Call For Papers

Building Bridges in the Americas

2022 Biennial Scholars Conference on American Jewish History

Tulane University, May 15-17, 2022

The Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, invites submissions until November 10, 2021.

This conference seeks to emphasize and explore connections, dialogues, and debates in American Jewish studies from transdisciplinary perspectives. We seek papers across a wide range of eras and geographies, including North America,  South America, and the Caribbean. We encourage papers that engage with how Jewish Studies scholarship reaches across regions, communities, historical periods, and/or disciplines to open up new areas of inquiry.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Building Bridges in the Americas.” Bridges facilitate movement from one point to another, often spanning a seeming impasse to take us from one place to another. By enabling new relations and migrations, bridges direct flow. Historical actors have sometimes imagined themselves or their lives as bridges between disparate experiences; as feminist writer Cherríe L. Moraga puts it, “I am a woman with a foot in both worlds; and I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue. Sometimes I feel it urgently.” With the imagery of bridges in mind, possible conference topics might include: indigenity; Jews of color; multiracial, interfaith, queer and trans experiences; migration; cultural flows; translocality; diversity and inclusion within the Jewish community; less represented voices, populations, and subjects; new models of periodization; ties between American Jewry and Israel; and Jewish studies’ relationship to other fields of study.

Although we particularly welcome submissions connected to the theme, the Scholars Conference Committee will gladly consider proposals exploring any aspect of American Jewish history and culture. The Committee encourages the submission of complete panels and nontraditional types of panels, including seminars, roundtables, and lightning sessions. It will also consider individual paper submissions. In all cases, the Committee urges contributors to approach the conference as an opportunity to share ideas through interactive conversation and accessible presentations. International scholars, graduate students, and scholars with limited financial resources are all encouraged to apply. Once acceptance decisions are made, a limited number of travel grants will be made available.

*AJHS is aware of Covid concerns and will provide an updated cancelation policy upon registration.

Submission instructions:

  • Paper abstract (250 words)
  • For panels or other organized sessions, short panel description (150 words), with individual paper abstracts attached for formal panels.
  • Brief participant bio (120 words), including email address and phone number.
  • Indicate technological or accessibility needs.
  • Indicate if you can only participate remotely. Our expectation is that (COVID permitting) the conference will be in person, but regardless, we will have a limited number of remote presentation slots for those who know they cannot be there in person.
  • Indicate what language you prefer to present in. The majority of the conference is likely to be in English, but we welcome abstracts and papers in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Hebrew.
  • Please note, any single person may serve no more than two times in the conference in two different roles (e.g. presenter on panel x and respondent to panel y).

  The American Jewish Historical Society is hosting a National Poetry contest that asks students: “If you could write a poem for the Statue of Liberty today, what would it say?”

Emma Lazarus’ story shows how even in complicated times, people can engage civically, and that art can help express and define the ideals and identity of a nation nation.

You do not have to participate in the full Emma Lazarus Project Curriculum in order to submit their poems to the contest, but we do encourage you to watch the film below and explore the website. Whether in a class setting or on their own, we invite students to connect past and present, and imagine themselves as modern day Emma Lazaruses.








Deadline is November 1st 2021

Poems should explore both the stories “The New Colossus” invites, and those to which it may have blinded us too as well. Poems should, together with the Statue of Liberty, should send a message to the world about America.

Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and be featured in an upcoming AJHS Film and publication. All submission will be preserved in the AJHS Archive alongside the collection of Emma Lazarus.

Submission Guidelines: 

  • For this contest, we are accepting poems from emerging poets of all ages. Submissions will be divided into three groups: Middle School, High School and Collegiate / Adult Emerging Poet 
  • Submissions are open nationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English. 
  • We are accepting only unpublished work for this contest.  
  • There is no word requirements, but we suggest your poem is between 14 and 20 lines long.  
  • We do not accept multiple submissions, only one poem may be submitted by each participant.  
  • Any submission deemed to include language that is hateful, harmful, or violent will not be reviewed.  
American Jewish Historical Society