technology, from the printing press to the 24 hour news cycle, altered what it means to be present at an event? To what extent does having access to events a world away make us more inclined to seek out a better world? 

As we return to Cleveland, where NCHE was founded, to celebrate our 30th anniversary, we look back at paces and patterns that have brought change to this industrial city. A port of entry for thousands of immigrants, by 1900, roughly one-third of all Clevelanders were foreign born; the stalls at the famed West Side Market attest to this diversity. The Cleveland Arcade, which opened in 1890, became the first indoor shopping mall in America and served what was then the seventh largest city in the country. Like many Rust Belt cities, Cleveland has seen its share of hard times, but its future is far from preordained. Today, the city is a global leader in health care, boasts some of the finest cultural institutions anywhere, and has redeveloped its downtown core with the addition of restaurants, music venues, and shops. The West Side Market continues to buzz with local merchants, and The Cleveland Arcade has been repurposed as a hotel complex. Both make for exciting excursions and offer a glimpse into Cleveland’s past, present, and future in a context rich with continuity and change.     

The National Council for History Education invites proposals on the theme “Past, Present, and Future” for the 2020 National Conference. All proposals will be evaluated on historical and intellectual content, ability to engage the audience, and overall contribution to the teaching of history. We encourage sessions that address world history and those that consider how history teachers make specific contributions to diverse learners and to civic life. 

Criteria for Program Selection:
  • Demonstrates substantial connections to specific historical events and raises questions that are significant and appropriate to historical inquiry.
  • Offers prospect of substantial audience engagement.
  • Makes meaningful contributions to the teaching of history by demonstrating innovative pedagogical approaches and/or by providing extensive materials for classroom use.
Breakout Sessions:
These teacher workshops are typically interactive "how to" sessions designed for the K-12 educator and are 50-minutes in length.
Mini Sessions:
Mini Session topics range from teaching ideas to research reports.  Presenters have 15 minutes to present information and answer questions.  Each mini session typically includes three separate 15 minute presentations in the same room within a 50-minute time period.

Poster Sessions:
Poster Session topics range from teaching ideas to research reports.  Poster presenters display their information visually on a display board (provided) and interact with interested attendees during the 50-minute session. Presenters remain with their posters.  The poster session period may include 10-20 simultaneous presenters.  


About NCHE

The National Council for History Education provides professional and intellectual leadership to foster an engaged community committed to the teaching, learning, and appreciation of diverse histories.