Category Archives: American HIstorical Association

January 4, 2014, 7:37 pm

AHA Day 3: Remember the Women

marriedPartly because I was blogging yesterday’s panel and doing a lot of important business, I missed the morning digital history panels I had planned to attend. I then blew off the afternoon DH panel to go to Generations of Women’s History, which was pretty full. Of women. The one I was sitting next to whispered “I have counted about ten men here.” (Um -HMMM. And three of them were gay.)

As you can see from my Storified account below, I did have a few problems with the panel (see tweets below about the dominance of a heteronormative trajectory in some of the reflections.) I actually was called on, and did ask the question, about how the panel might have looked different had it included a lesbian, but it didn’t gain much traction.

That said, the panel had many high points. Darlene Clark Hine and Crystal Feimster were fantastic on the project of contemporary African-American women’s…

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January 4, 2014, 10:30 am

AHA Day 2: Fun With The Humanities

Elephant SittingYesterday morning I tweeted a terrific session sponsored by the NEH, hung out with a Colorado group clustered around blog pal Historiann, went to the business meeting of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History, went to lunch with an old friend I met years ago at Nancy Cott’s Schlesinger Library Summer Camp, and then attended the CLGBTH evening reception. 

After the helper-skelter of the fall on the Internet Highway, the American Historical Association Annual Meeting is downright soothing. Lots of coffee, conversations, and evening drinks, dropping into great panels and spontaneous meetings with old friends are reminding me why a conference is fun. The big work on Day 2 was a panel on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Report on the Humanities and Social Sciences, with Earl Lewis, Susan Griffin, Anthony Grafton, James Grossman, Estevan Rael-Galvez a…

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January 1, 2014, 11:06 am

What to Pack — And What Not To Pack — For #AHA2014


For some of you it is just New Year’s Day, but for those of us with workshops and panels tomorrow, Day 1 of the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., it’s travel day. After hemming and hawing about the wisdom of getting up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to catch a shuttle, I capitulated and made plane reservations for late this afternoon. Bad news? Missing a long, leisurely day at home filing the rest of my health care receipts for 2013, finishing up the hardback book that is too heavy to carry, and watching football. Good news? Not being exhausted in my morning workshop, and not worrying that this incoming weather system is going to lock me down in New York so long that I miss my second panel too. (Bonus points for flying in and out of handy Reagan National which is usually clogged with Congressmen and lobbyists.)

Fans of both the Radical and my blogpal

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August 11, 2013, 12:12 pm

Cyber History Fun in Jinan, China, 2015

travel-the-world-routes-to-asiaTwo more weeks of vacation — well, that is two more weeks of vacation for most of you. I’m on sabbatical this year, so summer lasts all year here at chez Radical.

But I would like to cheer everyone else up! Here is a fun thing to put on your agenda as you try to distract yourself from going back to work:

Send in a proposal to go to China with me in August 2015! That’s right, yours truly is teamed up with Francis Blouin of the University of Michigan to coordinate an American Historical Association-sponsored program of digital history panels at the 2015 meeting of Le Comité international des sciences historique (CISH) in Jinan. Our CFP (otherwise known as out appel à contribution) is here; submissions are due November 30 2013.

Don’t just fantasize — send something in! If you are planning on submitting a whole panel, remember the “international” part. We are serious about…

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May 22, 2013, 4:59 pm

Being Good Web Citizens


If I were alive I would tweet Engels. Just saying.

Listen up! Vanessa Varin is trying to start a convo about ethical web practices over at the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. She was kind enough to solicit the opinions of the #twitterstorians about the practice of live tweeting panels, and has written a couple of good pieces which aren’t getting enough attention. This may be because the comments section isn’t working. Varin’s new piece, “Being a Good Web Citizen” is also now up, and worth a look as well.

All of us who were solicited for comment came out against #snark while live tweeting a panel, you’ll be glad to know. Twitter seems to be more vulnerable to the regrettable riposte than blogging is, and since the emergence of Storify, it’s far harder to take back. Varin cites…

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January 3, 2013, 12:13 pm

Day 1 of the AHA: In Case You Hear Someone Shout “BINGO!!!!” In The Middle Of A Panel……

It’s because that person is playing AHA Bingo!!! (Invented by the clever youngsters at Jacksonian America.)

January 2, 2013, 11:27 am

Oh, When The Historians Go Marching In: AHA 2013, New Orleans

The rumbling sound off in the distance is the purr of roller bags heading to airports across the land. And do you hear the tap-tap-tap-tap of fingers in 12/8 swing time, as historians make dinner, drinks, interviewing and publishing dates through the weekend?

That’s right, the 127th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association starts tomorrow, in New Orleans. If you are interested in seeing Tenured Radical in action, you will want to come to The Public Practice of History in and for a Digital Age, Thursday night at 8:00. Chances are if you drop in on other panels devoted to things electronic, you will run into me there too.

Do come up and say hello.

Critics of the academic conference industry will still be distressed at the fiscal irresponsibility of scholars (particularly those devoted to things digital)meeting face to face. Why spend university funds that could…

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June 19, 2012, 8:59 pm

It’s Summer: Let’s Tee Up Some History Shorts

Obama may have made history by being the first president to golf in cargo shorts.

Word has it that all of us will be wearing shorts on Thursday, as the temperature rises into the high 90s. So let’s start the chilling with a…

Cold War Cultural Revival. You thought that the membership of the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association and the Organization of American Historians had collectively driven a stake through the heart of American Exceptionalism. But someone from the Republican National Committee fished your old copies of Frederick Jackson Turner and Lionel Trilling out of the book donation box at the local library.

In April 2011, your favorite Radical twigged you to a Sarah Palin speech in which she explained that her appearance at the Iowa State Fair was intended, not…

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April 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who Is The Smartest Historian of All?

I am currently operating about a month behind on much of my professional mail because of the job-switch thing.  Therefore, it wasn’t until I was riding the train last week that I picked up on American Historical Association President William Cronon’s article, “Professional Boredom” (Perspectives on History, March 2012, 6-7.)  Without explicitly linking his thoughts to the job crisis, Cronon raises some issues about how we evaluate the quality of historical work, and what the consequences of defining the category of “good history” might be.

Cronon’s piece reminded me of a turn of phrase that irritates me more the older I get, which is characterizing a scholar or a piece of work by that scholar as “smart.” Most of us do it, but it either means nothing (original? well done? fun to read?) or it means way too much (“I have put X in the smart bin and that is that.”) What is worse is to…

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January 23, 2012, 11:44 am

Dude, Where’s My Classroom? And Other Random Thoughts

This is my first day at my new job.  I won’t bore you with it because I can’t. I’m not there yet. I’m blogging from the train going into Metropolis, connected to the Interwebz via Bluetooth (that extra $5 a month from AT&T is worth it. Trust me.) Therefore, I don’t know anything about my first day yet, except that I am going to have a set of very important tasks.

The first will be to find my classroom, which is how I came up with this title. This gives me the opportunity to point out that I am semi-shamelessly ripping off Jack Halberstam’s funny piece on Dude, Where’s My Car? This then gives me the opportunity to say that you should read Halberstam’s  The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press, 2011). I downloaded it on Kindle last week.  Which, in turn, gives me the chance to say, “F^ck you people who think eBooks are the end of the world!  How else could I have purchased a…

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