Blogs > Cliopatria > Historians Gather in New England ...

Feb 27, 2004 2:18 am

Historians Gather in New England ...

In the next few months, historians will hold two major gatherings in New England. The much larger Organization of American Historians will hold its convention on 25-28 March in Boston. Appropriately, its theme is"American Revolutions" and several sessions focus on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. As I mentioned here, the OAH's Journal of American History will publish a roundtable of six articles about the profession's ethical dilemmas in its March issue and, at the convention, the Organization's ad hoc Committee on Intellectual Integrity will hold an open forum on Saturday, 27 March. The committee, charged with making recommendations to the OAH leadership, is chaired by Karen Haltunnen of UC, Davis. Its members include: Richard J. Blackett of Vanderbilt, Laura F. Edwards of Duke, Michael Kammen of Cornell, Kate Torrey of the University of North Carolina Press, and Sandra Gioia Treadway of the Library of Virginia.

The Historical Society will hold its 2004 conference on 3-6 June at Spruce Point Inn near Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I wrote about The Historical Society here (scroll down to 31 May 2003). Appealing to the disaffected among us, it was organized about five years ago as an alternative to both the AHA and the OAH. Led initially by Eugene D. Genovese, it rejected the politicization of the profession and reasserted a central role for traditional forms of historical inquiry. In the intervening years, The Historical Society has had successes and failures. On the positive side, it publishes a lively The Journal of the Historical Society, edited by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and has sponsored a number of regional historical conferences. On the downside, The Historical Society has failed to meet several of its initial promises. It was to be a bottom-up organization, whose work would be largely conducted by strong regional organizations of historians, but it exists largely only at the top. If at all, its regional organizations survive only on the east and west coasts. Even they have no announced activities in 2004. In January 2003, The Historical Society launched a new blog, Historicale. Edited by Jeff Vanke of Guilford College, Historicale relied on submissions of"Prototype" of major projects, op-eds"For Historical Reasons," and"Critical History" reviews. The blog has not been updated since July 2003. The Historical Society was to hold its conferences on university campuses in order to make inexpensive housing available to graduate students. Graduate students, like everyone else, will pay $95 to $186 per night at the Spruce Point Inn. Nonetheless, considering this program, departmental budgets of professional friends of Gene and Betsy will do so.

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Van L. Hayhow - 2/27/2004

Thanks for the information.
Van L. Hayhow

Ralph E. Luker - 2/27/2004

So _that's_ why I've stuck out like a sore thumb all these years! I usually try to look like the natives.

David Lion Salmanson - 2/27/2004

My guess is that if you were in a suit, you'd stick out like a sore thumb. Try a simple jacket and tie (or jacket and sweater or sweater and tie). The OAH and/or other conferences have experimented with cheap one day passes to encourage more of the public to come.

Ralph E. Luker - 2/27/2004

Van, In recent years, as I recall, the OAH does check for registration badges for the book exhibit, but I do not recall it doing so at its conference sessions. There have been fairly rare exceptions to that for sessions which might be highly volatile, but I suspect that if you were in a suit and looked like you knew what you were doing you probably could attend most sessions without being registered for the convention.

Van L. Hayhow - 2/27/2004

Prof. Luker:
I live near Boston. Do you happen to know if any of the panels might be open to the public? Thanks.