Thursday Overview – 125th Annual Meeting

Faneuil HallToday is the first day of the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, being held in Boston. This year’s theme, “History, Society, and the Sacred,” is appropriate for Boston, which is “a location redolent of numerous sacred sites and practices.” Over 300 sessions will be presented at this year’s meeting, covering a wide variety of time periods, locations, and topics. Find them all in the online Program of the 125th Annual Meeting.

For those attending the meeting, welcome to Boston! And for those reading from home, you can stay up-to-date with Annual Meeting sessions and events over the next few days (January 6th through 9th) with daily morning overviews right here on AHA Today.

Here are a few things going on at the Annual Meeting today:

Locations and Times

  • Registration will be open in the Cafeteria Room of the Hynes Convention Center from 12:00- 7:00 p.m. today. If you’ve already registered for the meeting, stop by to pick up your registration badge. If you haven’t registered, come by to do so, or register online.
  • The Job Center, in Ballroom A of the Hynes Convention Center, will be open from 12:30-6:00 p.m. The Job Center handout, listing all the job searches taking place at the annual meeting in Boston, is available online.
  • Visit the Exhibit Hall in Hall A of the Hynes Convention Center from 3:00-7:00 p.m.
  • The Local Arrangements & Press Office in Room 107 of the Hynes Convention Center will be open today from noon to 6 p.m.

Sessions
Here are just a few of the sessions taking place today. See a list of all of today’s sessions on the online Program.

Film Festival
Today, see two films from this year’s film festival:

  • The Heavenly Court in Song Family Village: Gender, Hierarchy, and Religious Power in a North China Village
    3:00 PM-5:00 PM
    Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)

    Gary Seaman, producer and writer; Zhifang Song, director (Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California, 2009). The film focuses on a contemporary Chinese village where religious life is highly gendered with female shamans dominating most religious activities. These shamans and their gods are organized as a “court” that expresses a hierarchy of prestige analogous to the traditional Chinese imperium. Lary L. May, University of Minnesota, will introduce the film.
  • God in America
    5:30 PM-7:30 PM
    Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)

    (Frontline and the American Experience) This documentary, part two in a series, focuses on the rise of Thomas Jefferson and the Baptists and events that led to the establishment of freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. Randall Stephens (Eastern Nazarene College) and Stephen Prothero (Boston University) will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.

Opening of the 125th Annual Meeting
This evening, attend the Opening of the 125th Annual Meeting, with Barbara D. Metcalf presiding, at 8:00 p.m. in Grand Ballroom Salon E of the Marriott Boston Copley Place. The opening will be followed by:

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