Annual Conference

44thConferenceImageEcho & Resonance: 1968
The 2017 conference examines the 50th anniversary of the civil unrest of 1968. The conference sessions will explore 1968 and the civil unrest as a pivotal moment in the history of the District, the history of activism in the area, and the dynamics race, politics, governance, and history played in the events. How does 1968 resonate today?




6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture
National Museum of American History, Warner Bros. Theater
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Marya McQuirter, Curator, DC 1968 Project



9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

 9:15 – 9:45 a.m.
Conference Opening Welcome

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Keynote

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Concurrent Sessions

Before, During, and After 1968: Picturing Washington, D.C. through the Collections of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress

D.C. DIY: Punk Fanzines and Blogs

  • If You Don’t Like This, Write Your Own: Zines and D.C. Punk Participatory Culture
  • Flash In Time: 40 Years of Punk Fanzines in Washington, D.C.
  • Moving from Xerox to WordPress: Using Blog Platforms to Self-publish Zines

Shaping Urban Space for Private Gain: The Role of Private Citizens, Real Estate Officials, and Property Owners in DC’s Urban Planning

  • It Wasn’t Just The Schools: Race, Real Estate and White Flight in Pre-1968 DC
  • DC and the Work of BIDs: 19th Century Imaginaries for the 21st Century
  • Private Citizens’ Associations and Racial Segregation

Justice on the Potomac: Activism and Social Justice in the District of Columbia

  • Stonewall on the Potomac: Gay Liberation Arrives in the Nation’s Capital
  • People of the Book and the Protest Placard: Jewish Civil Rights and Social Justice Activism in 1960s Washington, D.C.
  • Fifty Years after the Riots: All Souls Church, Ward 1, and Racial Justice

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
History Network & Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

When They Hit the Streets: Black Power in Washington, D.C.

The Shotgun House Public Archaeology Project: Exploring the Working-Class Immigrant Experience on Capitol Hill

  • The Original DC Brau: An Examination of Beer Bottles at the Shotgun House Public Archaeology Project
  • Beyond the Fence: Reaching Out to the Capitol Hill Community through Urban Archaeology
  • “Broke Up the Furniture”: Historical Newspaper Research at the Shotgun House

Hidden Histories of the District Government

Sublime Planning: City Housing After 1968

  • The Plan: Folklore, History, and Washington’s Sublime Urban Legend
  • Section 8, Public Housing, and the Post-1968 Infrastructure for Rights in the District
  • Washington DC A House Divided: African American Housing and the Impacts of the 1968 Race Riots Through a Visual Representation

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Community Conversation: Gentrification and Caribbean Music

Resurrection Scenes: The Use of Public Parks and Spaces to Tell the Story of the D.C.

  • Anacostia Park: A Monument to Civil Rights
  • Missing Voices: Participants’ Narratives of the National Park Service’s Summer in the Parks Program
  • “The Scene at Zip Code 20013”: Resurrection City and the HUD Act of 1968

A Complicated Path Toward 1968: History, Corruption, Trauma, and Protest in Nineteenth-Century Washington, D.C.

  • The Murtagh Conspiracy: Corruption, Blackmail, and the Press in Gilded Age Washington
  • The Civil War, Washington, DC, and Post-traumatic Stress
  • Picketing the White House: The Suffragist Movement During the Great War
  • “It Is Truly Alarming”: Commandant Isaac Hull and the Snow Riot of 1835

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Film Screenings



9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Wiping African American Neighborhoods off the Map

  • The Demise of Ward 4’s Historic African American Communities
  • Destroying the Reno Neighborhood
  • The Plan to Expand White Capitol Hill

The DC Oral History Collaborative: Origins, Process, and Possibilities

Paper Trails: Self-rule, Emergency Preparedness, and the Legal Language of Riots

  • 1968: Landmark gains for DC Self-Rules
  • Prosecuting a Riot: Paperwork, Prisoners, and Due Process
  • The Records of the Office of Emergency Preparedness: A Look at 1968 in the Nation’s Capital

Transition, Migration, and Gathering Places: Immigration & Community Spaces in the District

  • The Central American Women of D.C.: Immigrants, Mothers, Workers, and Community Builders
  • In Transition: How Salvadoran Migration Altered Legal, Racial, and Social Politics in the Nation’s Capital
  • Union Market: A Story of People and Food in a Changing Place

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Poster Session, Author Talks, & Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Howard Theatre’s Crucial Role in the Community Before and After the 1968 Riots

  • The Howard’s Role in the Community in 1968
  • Honoring the Musicians Who Played at the Howard
  • Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City
  • Greg Gaskins Guitarist Extraordinaire

“A Right to the City”: Reflections on the History and Legacy of Neighborhood Organizing

“In Order to Lesson Tensions”: The Pilot District Project and Washington, D.C., 1968 – 1971

  • The Alphabet Soup of Community Activism: PDP in the context of MICCO and ECTC
  • Exhibiting Community Policing
  • Collections as Community Memory: Exploring the Thomas L. Lalley Pilot District Project Files
  • Exhibits as a Gateway to Exploring Contemporary Issues in the Classroom

Race and Redevelopment

  • A Study in Contrasts: Urban Transformation in the Southwest and Fourteenth Street Corridor of Washington, D.C. The Urban Renewal of Columbia Heights: Urban Design, Inequality, and Race
  • Anti-Blackness in Chocolate City
  • Riots, Race, and Redevelopment: The Consequential Geography of Segregation in the Rebuilding of Washington’s 14th Street Corridor

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Community Conversation: The Radical Roots of Federal City College

Reliving the Movement: Music, Images, and Oral Histories

A Radical Archaeology: Burial Grounds, Slavery, and White Supremacy

  • Lost and Found: The Archaeology and Physical Anthropology of the Q Street, NW Burials
  • Lifting the Veil of Silence: Using Archaeology to Confront White Privilege and the Dominant Narrative
  • Georgian Order in the Federal City: The Architecture of Slavery at the Octagon House
  • “Slave Market of America:” Connecting the Debate over Abolition with Federal Support for the District of Columbia in the Jacksonian Era

Costs, Myths, and Mobilization: Integration and Desegregation in the District of Columbia

  • The Costs of Integration in the Nation’s Capital: Exploring the Contentious Career of Dr. Garnet C. Wilkinson
  • Myths of Desegregation: Reconsidering Lisner Auditorium’s Place in the Racial Justice Lore of Washington, D.C.



Conference Tours

Please note that this program is subject to change.

About the Conference
The 44th Annual Conference on D.C. History is a collaboration between The George Washington University, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and the DC Public Library. Its mission is to provide a friendly and rigorous forum for discussing and promoting original research about the history of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Conference Committee
Mark Benbow,  Mark Greek, Karen Harris, Amanda Huron, Ida E. Jones, Rebecca Katz, Jennifer King, Lily Liu, Izetta Autumn Mobley, Nancy Murray, Emily Niekrasz, John O’Brien, Clarence Shaw, Mary Ternes, Ruth Trocolli, and Ranald Woodaman.

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