The Mega-Ode

Historians in the News
tags: academic life, Solidarity, mentoring

To conclude our Month of Academic Odes, we solicited these beautiful shout-outs from urban historians and urbanists. They speak to the collegiality of our field and the role of relationships in the construction of knowledge. Thankfully, only one is written in rhyme. So without further ado…

Amanda Seligman’s Ode to Ann Durkin Keating, Jim Grossman, and especially Henry Binford: “The three of you made my time as a graduate student both intellectually rewarding and fun. It’s because of you that I see life in the academy as humane. Most of the time all I can do is pay it forward, but today I want to thank YOU as well.”

Melanie Newport’s Ode to Skipping Conference Panels to Talk: “This goes out to the people who found me in the lobby when I should have been attending a panel. Some talked all day, some found me after a panel was a let down or even a scandal – but I am grateful for that place where fields and friendships were made and can’t wait to be there again.”

Victoria W. Wolcott’s Ode to Elsa Barkley Brown: “When I was a young graduate student Elsa’s pathbreaking article, ‘Negotiating and Transforming the Public Sphere,’ profoundly shaped my understanding of urban history and the role of African American women in cities. I will always be grateful for her warmth, support, and profound intellect.”

Deborah Kanter’s Ode to John McGreevy’s Parish Boundaries: “Reading Parish Boundaries, I began to see my city, Chicago, and all cities anew: there was a time when ‘parish’ meant more than neighborhood to local people. My attention shifted from the church building and I prowled the entire block, spying the rectory, school, sometimes a gym, and always a convent.”

Kenneth Alyass’s Ode to Marilyn Vaughn, former administrative assistant to the Wayne State History Department: “Thank you, Marilyn, for letting me work on graduate school applications during my work-study hours in undergrad! After I copied and filed a few documents, she graciously encouraged me to work on my applications every day, and other than my mother and partner, no one else was excited as her when I got admitted to several PhD programs.”

Read entire article at The Metropole