Pittsburgh 2023: ENERGIES

From June 22-June 24, 2023, the World History Association, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center, will be holding our 32nd Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


From June 22-June 24, 2023, the World History Association, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center, will be holding our 32nd Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The current schedule is now available to view here: WHA Pittsburgh 2023 Conference Program   

As one of the earliest developers of coal and oil energy and home to one of the country’s top World History programs, the “Steel City” is the perfect locale for the Meeting’s overarching theme, ENERGIES, where scholars from across the globe will have the opportunity to present new and innovative research on a vast array of energy-related topics. In addition to a weekend of stimulating intellectual pursuits, participants will also be treated to an Opening Reception at the historic Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, complete with 23 distinctive gardens spread across 15 acres just a few miles from the very heart of downtown Pittsburgh. For more information on this stunning architectural and botanical marvel, please visit https://www.phipps.conservatory.org/.

Information on paper status should be to all submitters by February 10. The conference program will be published on the online platform starting in April, therefore, those wishing to give their paper at our Pittsburgh ENERGIES Conference should have conference registration paid no later than March 15, 2023.  Please go to our registration & rates pages, or email us, for specific information: https://www.thewha.org/conferences/2023-energies/.

Additional Information

The 32nd Annual WHA Conference, ENERGIES, features two keynote speakers who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in environmental history.  Opening the proceedings on June 22 will be Dr. Brian Black of Penn State – Altoona.  On June 24, Dr. Victor Seow of Harvard University will deliver the conference’s concluding address.  


Brian Black is distinguished professor of Environmental Studies and History at Penn State Altoona, where he also currently serves as Head of the Division of Arts and Humanities.  Most of his research and writing emphasizes petroleum and energy history, and he is the author or editor of several books, including: Petrolia: The Landscape of American’s First Oil Boom, Crude Reality: Petroleum in World History and most recently, To Have and Have Not: Energy in World History (THHN).  Black’s articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, Environmental History, USA Today, and the New York Times. His comments will tie these larger efforts to the regional stories of western Pennsylvania, birthplace of the American oil industry.

Seow Profile Pic

Victor Seow is a historian of technology, science, and industry, specializing in China and Japan in global contexts and in histories of energy and work. He is the author of Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia (University of Chicago Press, 2022), a study of the deep links between energy extraction and technocratic politics through the history of East Asia’s onetime largest coal mine. Carbon Technocracy has received several awards, including the John Whitney Hall Prize from the Association for Asian Studies and the Michael H. Hunt Prize in International History from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. At present, Victor is reaching and writing his next book, which uses a history of industrial psychology in China from the 1930s to the present to explore how work becomes and functions as an object of scientific inquiry and how the sciences of work shape and are shaped by wider societal discourses about the meaning and value of labor.


To register for the Pittsburgh 2023 Conference, please visit https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=WHA&WebCode=EventList&FromSearchControl=Yes.

For a paper registration form, follow this link: Pittsburgh 2023 ENERGIES Registration Form 

The conference registration rates are as follows:

Early rates through 3/15/23:

WHA members: $195

Student members: $50

High school teacher members: $50*

Non-members: $350

Guest rate: $75

* Due to a generous grant from the OER Project, high school teachers receive a reduced rate of $50 and a $50 WHA membership rate through 3/15/2023. 

Regular rates through 5/15/23:

WHA members: $275

Student members: $100

Teacher members: $100

Non-members: $440

Guest rate: $90

Late rates starting 5/16/23:

WHA members: $280

Student members: $145

Non-members: $470

Guests: $100

The Conference scholarship application deadline is February 15, 2023, and more information on this will be forthcoming soon. Eligible applicants include those specified by the scholarship description, and those who have not received scholarships in the past. 

32nd Conference Scholarships

WHA World Scholar Travel Fund

The WHA invites applicants to apply for the World Scholar Travel Fellowship.  This fund enables the primary recipient to attend with round-trip air fare and conference registration paid by the WHA.  Additional funding may or may not be available; that will be determined at a later date.  If there is a secondary recipient, the WHA will fund their registration and conference accommodations.  Priority is given to conference attendees residing outside North America who do not have travel funding from their home institutions.  All possible attempts at securing other funding should be made prior to applying for the fellowship.

The World Scholar Travel Fellowship is offered on a competitive basis.  Eligibility for the fellowship is based on acceptance by the Conference Program Committee of an individual paper, whether or not part of an organized panel, or a poster for the poster session.  No person who has received a travel fellowship in a previous year may apply for another fellowship.  Applicants must be willing to apply for and finance their own visas to the conference site.

Applicants must include the following: 1) CV (two pages maximum); and 2) a statement of no more than 250 words describing economic need and how the applicant would benefit from attending the annual meeting.  Fellowships are awarded by a selection committee appointed by the WHA President.

The application deadline is February 15, 2023. Applications for the World Scholar Travel Fund should be submitted directly to the Executive Director <info@thewha.org>.

NERWHA WHA Travel Grant

The New England Regional World History Association is now accepting applications for its WHA Travel Grant, which offers two $500 travel grants meant primarily for college-level adjuncts. Adjuncts who are NERWHA members are given first priority, although other applications are still eligible. You can become a member here: https://www.nerwha.org/.

In order to apply, please send a single MS Word document to the WHA Executive Director (info@thewha.org) with the following:

  • 1) a brief statement of your need;
  • 2) a travel budget with all sources of funding indicated;
  • 3) a one-page CV;
  • 4) a copy of the abstract/proposal that you presented to the WHA.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2023.

General Information

The 2023 Pittsburgh Conference will follow this general schedule; session times could be altered slightly prior to June.

Thursday, June 22 – Conference officially opens at 4 pm with Keynote Dr. Brian Black, followed by Opening Reception

Friday, June 23 – Sessions begin at 8:30 am and conclude at 5:30 pm.

Saturday, June 24 – Sessions begin at 8:30 am, conclude at 5:30 pm & are followed by Keynote with Dr. Victor Seow and Closing Ceremonies.


Soldiers and Sailors Garage

4390 Bigelow Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

For rates visit: https://alcoparking.com/lot-garage/soldiers-and-sailors-parking-garage/

Five to seven- minute walk from Posvar Hall. Daily and overnight parking is available at the garage. The garage accepts cash and credit cards (no American Express).  The garage does not open until 8 am on Saturday and Sunday.

Airport Transportation (for Pittsburgh International Airport)

Ride Share: Transportation Network companies ZTrip, Uber and Lyft are authorized to pick up and drop off passengers at Pittsburgh International Airport. Pick up is at the designated area outside of Door #4 on the commercial curb. Price varies based on time of day and can range from $35 - $50 for one-way trip.  

By Taxi: One-way fare between Pittsburgh International Airport and Pitt campus is approximately $40- $50. Upon arrival at the airport, proceed to the landside terminal, lower level, exit through the "commercial" doors and head toward the taxi stand area on the curb where cabs are waiting.
ZTrip (provides service to the Oakland area):  (412) 777-7777

By Bus: Pittsburgh Regional Transit 28X Airport Flyer takes approximately one-hour to travel between Pittsburgh International Airport and the University of Pittsburgh. The cost is $2.75 which you will need in cash (exact change required) or purchase a ticket using the "Transit" App. Arriving at the airport, follow signs for lower-level door 2, passenger pick up. Bus stops coming to the University: Forbes Av. at S. Bouqet St. & Forbes Av. at Schenley Drive. Bus stops going to the airport: Fifth Ave. & Tennyson Ave (closest to Wyndham Hotel) & Fifth Ave. opposite from Atwood St. (closest to Bouquet Gardens). For more information including schedule visit: https://www.rideprt.org/services/airport-service/ 

Guest Wifi 

Please review the document for visitor WiFi policy and instructions: Guest WiFi Access Policy

A note about technology for the conference: Please review the University of Pittsburgh Guest Wifi Access Policy. Prior to the conference, review the information to ensure you are properly prepared for your visit.  All session rooms will be equipped with presentation screens, HDMI cables, and presentation clickers. While some HDMI adapters will be available, please plan to bring your own that fits your personal computer. It is recommended that you store presentation material in multiple locations (i.e. on a cloud service or flash drive) in case there are any issues with a personal laptop.  

A note on the hybrid room: no personal laptops can be used in this room. Presenters should bring slides or pre-recorded presentations on a flash drive or make these available on a cloud service which can then be accessed on the in-room computer. University of Pittsburgh IT staff will be available to assist with IT issues throughout the conference.    


Blocks of rooms for Pittsburgh ENERGIES the 32nd annual WHA conference are available below.  We are offering the choice of the Wyndham Hotel or Bouquet Gardens at University of Pittsburgh. 

For air travel, the Pittsburgh International Airport (code: PIT) is the largest airport in the region.  Tours related to the conference will begin on Thursday, June 22 through Friday, June 23.  Tour information will be published by mid-February. 

Wyndham Hotel

The Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center is a stones throw from campus and the preferred hotel of the University of Pittsburgh.  The block rate for WHA guests is $149 per night, which is open through May 30th.  The hotel boasts both a gym, as well as an indoor pool.  The room options include one king size or two queen sized beds.  Questions about your room?  Call 412-682-6251 for assistance. 

Go to this link for WHA guests: 


University of Pittsburgh Housing

Bouquet Gardens is located a short walk from the heart of Pitt campus and Posvar Hall, where much of the World History Association Conference will take place. Single rooms in apartment style units are available. The quad (four person) setup is approximately $50 per night, and the double (two person) setup is approximately $99 per night. Both the four and two-person apartments in Bouquet Gardens include two bathrooms and are furnished with a living room, dining area, and kitchen. All buildings have air conditioning. 

For more information visit: https://www.pc.pitt.edu/housing-services/university-owned-housing/bouquet-gardens 

The link to sign up for Bouquet Gardens housing via University of Pittsburgh is here: https://panthercentralpitt.wufoo.com/forms/xo58bu61jh3a5h/



To attend the first three tours, please register here and choose online store from left tabs.  The tours will be prominently displayed at the top. 

  • Maxo Vanka Murals Tour (Millvale, PA)

Date: Thursday 6/22, 1:00PM-3:00PM This includes a one hour tour and transportation to and from the location. 

Cost: Free. This excursion is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s European Studies Center and Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies. Registration required. 

Description: On this guided tour, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring murals of Croatian artist Maxo Vanka at the historic St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale. Discover how these striking works were painted by Vanka in 1937 and 1941 to reflect the culture and lives of the working-class immigrant congregation. While on the tour, you’ll see conservation in action as you learn about the stories behind the murals and their timeless messages.

Website: https://vankamurals.org/


  • Industrial Tour, Rivers of Steel: Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark (Pittsburgh, PA)

Date: Thursday 6/22, 12:00PM-3:00PM. This includes a two hour tour and transportation to and from the location.

Cost: Free. This excursion is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center. Registration required.

Description: Declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006, Carrie Blast Furnaces invites visitors to marvel at the scale and legacy of its industrial might. A remnant of the legendary U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, the Carrie Blast Furnaces are a vestige of Pittsburgh’s 20th century domination of the steel industry. During this two-hour guided tour, you’ll hear stories about the site’s technology (including why it is nationally significant) as well as get to know the culture of its workers. You’ll also learn a bit about the iron-making process, from the movement of the raw materials to the tapping of the furnace that produced fiery molten iron.

Website: https://riversofsteel.com/attractions/carrie-furnaces/

  • Heinz History Center Guided Tour

Date: Friday 6/23, 2:30PM-5:30PM This includes a two-hour tour and transportation to and from the location.

 Cost: Free. This tour is sponsored by the Heinz History Center. Registration required. If you are a presenter and want to attend this tour, please register by April 1. After this date, not overlapping with your session cannot be guaranteed.

Description: Join us for a curator-led tour at the Senator John Heinz History Center, Pennsylvania’s largest history museum and a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The Heinz History Center preserves regional history and presents the American experience through the lens of Western Pennsylvania. This special tour will focus on areas of the museum that reflect historic and contemporary transnational experiences, highlighting the exchange between our region and locations across the globe. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit galleries in several exhibitions, including Special Collections, Heinz, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, and Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation.

 Website: https://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/

  • Tours of the Nationality and Heritage Rooms in the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning

The University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs will offer a free tour of the Nationality Rooms located in the Cathedral of Learning on Thursday June 22 from 1-2PM. The University of Pittsburgh's renowned Nationality and Heritage Rooms are gifts from the ethnic communities who helped to build Pittsburgh. Register for the tour here! 

Registrants of this year’s conference can enjoy free admission during the conference (June 22-24) to the following museums thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and the Heinz History Center. Please show your conference badge at the ticket counter in order to visit the museums. 

Carnegie Museum of Art (a short walk from the University of Pittsburgh campus)

 Carnegie Museum of Natural History (a short walk from the University of Pittsburgh campus) 

 The Andy Warhol Museum (open until 10 pm on Fridays)

 Carnegie Science Center

Heinz History Center




  • Rivers of Steel: Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Boat Tour

Description: Experience Pittsburgh from the city’s three rivers; the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela. This 90-minute excursion aboard the Explorer riverboat shares the big stories of the region’s past—along with many lesser-known tales—as it explores a sense of place.

Hours: Tours are offered on Thursdays at 3:00 pm and 6:00pm and Friday through Sunday at 10:00am and 1:00pm.

General Admission: $25

Directions: Take any bus at Soldiers and Sailors Hall that stops in Downtown (For example, 71 A, 71 C). Get off the bus at Steel Plaza Downtown and take the T to the Allegheny stop.

Website: https://riversofsteel.com/experiences/tours/pittsburgh-sightseeing-tour/


  • Pittsburgh Hop On & Off Sightseeing Bus Tours

Description: Stop at Pittsburgh landmarks such as the Duquesne Incline and PNC Park with Pittsburgh’s Hop On & Hop Off Sightseeing Bus Tour.

Hours: Varies

Website: https://www.pghtours.com/

Directions: The bus can be picked up at Soldiers and Sailors memorial on 5th Ave at the University of Pittsburgh.


  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Description: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is one of the nation's oldest and largest Victorian greenhouses. The iconic Victorian-style glasshouse was designed by New York-based greenhouse manufacturer Lord & Burnham and was completed in August 1893. It features plants and natural landscapes from around the world.

Hours: 9:30 A.M. - 5 P.M.

 Directions: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located just over the Panther Hollow Bridge from Pitt’s campus. Leave Posvar and walk past the Frick Fine Arts Building. Cross over the footbridge and the destination will be on the right.

Website: www.phipps.conservatory.org



  • Falling Water

Description: Falling Water is the beautiful modern home designed by noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright located in a peaceful rural setting about 70 miles Southeast of Pittsburgh.

Hours: Vary depending on time of year and type of tour. For more information - https://fallingwater.org/visit/fallingwater-tours/

Directions: It is a 67 mile drive from Pittsburgh (roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes by car). Buses will not be provided.

Website: fallingwater.org/


  • Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

Description: A National Historic Landmark, Meadowcroft features a massive rock overhang – the Rockshelter – used 19,000 years ago for shelter by the region’s first inhabitants. At Meadowcroft, visitors can take a tour of this internationally renowned archeological site and learn more about the lives of Western Pennsylvania’s prehistoric hunters and gatherers.


From the website: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission for adults is $15.

Directions: Located about 37 miles West of Pittsburgh near the Ohio state border. Approximately 53-minute drive.

Website: https://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/visit/meadowcroft/




The World History Association has organized a conference every year since 1992, bringing together academic historians, college instructors, and secondary school teachers of world history, as well as occasional symposia on special topics.