Pittsburgh, PA | 22-24 June 2023

From June 22-24, 2023, the World History Association, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center, will be holding our 32nd Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As one of the earliest developers of coal and oil energy and home to one of the country’s top World History programs, the “Steel City” is the perfect locale for the Meeting’s overarching theme, ENERGIES, where scholars from across the globe will have the opportunity to present new and innovative research on a vast array of energy-related topics. In addition to a weekend of stimulating intellectual pursuits, participants will also be treated to an Opening Reception at the historic Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, complete with 23 distinctive gardens spread across 15 acres just a few miles from the very heart of downtown Pittsburgh. For more information on this stunning architectural and botanical marvel, please visit phipps.conservatory.org.

The first Call for Papers deadline is November 18, 2022, and the final deadline for submission is January 10, 2023. More details on dates and CFP information can be found by clicking the link “CFP Overview” on the WHA Homepage.


To register for the Pittsburgh 2023 Conference, please visit https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=WHA&WebCode=EventList&FromSearchControl=Yes.

The conference registration rates are as follows:

Early rates through 3/15/23:

WHA members: $195

Student members: $50

High school teacher members: $50*

Non-members: $350

Guest rate: $75

* Due to a generous grant from the OER Project, high school teachers receive a reduced rate of $50 and a $50 WHA membership rate through 3/15/2023. 

Regular rates through 5/15/23:

WHA members: $275

Student members: $100

Teacher members: $100

Non-members: $440

Guest rate: $90

Late rates starting 5/16/23:

WHA members: $280

Student members: $145

Non-members: $470

Guests: $100

The Conference scholarship application deadline is February 15, 2023, and more information on this will be forthcoming soon. Eligible applicants include those specified by the scholarship description, and those who have not received scholarships in the past. 

Pittsburgh 2023 Keynote Speakers

The 32nd Annual WHA Conference-ENERGIES has the honor to feature two keynote speakers who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise in environmental history. Opening the proceedings on June 22, 2023, will be Dr. Brian Black of Penn State-Altoona. On June 24, 2023, Dr. Victor Seow of Harvard University will deliver the conference’s concluding address entitled “Some Contradictions of the Calorie.” Be sure not to miss this opportunity to explore the many complexities and nuances of energy history with two of the top scholars in the field!   

Brian Black is distinguished professor of Environmental Studies and History at Penn State Altoona, where he also currently serves as Head of the Division of Arts and Humanities.  Most of his research and writing emphasizes petroleum and energy history, and he is the author or editor of several books, including:  Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom, Crude Reality: Petroleum in World Historyand, most recently, To Have and Have Not: Energy in World History (THHN). Black’s articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, Environmental HistoryUSA Today, and the New York Times.    He is also the founding editor of the Energy and Society book series with the West Virginia University Press.  Particularly with the publication of THHN in 2022, Black’s current focus is to help consumers and scholars to organize world history through patterns of energy use.  His comments will tie these larger efforts to the regional stories of western Pennsylvania, birthplace of the American oil industry.

Dr. Brian Black, Penn State-Altoona
Dr. Victor Seow, Harvard University

Victor Seow is a historian of technology, science, and industry, specializing in China and Japan in global contexts and in histories of energy and work. His first book, Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia (Chicago, 2021), uses the history of what was once East Asia’s largest coal mine to explore the rise of the fossil fuel economy and the technocratic state in China and Japan and, more generally, the relationship between energy and power in the industrial modern age. He is currently writing a new book on industrial psychology as a science of work and a technology of production in China.