Wednesday, January 25, 2012

AHA Annual Meeting Coverage (brought to you by the AHA)

AHA Today has posted coverage of several sessions from the AHA's recent annual meeting that may be of interest to our readers.  Graduate students might find the session on Turning Your Dissertation Into a Book useful. "Compression and concision—prune, prune, and prune some more—were the panel’s watchwords." But that advice "floated in tension with its seeming opposite: that in the transformation from dissertation to book, our subjects must be more widely contextualized."  Those interested in political and social history will find commentary during the session, Historians and the Obama Narrative, of interest. A consensus emerged that President Obama is a "pragmatist," "someone able to see the world from a variety of perspectives, finding no single truth, but remaining always open to re-framing and reassessment."  Historian James McPherson--called "America's historian"--was feted at the annual meeting.  Read about the session, "A Life in American History," here.  The session on U.S. State Archives and Government Information Secrecy turned on the question of "finding the right balance between safeguarding and sharing sensitive government documents is the key to a functional but reasonably transparent system."  That balance is elusive.  Finally, consider coverage of  two sessions about technology and its impact on the profession, Whither the Future of the History Textbook, and Geeks Bearing Gifts: New Tools for the Humanities.