Graduate Programs

Seminars & Conferences

In addition to innovative courses of study on the history and politics of the United States and broader Atlantic world, the Kinder Institute provides graduate students at MU with unrivaled opportunities to begin building professional networks in academia and to share their research with leading scholars from around the globe. All grad fellows at the Kinder Institute will have the chance to participate in and present at the seminars and conferences described below, and in some cases, will be able to apply for funded programming assistantships associated with them. More information about past conferences can be found here, and details about our Fall 2024 “The New History of Federalism” conference are here.

Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History

All graduate students affiliated with the Kinder Institute will be invited to participate in, and perhaps present at, the Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History (MRSEAH), a quarterly gathering that provides scholars working on topics related to American history before 1900 with an opportunity to share research-in-progress with colleagues from around the Midwest in a constructive and convivial workshop setting. We welcome work on all aspects of American history, broadly defined Missouri-style to extend geographically throughout the Americas and Atlantic World, and chronologically from pre-colonial times forward through the 19th century.

A full list of past MRSEAH presenters, which have included Professors David Waldstreicher (CUNY-Graduate Center), Katrina Thompson Moore (Saint Louis University), François Furstenberg (Johns Hopkins), Alan Taylor (University of Virginia), and Sarah Gronningsater (University of Pennsylvania), can be found here.

Shawnee Trail Regional Conference on American Politics & Constitutionalism

Every year in late-March or early-April, the Kinder Institute partners with a fellow university to bring together faculty and graduate students of American political thought, political history, and political and constitutional development to share their work with colleagues near and far. Initially regional in scope, focusing on researchers working at institutions along the old Shawnee Trail cattle line, the conference has grown in recent years into a national endeavor.

At the heart of the conference is a daylong series of panels, thematically organized around such subjects as “The Presidency in the Constitutional Order” and “Public Law.” Additionally, the conference annually sponsors a graduate development workshop, through which Ph.D. candidates share and discuss dissertation projects with a faculty member in their field, as well as a closing night keynote, and in the past it has also featured book symposia and roundtable discussions.

International Scholarly Conferences

In addition to the MRSEAH and Shawnee Trail Conference, the Kinder Institute regularly sponsors major academic conferences that bring leading scholars from around the globe to Columbia to discuss their work on a given theme. These have included May 2018’s book conference for the second volume of Cambridge History of America and the World, February 2019’s “A Fire-bell in the Past: The Missouri Crisis at 200,” the first international conference dedicated to re-examining the contested history of Missouri’s entry into the union, the Spring 2022 annual meeting of BrANCH, British American Nineteenth-Century Historians, and Spring 2024’s conference test driving “electocracy” as a historical concept.

Our next major international conference, focusing on re-interpreting federalism for the 21st century, will be held in Columbia on September 26-28, 2024. More details can be found here.