January 23, 2012
By Elisabeth Grant
Various events and sessions from the 126th annual meeting this past January 5-8, 2012 in Chicago, have been blogged and tweeted about all over the web. But now, whether you attended the meeting, or wished you could have, you can now watch a number of 126th annual meeting sessions and events through videos posted on the AHA’s YouTube channel. More videos are to come, and when they do we’ll add them to this post.
At the General Meeting, on Friday of the annual meeting, now-former AHA President Anthony Grafton delivered his presidential address: “The Republic of Letters in the American Colonies: Francis Daniel Pastorius Makes a Notebook in the Wilderness.” In the address, Grafton offered a fascinating, and often amusing, look at Francis Daniel Pastorius’s method of reading: pen in hand, recording and responding, reading in an active and energetic way. Watch the full presidential address in the video below.
Presentation of 2011 AHA Awards and Prizes
Preceding the presidential address at the General Meeting, was the presentation of the 2011 AHA awards and prizes. Full citations for each will be available in the February 2012 issue of Perspectives on History. Watch current AHA President William Cronon present the awards in the video below.
Whither the Future of the History Textbook
At AHA session 232, “Whither the Future of the History Textbook,” textbook authors and a rep from a university publisher came together to discuss the current state of history textbooks, how well they facilitate historical thinking skills, and what the future may have in store. Watch the full session below.
James M. McPherson: A Life in American History
Few historians have written about the American past with more profound insight and impact than James M. McPherson. In this session panelists discuss McPherson’s lifetime of scholarship and contributions to the historical profession.
Historians and the Obama Narrative
Panelists at session 101-A, "Historians and the Obama Narrative," have researched and produced scholarly works on President Obama. In this session the speakers discussed questions like "what is history itself when it’s being written not in hindsight but in mid-stream?" and "how do historians judge a sitting head of state?" Watch the full session below.
Radical Enlightenment: A Session in Honor of Margaret Jacob
Distinguished scholars, including Joyce O. Appleby, Jacob Soll, Margaret Jacob herself, and others participated in this presidential session, “Radical Enlightenment: A Session in Honor of Margaret Jacob,” at the 126th annual meeting. They discussed the themes and celebrated the pioneering scholarship of Margaret Jacob’s work.
Professional Development: Turning Your Dissertation into a Book
Session 69, “Professional Development: Turning Your Dissertation into a Book, was designed to help graduate students understand the process of turning their dissertations into publishable books appropriate for today’s book market. Panelists included distinguished authors, an author who has recently turned his dissertation into a book, and a representative from a university press.
Did We Go Wrong? The Past and Prospects of the History
Panelists James Axtell (College of William and Mary), Robert B. Townsend (American Historical Association), Thomas Bender (New York University), and session chair Barbara D. Metcalf (University of California, Davis, emerita) discuss the past and present state of the history job market, and speculate about its future, at session 35, “Did We Go Wrong? The Past and Prospects of the History” at the 126th annual meeting.