Call for Papers

Senses and Spaces
The 14th Annual Graduate History Symposium
May 10-11, 2018, University of Toronto

Senses and spaces are the fabric of lived experience. As scholars increasingly focus on place-making and embodiment, this conference asks: How can we trace the historical meanings of senses? How do we examine the constructions of spaces? The study of senses and spaces maps lived experience onto contested and politicized geographies. Experiences of sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste offer windows into culture, politics, and power where the body encounters both matter and meaning. Shaped by memory, environment, and migration, they provide insight into historical constructions of gender, sexuality, race, and culture. We invite panelists to explore some of the exciting research under way on these topics across geographical and temporal boundaries.

Please join us for the Fourteenth Annual Graduate History Symposium to be held on May 10-11, 2018 by the University of Toronto’s Department of History. The overarching theme will be Senses and Spaces, but we welcome participants from all backgrounds to submit paper or panel proposals. We encourage scholars of all geographic, temporal, and thematic interests to consider how their research intersects with the following themes:

  • Place-making
  • Textiles and fashion
  • Mapping and geography
  • Liminal spaces
  • History of sound and soundscapes
  • Memory/commemoration
  • Taste and food history
  • Indigenous histories
  • Technology and senses
  • Art and architecture history
  • Smell scapes
  • Urban history
  • Visual culture
  • Music history
  • Material culture
  • Environmental history
  • Digital history
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Cultural history
  • Immigration and migration history
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Gender and family histories
  • Histories of sexualities and intimacies
  • Space production

The conference will feature a scholars’ roundtable on Thursday, May 10, followed by a keynote presentation and social mixer that evening. We are also excited to renew our partnership with Past Tense Graduate Review of History to offer the third annual an essay competition for conference participants. The recipient of this award for the best conference paper will be published in an upcoming issue of Past Tense. Visit for more about the journal.

To apply, please submit a 250-word proposal and a one page CV to by Monday, February 23, 2018. Successful submissions will be notified by the end of March. Download a PDF version of the call for papers.