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Roots of Contemporary Issues

RCI Undergraduate Research Conference


…to the Roots of Contemporary Issues Annual Undergraduate Research Conference page. Held during the Fall semester of each academic year, the conference is a chance for students who have taken History 105 or 305 to present the results of their historical research projects to a broader WSU audience. Students may also choose to develop projects further for presentation at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities held each Spring and/or to work with Roots of Contemporary Issues faculty to earn History 499 credit.

The conference is coordinated through the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program and the History Graduate Student Association. We welcome undergraduate projects that fall under one of the five organizing themes of History 105 and 305:

Humans and the Environment
The Roots of Inequality
Diverse Ways of Thinking
The Roots of Contemporary Conflicts

Submissions should primarily address one of the themes but are welcome to make connections across them. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: historical studies of the environment or environmental change; contemporary and historical globalizations (i.e. pandemics, cultural exchange, global capitalism); racial, class, or gender inequality, the origins or impacts of economic, social, or political ideologies and thoughts, or specific (armed or unarmed) conflicts over territory, resources, or ideas. We welcome submissions from all geographic regions and time periods as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the theme.

Students who are invited to present will to so before an audience of fellow WSU undergraduate and graduate students, Roots faculty, community members, and prospective WSU students and parents. Awards and cash prizes are offered for the top presentations from each panel as well as for the best overall conference presentation.

Accepted panelists will prepare a 10-15 minute presentation of their research, including visual elements. Submissions not accepted to be on panels may be asked to participate in a poster session. Undergraduate students will be paired with a graduate student or faculty mentor to help develop their presentation. WSU faculty and graduate students will also provide comments on the presentations and moderate the panels.

Undergraduate Conference Nomination

Faculty and teaching assistants may use this form to nominate History 105 and 305 students to apply for the annual Fall RCI Undergraduate Research Conference. Nominations are accepted any time, but note that conference organizers will send invitations to nominated students during the second week of Fall semester.
  • Example: Cultural History of Tobacco in China
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Helpful Links

Conference Application

Conference FAQs

UC Davis Tips for Abstract Writing

Tips For Writing a CV

Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities