Comments on: The 2008 Berkshire Conference: The Year Cultural History Broke? http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 01:45:37 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Http://bing.com/ http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-2438534 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:56:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-2438534 Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for providing this information.

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By: “What about Women in Early American History?” In which Historiann and friends get up on their high horses and rope ‘em up good : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-351684 Tue, 30 Jun 2009 11:16:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-351684 [...] this conversation before,” and reminded us of previous conversations at the 2002 and 2008 Berkshire Conferences and at the Organization of American Historians’ annual conference in 2009.  (Regular readers [...]

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-30191 Thu, 26 Jun 2008 19:22:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-30191 Hi LMC–thanks for stopping by to comment. Yes, how “retro”–doing research that uncovers new knowledge! Oh well–thanks to our friends in public history, archivists, museum studies professionals, historic preservationists, etc.–the archives, museums, and historic structures will be there when the worm turns (as it always does!)

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By: Little Midwestern College http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-30187 Thu, 26 Jun 2008 18:27:40 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-30187 I so agree with what you say about getting into the archive–there are still rafts of good primary stuff about women yet to be worked on and I wish I had graduate students because I’ve run across more good projects on new topics than I can handle. I always chuckle when the discussion comes back to archival work–it reminds me of a discussion at the Library of Congress years back during the seminar/launch of the American Women website/book, when someone called this kind of work “New Retro History.” I’ve been using this phrase ever since. . .

I’ll be looking forward to your future posts on this issue.

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By: Berks blogging: Juneteenth edition : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-27358 Thu, 19 Jun 2008 14:58:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-27358 [...] and Writing the Lives of Unfree Women, Friday June 13.  I reported briefly on this panel on Sunday, but want to follow up because it was so good.  The room was jam-packed, so that when Natalie [...]

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-26192 Mon, 16 Jun 2008 18:25:34 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-26192 Right on to this last point. The old/new-fashioned “listening to the inarticulate” and then amplifying what you say they (would have) said approach had its own degree of narcissistic presumptiousness that never got self-consciously acknowledged or examined. But I always thought the “cultural turn” quickly established a too-easy comfort level with James River planter elites and other privileged producers of rivers of quotable quotations. I guess we need some sort of Amazon “people who count these also close-read this and that” methodological measuring stick!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-26182 Mon, 16 Jun 2008 18:02:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-26182 Thanks, KC–you’re making my point better than I have myself! I should clarify: I don’t think that social and cultural history are mutually exclusive. I think they’re both better together than when they stand alone. Cultural history made social history interpretively powerful and compelling in a way that those old charts and graphs from the 1970s and 1980s just weren’t, so I’m certainly not arguing that we should dump cultural history. I’ve just seen too much cultural history that works as a kind of media critique that focuses only on “representations,” when I think it’s still important to find out how people actually lived.

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By: Knitting Clio http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-26152 Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:50:34 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-26152 I know what you mean, Patty. I have to agree with Historiann that in some cases there is a tendency to just use convenient sources — e.g. journal articles, advertisments, etc. We saw that in our seminar, especially the paper by the communication prof who did not even set the advertisements from the Duke Digital Scriptorium he was analyzing in historical context, either past or present. He also doesn’t seem to know about the work of Roland Marchand and others on the history of advertising, or really cultural history more generally. I was going to say something about this at the seminar but ran out of time.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-26145 Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:13:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-26145 Thanks for stopping by to comment–it was great to meet you too! Perhaps this is more of an issue for those of us working in pre-20th C history, where it has seemed for many years that the same old evidence and texts were being used, and the fear that there were no new discoveries to make. And moreover, I think many grad students and younger scholars were led to believe that they could simply produce “new readings” of familiar texts instead of doing archival work. I think for modern historians working in fields where the historiography is very thin (or nonexistent!), there still is a sense of new discovery in archival work.

I’m so pleased you thought the seminar was great–I’m sure it was, and I think your seminar was enriched by having two mid-career scholars there. (Many of the seminars featured largely if not entirely junior scholars, but I’ve heard that the discussions were very thought-provoking, and that the audiences who showed up were very engaged with the issues and were able to contribute a lot to the discussions.)

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By: Sungold http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/15/the-2008-berkshire-conference-the-year-cultural-history-broke/comment-page-1/#comment-26144 Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:07:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=379#comment-26144 Ann, It was great to meet you yesterday after lunch, while I was hanging out with Heather.

I’m not sure I buy the dichotomy lurking behind your title. I take a cultural and social approach to the history of childbirth, and heaven knows that archival research was a huge part of it. I think it’s possible to take a cultural (or at least vaguely anthropological view) of archival sources. IMO, the question is not so much what kinds of artifacts we’re using as the lens through which we choose to view them.

Can I just say again that I thought the conference was a smashing success? I didn’t go to any of the same panels you did, but they ranged from excellent to unforgettable. And the seminars rocked – well, at least mine and Heather’s did. :-)

So thanks!
Sungold (Patty Stokes) at Kittywampus

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