What to Expect at Today’s Student History Conference

The Ball State Department of History’s Student History Conference is once again upon us, an academic meeting-of-the-minds to be held within the conference and reception rooms of Ball State University’s L.A. Pittenger Student Center. Now in its twentieth year, this event is certain to again prove itself an indispensable facet of networking, discussing, and – of course – presenting within Indiana’s professional field of history.

Heralding from many of the state’s top universities and colleges, including Hanover, Indiana University, Purdue, IUPUI, Butler, and our own beloved Ball State, student and professional researchers will descend upon the Muncie area with definite plans of emanating their ideas, research, and writings across the professional spectrum. They come too with the hope of stirring conversation and debate within the fields of local, national, and international history, and – at the end of the day – garnering one of the coveted conference awards.

The Student History Conference continually manifests itself as an occasion of high anxiety, intellectual stimulus, and accomplishment for all involved. Its essence is so deeply compelling that anyone, no matter the station of their involvement, might equally experience this buzzing plethora of sentiment upon stepping inside any of the many presentations to be held. The casual observer, student and instructor alike, enters the room to faces both familiar and unfamiliar, the exchange of handshakes, and – most especially betwixt those unfamiliar – the transaction of names and professional credentials.

Alternatively, for those colleagues, teams, and students already familiar to one-another, the conference only more so proves itself a constructive experience: the senses of teamwork, pride, and achievement swell and intertwine themselves within the overarching energy of restless preparation.

To the presenter ascending the podium, surrounded in this air by the understood and unknown, the work of their friends, classmates, and others across the state around them, it seems improbable to believe a collected calm – indeed, one so delicate the idiomatic pin might be heard falling to the floor – will ever arrive. The moment it does is unmistakable, a presage to the delivery of their paper, presentation, or lecture.

If such an experience seems the intellectual catalyst your mind desires, the Department of History invites you to attend the Student History Conference, held today, February 24th, on the second floor of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. Opening remarks for this 20th annual event begin at 8:30 a.m., with panel sessions to follow at 9:05 a.m., 1:30 and 3:05 p.m. A Reception and Awards Ceremony will follow the last of these sessions, and will be held from 4:40 until 5:15 p.m.

Be certain to attend the conference’s keynote address, the 27th Annual Dorothy L. and Richard W. Burkhardt Lecture, “Women, War, and the History of Emotions in France during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era” delivered by Professor Whitney Walton of Purdue University. The lecture will be hosted in the Student Center Ballroom from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. If you can’t attend the Burkhardt Lecture in person, you can watch on our live video feed.

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