2016 Ghent Conference


The World History Association will hold its 25th annual conference in Ghent, Belgium from July 2-5, 2016.

The conference will be held at Het Pand, the historic cultural center of Ghent University. Het Pand is an old Dominican monastery located in the heart of the city on the banks of the river Leie, near the medieval port.

Please plan on joining us for a memorable conference in the beautiful city of Ghent!

Information about the conference can be found below. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.


The 25th Annual World History Association Conference Call for Papers
Ghent, Belgium  |  July 2-5, 2016
Submission Deadline  |  February 15, 2016

This year’s conference themes are: “Global Conflict” and “Transformation of the Global Countryside.”

The World History Association eagerly invites proposals from students, scholars, and teachers around the world on topics related to the scholarly and/or pedagogical aspects of the conference’s themes:

•  Organized Panels (up to 3 panelists, one chair, and optionally, one discussant) – Individual papers, maximum of 20 minutes in length (panels of 4 have a maximum of 15 minutes in length for papers)

•  Single papers (not part of an Organized Panel)

•  Roundtables (between 4 to 6 participants) –5 minute opening statements from participants and then conversational dialogue with the audience

•  Workshops on specific teaching techniques or practices

•  Proposals for poster displays and presentations

•  Meet the Author sessions—an excellent opportunity for exchanges between authors and end-users of books and texts, explanations of methods, and suggestions for use

PLEASE NOTE: Prearranged (organized) panels/roundtables/workshops are given priority in the program and receive earlier notification of acceptance. Individual papers will also be considered and, if accepted, are arranged into suitable panels by the Program Committee. Individual papers will receive a later notice of acceptance due to the nature of finding appropriate placement.

The World History Association encourages scholarly and pedagogical proposals. The WHA is an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to create conversations about scholarship and teaching within and outside the field of history. Work in Anthropology, Political Science, Literature, Art, and other Humanities and Social Sciences is welcomed and encouraged.

Each proposal should include: a maximum 250-word abstract for each paper, a one page curriculum vitae for each participant, and biographical details for use in the introduction by the chair. All papers should be presented in English. Please be thoughtful of A/V requests. While we should have ideal technological facilities, A/V is subject to failure, regardless of location. As always, handouts are welcome.


Thank you for your interest in submitting a paper for the WHA Ghent Conference. At this time, the call for papers is filled and closed.


Thank you for considering presenting, chairing, or discussing at a panel at a WHA conference or symposium. We have assembled some guidelines to help make the process smoother and easier. Each conference or symposium will have specific FAQs, which should also be reviewed, but the following guidelines are universal to any event. Please read the relevant section before submitting or joining a panel in any capacity, and contact us with any questions you may have.

Below is general information for all WHA conferences/symposia for:

A. Panel Organizers
B. Panel Chairs
C. Panel Discussants/Commentators
D. Roundtable Panelists
E. Individual Presenters

A. For Panel Organizers

  1. It is your responsibility to make sure that a full panel proposal has been sent in, on time, to the WHA, with all fields answered in the submission form.
  2. If your proposal is accepted, it is your responsibility to ensure that the chair(s) of your panel(s) know the contact addresses (usually email and telephone) of all panelists and are sent the individual abstracts and short bios of each panelist.
  3. Should a panelist have to withdraw, you should, in consultation with the WHA Program Committee, make every effort to find a replacement.
  4. It is your responsibility to remind your panelists of the registration cut-off date. Given human frailties, in some cases multiple reminders are needed.
  5. All panelists in any capacity must register for the conference and pay the appropriate fee.

B. For Panel Chairs

Please understand that you play a key role, and much of the panel’s success depends on you.

  1. If there is no panel organizer the WHA will reach out to you with the contact addresses of your panelists.
  2. Please be sure to secure from the panel organizer, or the Program Committee/website, materials submitted by each panelist including his/her CV and abstract.
  3. Please be in communication with your panelists. Each presenter will have only 20 minutes (for a session of 3 papers) or 15 minutes (in those cases of sessions with 4 papers).  As chair it is your responsibility to keep track of time for each panelist, and to not allow the session to run over (this may mean cutting off a panelist before he/she is done. It is useful to have some sheets of paper with 10, 5, 2, 1 minutes left/conclude now. Others will set a watch to beep at 14 minutes or use both strategies.
  4. If your session has a discussant, please make sure the panelists have submitted their papers to this person at least 30 days in advance. Discussants should feel prepared to adequately comment on all of the presentations (even if presenters choose to present without a script).
  5. For Roundtables panelists need no more than 10 minutes for each opening statement, and 7 or 8 minutes is optimum. If there are more than 5 panelists, you will have to impose a less generous maximum amount of time in order to allow for sufficient discussion. See below under “Round Table Panelists.”
  6. Please arrive at the assigned room at least ten minutes before the scheduled starting time to make sure that all necessary A/V equipment is in full operating order and that there is water for the panelists. If you do not know one or more of the panelists, please introduce yourself before the session begins.
  7. Please begin on time! Do not wait for late arrivals.
  8. It is always good to take notes and be prepared to offer contextual thoughts or questions when the panelists are done. This will engage the audience and give valuable feedback to each panelist.
  9. Please briefly introduce each panelist.
  10. Audience involvement is a crucial part of these sessions, and sufficient time must be allowed for discussion, and decide and announce in advance that all three/four papers will be delivered before discussion begins, or, decided that discussion will follow each paper. Either way, please strictly keep to the allotted time so that each presenter is treated equitably.
  11. Whether it is a paper panel or a roundtable, do not allow any single member of the audience or the panel to monopolize discussion, and encourage a balance in the discussion so that at least one issue raised by each paper or panelist is addressed (if all papers are discussed simultaneously).
  12. Please end on time and encourage further informal discussion, as time and circumstances allow.
  13. At all times insist on collegiality and a tone of respect.

C. Commentators/Discussants

  1. Please keep your comments to a total of 10 minutes.
  2. Remember that this is not an opportunity to show what you know; it is an opportunity to offer constructive criticism and to raise provocative questions.

D. Roundtable Panelists

  1. If the round table has 5 or fewer panelists, keep your opening statement to 10 minutes or less. If there are more than five panelists, the chair will divide 45 minutes equally among them for opening statements.
  2. Please be aware of the time you have spoken and do not monopolize the discussion. Many times, your co-presenters will not be native English speakers and may need more time to form their thoughts in English. Collegiality demands that we never interrupt anyone and that we listen, as well as talk.

E. Guidelines for Individual Presenters

Presenters of Papers: 
No presentation can exceed 20 minutes, and the Chair and any Commentators/Discussant must receive your paper in a timely manner (30 days in advance, keeping him/her aware of any substantive changes).

Be sure that your paper can be presented within the allotted time. Each presenter will have only 20 minutes (for a session of 3 papers) or 15 minutes (in those rare cases of sessions with 4 papers). If your paper runs longer, you will run the risk of being cut off without finishing, and may usurp another panelist’s time. Please be considerate.

Some thoughts on well presented papers:

Present your thesis, your main arguments, and a few salient details in the hope to excite your audience with a desire to discuss this issue with you in greater detail, beyond the confines of the session.

  1. Rehearse your paper before an audience—preferably an audience of colleagues. This will allow you to time your paper, test the rhythms and tone of your presentation, gauge audience receptivity, discover possible flaws in your arguments, anticipate other potential problems, and experience a bit of feedback from this rehearsal audience.
  2. The spoken word is not the written word. Avoid overly complex sentences, in which you and your audience can find yourselves lost in a maze of verbiage. Write simply and clearly.
  3. Try to avoid a monotone.
  4. Make eye contact with your audience and engage them.
  5. Do not rush through your presentation in a blur of words.
  6. If at all appropriate and relevant, bring handouts for the audience. About 35 copies are normally more than sufficient.
  7. If you are using a powerpoint or any other A/V device, please plan to arrive at the room at least 10 minutes in advance in order to make sure that everything is in working order. Many persons who use power point bring not only a flash drive, but also their own laptop with the file on its hard drive—just as back up. If you are a Mac user, it is a good idea to bring your own cables.
  8. In all cases where you plan on using A/V, assume total power failure—could your presentation survive a power outage?
  9. Relax and breathe—your colleagues are supportive of your research efforts and want you to succeed at having an excellent presentation!


Conference submission portal opens  |  August 10, 2015

All early submitters will be notified regarding the acceptance status of their proposals  |  January 31, 2016

Preliminary schedule will be published online  |  March 15, 2016

Early conference registration ends  |  March 15, 2016

Regular conference registration rate ends  |  May 15, 2016

Late conference registration begins  |  May 16, 2016

All scheduled participants must be registered for the conference or have their names withdrawn from the program  |  April 15, 2016


To be announced at a later date


Keynote Speaker to be announced at a later date


The WHA offers a variety of options for your stay in Ghent. Here is the list of our partner hotels where blocks have been specifically reserved for our conference attendants at discounted prices:

_Marriott Hotel – Ghent, Belgium

50 rooms blocked – single occupancy: 152 Euros ($170 US dollars as of today), double occupancy: 172 Euros ($192 US dollars as of today), comes with full buffet breakfast.

BOOKING: WHA conference attendants need to click on this reservation link to make online reservations.

Please note that the deadline for reservation at this special price is 45 days prior to the event : 05/13/2016.


_Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof – Ghent, Belgium

25 rooms blocked – single occupancy: 152 Euros ($170 US dollars as of today), double occupancy: 172 Euros ($192 US dollars as of today), comes with full buffet breakfast.

BOOKING: WHA conference attendants will fill in a reservation form and send it to griet.debels@sandton.eu. Please disregard the deadline listed on the form: Rooms are blocked for WHA attendants until mid-March.


_Ibis Ghent Opera – Ghent, Belgium

25 rooms blocked – single occupancy: 90 Euros ($100 US dollars as of today), double occupancy: 108 Euros ($120 US dollars as of today), comes with breakfast.

BOOKING: Contact Ruben Maes at H1455-re@accor.com and mention the code “WHA2016” in order to book a room at the conference rate.


_Ibis Ghent Cathedral – Ghent, Belgium

25 rooms blocked – single occupancy 90 Euros ($100 US dollars as of today), double occupancy 108 Euros ($120 US dollars as of today), comes with breakfast.

BOOKING: Contact Sveinhildur Torfadottir at H0961-re@accor.com and mention the code “WHA2016” in order to book a room at the conference rate.


_Hotel Flandria – Ghent, Belgium

23 rooms blocked until 07/01; 10-15 rooms between 07/02-07/05: 2 single/budget doubles with private bathroom at €60 for 1 person and €65 for 2 persons/room/night; 10 double or twin rooms with private bathroom at €70/room/night (Single use at same price); 5 triple/quadruple rooms with private bathroom at €100 for 3 persons and €120 for 4 persons /room/night (single use at €100/night); 1 single room with shared bathroom (toilet and shower along the corridor) at €45/room/night; 5 double or twin rooms with shared bathroom (toilet and shower along the corridor) at €57/room/night (Single use at same price).

Breakfast (continental buffet) is INCLUDED. Citytax of €3/person is NOT included.

BOOKING: Only possible through the hotel. Information request can be filled out directly on the website. Booking Code for WHA attendant is WHA2016. You have until March 1st to make arrangements with the hotel for rooms that have been specifically blocked for WHA conference attendants. You may also call +32 9 223.06.26 or email gent@hotelflandria-gent.be


_Backstay Hostel – Ghent, Belgium

Due to the variety of options (and prices), no room has been specifically blocked at Backstay hostel but our conference attendants will get a €1 discount/person/night upon mentioning their affiliation with the WHA. The options vary from €19/person/night for a 15-bed dorm to €31/person/night for a 4-bed dorm. Private rooms with double beds start at €60. Please check the website below for more information.

Breakfast (continental buffet), is INCLUDED. Citytax of €3/person is NOT included.

BOOKING: To obtain the €1 discount/person/night please call at +32 9 395 96 60 or send an email at ghent@backstayhostels.com and mention your affiliation with the WHA conference.



To keep registration fees and room rates affordable, we request that you make your hotel reservations at one of our five contracted hotels. The WHA is committed to a contractual obligation in order to bring the room rate below the normal rate. If you stay at a hotel other than one of the official hotels, we may fall short of our housing obligations and will be financially responsible for any unfulfilled rooms. We thank you for this additional support.


We also suggest checking www.Hotels.com or www.TripAdvisor.com for other reasonably priced accommodations.


All accepted panelists for the 25th Annual WHA Conference in Ghent must be registered by May 15, 2016. Those not registered will be omitted from the conference program.


• Entry to all Conference Panels
• Entry to Exhibits
• Attendance at Keynote Address and Plenary Sessions
• Opening and Closing Receptions
• Conference Materials
• Morning and Afternoon Tea & Coffee Breaks


WHA Members: Regular Registration
Early $295 | Regular $325 | Late $355

Non-Members: Regular Registration*
Early $410 | Regular $440 | Late $470

WHA Members: Full-Time Students
Please email a current, valid I.D. that confirms your full-time student status.
Early $150 | Regular $170 | Late $190

Guest Pass
Good for entry to tea/coffee breaks and social events only if accompanied by registered conferee.
Early $75 | Regular $90 | Late $100


Early Registration runs now through March 15, 2016
Regular Registration runs from March 16, 2016 – May 15, 2016
Late Registration begins on May 16, 2016



Online registration for Ghent is available here.

For those who prefer to register by mail, a hardcopy registration form can be downloaded here: Ghent Conference Registration Form


The WHA strives to keep your total conference costs, including registration fees, as low as possible, even though the expenses to organize and implement the event have risen precipitously over the last few years. WHA conference fees are in line with many other ACLS organizations, and this year’s rates are the same rates as for our conference four years ago in 2012.

For those in need of funding assistance to attend the conference, information on scholarships can be found here: WHA Conference Scholarships. We are also able to offer a limited number of full or partial waivers for conference registration. The deadline for conference scholarships and fee waivers is March 15, 2016. The survival of the organization depends on your registration fees, however, so we ask that only those with extreme financial hardship apply for a reduced rate.

We know the conference in Ghent will be an enriching experience, both personally and professionally, for everyone in attendance, and we hope you feel the cost of registration is worth keeping the organization in good standing financially. We appreciate your understanding in this regard and looking forward to seeing you in Ghent.


The World History Association offers several scholarship to attend the annual conference:

• World Scholar Travel Fund (offered to scholars and teachers primarily outside of North America)
• The William H. McNeill Teacher Scholarship (offered to K-12 and community college teachers)
• Partial or Full Conference Registration Fee Waivers (a limited number offered to WHA members with economic needs)

The deadline for these three scholarships is March 15, 2016. Information about these scholarships can be found here: Conference Scholarships.


Conference Refunds for Presenters and Panelists

Presenters and Panelists who are unable to secure funding from their institutions to attend the conference may request a full refund if a refund request is received by APRIL 15, 2016. Requests must be made in writing or via email. Requests received after April 15, 2016 will incur a $75 administrative fee. Due to logistical reasons, refund requests received after May 15, 2016 can not be honored.

Conference Refunds for General Conferees

The last day for conference registration fee refunds (less a $75 administrative fee) is MAY 15, 2016. Requests must be made in writing or via email. Due to logistical reasons, refund requests received after May 15, 2016 can not be honored.

If you have any problems with registration or have any further questions, please e-mail us at: info@thewha.org.
For more information about the World History Association, please go to our main website: www.thewha.org.


If you are interested in exhibiting, placing an ad in the Conference Program, sponsoring the Keynote Address, a coffee break, or a reception at the conference, information is available here: 2016 Ghent Conference Exhibitor Form



World Travel Inc. is a full travel service agency that can book your flights to Ghent and arrange your airport transfer from Brussels to Ghent for $50/pp. The services through the travel agency are independent of the WHA, but meant to be an option for registrants traveling to the WHA Annual Conference.

Travel insurance is highly recommended. For more information, contact:

Debbi at World Travel, Inc.
2525 NW Upshur
Portland, OR  97210
Email: debbi@wtpdx.com

List of World History Association Optional Tours:

Presidential Tour to Bruges  (Full Day)   [$125/per person]

Fri. Jul 01, 2016

After breakfast, your group will be picked up from the Ghent conference hotel to Picture1travel by private coach to one of Belgium’s best-loved cities, Bruges, the capital of West Flanders. The entire city center of this Dutch-speaking city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival to Bruges, meet a local guide who will lead your group on a walking tour of this especially beautiful city, which is often called the “Venice of the North.” In addition to exploring its cobblestone streets and medieval quarters, your group will take a boat cruise to experience Bruges’ picturesque canals. The group members will then continue on a chocolate museum tour. Among its several notorieties, Belgium is known as the chocolate capital of the world. You’ll experience the legendary history of chocolate production in your museum tour.

During the visit to Bruges, there will be free time for lunch before all group members meet back up with the local guide who will accompany everyone back to the private bus. After boarding the bus, return to the hotel in Ghent to have free time for dinner. 

Ghent Half-Day City Tour  [$75/per person]

Sat. Jul 02, 2016

pic3After breakfast, meet in the conference hotel lobby for a morning excursion by private coach through the historic city of Ghent. During the tour, see St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the gothic Cloth Hall & Belfry Tower, Friday Market Square, Groot Kanonplein Square, and the streets of Graslei and Korenlei, whose historic houses line Ghent’s canals. Finish your afternoon with a canal tour and return to the hotel in Ghent by private bus, just in time for the Conference Keynote at 3pm.


Presidential Tour to Ypres  (Full Day)  [$175/per person]

Wed. Jul 06, 2016

4After breakfast at your hotel, meet in the conference hotel lobby for a full day tour of Ypres’ WWI sights from the battles of Flanders Field and Passchendaele. For four long years, Flanders Fields was the scene of the First World War. Homes and fields become the centerpiece of the battlefields in 1914. European and wider international interests were fought over here. A million soldiers were wounded, missing or killed in action. Some tens of thousands of citizens became refugees. Entire cities and villages were destroyed. One such village is Ypres; which will forever be associated with this destructive history of the Great War, the remains of which lead you through a memorable period of world history. During the tour, your group will visit battlegrounds such as the Dodengang (Trench of Death-still preserved after all the years), Vladslo Cemetery honoring the fallen with its Kollwitz sculptures and the famous In Flanders Field Museum. Finally, take a step away from the ominous world of the First World War for a tour of the Oude Kaasmakerij cheese factory in the center of Flanders Field. Learn both the history of Belgian cheese and its relationship to WWI. Board the bus in the evening to return to your hotel in Ghent.

Presidential Grand Tour of WWI Sites  (4 Days)

Thu. Jul 07, 2016 – Mon. Jul 11, 2016

Note: This 4-day tour of Belgian cities includes the day tours described, transfer from Ghent to Brussels, and 4 night accommodations with breakfasts in a 4-star hotel in Brussels (based on double occupancy, with single supplement available)  [$885/ per person; or single supplement $1275]

Day 1: Brussels &pic5 Half-Day City Tour – After breakfast at your Ghent hotel, enjoy a leisurely transfer to Brussels, a city of contrasts. One of Brussels’s districts is home to major European organizations and governing bodies like the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO and many others. However, it also contains a very historic city center and neighborhoods that have maintained traditional architecture and a slower pace. During the tour, your group will visit one of Europe’s most beautiful squares, the Grand Place, which is home to the medieval Town Hall. The tour will also feature a tour and tasting at the Cantillon Brewery, which has been brewing beer since the 1800s. As a country, in addition to chocolate – Belgium produces some of the finest beer in the world. End your tour with a transfer to your 4 star hotel in Brussels, your home base for the next four nights. Includes 4-star hotel accommodations in Brussels, based on double occupancy.

dinant citadelDay 2: Dinant – After breakfast in the hotel, your group will travel by private coach to Dinant for a full day tour. Dinant is a historic town spectacularly situated alongside impressive stone cliffs near the confluence of the Meuse and Lesse Rivers. Its location meant that throughout history it has often been drawn into conflict with one of its neighbors. This history is most prominently seen in the imposing citadel high above the town, which was designed to protect the town and citizens from invasion. During modern times, the citadel was neither able to stop the invasion of the Germans nor provide protection to civilians during WWI, when hundreds of Belgians were killed here in WWI’s first instance of war crimes against civilians. Explore the history and remains of this imposing Citadel, which played a role in the battle here, with its fantastic views of the river and town. See the pear shaped bell tower of Collegiate Church of Our Lady. After lunch, your group will visit the Abbey of Leffe. Founded in 1152, the abbey served many pilgrims so the canons decided to build a brewery in 1240. Explore the history of this abbey and the history of one of the world’s most famous beers by touring the brewery with beer tasting at the end (children are allowed if accompanied by their parent).  **Anyone with small children or who is not interested in touring the brewery may choose in advance a relaxing afternoon on a shared 4-passenger rail-bike. Enjoy a smooth ride exploring the countryside on a bike that rides on former train tracks. A minimum of 10 passengers required for the rail bike option. Includes breakfast and 4-star hotel accommodations in Brussels.

Day 3: Mons Mons-Sqaure– In the morning, meet in the hotel lobby for a full day tour of Mons, the rich cultural center designated as the 2015 European Cultural Capital. Built on a hill and originally called Mont (mount in French); over the years the name was reduced to just Mons. This little town was the site of the first battle fought by the British Army in World War I. The battle was won by Germany and the town was occupied until its liberation by the Canadian Corps during the final days of the war. Victor Hugo called this quaint place, “une ville fort curieuse” (a very strange town). With its mix of architectural styles, winding narrow streets, gracious brick town houses, powerful fortifications and rich WWI history, it is easy to understand why this phrase has stuck. Discovery the beauty of the Belfry and Mons town hall. See the large collection of artifacts, such as headwear, gas masks, weapons, and uniforms from different countries in the Museum of Military History. Includes breakfast and 4-star hotel accommodations in Brussels.

Day 4: LieLiege staircasege  – After breakfast, your group will travel by private coach to the university town of Liege, and the site of the Battle of Liege, the first battle of WWI in August 1914. This birthplace of Charlemagne and Belgian writer George Simenon, Liege sits at the crossroads to Amsterdam, Paris, and Cologne. It sports a rich architectural and artistic history. Begin your tour by visiting the gardens of the Prince-Bishop Palace. After lunch, conquer the Sunday Market, the largest and oldest market in Belgium, like a Liegeois! Finish your day with a stroll along the Coteaux de la Citadelle, with beautiful walks that reveal courtyards, steps, orchards and surprises from the city’s long past. Return to the hotel in time for dinner on your own. Includes 4-star hotel accommodations in Brussels.

Day 5:  Departures home or to next destination!  Your tour ends after breakfast and checkout from the hotel. Group members on their own for transfers to rail station or airport.



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