Category Archives: American HIstorical Association

February 17, 2008, 7:50 pm

Sticky Wiki

Cruising around the blogosphere as one does, and following link to link, I ended up on Academic Cog’s December post about the academic job wiki. My favorite Cog was upbraiding midnight raiders who erased sections of the wiki, claiming that they had done so as a “political act” to protest the oppressions of the job market. I agree with Miss Cog, mutilating the wiki was a mean thing to do, although I think it was probably a function of wiki-madness itself, perhaps enhanced by drink, that gave some jerk the idea that hir own rotten year on the job market could be made better by destabilizing other people’s peace of mind. Having never really thought much about this job market wiki before last year (when I stumbled upon it and, to my horror, found a colleague’s divorce detailed by a disappointed job hunter as the reason why s/he was given a job, purportedly by sympathetic friends, that…

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December 31, 2007, 2:00 pm

The AHA for Dummies; or, A Guide to History’s Oldest Annual Meeting Designed for the Novice Conference Goer

Is she in Heaven? Is she in Hell? That damned, elusive Radical!” (A cry often heard at conferences, originated by the Baroness Emmuska Orczy.)

This is just to say: if you are pseudonymous, anonymous or a lurker, I insist that you come up to say hello to me at the AHA. I would love to meet you. I can’t tell you precisely where I will be at any given time, and the blogger meet-up is, I think, scheduled for a lunch I am supposed to eat elsewhere. But I can certainly be found at my own panel, Sunday at 11 (pray god it doesn’t start to snow at 9 as it did in Atlanta a decade ago); and I can also be found at the interviewing workshop Tony Grafton has organized for Friday during the 9:30 a.m. session where, as I understand it, there will be role playing of various kinds. I am looking forward to learning a few things too, so come one, come all. In between, I can only specifically promise …

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December 6, 2007, 2:22 pm

A Chorus Line: Preparing for the Preliminary Interview

There are two songs that run through my mind at this time of year: one is the Blondie tune, with the blistering opening: “I’m in the phone booth/It’s the one across the hall.” Ok, graduate students have cell phones, but still. It conveys the sense of urgency that those of you who have job applications out there are feeling right now. You are waiting for the phone to ring but pretending you aren’t while wondering if maybe someone else’s phone……oh God, please let it ring.

But there will be interviews. There will. You have to believe that. Which is why my other song is from “A Chorus Line,” but later for that. So I am going to take a little vacation from my unexpected engagement with the neocon world, and get back to what I do best: Giving Career Advice.

First of all, here’s something you can control at this out of control moment. Do you have a message on your voicemail that is …

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November 30, 2007, 12:17 pm

The Radical of America Goes to Washington City (with Apologies to Lauren Berlant and Harriet Jacobs)

I am here in Washington D.C., getting ready to get on a shuttle and go to another city, after interviewing job candidates at the anthropology meetings — otherwise known as the AAA. The anthropology meetings are actually a lot like the American Historical Association (AHA) meetings — which will be at the exact same pair of hotels, the Omni and the Marriott, in January. In fact, the last time I came to the AHA, it was at this same set of hotels too. It is also a particularly difficult set of hotels: the Marriott is actually two different buildings, pinned together, which means that the floor numbers do not match up. I remember this vividly because — yes, you guessed it — this is where I also interviewed for jobs, ‘lo these many years ago, and where I met with the Zenith hiring committee. When I found them. Since I was on the right floor on the wrong side of the hotel.

So today,…

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October 9, 2007, 8:35 pm

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere: the Radical Hits the Road

I flew out of Teeny Airport this morning, this time at a reasonable hour, which you can do if someone else has invited you for a visit and a travel agent is making the arrangements. I changed planes in Connector City and continued on to Mini Airport, which is in the middle of either a midwestern, an eastern or a southern state, depending on how you think of those categories. Or this place. Anyway, it is a super big research university, surrounded by very, very beautiful country. I am here for two days of talking to folks, and then I go on to another city, where I will meet with wads of my scholarly peers at the Annual Meeting. I will also have dinner with the Mother of the Radical (otherwise known as MOtheR, or the Maternal Unit), which I am looking forward to, as we have not had a sitdown since August. A convention is an excellent time for seeing relatives, I have found. It is not…

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July 8, 2007, 1:56 pm

Saigon. I’m Still In Saigon. Or, It Sucks To Work On My Book

I bet you all have been wondering: with all of the Radical’s interests on display in the last month, is she really writing her book? What was all that fuss and bother about at the beginning of the summer? Has she just gone underground? Is there a book? Or is this “book” a blogosphere fiction?

Well the answer is, I am finishing my book. And it sucks. Utterly. It is like the last three weeks of pregnancy in August when, it has been my observation, it is relentlessly hot, peeing has become an hourly event, and my pregnant friends are weeping hysterically and saying, “Just cut it out, OK?” So in the interests of getting to work today (and not extending the childbirth metaphor), I would like to purge my mind of everything self-destructive, poisonous and distracting with the….(drum roll) “Four Reasons Why It Sucks To Work On My Book” post. I am giving you only the four top reasons (…

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June 25, 2007, 9:45 pm

History Activism and the Bush Administration, Part III

In response to this post and this post on the attempts of the Bush Administration to keep itself from going down in history, Barbara Weinstein, President of the American Historical Association, e-mailed me to explain why the Executive Committee of the American Historical Association (AHA) is not currently storming the gates of the White House as I had requested. With her permission, I publish Barbara’s response; in a nutshell, she reassures all of us that the organizations representing professional historians in the United States are not “sitting on their hands,” as I put it, while the Administration passes a large magnet back and forth over the RNC server. Quite the opposite.

“I think Tony Grafton has already responded to your comments about the AHA and the OAH not doing enough to protest the machinations of Cheney, Bush, & Co. regarding government records,” Barbara writes, “but I just…

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June 22, 2007, 1:47 pm

The Perils of Nanny Dick: An Update on the Bush Administration Archive

According to the New York Times, Dick Cheney’s office has consistently resisted any oversight of how his office handles classified materials: you can read about it here. That oversight normally comes from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an agency that was established because of the advocacy of the American Historical Association in the last century. But here’s the beautiful part: when the NARA office that deals with the preservation of classified records persisted in its attempt to do its job under the 1978 Presidential Records Act, Cheney shifted tactics from simple obstruction and tried to get the office itself abolished.

These. Bush. People. Are. So. Awful. And the mystery is — why didn’t they think they would ever get caught at this? Or did they think they might get caught, but they would have so effectively gutted the justice system by that time that…

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June 19, 2007, 2:27 pm

The Bush Administration Has No History

I learned on National Public Radio this morning that the investigation of White House email practices, that began with an investigation into the firing of Federal prosecutors, has revealed a widespread practice in the Bush White House of erasing emails and evading the terms of the 1978 Presidential Records Act. According to NPR, there are only 130 emails remaining of any sent by Karl Rove in the first term. The Wall Street Journal reports that according to the House Oversight Committee chaired by Henry Waxman (R-California), 51 of 88 White House officials have been deleting their emails from the Republican National Committee server. You can read the full story here.

National Public Radio also reported this morning that lawyers for the RNC, who have acknowledged that White House advisors and staffers used RNC email accounts purposely to avoid going through the White House server and…

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June 13, 2007, 1:24 pm

Am I That Name? Why the AHA’s Gender Policies Make Sense to Some of Us

I’ve been participating in a fascinating discussion about graduate advisors over at Ferule and Fescue; instead of recapitulating it, I’ll just send you there.

I also want to thank those people who commented on my last post: you were, in turns, funny, sweet and — most importantly — you took the post in the spirit it was intended. Mary Dudziak took the trouble to do a retrospective post on my book, which was also really nice.

So in the spirit of following up on other people’s posts, I want to point to a fair amount of chatter in the history blogosphere on the question of the American Historical Association’s requirement that panels at the Annual Meeting be gender diverse: you can get to much of the discussion, and some interesting commentary, by going to this post by Rebecca Goetz, the Historianess. Rebecca has included a number of good links to other posts on the topic, and also…

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