Contact the NJ Historical Commission
NJ Historical Commission
P.O. Box 305
Trenton, NJ 08625

Tel: (609) 292-6062
Fax: (609) 633-8168

New Jersey and the Great War
2017 Annual New Jersey History Conference

April 6, 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. New Jersey’s contribution to the war effort was both large and multi-faceted. New Jersey factories sent supplies to the allies before and after April 6, 1917; Camp Dix and other training facilities prepared troops for service overseas; thousands embarked for Europe from Hoboken; and over 140,000 residents ultimately served in the conflict. Many of the changes brought by the Great War, whether economic, social, technological, military, or artistic, continue to affect the Garden State to the present day.

The conference is tentatively scheduled for November 3 and 4, 2017.  We are planning to offer the paper presentations on November 3rd at Rowan College at Burlington County.  The second day of the conference will be devoted to commemorating the 100th anniversary of Fort Dix; a series of tours and additional programming is expected to be offered.     

The New Jersey Historical Commission’s 2017 annual conference will focus on considering the many impacts of this vast international conflict on the state. Papers and presentations are invited that explore a range of topics related to New Jersey, although the conference will highlight the World War I era. Topics may include the following:

  • the post-war refugee crises in Armenia, Russia, and in Europe, and how New Jersey communities engaged in various relief efforts;
  • the local relevance of the 1917 Immigration Act, which implemented a literacy test and further  exclusions against Asian immigrants;
  • how the war disrupted immigration, separated families, and had a major impact on New Jersey cities like Hoboken and Jersey City, whose economies were closely tied to transatlantic migration;
  • the Great Migration of Southern blacks to New Jersey, and the changing racial demographics of the state;
  • the “100% American” campaigns that were launched against Americans during the war and its immediate aftermath, and used to challenge unionization campaigns; and
  • medical history, from work at specific hospitals to the impact of the influenza pandemic.

Traditionally NJHC does not circulate a call for papers every year, but we have decided to make this a component of the 2017 conference because advancing the study of local history is one of our priorities.  Equally important is our goal to provide a forum for established and emerging scholars, educators, public historians, and a broad spectrum of social science and humanities professionals to present new research that facilitates greater public awareness of New Jersey studies. 

The conference attracts a mixed audience that includes scholars, public historians, and history enthusiasts.  It is suggested that presenters do not read their papers; presentations that summarize research and encourage audience discussion have been more successful.  Some papers may also be selected for publication in New Jersey Studies:  An Interdisciplinary Journal, the online journal cosponsored by Monmouth University, the New Jersey Historical Commission and Rutgers University Libraries.

Please email a 500-word abstract on the research you propose to present to Chief Programs Officer Niquole Primiani at at the New Jersey Historical Commission by May 1, 2017.  Your submission will be reviewed by the Forum Advisory Committee and you will be notified of the acceptance of your proposal no later than September, 2017.

Proposals MUST include:

  • contact information (address, telephone, e-mail);
  • the title of the paper;
  • a one-paragraph bio that includes your current professional affiliation and how you would like to be listed in Forum promotional materials;
  • an abstract of no more than 500 words; and
  • any audio-visual or electrical requirements necessary for your presentation.

NJTV LogoNJ Historic Trust Logo