Publication Date

December 14, 2011

Should the profession be rethinking the ways in which the public and the private, the professional and the personal have come to be divided in university life? In a moment when many gender inequities in our profession appear to have been remedied and the history of women, gender, and sexuality established in most departments, what are the urgent tasks for the AHA’s Committee on Women Historians?

Brainstorming Session
The Committee on Women Historians (CWH) invites all interested annual meeting attendees to a brainstorming session on the mission of the committee from 9:00–10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 7 in the Sheraton’s Sheraton Ballroom V. Registration for the women’s breakfast is not required.

Committee on Women Historians Breakfast
Tickets are still available for the Committee on Women Historians Breakfast immediately preceding the brainstorming session, from 7:30–9:00 a.m. in Sheraton Ballroom V. Speaker Barbara Young Welke (Univ. of Minnesota) will deliver an address entitled “Telling Stories: A Meditation on Love, Loss, History, and Who We Are.”

Telling Stories: A Meditation on Love, Loss, History, and Who We Are
Explaining the theme of her talk, Barbara Welke writes: “In April 2010, in the course of a single week, my 18-year-old daughter Frances suffered a series of strokes and died. This lecture gives voice to love and loss. Frances’s death also has pushed me to consider the work of the historian, to a deeper understanding of the losses suffered by the subjects of my current research—20th-century American families whose children died or were grievously injured from flammable fabrics—and to reflect on how heartbreaking losses are revealed or concealed in that most public expression of our professional identities, our c.v.’s. ‘Telling Stories’ weaves these four strands into a narrative; a meditation on love, loss, history, and who we are.”

Participants in the brainstorming session will discuss the implications of Barbara Welke’s address as well as the mission of the CWH as we go forward. Barbara Welke will question the ways in which the public and the private, the professional and the personal have come to be divided in university life. These divisions have many obvious benefits but also heavy costs. Have we, in fact, come to the best model or should we be rethinking these divisions?

The Women’s Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity not only to hear an exciting talk by a leading scholar in the field but also to chat informally with many colleagues of all generations. The informal atmosphere at the breakfast, the buffet service, and the self-seating all allow you to reconnect with old friends and to meet historians whose work you have read but whom you have never had the opportunity to meet. It is also an occasion to meet members of the AHA’s Committee on Women Historians and raise issues you hope they can address.

The breakfast meeting is open to all, but tickets must be purchased with meeting registration or by calling 508-743-0510 to add tickets to an existing registration. A limited number of tickets may be available at the meeting. Cost: $35 members, $45 nonmembers, $30 student members. Prepaid tickets will be distributed with the badge at meeting registration.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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