Monday, June 27, 2011

Call for Proposals: “The UGR Turned On Its Head? Old Themes, New Directions?”

The Eleventh Annual Underground Railroad Public History Conference
Organized by Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
April 13 - 15, 2012 at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York

New research on the Underground Railroad, slavery, abolition and the 19th
century period has the potential to turn what we know about the Underground
Railroad on its head. Old assumptions such as "There is little documentation of the Underground Railroad", "The UGRR was a string of safe houses to Canada" and numerous other ideas are challenged by new research and Interpretations.
New discoveries and interpretations will be the basis for 2012 UGR Public
History Conference. We invite proposals that address reinterpretations, new
research, teaching using new research and show how that research can be used in delivering new celebrations of the story historically and contemporarily, as well as proposals other proposals related to the Underground Railroad in the past and its relationship with us today.

Possible questions to be considered:
• What documented detail can be gathered regarding UGRR activists and
freedom seekers in specific counties and communities?
• What was the role of David Walker, Benjamin Lundy and others before
Garrison in creating the radical abolitionist movement?
• How did the War of 1812 lay a framework for later escapes by the
• How does the story of the newsly re-discovered slave rebellion of 1811 in Louisiana relate to the Northeast or other parts of the country?
• What are the increasingly detailed accounts of UGRR figures such as
Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, David Riggles, Harriet Jacobs and how can
they be interpreted for better understadning of this history?
• How can we preserve the voices of the past and relate them to us today?

Proposals on related questions, not directly on this theme, are also

Proposals may be for a 60-minute panel session, workshop, cultural/artistic
activity, media production, poster, or other exhibit that addresses these
questions and this theme. When possible, activities should encourage audience interaction. Proposals should include: title, content description, type of presentation, names and contact information of presenters, target audience, and technology needs.

Proposals should be submitted by September 30, 2011
Via postal mail to URHPCR, PO Box 10851, Albany NY 12201 or via email to

For more information, visit or call 518-432-4432

“The gold standard of Underground Railroad conferences...bringing together an extraordinary spectrum of attendees, ranging from noted scholars and authors to large numbers of interested laymen, in spirited and informative workshops which both bring history alive and open new avenues of research.”
-- Fergus M. Bordewich, author, Bound for Canaan

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. researches, preserves, and retells New York's regional history of the
Underground Railroad, highlighting the role of African-American freedom
seekers and local abolitionists

URHPCR is a 501(c) 3 organization

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