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WKU History Department

History Undergraduate Research Conference

April 22, 2024

HURC - speaker

History and background

The History Undergraduate Research Conference (HURC) is an internal conference in which WKU students present the results of their research and writing in a friendly and supportive academic setting. It exists to celebrate the achievements of our students and to share ideas with other like-minded historians (both undergraduates and faculty).

According to History Department tradition, the rules and regulations of the HURC were initially a small sub-section of the Book of Rites, included under the Smaller Rules of Demeanor. However, the practice fell into disuse in 213 BCE after all copies of the Book of Rites were destroyed at the behest of Qin Shi Huangdi (well-known to have been an amateur revisionist historian). The HURC was resurrected at the initiative of Carol Crowe-Carraco in 2011 and has been an annual tradition for WKU’s students of history ever since.

HURC Prizes for 2024

Thanks to the generosity of Carol Crowe-Carraco and other donors, WKU students participating in the HURC are eligible for the following prizes (HURC presenters do *not* need to be Phi Alpha Theta members to be eligible for these prizes):

  • $300 for the Richard Troutman memorial prize winner for best overall paper
  • $200 for the runner-up paper
  • $100 for the second runner-up
  • $300 for the best paper in Black history

Who should attend?

You should attend. Even if you are not presenting, come see what historical research looks like in action. If you have not yet written a senior seminar paper, this is your chance to see what that can look like and get inspired! This is also a chance to support older PAT students, meet and greet faculty, and also provide a friendly audience for your friends and peers. Parents, friends, and other supporters welcome! Please come!

Schedule of presentations

All presentations will be held in Cherry Hall 239.

• Jeffrey Meyers: “Changing Artistic Folk Music and Social Movements in the 1960s”
• Jacob Robin: “The Age of Aquarius: How Hair Influenced the Gay Liberation Movement of the Late 1960s”
• Tani Washington: “Viva Wakanda: What Afrofuturism Gives to an Emancipated Diaspora” 
• Kaylene Bliss: “Heroine or Harpy? How Empress Matilda was denied the crown of England just as it was just within her reach”
• Tristan Fox: “The Debacle at the Dardanelles: In Defense of Churchill”
• Mallory Hardesty: “Girlbossed Too Close To The Sun: Inez Milholland as a Lens for Perceptions of Sex and Sexuality from 1910-1916”
• Elizabeth Woods: “Cauldrons and the Crown: The Scottish Witch Trials and James VI’s Daemonologie” 
• Jacob Condiff: “Japanese Seclusion in Edo Japan: Foreign Affairs in a Time of Sakoku”
• Logan Johnson: “The US Narcotic Farm: Reshaping Therapy Through Art and Music”
• Alexandria Truesdell: “‘The Custom of Our Line’: God’s Will and Aragonese Crusading in the Llibre dels Fets”
• Christian Vincent: “"Let's get on with it": The 1992 Presidential Election and Ross Perot”


Your presentation should last 10-12 minutes. Most people (according to the internet) speak about 140 words per minute. That means your paper should (if you write it out fully) be about 1500 to 1700 words.

When you present, it is best not to rush! Remember: you know your material much better than the audience will!

It is highly advisable to fully run the talk through before you present to get a sense for how long you will talk. This will also make you less nervous.

With 3-4 presenters per panel, papers will last 36 to 48 minutes of talks plus 12 to 24 minutes of questions. Do expect that papers will be gently (but firmly) cut off after 12 minutes, especially for the 4-person panels.

Supporting materials

Written papers: You do not have to submit a written paper to participate. To gauge time and prepare, writing your paper out for yourself in advance is strongly advised. You certainly do not need to memorize it, and can use a written-out version, or notecards, or whatever memory aid you think best.

PowerPoint: Your presentation needs to include at least some visual aid with your presentation to engage your audience and / or illustrate key points. Maps can be nice. So can timelines, or photographs or images. Whatever you think will best help the audience understand your talk. PowerPoint is typical, but there are many options for displaying slides.


Formal attire is not required (not forbidden, either). You should look presentable. A visible step above every-day going-to-class wear for sure. If you want your audience to take your ideas seriously, you should dress like you take them seriously.

Questions after presentations

To make sure everyone has time to present their paper, questions will be held until after each session’s presentations are over. If you are presenting, it is expected that you take a few notes so that you can also ask questions of the other panelists assigned to your session.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Miner (conference coordinator) at jeffrey.miner@wku.edu


HURC - audience

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 Last Modified 4/18/24