Graduate Programs

Seminars & Conferences

In addition to innovative courses of study on U.S. and Atlantic Politics & History, the Kinder Institute provides graduate students at MU with unrivaled opportunities to begin building professional networks in these fields 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, they will be able to apply for funded programming assistantships associated with them.

Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History

All graduate students affiliated with the Kinder Institute will be invited to participate in the Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History (MRSEAH), a quarterly gathering of scholars of pre-Civil War U.S. political history that rotates between Columbia and St. Louis. The MRSEAH is structured in a workshop format, with an invited guest pre-circulating an article- or book chapter-in-progress to participants well in advance of the meeting date. Fall 2018 meetings of the seminar featured discussions of Princeton Assistant Professor of History Michael Blaakman’s paper “The Marketplace of American Federalism: Land Speculation Across State Lines in the Early Republic” and Kinder Institute and MU History Assistant Professor Al Zuercher Reichardt’s work on “Pennsylvania Settlement Schemes, the Walking Purchase, and Visions of British Political Economy.” In the spring, the seminar looked at “Destabilizing Entanglements: How the Flow of Opium, Cotton, and Capital Restructured Americans’ Relationships with China, Britain, and Their Own Government in the Jacksonian Era,” a paper by University of Delaware’s Dael Norwood, and “The Other 1828,” a chapter draft from Duke University Associate Professor Reeve Huston’s forthcoming book, Democratic Discontent: Remaking American Politics, 1815-1840.

Other past MRSEAH presenters have included Professors David Waldstreicher (CUNY-Graduate Center), Alan Taylor (University of Virginia), François Furstenberg (Johns Hopkins), and Jay Sexton (Kinder Institute).

Shawnee Trail Regional Conference on American Politics & Constitutionalism

Every year in late-March or early-April, the Kinder Institute brings 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, and last year, also featured a pair of book symposia, a roundtable discussion on “Locke, Liberalism, and the American Revolution,” and a keynote lecture delivered by Cornell University Professor of Law Josh Chafetz.

The 2020 Shawnee Trail Conference, co-sponsored by the Kinder Institute and Baylor University, will be held on April 3 in Waco. More information about submitting paper proposals will be published on the Kinder Institute website no later than January 15.

International Scholarly Conferences

In addition to the MRSEAH and Shawnee Trail Conference, the Kinder Institute regularly sponsors major scholarly conferences that bring leading scholars from around the globe to Columbia to discuss their work on a given, topical theme. These have included May 2018’s book conference for the second volume of Cambridge History of America and the World and 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 next such conference that the Kinder Institute will host will be the 2020 annual meeting of BrANCH, British American Nineteenth-Century Historians, on April 10-11.