Leaning Into Liminality: Historical Actors in Transitory Spaces

Forty-Sixth Annual Susman Conference

April 5, 2024

Rutgers University—New Brunswick

Submission Deadline: January 25, 2024

The 46th Annual Susman Conference welcomes papers from graduate students in history and other disciplines on the theme of liminality—people, ideas, and spaces in transition. Liminality merits special attention now amidst individual and collective recovery from the coronavirus pandemic; culture wars waged against marginalized groups, identities, and histories; sustained assaults worldwide on democracies and democracy itself; and continued confrontations with colonialism, imperialism, and their legacies. This theme therefore invites us to problematize oppositions and binaries between past and present and across bodies, identities, geographies, and temporalities.

We invite submissions for individual papers and panels from graduate students at all levels and in all departments. Proposals may cover all scholarly approaches and fields and span diverse chronologies and geographies. We particularly welcome proposals related, but not limited, to:

  • Age and aging
  • Border crossings, cross-border exchanges, borderlands, and “buffer zones”
  • Cross-species interactions
  • Diaspora communities and experiences of emigration, immigration, and migration
  • Empire, imperialism, semi-colonialism, and their legacies
  • Identity formation and transformation
  • Military occupations and camptowns
  • Moving beyond the gender binary
  • Queer spaces
  • Race and its construction
  • Statehood and statelessness

Abstracts of up to 300 words with a working title, as well as a one-page curriculum vitae, should be sent by January 25, 2024, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance by mid-February. The conference will take place in the Rutgers Academic Building West, in Rooms 6050 and 6051. 

Please join us after the conference for a keynote lecture delivered by Dr. Kaisha Esty (Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2019), Professor of African American Studies, History, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. Dr. Esty’s scholarship focuses on sexual politics, slavery, and Black girlhood and womanhood. Her article, “‘I Told Him to Let Me Alone, That He Hurt Me:’ Black Women and Girls in the Battle over Labor and Sexual Consent in Union-Occupied Territory,” published in Labor: Studies in Working Class History, won the 2022 Letitia Woods Brown Prize for Best Article from the Association of Black Women Historians. She is currently in the process of revising her dissertation into a book, tentatively entitled Weaponizing Virtue: Black Women and Intimate Resistance in the Age of U.S. Expansion.

Proposals and questions may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..