The 6th Conable Conference will feature dynamic keynote addresses from:

Professor Elizabeth Schmidt

Elizabeth Schmidt is professor of history at Loyola University Maryland.  She received her Ph.D. in African history, masters degrees in African history and in comparative world history, and Certificate in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her books include: Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror (Cambridge, 2013); Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946-1958 (Ohio, 2007); Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939-1958 (Heinemann, 2005); Peasants, Traders, and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbabwe, 1870-1939 (Heinemann, 1992); Decoding Corporate Camouflage: U.S. Business Support for Apartheid (Institute for Policy Studies, 1980), and Religious Private Voluntary Organizations and the Question of Government Funding, with Jane Blewett and Peter Henriot (Orbis Books, 1981).  Her 2007 book received the African Politics Conference Group’s 2008 Best Book Award, while her 2005 book received  Alpha Sigma Nu’s Book Award for History, also in 2008.  Her 1992 book was awarded Special Mention in the Alpha Sigma Nu book competition, was a finalist for the African Studies Association’s Herskovits Award, and was named byChoice as an “Outstanding Academic Book for 1994.”  In addition to her monographs, Schmidt has published a number of articles in leading journals, including the American Historical Review, the Journal of African History, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.  She is the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships and a research grant from the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Science Research Council.  In 2007, Schmidt was awarded Loyola’s Nachbahr Award for outstanding scholarly achievement in the Humanities, and in 2008, her “Outstanding Achievement in Research, Teaching, and Service” was recognized at Loyola’s Eleventh Annual Deans’ Symposium.  In 2010, Schmidt was co-winner of Loyola’s inaugural “Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning and Engaged Scholarship.”  In 2012, she received the “Faculty Award for Outstanding Service-Learning” at the 5th Annual Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Conference sponsored by institutions of higher learning in the Maryland-Washington, D.C. area, and the “2012 Bud Day Scholar-Activist Award” of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. 



John Osburg

John Osburg is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester. His research is broadly concerned with the relationship between market economies and systems of cultural value, affect, and morality. From 2003 to 2006, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork with a group of wealthy entrepreneurs in southwest China, examining practices of network building and deal making between businesspeople and government officials. Networks of elite entrepreneurs and state officials have exerted increasing dominance over many aspects of Chinese commerce and politics since the start of economic reforms in the late 70s. Prof. Osburg examined how these networks were forged and maintained through ritualized entertaining and the informal moral codes through which they operated. His book, Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality among China’s New Rich (Stanford 2013) examines the rise of elite networks in China and documents the changing values, lifestyles, and consumption habits of China’s new rich and new middle classes. Currently, he is engaged in two writing projects. The first examines the effects of the current anti-corruption campaign on the cohort of businesspeople who were featured in Anxious Wealth. The other project, based on fieldwork Osburg conducted in 2014 and 2015, looks at wealthy Han Chinese who have become followers and patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. Prof. Osburg’s research has been supported by the ACLS, the Luce Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Prior to coming to Rochester, Professor Osburg was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Studies at Stanford University. While conducting his field research in China, he endured a brief stint as the co-host of a variety show on a provincial television station.