Call for Proposals

NRHC 2015: Battlefields of Change

Gettysburg, PA April 9-12, 2015

This conference calls us to consider the battlefield of Gettysburg and to reflect on its transformational impact in the broadest terms. Weaponry and warfare were forever changed in the course of the Civil War, but so did the words and arguments made by our leaders. Moreover, some of the innovative technologies that it helped engender – in communications, medicine, photography, transportation, and so on – likewise changed the social and political fabric of the nation and helped to alter the way in which the United States came to define itself in art, citizenship, literature, poetry, and religion.  The Civil War generally, and Gettysburg in particular, changed everything utterly and irrevocably.

This conference likewise calls us to consider other battlefields that have transformed the world in which we live – be they physical battlefields like Gettysburg or other fields of battle where ideas and ideals have come into conflict and where the outcomes have been consequential in the deepest and most genuine sense. Whether it’s the battlefields on which ethical problems of stem cell research is fought, debates on illegal immigration, the war on terror, civil liberties, censorship, or race, which in the wake of Ferguson has shown us that it is still a battle being fought in the twenty-first century, the battles continue.

This year’s full conference theme statement is available on the website at:

Submission link:

Types of Proposals:

This year’s conference theme is Battlefields of Change.

The Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) welcomes proposals that explore this year’s conference theme from the perspectives of the Arts and Humanities, Business and Technology, Education, Natural and Applied Sciences, and the Social Sciences. Paper presentations, roundtables, and poster presentation submissions will all be considered for possible acceptance.

While proposals centering on this year’s theme are encouraged, we also consider proposals that interpret the theme broadly. Paper, poster, and roundtable descriptions should be no more than 250 words. Submit your proposal here:


*Proposals may be submitted in ONLY ONE category. The same proposal may not be submitted in multiple categories. Different presenters may not submit the same proposal.

*All proposers must provide valid, unique emails.

*Proposals require a title and a brief abstract or summary of the proposed presentation, limited to a maximum of 250 words.


All proposals must be submitted no later than November 21st.



Please see the extended description call for papers below, which describes each strand. Each paper presentation will be limited to ten minutes, with four presenters per session. Time will be left at the end of each session for questions. Presenters of papers may prepare formal presentations that summarize key issues the research examines rather than reading the paper to the audience. The presenter may also choose to highlight critical aspects of the inquiry process, including, but not limited to, the following: What challenges were encountered? What unexpected or exciting discoveries were made? How has the presenter’s understanding of the research subject changed as a result of the inquiry? Further information on paper presentations is available on the NRHC website under Submission Guidelines at


Poster Sessions:

Poster sessions are a great place to showcase student research from all disciplines. However, proposals addressing the theme of the conference are especially welcome. Posters should be displayed on tri-fold board, or similar freestanding framework, that can be displayed on the tables provided by the conference center. Further information on poster presentations is available on the NRHC website under Submission Guidelines at


Roundtable Sessions:

The opportunity to lead a roundtable discussion requires you to be an active listener, to seek common ground as well as to restate the “tables” differences. What would have happened had the North and South elected to convene roundtable discussions instead of settling their differences through warfare and inflicting battles throughout our nation?

For the 2015 NRHC Roundtable sessions, you have an opportunity to explore your knowledge and interests with like-minded colleagues, to practice diplomacy and seek common ground. While roundtable submission topics are open-ended, you are encouraged to remember the theme of this year’s conference, Battlefields of Change– what battlefields are you engaged in? What change are you taking a leadership role in? What change are you challenging?

Roundtable presentations are intended to enable students in different disciplines from different colleges and universities to have the chance to explore related concerns, questions, and topics. Roundtable presenters should be aware of and respect the following guidelines:

A. Participants should limit their presentations to a brief five-minute summary of their projects. They should be prepared to engage in discussion and consider connections between their work and that of the other presenters at the table.

B. Presentations should be made by individuals or by pairs of students. For larger projects involving several students, separate proposals should be submitted addressing different aspects of the project. An attempt will then be made to distribute these presentations at different tables to help ensure a lively discussion addressing several related topics.

C. Presentations and discussion will be guided at each table by a moderator. Participants should be responsive to the guidance of the moderator and be willing to share discussion time with the other participants at their table. 

NRHC Paper Proposal Submission Strands: 

Arts & Humanities

Gettysburg has perhaps become the historical marker that it is because of a piece of writing.  Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address crystallized the conflict of the time, on the literal battlefield that was changing the United States.  Since then, Gettysburg has become representative of the U.S. Civil War and many artists and writers have returned to it, both physically and metaphorically, as a place of transformational change.

For the Arts and Humanities sessions, we ask you to consider what other battlefields have transformed the world in which we live — whether they are physical battlefields like Gettysburg or other fields of battle where ideas and ideals have come into conflict, and where the outcomes have been consequential in the deepest and most genuine sense. Explore the significance of battle and change in arts and letters. How do the themes of battle, war, change and transformation beckon us to interpretation and discovery? How do artists, critics and thinkers respond to different forms of war, battles, and change? What draws us to war and its transformations?

Business and Technology

War is big business, but “wars” are also fought in places beyond the military battlefields. What types of battlefields are being encountered in this age of globalization and nationless corporations? How will the future of business and technology affect our battles in the future? You are encouraged to submit a paper proposal that defines, explores, and critiques other conceptions of battlefields in the arenas of business and technology.


It is perhaps an understatement to say that education in the United States is currently in a state of battle. The recent focus on quantitative measurables for education has created a new culture of curriculum development, assessment, and teaching that poses new challenges for the educational experience: the practice of political and economic power and how it relates to public education, the mixing of corporate models and pedagogy, the role of the teacher in education, and student achievement and what exactly predicts, improves, or defines success.  While war is not always the most positive metaphor, it is clear that education is a battlefield on which different ideologies and perspectives wage war, and the stakes could not be higher: the future of our children and our society.  Education at all levels struggles with the changes of technologies and perceived opportunities for access to learning, while at the same time trying to keep pace with the needs and requirements of communities, industry, businesses, the nation, and the world.

How do the current trends in educational practice and policy reflect battlefields of change? What is at stake?  And who are the stakeholders?  Who is battling whom? And over what? What are some new and innovative educational programs and/or policies? What are they changing or trying to change?

With these issues in mind, and other ones prompted by or related to the conference theme of “Battlefields of Change,” students are invited to submit proposals for papers presentations on how, when and where education reflects a “battlefield of change.”

Natural and Applied Sciences

How have battlefields challenged our perceptions and knowledge of the natural world and humanity’s impact upon it? Furthermore, what battles are we still fighting on this front? You are encouraged to submit paper proposals that present examples of scientific knowledge transfer, especially in the creation and battle for new economies and technologies.

Social Sciences

Gettysburg is probably the most famous battle in US history. A site for struggle between North and South, Gettysburg affected the lives of Americans born free and enslaved. This conference challenges you to think broadly about other battlefields that have led to change or may still lead to change.

We ask you to submit work about battles already fought. How have different social groups have battled for dominance. How have their battles brought about change?  Whose ideas have won? We also ask you to submit work about real and metaphorical battles being fought now—for example, the war in Iraq, the search for an Ebola treatment in Africa, or the climate change march in New York. In examining past and present battles, you may see further possibilities for change. We encourage you to submit work on battles still to come. Which battles will be fought in the future?

AV Equipment Policy and Process:

To keep registration costs as low as possible, only selected rooms will be equipped with AV capabilities: a laptop, projector, and screen. If visual representations (maps, images, video clips, tables, and illustrations) are integral to your paper presentation, please check the appropriate box on the submission form and provide a rationale in the appropriate box to illustrate how/why the AV equipment is central to your presentation.

The AV equipped rooms will be assigned according to demonstrated need. Presenters will receive notification of assignment to an AV equipped room with their proposal acceptance. Be prepared to upload presentation digital files with a Flash or other portable drive technology. If you do not receive AV notification, you have not been assigned an AV equipped room. Therefore, you should prepare to deliver your presentation without the aid of AV equipment.

Student Art Show: This year’s conference allows for those with accepted proposals to also submit artwork for the student art show. Students can indicate their interest in participating in the art show via the conference submission page. More information and guidelines will be available on the NRHC website before the conference registration begins.