Keynote speaker | Jeremy Varon (New School for Social Research and Eugene Lange College)

April 4, 5-6:30

Smith-Buonanno 106

Reception to Follow

Closing Address | Lilia Topouzova (Pembroke Center, Brown University)

“Becoming a Perpetrator, Becoming a Survivor: Two Lives in the Bulgarian Gulag,” with film screening and comment by Professors Omer Bartov,  Paris Chronakis, and Jeremy Varon

April 5, 3:00-5:00 pm

Smith-Buonanno 106


9:00-11:00 am:  “Imperial Imaginations and Political Subversions” and “Power and Place”

11:30-1:30: “Bodies and the Law” and “Systems of Thought and Systems of Power”


“The personal is political,” the rally cry of the 1960s, is a modern conception, yet rooted in a longer history of individual encounters with political, economic, legal, religious, and cultural apparatus. This conference on “subjectivity and the system” invites analyses of these two historically produced and unstable categories: on the one hand, “subjectivity,” associated with authenticity, feeling, and agency, whether individual or collective; on the other, the grandiose and impersonal notion of an objectively definable “system” to which subjectivity is ostensibly opposed. The boundaries between the personal and the political are shifting and porous, but an interrogation of these categories of analysis can expose the intertwined and mutually dependent histories of the individual, the movement, and instantiated regimes of power.

The 8th Annual History Graduate Student Conference brings students and faculty from a diverse range of disciplines and institutions to present interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to integrate the inner lives and experiences of historical subjects into narratives of large-scale structural change. Through a discussion of these themes, we hope to outline difficulties and provide strategies for thinking through the relations of “subjectivity” and the “system” with historical sources and methods.

This event is free and open to the public.




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