CfP: Penn Mitchell Center Graduate Workshops 2021-22

The Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy invites paper proposals for its Annual Graduate Workshop Series at the University of Pennsylvania. We welcome submissions by doctoral students (PhD, JSD, SJD, etc.) from any university and discipline whose research explores the controversies, dilemmas, and promises of democratic society. 

The Center provides an interdisciplinary venue for graduate students to present their research and receive constructive scholarly feedback. By placing papers in conversation with each other across disciplinary boundaries, we hope to provoke new ways of thinking about the implications of democracy and citizenship. We encourage papers that interrogate democracy and citizenship from any of the following dimensions and beyond:

  • Tensions over definitions and practices of democracy
  • Citizenship and political membership
  • Responses and resistance to  political institutions
  • Movement and migration
  • Law and public policy
  • Public health
  • Economic inequality and social stratification
  • Movements for democracy and social change in particular regions
  • Technological changes
  • Policing and militarization
  • Issues of race, gender, religion, and sexuality 
  • Cultural memory and public history
  • Media and misinformation
  • Social movements

You can find titles of papers presented at the Graduate Workshop in past years at


The Andrea Mitchell Center’s Graduate Workshop is a yearlong series held once a month between September 2021 and May 2022. Two graduate students, usually from different fields, present their papers at each meeting. Presentations are approximately 10 minutes per paper, followed by  a group discussion. Papers must be submitted three weeks in advance of the workshop to be circulated. Papers should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages.

Applications are due July 3rd, 2021 to Please send:

  1. An abstract of up to 300 words including a working title for the paper and up to 5 keywords connecting your project to the aforementioned themes,
  2. A brief statement that indicates your discipline and institution, and
  3. Three workshop dates (mentioned below) that suit your availability, in order of preference.
  4. Lastly, are you willing and able to present the paper in person in Philadelphia?


Dates for the Graduate Workshop Series, 2021 and 2022

*Note: your paper must be ready to be submitted three weeks prior to the workshop date*

September 22, 2021

October 20, 2021

November 10, 2021

December 8, 2021

January 19, 2022

February 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

April 13, 2022


Before the pandemic we had conducted our sessions in person. Successful virtual workshops were held in the previous year, which allowed us to bring together students and faculty from a broader range of universities and institutions, and we hope to be able to continue reaching such a broad range of participants. With this in mind, and being mindful of ongoing uncertainty, we will use one of two formats on a case-by-case basis: in-person, if both presenters are willing and able to travel to Philadelphia (the event will still be live-streamed); or entirely virtual in the case that one of the presenters is unwilling or unable to travel to Philadelphia. Even if normal university operations fully resume in the fall or spring, we will maintain the options for virtual meetings and participants will not be required to travel for the workshop.