"Governing Through Violence", Doctoral Conference on 20th Cent. US History, October 12-14, 2023

October 12, 5:30 pm

Room D040, Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006 Paris 


Room D040, Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006 Paris 

Governing through Violence: Doctoral Conference on US Twentieth Century History – October 12-14, 2023

Organized by: Clara Vinh, Anaïs Lefèvre, and Andrew Diamond (HDEA, Sorbonne-Université)

Thursday, October 12th

5:30 – 7:30 pm – Keynote Address: Grace Hale – “After Duck Hill: The Transformation of Lynching in Mid-Twentieth Century America” 

Friday, October 13th

9 am: breakfast / coffee

  • 9:30 – 10:10 – Marie Sellier – “Living under the Threat of Lynching” [Moderator: Grace Hale]
  • 10:10 – 10:50 – Anaïs Lefèvre – “The Ambiguities of the Federal Reaction to Chain Gang Violence in the 1930s” [Moderator: Alexandra Southgate]

10:50 – 11:10 – break 

  • 11:10 – 11:50 – Hugh Wood – “Violence, Pragmatism, and Nineteenth Century U.S. Government” [Moderator: Jürgen Martschukat]
  • 11:50 – 12:30 – Felix Kraemer – “Freedom Denied: The Body Politics of Debts Difference in the United States after the End of Slavery” [Moderator: Stephanie Childress]

Lunch (Buffet with vegetarian options, provided onsite)

  • 2:00 – 2:40 – Alexander Obermüller – “What Family, Whose Values: William J. Bennett's Epistemic Violence, 1980-1990” [Moderator: Marie Ménard]
  • 2:40 – 3:20 – Pia Beumer – “Contested Space: Bernhard Goetz and the Legitimization of White Male Violence as Self-Defense” [Moderator: Andrew Diamond] 

3:20 – 3:40 – break

  • 3:40 – 4:20 – Alexandra Southgate – “'The Revolutionary Daydreams:' Quaker Opposition to Imperial Violence 1950–1975.” [Moderator: Clara Vinh]
  • 4:20 – 5:00 – Bryant Simon – “The Public Void:  Toilets, Infrastructure, and the Making of Inequality in the US – A Story Told in Three Acts” [Moderator: Ruth Ennis]

Dinner at Le Peraudin, 157 rue Saint Jacques, 75005 Paris

Saturday, October 14th

9 am: breakfast / coffee

  • 9:30 – 10:10: Max Gaida – “Fighting the Sexualization of Philadelphia: The Sexual Politics of Violence in the Late Twentieth Century City” [Moderator: Bryant Simon]
  • 10:10 – 10:50: Stephanie Childress – “Carbon Cultures: Networks of Exclusion & Violence in Central West Texas, 1900-1930” [Moderator: Felix Kraemer]

10:50 – 11:10: Break

  • 11:10 – 11:50: Ruth Ennis – “Framing the Reasonableness of Violence in Self-Defense: Yvonne Wanrow and the American Campaigns of ‘Third World Women’ (1972-1979)” [Moderator: Marion Marchet]
  • 11:50 – 12:30: Molly Carlin – “How to Jail a Revolution: Solitary Confinement and the Suppression of Prison Activism” [Moderator: Alexander Obermüller]

The location will take place at: Maison de la Recherche de la Sorbonne, 28 rue Serpente, 75006 Paris,, Room D040 (ground floor)

Space is limited. Please register to attend the keynote address and/or workshops by email at claravinh@gmail.com


Grace Hale

Grace Elizabeth Hale is the Commonwealth Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Virginia. An award-winning historian on modern American culture and the regional culture of the U.S. South, she has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Scholar, among others. A recent Carnegie Fellow, she has also received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the National Humanities Center, the Gilder Lehrman Foundation, the American Historical Association, and the American Association of University Women. She is the author of Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940, A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle-Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America, and Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture. Her new book, In the Pines: A Lynching, a Lie, a Reckoning, will be published in 2023. 

Marie Sellier

Marie Sellier is a PhD candidate at Sorbonne Université. Her thesis is entitled “Strange Fruit or the lynching narrative as construction of an African American identity, 1892-1955.” 

Anaïs Lefèvre

Anaïs Lefèvre is a PhD student at Sorbonne University. Her dissertation, temporarily entitled “Perceptions and Meanings of Carceral Work in the United States, 1919-2003,” explores the discourses, debates and representations revolving around carceral work in the United States. 

Hugh Wood  

Hugh Wood is a PhD candidate at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. His research interests include right wing paramilitary groups, private violence, and the American state. His PhD thesis is provisionally titled “Private Violence and American Statebuilding, 1860-1895.” 

Felix Kraemer

Felix Kraemer is a research associate at the University of Erfurt. His research examines “living on credit” as a history of debt from the end of slavery to the present. His book, Leben auf Kredit (Living on Credit: People, Power and Debt in the US from the End of Slavery to the Present) is forthcoming. 

Alexander Obermüller

Alexander is a doctoral student who works on US political history and conservatism. His dissertation is titled “On the Right Side: Identity Politics and Contested Democracy since the 1970s.” 

Pia Beumer

Pia Beumer is a PhD candidate at Erfurt University. Her dissertation focuses on the legitimization of armed self-defense and masculinity in the context of the rise of conservatism in the US since the 1970s. 

Alexandra Southgate 

Alexandra is a PhD student in the Department of History. Her research interests include twentieth-century U.S. foreign relations, international history and the intersections of class, gender, race and religion in the culture of the Cold War.

Bryant Simon

Bryant Simon is professor of history at Temple University. He is the author most recently of Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (2004), and Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks (2009). 

Max Gaida

Max Gaida is a PhD candidate at the University of Cologne and Temple University, Philadelphia, writing a dissertation on "The Sexual Politics of Antiurbanism in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley." 

Stephanie Childress

Stephanie Childress is a public/digital environmental humanities scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies the transition from fossil fuels to zero-carbon energy from local and global perspectives. 

Ruth Ennis

Ruth Ennis is a research fellow at the University of Leipzig. Her doctoral research examined the emergence of “white slavery” as a transnational issue at the end of the 19th century. 

Molly Carlin

Molly Carlin is a PhD researcher at the University of Sussex. Her thesis, titled ‘How to Jail a Revolution: Theorising the Penal Suppression of United States Political Voices, 1964-2022’ looks at the use of mechanisms such as solitary confinement and censorship as politically-motivated forms of suppression.