Archive for the 'Berkshire Conference' Category

June 14th 2011
Classy Claude’s report from the Berks

Posted under Berkshire Conference & conferences & women's history

Good morning, friends.  Although I didn’t make it to the Fifteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, my faithful reporter Classy Claude did.  (Does this guy get around, or what?  Some of you may remember Claude’s other reports of recent AHA and OAH meetings.) 

I’m back!  In light of Historiann’s absence from the Berks – and needless to say, she was missed by many – her faithful conference reporter Classy Claude is happy to offer readers a snapshot of one conference-goer’s experience. Obviously a conference is different for different people, depending on sessions attended and so forth, but I will recount some highlights. 

This Berks quite literally got off to start with a bang.  There was a crazy thunderous storm on Thursday afternoon (hail in some places!) as the first sessions were getting underway, as many attendees were taking advantage of tours through local historical sites, and as Classy Claude was doing a little work at the Sophia Smith Collection at nearby Smith College.  All of these opportunities had been coordinated with, or organized by, the conference planners.  Thus, one real highlight of the conference was the opportunity to take advantage of these nearby historic sites and local archives. 

The conference was located on the UMass-Amherst campus, primarily in the Campus Center, which itself houses a hotel (where many of us stayed, though rumor has it that rooms booked up quickly) and was connected via various passageways to the Student Union and a parking garage.  Because the weather was rainy on a couple days (Saturday also), this had the effect of making sessions not in the central complex more sparsely attended.  I found this to be so in a session I chaired and one I attended about young women and premarital pregnancy (which included Historiann’s blogging pal, Knitting Clio).  Continue Reading »

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June 11th 2011
Why I had to skip the Berks

Posted under Berkshire Conference & childhood & Gender & happy endings & the body & women's history

Thanks for your kind comments and e-mails–our family emergency has been resolved.  I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth could keep me away from the Berkshire Conference 2011, especially considering that there won’t be another one until 2014!  Well, friends–there isn’t a lot that would keep me away from it, but there’s something I haven’t told you about Famille Historiann before that might put this into perspective:  Continue Reading »

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June 9th 2011
Off to the Berks!

Posted under Berkshire Conference & conferences & happy endings & women's history

And don’t expect me to liveblog it–I’ve got too much to do meeting up with old friends and making new ones in the meat world this weekend.  It looks like central Massachusetts is going to be a stinkbox today–with drier and cooler weather on the way for the weekend.  Yay!  Tenured Radical has a nice preview of what’s going on, and I’m sure she’ll have lots to report about the weekend after it’s (mostly) all said and done.

For those of you who will be joining us at the Berks:  watch for the cowgirl boots, and say “hi” if you feel like it!  Continue Reading »

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June 7th 2011
The intellectual value of being wrong

Posted under American history & Berkshire Conference & conferences & European history & Gender & GLBTQ & jobs & women's history

I’m off to a conference this week, and I’ve been thinking about some of the wacky papers I’ve given over the years.  I’ve always looked at conferences as opportunities to test out new ideas, and the best times I’ve had at conferences have been times when I’ve delivered a paper that offers a fresh–some would say dubious–new interpretation or argument.  After all, most conference papers are 10 pages long and should take no more than 20 minutes of the audience’s time–it’s not like we’re going to be able to clobber them with a truly convincing pile of evidence, so why not focus more on the specific interventions we’re making?

I once gave a conferece paper titled “Fields of Screams,” after an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon on an old episode of The Simpsons.  It was about borderlands warfare and masculinity, and although I discarded the specific argument in that paper it helped me work out some ideas about space and gender.  Recently, I’ve been having fun shocking people with Judith Bennett’s “lesbian-like” interpretive frame for understanding eighteenth-century Ursulines.  I’m not sure where this idea is going, but it’s fascinating to see some people react so strongly and so negatively to the use of the word “lesbian” to talk about the eighteenth century!  Continue Reading »

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May 31st 2011
What we should and should not worry about: an address for the rising generation of feminists

Posted under Berkshire Conference & Gender & happy endings & jobs & students & women's history

Check out this year’s commencement address at Barnard College by Sheryl Sandberg. (H/t to reader COB for the link and the idea for this post.)

It’s brave of her to throw a bucket of cold water in the face of graduating Seniors by telling them this: Continue Reading »

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May 13th 2011
Berks blog meetup: Friday, June 10th, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Posted under Berkshire Conference & women's history

Come and git us!

Howdy, friends!  It’s just a month until the Fifteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women will convene at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst on June 9-12.  (See the program here–it explains it all.)  I can’t wait!

Tenured RadicalClio Bluestocking, Another Damned Medievalist, Janice Liedl, Knitting Clio, and I have found a good time for a blogger (and blog reader) meetup, after the sessions end on Friday afternoon, and before the dining hall closes at (the improbably early hour of) 7 p.m.  So, we’ll be hanging out in the Grad Lounge of the Lincoln Campus Center from 5:30 to 6:30–come join us and enjoy the beverage of your choice!  If you consult the campus map on page 27 of the program, you’ll see that the Lincoln Campus Center is also the conference hotel, and is right across the street from Worcester Dining, where you can find your dinner after the meetup. Continue Reading »

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June 5th 2010
We dwell in possibility

Posted under Berkshire Conference & conferences & Gender & GLBTQ & women's history

Public History Tour 2010!

Where in the world is Historiann on this summer’s random public history tour?  Well, here’s a clue on the left–some of us dwell in possibility, wherever we go.  I had never visited before, and neither had my subset of the attendees of the Little Berks conference this year, at Mt. Holyoke College.  The Big Berks–otherwise known as the Fifteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, will be at the University of Massachusetts next June.  (Check out that new website!)  The program committee meets tomorrow–so keep your fingers crossed if you submitted a proposal last winter.

So many interesting people are here–the elusive Clio Bluestockingshowed up, and seated herself near me at dinner last night.  (I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’re reading this blog–only compliments so far, but the conference is only half over!)  After dinner last night, Mary Beth Norton and Judith Zinsser spoke about the history of the Berkshire Conference, and the “ladies” who founded it (including the tradition of trillium-spotting and bourbon-drinking.  Unfortunately, threatening thunderstorms and hail had us looking for more indoor-oriented activities today.)  Norton noted that the official name of the organization is the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, not the Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians, and she lamented that there are very few non-women’s historians who attend any more since the Big Berks conference on women’s history effectively “took over” the identity of the organization. Continue Reading »

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March 12th 2010
Spring breakin’

Posted under Berkshire Conference & conferences & women's history

Catch you next week!  Don’t forget:  proposals for panels, workshops, and single papers for the 2011 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women are due March 19!  So spend whatever time you’d otherwise be spending at Historiann.com this week putting together a proposal for the Berks instead.

We’ll have to do a massive femblogger meetup there.  The conference will be in Amherst at the University of Massachusetss, June 9-12–the Pioneer Valley is lovely in the late spring, friends!  And remember:  this comet only comes around every 3 years, so if you miss this one, you’ll regret it for sure.

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January 9th 2010
Historiann EXCLUSIVE: Classy Claude at the AHA in San Diego

Posted under American history & Berkshire Conference & conferences & GLBTQ & jobs & women's history

Once again, Historiann’s better-traveled and more in-the-loop friend Classy Claude is at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, and has volunteered to report back what he’s seen and heard.  Here, he updates us on the Doug Manchester/Hyatt boycott, a prominent American women’s history panel, and who puts on the best free reception.  Try not to hate him because he’s in San Diego–hate him because he’s beautiful, and employed!  

Greetings from sunny San Diego!  My view of San Diego Bay from the 17th floor of the Hilton gives some idea of just how lovely and temperate it is here right now (see the photo on the right, by Claude himself.)  And the Hilton conveniently provides running maps to cover various distances along the promenade.  Historiann, you would love it!  

 I have no actual idea of the numbers at this year’s AHA, but I can’t help but think that it’s down from recent years.  Not one of the panels I have attended so far, for instance, has had its full component of scheduled speakers. Reasons for these absences are manifold. First, the abysmal job market: if there are fewer interviewers and interviewees (the main purpose here for most), then fewer attendees.  Second, getting to San Diego is expensive for most North Americans.  Combine that with the fact that many colleges and universities have slashed travel budgets and it becomes prohibitively expensive for many.  Third, there are the Midwestern storms that certainly have delayed some people’s arrival and may well have stranded them altogether.  And fourth, the gay and labor boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt (led by UNITE HERE and Equality California, but with many other organizational supporters) seems to have led some gay would-be attendees to cancel as well.  

As many of Historiann’s readers know, before the 2009 meeting it came to the attention of some AHA members that the owner of the Hyatt, Doug Manchester, had given about 100K to the successful Proposition 8 campaign (to ban same-sex marriage in California).  Continue Reading »

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October 6th 2009
Big Berks 2011: hip, happening, and now. Dig?

Posted under Berkshire Conference & conferences & women's history

berksbanner

You’ve been waiting for it all year long–and it’s here!  The next Berkshire Conference on the History of Women will be at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst June 9-12, 2011.  The call for papers and all of the details can be found here, and the deadline for proposals is March 1, 2010.  (That’s less than five months from now, girls and boys, so put your thinking caps on!  Tip of the thinking cap to Tenured Radical, who alerted me to this announcement.)

The conference theme for 2011 is “Generations:  Exploring Race, Sexuality, and Labor Across Time and Space.”  From the CFP:  Continue Reading »

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