2020 Madingley: Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, BrANCH 2020 has been cancelled.

Please see the following message from our chair, Susan-Mary Grant:

Dear Fellow BrANCH Members,

It is with real regret, but also we think a dose of realism, that the BrANCH Executive has taken the decision to cancel BrANCH 2020 at Madingley. 

It is not only the case that American colleagues would be unable to join us because of quarantine travel regulations (that may, or may not, still be in place come October) but the predictions that a second ‘spike’ of infections may hit in the autumn is cause for concern: (https://www.businessinsider.com/second-wave-of-coronavirus-infections-may-peak-in-fall-2020-5?r=US&IR=T).

We realise that October is a long way off, but we simply cannot risk the health and well-being of BrANCH members, so are erring on the side of caution here.

We are hoping to offer some on-line activities, probably over the BrANCH weekend, that will continue to promote the study in Britain of the United States in the long nineteenth century. Possibly this will take the form of one or two on-line workshops based around the panel/paper proposals we have received, with pre-circulated (short) papers and a discussion on Zoom or Teams. Some of us have been taking part in various on-line workshops over the last month or so, and have found that they work very well and can be both productive and a lot of fun. So the BrANCH2020 Conference Secretary, Liz Barnes, will be in touch about this when we have decided on the best format. 

And we have, of course, initiated our ‘Noticeboard’ on the Website that can be used for a variety of purposes; to advertise BrANCH members’ publications, for book discussions or anything you feel would be of value to share with BrANCH. We don’t intend to drift out of touch into lock-down limbo!

Again, I am so sorry to be cancelling this conference. I realise that BrANCH is an important and enjoyable event in the academic calendar. Onwards to BrANCHMissouri2021 and Leicester College Court 2021, where I hope to see many of you again, and some of you on-line in the months between.

Best wishes,

Susan-Mary Grant

Chair, BrANCH


BrANCH 2020 Call for Papers

The BrANCH committee is pleased to invite proposals for our 27th annual conference, to be held at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 9-11 October 2020.

The Parish Lecturer for 2020, we are delighted to announce, is Professor Adam Smith, author of The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846-1865 (UNC Press 2017) and No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (OUP 2006).

The BrANCH Keynote for 2020, we are equally delighted to announce, is Professor Elaine Frantz, author of Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction (UNC Press 2016) and Manhood Lost: Drunken Men and Redeeming Women in the Nineteenth-Century United States (John Hopkins University Press 2003).

The BrANCH Committee would like to invite both panels and individual papers on all aspects of U.S. history from the period 1789 to 1917. We particularly encourage panels that open new lines of communication between established thematic specialties as well as individual papers that cut across traditional categories of historical inquiry in imaginative and innovative ways. Sponsored panels and postgraduate contributions are especially welcome.

In line with BrANCH’s diversity initiative, proposals for single-gender panels are unlikely to be accepted. Sponsored panels and postgraduate contributions are especially welcome. Due to limitations of space on the programme we are also unlikely to accept paper proposals from those who presented at our last two conferences (Edinburgh, 2019 and Missouri, 2020); this does not prevent them from chairing a panel however.

Subsidies for UK-based postgraduate participants are available for those not in receipt of support from their home institutions. These will be offered on a first come first served basis.

We are pleased to introduce a childcare/carers bursary for postgraduates and ECRs with caring responsibilities.  Full details to follow on our website.

Please send a brief CV and a summary of the proposed paper or panel (no more than 3 speakers per panel and 300 words per paper, please) by Friday 8th May 2020 to the Conference Secretary at: branchconference2020@gmail.com.

Please note that all programme participants will be expected either to be members or register as BrANCH members before the conference.

Further information on membership can be found here, and please see our Twitter feed (@Branch19th) for regular updates, or you can email the Chair, susan-mary.grant@ncl.ac.uk.

Elizabeth Barnes, BrANCH 2020 Conference Secretary.