Tag Archives: AHA 2012

Geeks Bearing Gifts: New Tools for the Humanities

Transdisciplinary Collaboration Is Key to Keeping the Past Alive

annual meeting sessionWe saw the future, and it works, was the message of panelists at presidential session 67, “The Future Is Here: Pioneers Discuss the Future of Digital Humanities,” chaired by outgoing AHA President Anthony Grafton, and a part of the series on digital methods in research and teaching in history. But we have to be wary, the speakers warned—not only can we not assume that the lights will stay on, but we also have to collaborate across disciplines if historians want to continue to explore the past.

Turning Your Dissertation into a Book

“Make every word tell,” advised panelist and Loyola University professor Tim Gilfoyle, quoting Strunk & White at yesterday’s AHA session on “Turning Your Dissertation into a Book” at the 126th annual meeting. Compression and concision—prune, prune, and prune some more—were the panel’s watchwords. Though, as more than one careful listener pointed out, that advice floated in tension with its seeming opposite: that in the transformation from dissertation to book, our subjects must be more widely contextualized. How, asked a member of the large and intent audience, can we both tighten our manuscripts and broaden them?

Saturday Overview – 126th Annual Meeting

AHA annual meeting in ChicagoAttend the AHA Business Meeting today from 4:45–6:00 p.m. in the Sheraton, Chicago Ballroom X at the 126th annual meeting to hear reports from members of the AHA’s Council, divisions, and committees.

Read on for more about today’s sessions, films, and receptions at the 126th annual meeting.

Locations and Times
Below are the Saturday hours for various annual meeting areas. Find the complete overview of location hours for this week, as well as hotel floorplans, online.

  • Registration, Sheraton, River Exhibition Hall B, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Digital Humanities: A Hands-On Workshop

Digital Humanities Workshop Patrick Murray-JohnSmall groups quickly formed around the presenters at the Digital Humanities: A Hands-On Workshop at the 126th annual meeting this morning. Set up like a high tech poster session, the layout of computers with large screens set up around the perimeter of a Sheraton ballroom allowed for spontaneous conversation, an easy flow of questions, and quick demonstrations.

Jeffrey McClurken presented on “Teaching with Social Media,” sharing his experiences with using Facebook, Twitter, and blogging in the classroom. Those interested in using social media to teach should check out the links and resources in McClurken’s presentation page online.

An Undergraduate’s Perspective of the 126th Annual Meeting: Day One

Editor’s Note: The AHA welcomes Scott Nielson, who will be sharing his perspective as an undergraduate attending the annual meeting through a series of posts here on AHA Today. Nielson is a senior at BYU, interested in 20th century American history.

Rather than attend my first week of class at Brigham Young University, I elected to visit the annual AHA conference for my first time—I arrived Thursday late afternoon and made it to a portion of the plenary session entitled How to Write a History of Information.

U.S. State Archives and Government Information Secrecy: Access and Historical Research

annual meeting sessionSince at least the Reagan administration, Social Security has been likened to the “third rail” in American politics: the issue no one will touch for fear of being singed. The metaphor was invoked yesterday by Carl Ashley—a historian at the Department of State and a panelist at AHA session 31, “U.S. State Archives and Government Information Secrecy”—to capture the feeling in his office about a very different issue: WikiLeaks. His comparison drew a chuckle but little else: despite the panel’s suggestive name, and the presence of current and former members of the CIA, the mood in the room was mellow and agreeable.

Opening of the 126th Annual Meeting: A History of Information

Plenary session 126th annual meeting American Historical AssociationLast evening’s Opening of the 126th Annual Meeting featured the plenary session “How to Write a History of Information: A Session in Honor of Peter Burke,” a detailed look at information networks, collecting information in archives, and the origins of the terms “data” and “information.”

Ann M. Blair opened the plenary, explaining that the panelists would collectively address “the digital revolution we live through today.” She then called to the podium the first speaker of the night, Paula Findlen.

Friday Overview – 126th Annual Meeting

AHA annual meeting in ChicagoToday’s main event at the 126th annual meeting is the General Meeting (8:30–10:30 p.m., Sheraton, Chicago Ballroom VI), featuring Anthony Grafton’s presidential address and the presentation of the recipients of the AHA’s 2011 prizes and awards, including the eighth Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award to Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (accepted on her behalf by Judge Diane P. Wood).

Read on for a roundup of sessions, open forums, and films taking place today at the 126th annual meeting.

Locations and Hours
Below are the Friday hours for various annual meeting areas.