Pre-Conference Thoughts from Seattle
Reading over the conference program on the plane, I was struck by a few thoughts:
- There are a lot of panels on religion. If you include the affiliated sessions on church and religious history, there is a really substantial and active scholarship on American religious history. Not much on Islam or Judaism (though there's at least one panel which includes papers on both which looks interesting) though there is one must-see (for me: I'm teaching 20c China this semester) panel on Chinese Muslims on Friday.
- aside: I just heard a radio ad calling for a Washington State gubenatorial revote, paid for by the state Republican party. I also heard AHA director Arnita Jones on the NPR station this morning, talking about the conference (a little) and some of the basics of modern problems of history teaching, citizenship and digital archiving.
- Two of the three critics of history scandals reviewed by Ralph Luker will be presenting a panel on"Historians, the Media and the Politics of Academic Scandal", but it's scheduled for the final Sunday session. Please tell me the AHA didn't think they could bury it? No offense to the other folks scheduled for that time (last time I presented at the AAS I had that slot), but it's not prime time and there's no time for people to talk about the issues after: everyone just goes home. If it were me, I'd have put it up front. At least a lot closer to it.
- Teaching Idea: I used to teach at a school with a January Term. I'd love to have been able to organize a bunch of upper division history majors to take a study trip to the AHA. Have them split up the panels, take notes, and spend the next two weeks of the term swapping summaries and talking about historiography. Wasn't there long enough, but I offer the idea to anyone who has the opportunity. There's some really neat stuff being presented here, and a really wide range.
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Ralph E. Luker - 1/6/2005
Actually, I'm still in Atlanta and won't fly out to Seattle until Friday morning. The wife will _not_ let me leave the house until the Christmas tree is _gone_. But you're right about the scheduling of that session on the historians' scandals. I'm determined to get to it, but in order to do so I have to take a 10:30 p.m. flight out of Seattle Sunday night. It gets me into Atlanta at 5:30 a.m. on Monday. It'll be the middle of next week sometime before I recover from it.
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