Seeking Freedom: The Underground Railroad in the Mid-Atlantic

From H-Atlantic, June 2, 2021

Lincoln University and Voices Underground 2021 CFP

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

March 31, April 1-2, 2022

The Lincoln University Center for the Study of the Underground Railroad and Voices Underground, an organization focused on preserving and sharing the Underground Railroad’s story, welcomes proposals for its inaugural 2022 conference, Seeking Freedom: The Underground Railroad in the Mid-Atlantic. The conference will take place at Lincoln University on March 31, April 1-2, 2022.

We welcome proposals from all fields and disciplines, from historians, preservationists, independent scholars, social scientists, community leaders, undergraduate, and graduate students. Of particular interest are the lower eastern middle states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and southern New York.  We encourage individuals who are researching sites of memory, the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Lincoln University and Cheyney University, and the importance of the free and enslaved African American community through the end of the Civil War to submit. We also desire papers that explore any or all the diverse complexities of the UGRR, including known and unknown physical sites (homes, corridors, routes) and those that extract the voices of the unheard, invisible, and underrated. As such, we welcome research that demythologizes the story and memory of the UGRR. Individuals may also suggest and write on topics that are not listed if the subject falls within this symposium’s overall theme. The following list provides possible areas of inquiry.

  • African Agency
  • Architecture
  • Biographies
  • Community Organizing
  • Economy
  • Law in the 19th century
  • Literature
  • Politics
  • Propaganda
  • Preservation
  • Religious Institutions
  • Resistance and Violence
  • Spirituals/Songs
  • Women in the UGRR

The organizing committee will consider individual papers, panels, and roundtables. Panels and roundtables must designate or suggest a commentator and moderator separate from the presenters. Each participant will be allotted twenty minutes to present.

Proposals for panels and roundtables should include a brief session description (one to two pages), the theme, a 300-word maximum abstract for each participant’s paper, and a short bio (200 words max) of each participant including the moderator, chair and/or commentator. Proposals for individual presentations should also include a 300-word abstract and a short bio (200 words max). All submissions should include each person’s C.V. or résumé (5-page max) including contact information (complete mailing address, the institution or organization’s name (if applicable), an email address, and phone number). Please use the following link to submit.

Participants are responsible for their own lodging and transportation. 

Priority will be given to prospective participants who submit by October 15, 2021. After this date, the committee will review submissions on a rolling basis. We plan to announce the acceptance of regular submissions by December 15, 2021. 

Inquiries can be sent to

For further information please visit           

Convening Committee:

Dr. Nafeesa Muhammad 

Professor of History                                              

Lincoln University, PA

Dr. Gregory Thompson

Executive Director | Voices Underground

Dr. Paul Finkelman


Gratz College

Contact Info:  Dr. Nora Lynn Gardner at 

Contact Email:


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