Key to the relation between ALH and the Trowbridge has been the funding of symposia on campus that have also become special issues of the journal. These have included: Transnational Citizenship and the Humanities (2005); Print Culture and American Literary History (2007); Lincoln and Cultural Value (2008); American Medievalism (2009); Projecting Early American Studies (2010); 21st-Century American Fiction (2010); and Sustainability (2011). In the last ten years, we have also hosted symposia on Reconstruction (2018), Twenty-First Century African American Writing (2018), Jewish American Writing and the World (2019), Genealogies of Black Modernity (2019), among several others. Each of these symposia invited between four and eight scholars to campus for talks; frequently, a UIUC professor was invited to respond to these papers, remarks typically published in ALH’s pages. Over the years, our respondents were drawn from English (including Professors Deck, Esty, Freeburg, Foote, Goodlad, Hansen, Hart, Hawhee, Koshy, Lesser, Littlefield, Loughran, Markley, Maxwell, Michelson, Mohamed, Mortensen, Murison, Nelson, Parker, Prendergast, Rodriguez, Rothberg, Schaffner, and Thompson), but we have also published many professors from around the campus, including Comparative Literature (Booth, Hassan), French (Murdoch), Italian (Rushing, Stoppino), Spanish (Romero), History (Fritzsche, Oberdeck), Law (B. Smith, Hamilton), Jewish Studies (Goldman, Kaplan), Native American Studies (Treat), Philosophy (McKim), Religion (Ebel), Communication (Finnegan, O’Gorman), and GSLIS (Sharon Irish). We have also brought in colleagues from UIC (Ashton, Chiang, Michaels) and EIU (Hanlon), among these participants. A published symposium on Writing the Presidency features an essay by John Murphy (Communication).

The Trowbridge has funded three long-term (three-semester) symposia that have also comprised special issues. The first was devoted to observing the journal’s 20th anniversary and featured 5 speakers, each exploring new directions in contemporary literary historiography.

The second is an innovative scholarly program devoted to the Second Book Project. Twice, over a three-semester span—the first in 2011-12 and then again in 2019 through 2021—leading midcareer scholars in groups of four assembled on campus (and once virtually) to discuss the challenges and opportunities that this major humanities research milestone augurs. At the same time as the semester meetings operated as workshops for our distinguished guests, they also enabled grad students and junior faculty a formal chance to think through this key transition stage in their careers, even as it allowed senior faculty to learn more about the developing state of the various subspecialties that go into American literary history. The first was publishing in 2013; the more recent iteration appeared in summer of 2021.

Other symposia have had a more cross- and multidisciplinary focus, like The Uses of Pragmatism (2010), which brought together historians (including James Kloppenberg), philosophers, intellectual historians, and literary scholars to meditate on the ways that this philosophical tradition could be brought to bear on our contemporary practices. Trowbridge has also cosponsored events devoted to Human Rights: Literature, Arts and Politics; Mad World: Sex, Politics, and Style in the 1960s; and The End(s) of History (all with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory).

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