From the Annual Meeting 2006 column of the November 2005 Perspectives
Some Highlights of the 120th Annual Meeting
Sharon K. Tune, November 2005
The 120th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association will be held January 5–8, 2006, in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown hotels. More than 1,300 scholars, including 107 from other countries, will participate in 289 AHA and affiliate sessions. Forty-six specialized affiliated societies and other groups will cosponsor sessions or hold separate luncheons, sessions, and meetings. AHA and affiliate events are summarized in the front portion of the Program (which members should have received by now), beginning on page 27 with details of sessions listed in the main body of the program. AHA-sponsored sessions begin on page 78, with affiliated society sessions following in alphabetical order in each time period.
Noted below are sessions and events sponsored by Association divisions and committees. Session numbers are indicated.
The AHA Teaching Division is sponsoring one session, "The Evaluation of the Teaching American History Grant Program" (24), and two roundtables, "Public Historians Reaching Classrooms K–16 through Museums" (110, with the AHA Professional Division, and scheduled off-site at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and "Assessing Student Learning in History: How Are We Doing?" (142).
The division will cosponsor the Advanced Placement luncheon on Saturday, January 7 with the College Board and the World History Association. Antonio Feros (Univ. of Pennsylvania) will speak on "The Impact of Global Expansion on European Culture: Spain and Its Colonies in the Eighteenth Century." Michael Johanek of the College Board will preside.
For the 16th year, the AHA Professional Division continues its sponsorship of a workshop on "Interviewing in the Job Market in the Twenty-First Century" (21) in conjunction with the Coordinating Council for Women in History and the AHA Committee for Graduate Students. At this workshop, scheduled on Friday, January 6, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., session attendees will be divided into small interviewee groups, each led by a college or university faculty member or a public historian who will conduct mock interviews and lead discussion of successful interview strategies. Anthony T. Grafton (Princeton Univ.), vice president of the Professional Division, will preside.
In the new time period on Thursday, January 5, the division will sponsor a roundtable with the National Council on Public History on "New Directions in United States Public History: ExplorePAhistory.com" (3). On Friday morning the Professional Division will sponsor an experimental session entitled "Exchange of Views: Doing American History at Historic Sites" (23). It will be chaired by Linda Shopes (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission) and Barbara Silberman (Heritage Philadelphia) and will offer 10 scholars the opportunity to serve as "consultants for the day," visiting local historic sites and offering input on their interpretation. For additional details, see pages 90–91 of the Program.
The division will sponsor "Careers in History: A Workshop for Aspiring Historians" on Friday, January 6, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. High school, undergraduate, and beginning graduate students can learn about job opportunities for historians and history majors. The eight participants will describe their history careers in a variety of workplace settings, discuss potential job opportunities in their fields, and provide information about undergraduate and graduate programs The Professional Division will sponsor two off-site sessions, "Reconstructing Historical Experience: Material Culture and the Making of Knowledge (79, at Bartram's Garden) and "Public Historians Reaching Classrooms K–16 through Museums" (110, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the Teaching Division). With the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History and the Coordinating Council for Women in History the division will sponsor the roundtable "Out There or in Here? The Chilly Climate Revisited" (81). Participants will talk about the now 20-year-old discussion of the "chilly climate" in academic communities and issues such as subtle discrimination; discrepancies in hiring, evaluation, and promotion criteria; uneven work distribution; and pay inequities.
The division will also sponsor two other events. In the Saturday midday time period, two members of the division—Spencer Crew (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center) and Art Gomez (National Park Service)—will lead a forum for public historians to discuss issues of interest (12:30–2:00 p.m.). That evening, the division will host—with the National Museum of American History, the National Council on Public History, and the Society for History in the Federal Government—a reception for public historians and anyone with an interest in public history (5:30–7:00 p.m.).
The AHA's Research Division will sponsor the session "Doing Oral History in the Future Tense: Prospects in Oral History" (112) and five roundtables: "Failed Nationalisms: Winners and Losers in the History of Nationality" (51), "Teaching and Learning History with New Media" (52, with the H-Net Committee on Teaching), "Were All the World a Blog: History Bloggers and History Blogging" (82), "Oral History and Institutional Review Boards: What Historians Need to Know before Doing It" (83), and "Preserving Today for Tomorrow's Historian" (84).
The Committee on Minority Historians (CMH) will cosponsor the roundtable "Northern Emancipation as National History: Retelling the Black Freedom Struggle above the Mason-Dixon Line" (59). Ira Berlin (Univ. of Maryland at College Park) will chair. Speakers are Mia Bay (Rutgers Univ. at New Brunswick), Leslie M. Harris (Emory Univ.), Patrick J. Rael (Bowdoin Coll.), Richard S. Newman (Rochester Institute of Technology), and Joanne Melish (Univ. of Kentucky).
The CMH invites minority scholars, graduate students, and others attending the annual meeting to a reception on Saturday, January 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The CMH also invites minority graduate students and first-year faculty to a complimentary continental breakfast on Friday, January 6, from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. to discuss life in the profession. If interested in attending, e-mail Cliff Jacobs by December 5, 2005, to register. Individuals who wish to participate only in the discussion are invited to arrive at 8:15 a.m.
The Committee on Women Historians (CWH) is sponsoring the roundtable "Women's and Gender History in Global Perspective" (113). Belinda J. Davis (Rutgers Univ. at New Brunswick) will chair and Seth Koven (Villanova Univ.) will comment. Panelists are Ann Twinam-Villalon (Univ. of Cincinnati), Julia A. Clancy-Smith (Univ. of Arizona), Mary Jo Maynes (Univ. of Minnesota), and Ann Waltner (Univ. of Minnesota). The CWH will hold its annual breakfast meeting on Saturday morning, January 7. Jan Ellen Lewis (Univ. of Rutgers at Newark) will preside and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Harvard Univ.) will speak on the topic, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History." Preregistration is required; see the AHA's web site (www.historians.org/annual).
The Committee for Graduate Students (CGS) is sponsoring an interactive workshop entitled "How Can I Improve My C.V. for the Job Market?" (85). Speakers will address the "dos" and "don'ts" of preparing a c.v. Laura S. York (UCLA) will chair; Teofilo F. Ruiz (UCLA) will discuss c.v.'s for university faculty positions, David Harvey (New Coll. of Florida) will talk about c.v.'s for liberal arts/teaching college faculty positions, and Marla R. Miller (Univ. of Massachusetts at Amherst) will speak about c.v.'s for public history positions. The CGS will also sponsor the roundtable "What Is the Meaning of the Master's Degree?" (114). Panelists are Thomas J. Brown (Univ. of South Carolina), Sarah Kent (Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point), Meg Moughan (Western Connecticut State Univ.), Michele Marie Vinje (D. C. Everest Senior High School, Wisconsin), and Daniel J. Vivian (National Park Service). Aaron W. Marrs (Univ. of South Carolina) will chair the session. The CGS will also cosponsor "Interviewing in the Job Market in the Twenty-First Century" (21) with the AHA Professional Division and the Coordinating Council for Women in History.
On Friday, January 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m., the CGS will sponsor an Open Forum to discuss issues of interest to graduate students. Immediately following the forum, all graduate students are invited to attend a reception in their honor beginning at 6:30 p.m. See page 15 of the Program for additional events of special interest to graduate students.
—Sharon K. Tune is the AHA convention director.