Comments on: Conference themes: why, dear Lord, why? http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:57:30 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1737379 Sun, 27 Oct 2013 16:37:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1737379 Yeah, pretty much!

(BTW, I feel your pain. The job market and early professional life is brutal enough. Why rub it in, friends?)

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By: tea http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1737353 Sun, 27 Oct 2013 16:13:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1737353 Here’s the thing: I’m on the job market for the first time, I’m actually *trained* in Cultural Studies, and American Studies makes sense for me as a larger conference for interviews and networking. Yet I cannot for the life of me figure out how to connect my work to the theme, and many of my colleagues feel the same way.

so the theme both seems incredibly marginalizing and like some kind of brutal ritual where “fun” is had at the expense of other people’s livelihood.

In other words: this shit is hard enough as it is. you want me to dance for you too?

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By: What We're Reading: October 24, 2013 http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1732489 Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:17:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1732489 […] Conference Themes: Why, Dear Lord, Why? […]

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1727306 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 14:06:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1727306 Isn’t it going to start being fun at some point?!? I keep thinking that’s “light” I’m seeing at the far end of the assessment and outcomes tunnel, but maybe it’s just a team of accreditors from “Middle States” coming at high speed in the other direction. Bummer.

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By: Tenured Radical http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1726131 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 01:48:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1726131 Clever girl. And yes, job candidates should never have fun because they need to be prepared for the rest of their careers.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1725468 Sun, 20 Oct 2013 15:32:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1725468 A-HAhahahaha, Tenured Radical! A few seconds of googling explains it all.

You are right: we can (and did) have serious conversations in fun places like Puerto Rico, and then go have the fun in informal conversations and field trips and at the beach & around the pool. And no one wants job candidates to have fun at all, ever. To suggest otherwise strikes me as irresponsible, if not malpractice.

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By: Tenured Radical http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1724141 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 20:35:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1724141 @tea: had not seen the ASA theme, and it makes a lot more sense if you consider the source.

That said, what is particularly silly about the ASA is that it doesn’t relate the work it says it want to do to anything more academically significant than the ASA, making it even more an insider-y conference than it has ever been. One of the great things about past ASA themes has been, as someone else asserted, that it has made a statement about expanding the field and bringing new knowledges into the fold.

Are we really not worried that the ASA is “fun” enough? Did last year around the pool in Puerto Rico, and serious conversations that traveled from the conference room to the beach really just bore the $hit out of next year’s leadership? The people who wrote the theme are, I predict, the same people who will expect job candidates to stand and deliver for 45 minutes of heavily theoretical jawboning followed by questions designed to ascertain whether said candidate is “smart” — not fun.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1724052 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:20:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1724052 Yes, it’s Miss Shields from A Christmas Story–Ralphie’s, Schwartz’s, and Flick’s teacher. I was looking for a youtube clip of the scene in which Miss Shields instructs the class to write a theme and the whole class groans!

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By: Dr. Virago http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1723713 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 15:11:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1723713 PS – The picture is from _A Christmas Story_, isn’t it? You’ll shoot your eye out!

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By: Dr. Virago http://www.historiann.com/2013/10/17/conference-themes-why-dear-lord-why/comment-page-1/#comment-1723712 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 15:10:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21925#comment-1723712 Rustonite – Leeds *does* do themes, but you don’t have to adhere to one of them. (For 2014, it’s “Empire.”) That’s the way to do it, I think: have a body of panels that address the theme, for some coherence in a giant conference, but leave things open enough for everyone else not working on that theme.

The way *not* to do it is to have just about everything under one theme or a body of themes and then come up with themes that are obviously tied to the interests and approaches that you and your friends have or use. I’ve seen that, too, and it drives me mad. It’s akin to what H’Ann said above about the modern historians picking the threads/themes that only apply to them and shutting the early people out, except that I’m seeing it on a more micro level, at more specialized conferences. Boo.

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