March 11 – 12, 2016
Mead Hall, Drew University

Conference Schedule
Register for the Conference

The historical profession, like many academic disciplines, finds itself at a crossroads in training its future practitioners. The intellectual revolutions of the 21st century and transformations in higher education have changed how historians practice their craft as well as career opportunities available to them. How should graduate history education adapt to these developments? Some argue the answer is training for non-academic as well as academic careers. But is job-market adaptation by itself sufficient? What about the intellectual and technological dimensions to history’s transformation in the 21st century? How do these influence career preparation for historians?

Crossroads: The Future of Graduate History Education, a two-day conference, aims to bring together graduate students, faculty, and leaders in the historical profession to explore these issues. Hosted by Drew University’s Caspersen School of Graduate Study and the History & Culture program the conference will be held March 11-12, 2016 on the University’s campus in Madison, NJ, conveniently located 30 miles from Manhattan.

The conference will feature the leading figures in the field. Robert Townsend of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Humanities Indicatorsand Leonard Cassuto, author of The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It will deliver keynote addresses. Jim Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association, will moderate a panel featuring the of the AHA-Mellon Career Diversity Pilot Programs. Crossroads will attract a diverse range of opinions and expertise and will include keynote speakers, roundtables, and panel presentations.

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to welcome Leonard Cassuto and Robert Townsend as the keynote speakers for Crossroads. As leaders in the field, their numerous publications have generated awareness of the issues historians and educators face in the 21st century.  More Information on the keynotes.

Student Travel Grants

Part of our vision for Crossroads is to bring unheard student voices to a prominent place in the conversation on the future of graduate history education. We realize that this will require some financial assistance for graduate students who have limited funds available and we hope these grants will make attending the conference possible. All graduate students who submit proposals will be considered for these grants, unfortunately, limited funds are available. Each travel grant will be $400.

Conference Program

The Conference Schedule is available. A PDF version is also available.


Even if you are unable to attend Crossroads, you can still participate. Email your questions to or tweet using #FutureofHistory. Selected questions will be used during the Q&A sessions following each presentation. Join us remotely for:

Friday, March 11th
Achieving Success in Non-faculty Careers: Learning to Navigate an Uncertain Job Market – 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST
Keynote: Leonard Cassuto –  “Dissertations, Jobs, and the Theory of Happiness” – 5:00 – 6:00 pm EST

Saturday. March 12th
Meet Us at the Crossroads: Career Diversity for Historians on Piloting Changes to Graduate History Education – 8:30 – 10:00 am EST
Keynote: Robert Townsend –  “Rethinking History Graduate Education by the Numbers” – 5:00 – 6:00 pm EST

Conference Registration

Crossroads Registration

Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved through The Madison Hotel for Crossroads. A special rate of $99 per night for the duration of the conference is available to conference attendees.

Reservations can be made by calling 973-285-1800 or toll free 1-800-526-0729 and by asking to make a reservation in the Drew Crossroads Conference block. A credit card or deposit will be required to guarantee each reservation. Reservations must be booked by the cut off date: 02/12/2016.