Archive for the 'conferences' Category

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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January 9th 2010
AHA report: Put on a giant smiley-face mask, if you have to

Posted under conferences & fluff & happy endings & jobs

While I’m waiting for the exclusive report from Classy Claude to be filed from this year’s meeting of the American Historical Association, I thought I’d draw your attention to a comment from The History Enthusiast, who said that everyone in the pit on Thursday was a real Debbie Downer:

As a first-timer at the AHA Job Center I can report that it was much quieter than I expected (everyone was so tense!) and there were very few people milling around. That shouldn’t really be a surprise.

What struck me, though, is that when I smiled at people no one would smile back. I understand that the market is stressful (hello, I’m on it too) but some of the people I saw looked like they were going to cry. And there haven’t even been interviews yet! We were just dropping off CVs at the collection booth. I made small talk with one of the volunteers and he looked at me as if I had three heads. My guess is that none of the other applicants had spoken to him without having a look of sheer panic cross their face. Yes, I’m nervous too. Yes, this is a big frickin’ deal. But good God, it is not healthy to be so freaked out that you won’t even look other people in the eye. I find that very disturbing.

Those are all things I’d expect on Saturday when the interviews are in full swing, but today? Seriously. I feel like I was the only sane person in the room.

That sounds about right for the pit most years, right friends?  My bet is that The History Enthusiast will compare favorably to the Debbie Downers, especially since the departments hiring this year must be cheered by all of the top-notch candidates they’ll be able to lure.  Continue Reading »

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January 7th 2010
Checking in on the AHA-hahahahaha? (Lolsob.)

Posted under conferences & Gender & jobs & unhappy endings

From a distance, of course–Potterville is about 1,137 miles away, 4,659 feet higher, and 70 degrees colder than San Diego this morning.  Damn! but I wish I were waking up in the Hotel del Coronado today.  It’s -11 here now–but it will be sunny, at least!  The sun is about the only thing San Diego will have in common today with the High Plains Sub-Zero Freezer we’re locked in until the weekend.  Classy Claude will be filing a first-person report later this weekend, if he can peel himself off the beach, shake the sand out of his drawers, and find a wifi hotspot. 

First, the good news:  the 2010 annual meeting of the American Historical Association is in San Diego!  That’s it for the good news I’ve heard.  If you’re there and not interviewing for jobs, interviewing for jobs you’re unlikely to get, or interviewing dozens of candidates for a job at your institution, at least you can do it without wearing boots and lugging a giant coat around a big hotel because you’re stuck yet again in Chicago or Boston.  (Who’s with me on pushing the AHA to south and west, friends?  We’ll throw Denver in there too, for you winter sports enthusiasts.  How about instead of Chicago, Boston, Chicago, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and Chicago, we have Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego/L.A., Denver, and San Francisco?)

Inside Higher Ed reports that attendance is down at the AHA this year, because of the economy and the related dearth of open positions in history.  (There are also fewer drop-ins than there would be in major Eastern cities because of the West Coast location, too, and the additional travel expense for people in the Eastern and Central time zones especially.)  And, the AHA itself reported that it’s “A Grim Year on the Academic Job Market for Historians,” because “[d]uring 2008–09 job advertisements fell by 23.8 percent—from a record high of 1,053 openings in 2007–08 to 806 openings in the past year. This was the smallest number of positions advertised with the AHA in a decade.  To make matters worse, a subsequent survey of advertisers indicates that about 15 percent of the openings were cancelled after the positions were advertised.”  Marc Bousquet at How the University Works takes issue with the AHA report’s conclusion that the problem is an oversupply of history Ph.D.s, and says that it’s not an oversupply of qualified job candidates, but that it’s an undersupply of tenure-track jobs because of university administrators’ decisions over the past 25 years to hire more contingent faculty than tenured or tenure-track faculty proportionally. Continue Reading »

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January 1st 2010
New Year’s round-up: lit & critters edition, yee-haw!

Posted under conferences & fluff & unhappy endings & weirdness

elvgrenlibraryHappy New Year, friends, cowgirls, and countrymen.  In a few hours, Historiann et famille are off on another jaunt to a nearby ski town–as you may remember, I don’t ski, so it’s a reading weekend for me.  I’m going to nix the digital communication and go all codex for the remainder of the weekend.  I’m deep into some good books (thanks, Homostorian Americanist and Monocle Man!) and want to enjoy some fiction before going back to my usual diet of extremely serious and self-important non-fiction.  So, I’ll direct you to some interesting bons mots and bibelots I found on the world-wide non peer-reviewed internets:

  • 2009 ended with some sad news in Roxie’s World:  Roxie, the world’s longest-lived terminal veternary patient, died on Wednesday, December 30.  Fortunately, Mark Twain showed up for the wake to give her a proper sendoff–go read, if your computer keyboard is tearproof.  We are glad her final days were so prolonged and that her final exit was mercifully quick.  Much love as always to Moose and Goose, Roxie’s human companions and typists.  We’ll have a cup of kindness tonight in honor of Roxie’s happy life and good death thanks to their loving care (and that of their good friend, Geoffrey.)
  • Tom at Romantoes was at the Modern Language Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia this week, and he tells a story about his encounter with the real Philadelphia, Continue Reading »

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November 13th 2009
Friday round-up: heads up and screens down, boys! edition

Posted under American history & class & conferences & fluff & Gender & GLBTQ & students & wankers

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It’s been an awful long time since we’ve had an old-fashioned round-up–I’ve been so busy with this, that, and the other thing that I haven’t been a good blog citoyenne lately now, have I?  Well, here’s a few things you can use to warm yourself up and keep your power dry:

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October 9th 2009
Friday Roundup: “I could teach you, but I have to charge” edition

Posted under American history & art & childhood & class & conferences & fluff & Gender & Intersectionality & local news

mymarxistfemdialecticI’m off to the Western Historical Association annual meeting in Denver today–while I’m out here are some interesting items to keep you thinking:

  • First up, listen to this interesting interview with Michael Chabon, who compares family life to fandom:  parents are the “main texts,” and their children are creators of fan fiction.  (Go to about 7:30 in the interview).  He also sees fandom as something essential to the human condition (25:00).
  • The C-Rox are heading home for game 3 of the playoffs this weekend with a victory under their belts.  I hope the Phillies bring their long underwear and their footie pajamas, ‘cos it’s butt-cold at 5,280 feet elevation this weekend! 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

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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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September 25th 2009
Saddled up & ridin’ out today, yee-haw!

Posted under American history & conferences & happy endings

cowgirlhitchsaddleboulderI’m off to the FREAC again–the Front Range Early American Consortium.  It’s local this year, so I’m riding my horse Seminar up to the Flatirons for our meeting in Boulder.  Have a great weekend, friends, and be good to your horses.

In the meantime:  did you see the story about the man on the dole who stumbled upon ”one of the most important [discoveries] in British archaeological history” in Staffordshire?  Awesome!  What will his friends in the Bloxwich Research and Metal Detecting Club have to say about this?  What do you dream of unearthing from a field, or stumbling upon in an old farmhouse attic?

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June 30th 2009
“What about Women in Early American History?” In which Historiann and friends get up on their high horses and rope ‘em up good

Posted under American history & conferences & Gender & Intersectionality & jobs & students & women's history

cowgirl3Howdy, cowgirls and dudes–here’s my long-overdue report on a conversation we had Friday afternoon, June 12 at the Omohundro Institute’s Fifteenth Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.  Called “What about Women in Early America?”it featured Karin Wulf of the College of William and Mary (and the book review editor for the William and Mary Quarterly); Sowande’ Mustakeem of Washington University, St. Louis; Andrea Robertson Cremer of Macalester College; and Historiann (natch.)

Wulf wore two hats as the chair of our roundtable, and as the person who shared e-mailed comments from Terri Snyder of California State University, Fullerton, who was originally supposed to join us on the panel.  (The Cali budget crisis waits for no woman!)  She opened the discussion by saying, “We may have had 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 here will remember too our discussions of Judith Bennett’s History Matters in March here and at Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar, Tenured Radical, Blogenspiel, and the wrap-up featuring Bennett herself, in which we aired a number of questions and anxieties many of us have about the future of women’ s history.) 

Wulf noted that among women’s historians in general, there is a “persistent concern. . . that in expanding [women's history] there is a diffusion” of interests that is leading us away from a focus on XX chromosome people.  In particular, she said that she perceives a decline in submissions of articles in women’s history at the William and Mary Quarterly and in the numbers of fellowship applications submitted to the Omohundro Institute that relate primarily to women’s history.  Finally, she said that the fashion for large-scale comparative, transnational, or neo-imperial frameworkslike Atlantic World and borderlands histories, with their neo-traditional focus on political and military history, may also play a part in creating these perceptions.  Continue Reading »

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June 10th 2009
Bootin’ up and scootin’ West

Posted under American history & conferences & local news

cowgirlrarintogoLa famille Historiann is on its way into the western desert this morning–for a little fun, a lot of sun, and oh yeah–an “eastern” history conference in the intermountain West–remarkable!  When I moved out to the Colorado territory, I figured that I dropped off the edge of the known world according to early Americanists.  (A girl can dream, can’t she?)  Well, we like to support our friends at the University of Utah, Brigham Young, and Weber State–and I hope to see some of you there, too.  Be sure to introduce yourselves if we haven’t met.

I’ll be checking in from the road when I can–now all y’all behave yourselves, and don’t do anything Historiann wouldn’t do!  That should leave you a sufficiently long to-do list, friends.

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