Grad Conference

Welcome to the APHI grad conference page, where you can find information about the 11th Annual Graduate Student Conference in American Political History, including a program of events, conference flyer, and conference papers (password protected) once they become available. This year’s theme is “American Political Traditions” and will feature a keynote speech delivered by Elizabeth Hinton (Harvard University).

The Eleventh Annual APHI Graduate Student Conference Schedule

Day One: Friday, March 29, 2019

Location: George Sherman Union (GSU), 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 310 

10 am: Welcome

10:15-11:45 am: Session 1, Forging American Political Traditions (Commentator: Jon Roberts; Chair: Patrick Browne)

Dolores A. Roberts, UMass-Boston, Reconsidering Nullification

Laura Ellyn Smith, University of Mississippi, “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home”: The Presidential Election of 1828 in East Tennessee

Bryan LaPointe, Princeton University, The American Political Tradition of Slaves Running Away 

11:45 am-1 pm: Lunch

1-2:45 pm: Session 2, The Contested Traditions of the American Century (Commentator: Brooke Blower; Chair: Andrew Bell)

Joshua Kluever, Binghamton University, Redefining Success: The Wisconsin Socialist Party at the State Level, 1905-1944

Lewis J. d’Avigdor, Cornell University, Contesting the “ideological sovereignty of the Western Aesthetic”: Recovering Harold Cruse’ Aesthetic Theory of American Negritude

John D. “Bo” Blew, Purdue University, Evolving Traditions: The Lilly Endowment and the Politicization of Philanthropy

Danielle N. Stubbe, Vanderbilt University, Patrons of Culture: A Reflection on Anthropologists, Inter/National Projects, and Postwar Cultural Politics

2:45-3 pm: Break

3-4:30 pm: Session 3, The Organizational Tradition in American Politics (Commentator: R.S. Deese; Chair: Matthew Lavallee)

Courtland D. Ingraham, George Washington University, Public Trust, Party Leadership, and Unbossing the Gilded Age: How Grover Cleveland Built the Tradition of the President’s Role as Party Leader

Robin M. Bates, University of Cambridge, Investigation and Administrative Autonomy: Commissioner William Lochren and the Unheralded Capacities of the U.S. Pension Bureau

Kwelina P. Thompson, Cornell University, “We Have to Find Our Own Way:” The La Leche League and the Controversy of Working Mothers

4:30-5 pm: Break

5-6:30 pm: Keynote Address

“Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration”

Elizabeth Hinton, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of History and the Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

6:30-8 pm: Conference Reception, History and American Studies Departments, 226 Bay State Road, Room 504


Day Two: Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Location: Boston University Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s Street, Room 901

8:30 am: Breakfast

9-10:55 am: Session 4, The Public/Private Political Tradition in American Politics (Commentator: Bruce Schulman; Chair: John Williams)

Shawn Driscoll, UMass-Lowell, Never Again: Nixon’s Television Lesson, and His Use of Political Television Advertisement in the 1968 Election 

Charlotte Rosen, Northwestern University, Rethinking The “Growing Partisan Divide”in the Post-World War II United States

Erica S. Sterling, Harvard University, Strange Bedfellows: Race, Rights, and the Privatization of Education Reform, 1954-1993

Henry M. J. Tonks, University of Missouri-Columbia, Moving beyond State and Market?: American Liberals and the Politics of Civil Society, c.1975 – 1996

10:55-11:10 am: Break

11:10 am -12:45: Session 5, The Violent Tradition in American Politics (Commentator: Christopher Capozzola; Chair: Sean Case) 

Gideon Cohn-Postar, Northwestern University, The Coercive Tradition in the Late-Nineteenth Century United States

Ruth Lawlor, University of Cambridge, Which Band of Brothers? American GIs and the Politics of Rape in World War II France

12:45: Lunch and awarding of the APHI Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Prize

2019 APHI Grad Conference Poster 


Travel Information

Transportation to Boston

Boston University is located on the “B” Green line near Kenmore Square.  The MBTA extensively covers the Boston metropolitan area, making travel around the city and its suburbs easy and quick.  For a map and more information see:

By Plane: 

Boston University is easily accessible from Logan Airport by the Metro System.  Once you arrive in at Logan, take a shuttle labeled “Blue Line” to the blue line metro station and get on an inbound train.  Take the inbound train to the “Government Center” stop and there you will switch to the green line.  Take the “B” Green line outbound, this line will be labeled destination “Boston College.”   Take this train to the Boston University East Exit.

By train or bus:

Boston University is easily accessible from South Station, where both trains and buses arrive.  A variety of bus and train lines travel to Boston from New York, Providence, and many other cities.  Once you arrive at South Station, get on the red metro line and take two stops to Park Street Station.  There you will switch to the green “B” line outbound to Boston College.  Take this train to the Boston University East Exit.

If you would like information about a nearby hotel, please email us or contact the Hotel Buckminster at