World History: The Next Ten Years
A Conference on Research, Teaching, and Graduate Education
John Hancock Hotel and Conference Center, Boston
Friday - Sunday, March 12-14, 2004
"Concepts and Institutions for World History:MS Word version
The Next Ten Years"
Conference Plenary Address by Patrick Manning: March 13, 2004
The World History Center, Northeastern University,
The World History Association,
and The American Historical Association
The Purpose of This Conference
"World History: The Next Ten Years will assemble leading junior and senior scholars, teachers, and other professionals associated with world history, to assess the remarkable advances in the study of world history over the past ten years, and to discuss priorities and plans for the decade to come.
The expansion in enrollment and employment in world history at secondary and college levels, make it certain that world history is gaining permanence and recognition as a field (or set of fields) within historical studies. Such advances, while encouraging to world-historical enthusiasts, only make more evident the deficiencies in the field. Aside from a remarkable string of awards by the National Endowment for the Humanities, there has been little funding of curriculum development or professional development in world history. Permanent and part-time positions in world history - in universities and in schools - are filled consistently by applicants without formal training in world history. No research funds support world history, except in the form of area studies.
The conference organizers, in response to both the strengths and weaknesses in world history, seek to assemble those knowledgeable in the study of world history to undertake a weekend of diagnosis, and to provide an opportunity for developing proposals that will strengthen the field intellectually and institutionally. The practitioners are expected to come from several overlapping groups.
- Researchers in world history, including senior scholars and especially junior scholars specializing in world history.
- Directors of graduate programs, including faculty in history, education, and other fields, who are seeking to establish or strengthen programs of training for researchers, college teachers, secondary and middle-school teachers.
- Teachers of world history at secondary and college level.
- Professional development staff based in museums, global-studies and area-studies outreach centers, and education schools.
- Leaders of other institutions affecting the study of world history, including publishers, testing agencies, governmental and philanthropic funding agencies.
Individuals from each of these groupings will learn about issues in world history from each other, and may find an interest in collaboration. The structure of the conference will permit specialists to discuss their specific interests, but it will also bring together practitioners of varying backgrounds to discuss broad contours of the field of world history.
In addition to discussion of trends in research in teaching, conference sessions will address the institutional structure of world history. The institutions for world history include departments of history and other fields, discussion lists (such as H-WORLD), websites (such as World History Network), professional organizations (such asÂ the World History Association, National Council for the Social Studies, and American Historical Association), the Journal of World History and other journals, funding agencies (especially NEH, but also NSF, SSRC, and ACLS), museums, the College Board and ETS, and publishers of monographs, texts, curriculum, and multimedia. Particular attention will be given to the new and expanding graduate programs in world history, for PhD, MA, and teaching degrees.
The conference is scheduled to include nine sessions, most of which will include three to five concurrent panels or roundtables. Time and space will also be allotted for informal, ad hoc "breakout" sessions. Conference participants will join in the critical assessment of the prospects and policies most appropriate for world history. In a plenary address, World History Center Director Patrick Manning will offer a perspective on the challenges of the past ten years and what they suggest for the next ten years. The center, since its creation in 1994, has been a significant contributor to graduate education, research, communication, professional development, and creation of curriculum in text and multimedia in world history. Because it has been unable to obtain long-term funding for its basic operations, however, the center will close in June 2004.
The conference organizers seek endorsements, co-sponsorships, and other expressions of interest in the conference from organizations supportive of world historical studies.
For further information about anything related to the conference, please contact Parker James at email@example.com, or at (617) 373-4060
(World History Center)
(World History Association)