PEACE-PHS Kent 2019: Call for Proposals

The deadline for paper/panel submissions is February 15, 2019.


An International Conference at Kent State University
Commemorating the May 4, 1970 shooting by the Ohio National Guard of Kent State Students during a demonstration against the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia and the occupation of the Kent State campus by the Ohio National Guard


Many decades before school shootings became sadly commonplace in the U. S., Kent State University students were killed on May 4, 1970, by the Ohio National Guard during a demonstration against the US war in Vietnam and Cambodia. Documenting violence and delivering accountability are critical steps in peacebuilding following violent conflicts ranging from lynchings to political assassinations to wars to genocide. As the Kent State experience demonstrates, memorializing and commemorating are equally important responses—particularly when the violence has been nation-states using violence against their own citizens. Scholarship on memorializing has blossomed in recent decades, as has research on peacebuilding in a variety of conflict and post-conflict settings.

Kicking off a yearlong commemoration of May 4, 1970 at Kent State, this interdisciplinary joint conference of the Peace History Society, the Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association, and Kent State’s School of Peace and Conflict Studies invites research papers focused on the interconnected themes of commemorating violent conflicts and building sustainable peace, broadly conceived.

We welcome both single papers as well as full panel proposals. Each paper proposal must include a title, a 250-word abstract, and five to six keywords.


The conference welcomes paper submissions dealing with the following global themes:

  • Peace Activism, including but not limited to:
    • Student movements
    • Military activism (resistance of troops to violence and wars)
    • Enduring war and peace tropes such as “support the troops”
    • The dynamics of nonviolent action and civil resistance
    • Gendered, racialized, class dimensions and other intersectionalities of peace activism
    • The impacts of seminal events, such as the May 4 Shootings, Chicago Riots and other events associated with peace or anti-war activism
    • Architectural dimensions of urban spaces used by social movements
    • The physical and spatial aspects of mobilization and occupation

  • State Violence and Wars, including but not limited to:
    • State sponsored violence within higher education: the Kent State and Jackson State shootings, Orangeburg Massacre, Gwangju Uprising or others across the world
    • State repression and violence against nonviolent social movements
    • US international wars and their legacies
    • Gendered, racialized, class dimensions and other intersectionalities of wars
    • State control of public and private protest spaces

  • Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice Following Conflict, including but not limited to:
    • Peacebuilding following violent conflicts worldwide
    • The challenges of transitional justice following state-sponsored violence and widespread human rights violations
    • Roles of architecture, art, literature and poetry in commemorating, memorializing and peacebuilding
    • Roles of monuments and museums in peacebuilding and transitional justice

  • Social Violence and Social Responsibility, including but not limited to:
    • The enduring legacy of May 4, 1970 in US and world history
    • The causes and consequences of gun violence in schools and society
    • The politics of police violence and community safety
    • Universities and their responsibility to question, teach and memorialize violent conflicts
    • Overcoming town-gown divides
    • Mapping and visualizing techniques used in protest representations
    • The identity divisions sown by violent conflict and how to overcome them

Submit a Proposal

Proposals must be submitted through this site. Faculty members presenting papers may be asked to serve as chairs and discussants. Please indicate your areas of expertise when you submit your proposal. ISA membership is not required for either proposal submission or conference attendance, though you will need to create an account with isanet.org if you have not already done so.

Submit a Proposal

The International Studies Association

Representing over 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 6 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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