Category Archives: OAH

April 19, 2015, 2:04 pm

The Current State of Academic Conferences


Some panelists were missing, but Benjamin Franklin showed up at this year’s OAH.

I am just back from St. Louis, where the Organization of American Historians (OAH) had its annual meeting this weekend.  A brief review:

  • The program was good. I did not go to any bad sessions, and I went to 2-3 every day, which is unusual for me. I didn’t hear anybody complain about any bad sessions. Congratulations, program committee, and many thanks to Marc Stein of San Francisco State for the queer history stream.  Marc has been a relentless promoter of our field, and has made it far more prominent at this and other conferences than it would have been without his efforts.
  • The Renaissance Hotel was still under construction, and they had booked two conferences back to back, which made checking in on Thursday a drag. There was…

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March 31, 2009, 4:20 pm

What Side Are You On? The Politics of History (Meetings)

Today on Cliopatria, Ralph Luker asks about the state of the field panel on conservatism that occurred last Friday, Day 2 of the OAH Annual Meeting:

How could a panel on the state of the study of recent American conservatism not include a conservative historian? Donald Critchlow, for example, should have been there to respond to Rick Perlstein’s criticism. I’ve seen this happen again and again at our conventions: major panels dealing with major issues and there’s not a dime’s worth of difference in what or the ways the panelists think about them.

As a Cliopatrician myself, I thought I would move the conversation about this over here so as not to risk detracting attention from other interesting posts that went up on Cliopatria today, or the rest of Ralph’s excellent column. You never know when a flurry of sock puppets will arrive to berate either Ralph or myself — sometimes they go after

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March 27, 2009, 1:27 pm

Deaths in the Family: John Hope Franklin and The Book

There are two deaths being remarked upon at this year’s meeting of the Organization of American Historians. The first is the eminent scholar of African American history John Hope Franklin, who died earlier this week at 94. Read about it on the American Historical Association Blog, where I got this lovely picture and you will find links to several major obituaries. Franklin’s scholarly significance to the profession was of a level most of us can only dream of, but it is also worth remembering that he began his career in a time that few African-Americans were admitted to study for the Ph.D. Those who succeeded in obtaining a university appointment often faced enormous hurdles in their careers because of segregation: not being admitted to the conference hotel, not being able to eat on site or, in some cases attend professional functions where food and drink were served because of Jim …

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March 27, 2009, 3:53 am

Seattle Confidential: Thursday at the OAH

Day One at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting is done, and much has been accomplished. The Radical got to bed way too late last night, having drunk far too much wine. I suspected by the time I arose at 6:30 AM that there was a hangover on the way, something I have not experienced for a very long time. Those who have known me since forever will chuckle knowingly. A few of you will even recall those evenings, back at Oligarch in the 1970s, when my roommate and I would cap off an evening of drinking by howling Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” at the top of our lungs as the pre-med who lived upstairs, Irish-American snub nose glued firmly to the grindstone, would weep with frustration. When it was clear that her tears only moved us to greater paroxysms of derision, she would send this lovely man downstairs to reason with us, and when that failed, in desperation,…

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