2022: Distance, Mobility, and Migration

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The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as seen from the “La Salve” Bridge

Bilbao, Spain | 23-25 June, 2022

The WHA is headed to Spain!  Situated seven miles inland from the Bay of Biscay, the city of Bilbao is the capital of Bizkaia Province in Spain’s Basque Autonomous Region.  Over the past 700 years, the city has been an inter-imperial trading hub, a key to Imperial Spain’s maritime infrastructure, a center of resistance to fascism’s global rise, and a modern exemplar of the power of cultural tourism as an engine of urban renewal.  With such a storied past, world historians should find Bilbao a compelling and exciting location in which to discuss and debate.

This year’s conference is entitled: Distance, Mobility, and Migration and is being co-sponsored by University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). For the Basque people of Bilbao, the experience of movement across great distances is a central element of their history and identity.  For WHA members and friends, our conference in Bilbao offers the opportunity to present research and spark conversation addressing issues of: borders, territoriality, diaspora, industrialization, resistance, and tourism.  See the call for proposals below for a full list of potential discussion topics.

While we will have virtual conference sessions available, we sincerely hope you will choose to connect with us in-person on the campus of our conference co-sponsors!

Bilbao’s more recent engagement with international tourism also means that when not attending a conference session, attendees are within walking distance of many historic sites and modern attractions (among which is the famous Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry).  More information will be made available soon detailing opportunities for lodging, keynote speakers, and external tours and cultural events.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is the conference being held?

The Bizkaia Aretoa Center in Bilbao, Spain. The building is located in the Parque República de Abando. This building is representing the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in the City of Bilbao. It is not the main campus of the University.

Street Address: Abandoibarra Etorb., 3, 48009 Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

2. How do I register for the conference?

Register now, or navigate to the “Registration” section below to learn about different rates and details.

3. I’m presenting at the conference, do I need to register?

Yes. See question 2 for more details.

4. I’m having trouble registering, what do I do?

Send an email to info@thewha.org detailing your problem. If you are attempting to pay for your conference registration using a non-US credit card, please know our payment processing software has been experiencing some difficulty in those situations.

5. Are there tours I can go on while at the conference?

Yes! Please see the “Cultural Excursions” section of this page.

6. What are the Covid-19 protocols and requirements for the conference?

As of February 10, 2022, the Spanish government is requiring non-essential travelers (i.e., tourists) to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for US citizens entering from the United States.  For the exact details of these requirements and the most up-to-date information, the WHA recommends you consult the US Spanish Embassy website or your country’s appropriate embassy.

For those choosing to attend the conference in-person, the WHA will also be requiring proof of vaccination. Information regarding how to submit proof of vaccination will be published soon. Please note that vaccination proof will be required no later than June 3, 2022 to attend the conference in-person.

7. How do I know when I’m presenting?

The detailed list of panel and session assignments has not yet been finalized. For a general schedule of the conference, see the section below.

8. Can I bring a guest to the conference?

Yes, though certain restrictions apply. See the “Registration” section for details.

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Registration for our 31st Annual WHA Conference, Bilbao 2022, is available below. Rates for both in-person and virtual attendance are the same, due to the expense of virtual components. Unlike past years, we have extended our early registration rate through March 31, 2022. To secure the best rate, register during Early Registration as a WHA member.

Using the link above is usually the quickest and easiest way to register for the conference this year. If you are unable to complete your registration via the portal, please contact the WHA at info@thewha.org, with the exact phrase “Bilbao 2022 Registration Request” in the subject line of your email.

Paper Presenters Take Note!

April 25, 2022 is the hard deadline by which you must register for attendance to the conference.


WHA Members: early $195 | regular $275 | late $280
Student Members: early $90 | regular $125 | late $145
Non-Member Rates: early $350 | regular $440 | late $470
Guest*: early $75 | regular $90 | late $100

If needed, registration refunds are available through May 15, 2022.

Live registrants will be required to submit proof of vaccination or negative Covid results prior to attending the conference on June 23. Details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. Mask mandates may be in place per University of the Basque Country and/or the city of Bilbao.

*Guests must be accompanied by a full paying registrant and can only attend beverage breaks, receptions and keynote.

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Pre-Conference Dates

November 30, 2021: Proposal Deadline I (hard deadline to be considered for expedited evaluations)

January 15, 2022: Proposal Deadline II (final submission deadline)

February 8: WHA members and conference registrants receive digital access to 2018 documentary on the Franco dictatorship: The Silence of Others. This documentary is the subject of the first publicly announced roundtable of Bilbao 2022!

February 15, 2022: Lodging options in Bilbao launch on WHA website, as well as conference scholarship information.

March 15, 2022: Scholarship applications due.

April, 2022: Bilbao 2022 day tours schedule and registration launch on website.

April 1, 2022: First day of regular registration begins.

April 25, 2022: Deadline for paper presenters to register for the conference.

May 15, 2022: First day of late registration begins.

Conference Schedule

Please note, this copy of the preliminary draft schedule is for convenience only and may not reflect recent session or speaker changes.

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Cultural Excursions in Bilbao

In addition to the many exciting panels and presentations planned for this year’s conference, the WHA is please to announce a variety of guided tours and cultural excursions you and your fellow conference attendees will be able to attend. From day trips to nearby cities, touring a Rioja vineyard, or walking tours of Bilbao’s Old Quarter, there’s certain to be something which interests you!

In addition to the excursions outside Bilbao, the WHA will be coordinating a guided tour of the Guggenheim art museum in Bilbao. This tour, which requires registration, will take place on the 24th of June at 17:00 local time. Led by a qualified guide of the museum, the tour is 60 minutes long and features information on the architecture of the museum and the works within. The fee for this event includes participation in the tour and admission to the museum. Please note, this tour opportunity occurs at the same time as Session D of the conference.

Participation in these events is entirely voluntary and occurs outside of the conference itself. Any costs associated with these trips are not included in your conference registration fee.

Tour & Excursion Registration

Click the above light blue button to register for any tour except the Guggenheim Museum tour. You are able to register for multiple of these day trips at once through this portal. Download the pdf below for more information about the tours outside Bilbao.

Click the dark blue button below to register for the museum tour.

Download a pdf with details and pricing for excursions in cities outside Bilbao

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Keynote Speakers

The opening keynote address of the thirty-first annual conference of the WHA is entitled “The World, a Bigger Bay of Biscay for the Last 500 Years (1522-2022),” and will be given by Joseba Agirreazkuenaga.

Dr. Agirreazkuenaga is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao), a position he has held since 1995. The Basque Visiting Fellow at Oxford University in 1990, 2006, and 2007, he has headed the “Biography and Parliament” research group at the University since 1989, and has supervised the completion of twenty doctoral dissertations. The author of The Making of the Basque Question: Experiencing Self-Government, 1793-1877, Agirreazkuenaga was awarded the Euskadi Research Award by the Government of the Basque Country in 2020.

Dr. Joseba Agirreazkuenaga
Dr. Joseba Agirreazkuenaga
Photo of Dr. Tatiana Seijas with recent publication
Dr. Tatiana Seijas

Tatiana Seijas will deliver the closing address to the annual conference in a talk entitled “Words Matter: Rethinking our Terms to Write New Histories about Global Migrations.”

Dr. Seijas is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University. She writes about global migrations, long-distance trade, urban economies, and the joined history of freedom and slavery. Her latest monograph Global Mexico City in the Seventeenth Century is a new history of one of the early modern world’s greatest entrepôts centered on the economic lives of ordinary people. Seijas is currently researching and writing “First Routes: Indigenous Trade and Travel in North America,” which recovers the history of Native merchants who forged routes of exchange between the Mesoamerican highlands and the Rio Grande Valley. Learn more about Seijas.

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Bilbao Lodging Options

For the conference this year, the WHA is pleased to announce three recommended lodging options. Details about each of the options and how to reserve space at them are below:

University of Basque Country: University Housing

Attendees of the 2022 annual conference are able to book stays at the Miguel de Unamuno residence of the University of Basque Country, our co-sponsors of the conference. Daily rates vary depending on the amount of space you require, whether or not you are considered a student, and how comprehensive you wish your boarding to be (e.g. B+B, half board, or full board). A brief summary of prices (in euros, including VAT) is below:

Room TypeMin Cost/DayMax Cost/Day
Student – Single
Single occupant4458
Double occupant80108

To make a reservation with UPV/EHU, please email unamuno@ehu.eus, CC paisvascoyamerica@ehu.eus, and include “Conference WHA Reservation” in the subject line. Per university staff, registrants should indicate the following in the email:

  • Name and surname
  • Passport or ID number
  • Desired date of entry and departure
  • Type of room and board (the WHA recommends the B+B rate, which includes breakfast and sleeping accommodations)

Hotel NH Deusto

Renovated in 2016, the NH Deusto is located within walking distance of Bilbao’s most common tourist destinations. From the hotel’s website: “The Guggenheim and Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts museum) is 10 minutes on foot, while it’s a 15-minute stroll to the Euskalduna Congress Hall. Meanwhile, Deusto and Basque Country’s Public Universities are both a 5-minute walk away. Walk on for an additional 3 minutes to reach the financial district and the Iberdrola Tower.” More details can be found at: www.nh-hotels.com/hotel/nh-bilbao-deusto

While you are welcome to reserve rooms entirely on your own for the dates you wish, we recommend you create reservations by emailing nhdeusto@nh-hotels.com or e.gonivillanueva@nh-hotels.com. Creating a reservation via email (or by phone at +34.94.476.0006) and mentioning “WHA June 2022” in the subject line will guarantee you secure nightly rates. The NH Duesto is offering rooms to conference attendees at the following rates (in euros, VAT included):

Room TypeCost/Night
DUI, breakfast included115.50
Double, breakfast included126.50

Hotel Melia

Adapted from the hotel website: between the Palacio Euskalduna and the Guggenheim Museum, the Meliá Bilbao will delight you with its stunning architecture and Basque cuisine with cutting-edge touches. A few minutes from the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Art and Iberdrola Tower, this hotel in the centre of Bilbao is ideal for cultural and business trips. Very well connected with public transport allowing visitors to get around the city very easily. Dining options for any time of day, from an extensive, healthy breakfast to tapas, pintxos and cocktails in the Q Lounge and Mediterranean cuisine at Quatre. The Aizan Restaurant serves Basque cuisine of the highest quality, seeking a modern twist to traditional cuisine using only the best ingredients.

To reserve rooms (DUI, breakfast included) at the Hotel Melia, please visit their website through the following link: events.melia.com/en/events/melia-bilbao/WHA-2022–DISTANCE–MOBILITY-AND-MIGRATION.html

This link gives you access to the conference block of rooms and their special pricing, listed below (in euros, VAT included):

DateRoom Rate
20 June154
21 June154
22 June154
23 June170
24 June170
25 June154
26 June124

Lodging Questions

Please contact the office of the WHA via info@thewha.org with questions or concerns regarding lodging during the conference.

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Logo of the University of Basque Country
Thank you to our co-sponsors of the conference, the University of the Basque Country

Conference Proposals


See the call for proposals available here in English, Spanish, and Basque (leer en español OR irakurri euskaraz).

Submit a Proposal

The call for proposals for the conference is now closed. The conference committee has evaluated all proposals, and sent letters of acceptance to all accepted presenters.

The principal conference language will be English, but the University of Basque Country and the World History Association will make every effort to accomodate Basque and/or Spanish language proposals (within the bounds of budgetary and logistical constraints).

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