Propose a Conference

Guidelines for Proposing Conferences

The Huntington invites proposals from faculty and graduate students in the fields where the collections are strong to convene research conferences in the academic year, September 2024 to May 2025.

The Huntington is a collections-based research institute, which promotes humanities scholarship on the basis of its library holdings and art collections.

The Library holds more than 11 million items that span the 11th to the 21st century. Its diverse materials center on 14 intersecting collection strengths:

  • American history
  • architecture, landscape design, and planning
  • British history
  • California
  • early printed books
  • Hispanic history and culture
  • history of science, technology, and medicine
  • literature in English
  • maps and atlases
  • medieval manuscripts
  • the Pacific Rim
  • photography
  • prints, posters, and ephemera
  • Western American history

The art collections feature European and American art spanning more than 500 years, with diverse strengths ranging from Renaissance Italian bronzes to British grand manner portrait paintings to early American folk art to 20th-century drawings, prints, and photography.

In addition to reinterpreting the well-known highlights of our collections, thereby connecting them with new and broader audiences, we aim to inspire future generations of scholars and artists by providing greater access to all of our collections.

The Research Department typically hosts six two-day academic conferences every year, and the Director of Research welcomes the submission of proposals from scholars, based either in the United States or elsewhere, who are interested in convening conferences that either reflect or build upon the strength of the collections held in the institution.

The Huntington’s extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, ephemera, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photographs offer endless opportunities for inter- and multidisciplinary programming on topics as wide-ranging as labor, law, and policy studies; migration, politics, and colonialism; science fiction and Afrofuturism; the historical roles of science, technology, and medicine; and the re-imagination of American and/or British history and art history.

The conferences are funded and hosted by The Huntington, but it is the responsibility of the conveners to develop and explain the intellectual rationale of the gathering: In particular, why is the time right for a conference on this theme, and why is The Huntington the appropriate venue to hold it?

The Huntington’s preferred format for these events is as follows. Conferences

  • Take place at The Huntington over two days (almost invariably a Friday and Saturday)
  • Include a maximum of 12 speakers, only four of whom may be invited from overseas
  • Accommodate and provide hospitality (at the Caltech Athenaeum) for the conveners and speakers for three nights (or four, if traveling from overseas)
  • Reimburse the travel expenses of conveners and speakers (but do not pay honoraria)
  • Charge a registration fee of $25 for attendees (waived for students) and add a nominal charge of $20 for lunch

Applications should be sent by email to Catherine Wehrey-Miller, Assistant to the Director of Research, at, and should include:

  • The conference title
  • The contact details (including email addresses) of the conveners
  • A 1,000-word rationale for the conference explaining its themes and research questions
  • An indicative list of titles for each session or panel
  • An indicative list of speakers
  • The month or general time period in which you would like the conference to take place (we are able to hold conferences from late September 2025 to early June 2026)

Application Deadline: Friday, Nov. 15, 2024

The results of the competition will be communicated spring 2025.