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Archive for October, 2012
Assistant Professor of History at James Madison University and a 2011 graduate of the CUNY-GC History Program
I remember going to one of the job market roundtables hosted by the department at which one professors said that as a member of a search committee he refused to consider anyone who hadn’t yet completed the Ph.D (which, unfortunately, they didn’t bother to mention in the job ad). While I suspect that’s true at many schools, I, and others, began applying shortly before the degree and landed several AHA interviews. I didn’t get any of those jobs and it wouldn’t be until I actually had the degree that I did get a job, but the reason I failed to secure a job during the first year had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn’t finished. There were other legitimate reasons. If nothing else, those experiences prepared me for the second time around and it made the whole process much easier as I had already done much of the work assembling the many moving parts of the job application.
I suspect that a lot of senior faculty realize that it’s useful to have historians who have digital skills and they have come to expect that young faculty members will have some technological chops. For the courses I taught while working as a Chancellor’s Fellow, I created a very simple course website through WordPress. In almost all of my interviews this came up and I found that search committee members were over-impressed by the site. So I think a little bit of technology know-how can go a long way.
As it so happens, I have a background in doing Public History, but nonetheless I found that search committees, history departments, and institutions as a whole are beginning to value historical scholarship that transcends traditional coursework. They may not always call it public history, but I think if GC students, in the classes they teach, incorporate assignments in which their students get out into the real world and actually create something that lives beyond the semester (perhaps digitally) they are likely to find the experience rewarding. Departments are always thinking about partnering with local institutions and if applicants already have experiences designing creative assignment; bridging networks to libraries, museums, archives, etc; and having students work with primary sources in their own communities I think it could serve as an asset.
Several people told me that for each interview I needed to learn as much as I could about the institution, the department, and the professors. I think some candidates think about this in the wrong way. I remember Prof. Burke, during a mock AHA interview that he so graciously volunteered to do, asking me which two faculty members I would want to work with (as if historians ever work in teams!). He then suggested (as many others would) that I should brush up on the scholarship of the professors in the department. In none of my interviews did anyone expect that I know anything about any of the professors or the work that they did (this might be different if one was interviewing at Harvard). And while I do think it’s wise to know what the strengths of a department are so one can pitch him/herself in a way that will complement and not overlap existing scholarly pursuits, I think that candidates who come to interviews asking about Prof. Smartypant’s book on Boring Subjects run the risk of sucking up too much. Nonetheless, I think applicants need to do a lot of homework about the school, but I think the focus should be geography. They should think about the local cultural institutions and resources that they might use for assignments in their classes and the places where both the would-be professor and his/her students might conduct research. Referencing these kind of opportunities, rather than referencing books and articles written by current department members can, I think, show that he/she has done his/her homework, thought seriously about working in that institution, and already has plans for taking advantage of the university’s resources, including those beyond the walls of the campus.
We post once per week on the History Program Blog about topics related to professional development including the academic job market, careers outside of academia, winning grants and fellowships, publishing, conferencing, and networking.
We hope to cultivate a variety of opinions and perspectives by asking current students, alumni, and faculty to author posts from their own perspectives and experiences. This means that the blog posts represent the views of the contributing authors and not the CUNY-Graduate Center History Program. You should seek out a variety of opinions on professional development from recent and trusted sources in addition to this blog series.
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Communities of Discourse: Fifth Annual Intellectual History Conference
Jack M. Balkin
Join us for the Fifth Annual Intellectual History Conference, whose theme this year highlights the importance of communities to intellectual life and the study of intellectual history. Intellectual historians often focus on individual figures, but these people are always embedded in wider communities of intellectual exchange. In addition, intellectual historians are themselves situated in communities of exchange that include not only other historians, but also academics from a broad range of fields (including literature, political science, communications, religion, sociology, anthropology, art history) and the wider public as well. The keynote address on “Reinhold Niebuhr, Christian Survivalism, and the Question of Secularization” will be presented by David Hollinger, History, University of California at Berkeley. Other participants include Jack Balkin, Yale Law School; Sam Tanenhaus, New York Times; and Orlando Patterson, Sociology, Harvard University. See website for the full program.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. Note – GC faculty and students can attend the Intellectual History Conference free as long as they show a GC ID.
CALL FOR PAPERS
8th Annual History Graduate Student Association Conference
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park’s History Graduate Student Association is excited to announce its 8th Annual History Graduate Student Conference on Friday, February 22, 2013. The conference organizers invite submissions of research proposals from M.A. and PhD students.
The eclecticism of previous conferences has resulted in vibrant panel compositions and stimulating discussion. In keeping with that tradition, this conference is wide-ranging and multi-faceted in scope. We encourage submissions that cross geographical, temporal, and methodological boundaries. Though papers must be historical in nature, they may also draw upon theoretical and methodological approaches of other disciplines.
The conference provides an opportunity for graduate students to present and discuss their research with colleagues and peers. Panels consist of several graduate presenters, a graduate student commentator, and a faculty chair. The conference offers an excellent opportunity for professional development and intellectual exchange.
Paper proposals must be submitted by Friday, November 2, 2012. Proposals must be no more than 400 words and should include scholar’s name, home institution, e-mail address, the fundamental research question addressed in the paper, the evidence and methodological approaches to be used, and the argument to be made. Though conclusions need not be final, the areas of inquiry must be consistent between proposal and presentation.
If selected, participants will be asked to submit a ten to fifteen page final version of their paper by January 11, 2013. The best paper presented at the conference will receive a $50 award.
The keynote speaker for the conference has yet to be chosen. Last year the HGSA was proud to feature Dr. Stephanie McCurry, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in History. We hope to feature another prominent speaker this year.
Submit proposals and questions by email to:
New Approaches to History
Call for Papers
Department of History, Vanderbilt University
2013 Music City Graduate Student Conference
February 15th, 2013
The graduate students of Vanderbilt University’s Department of History invite doctoral
students to submit proposals for our annual conference. This conference provides a venue for graduate students to showcase their most innovative work. The selected title for this year, New Approaches to History, implies our desire to turn this conference into an opportunity to explore the most relevant trends and themes studied by the
newest generation of scholars. The overarching organizing theme for this conference will be
originality, as opposed to a particular chronological or geographical focus.
Presentations will be organized into coherent panels. Each of these panels will have a
commentator. In order to encourage a real discussion of the papers, participants will be asked to circulate their work in advance.
Please submit an abstract of your paper, not exceeding 250 words, and a one-page CV by
December 7th, 2012, to Christian Rocha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those selected will be notified on a rolling basis. We expect to inform all participants by
December 15th, 2012.
“‘Erasing or Erecting Boundaries?’: A Conversation about Brazilian and Latin American Studies.”
Friday, November 2nd (3:30-5:30), 201 Casa Hispánica, 612 W. 116th St.
“Concepts Are Nothing but Tools’: On letters from the field(work)” Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha (Anthropology, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
“Blackness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and Genomics in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico” Peter Wade (Anthropology, University of Manchester)
“Slave and Citizen in Black and Red: Rethinking the Racial Narratives of Brazil’s Postcolonial History” Yuko Miki (History, Washington University)
Discovering “‘Os Ianques do Sul’: Toward an Entangled Luso-Hispanic History of Latin Americanism” Ori Preuss (History, Tel Aviv University)
Comments by Barbara Weinstein (History, New York University) Moderated by Marc Hertzman (Latin American & Iberian Cultures, Columbia University)
Reception to Follow
Sponsored by Columbia’s Center for Brazilian Studies, the Institute of Latin American Studies, and the Department of Latin American & Iberian Cultures
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) presents
Performing Que(e)ries Part I:
Canadian Trans Performance Artist
(Moderated by J. Paul Halferty)
CUNY Graduate Center
*This event has limited space.
Nina Arsenault is a multi-disciplinary trans artist who has worked in live performance, video art, photography, writing and popular national media. Recently, an anthology was published on her work entitled Trans(PER)forming Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work from Intellect Press (2011) including scholarly and non-scholarly writings, Arsenault’s own publications, photographs, and the script from her award-winning play, The Silicone Diaries, a play that documents Arsenault’s surgical transformation.
Moderated by queer performance scholar J. Paul Halferty (University of Toronto), Arsenault will discuss the development of her bodily and performance aesthetics within the landscape of Canadian queer performance. She will also perform excerpts from her repertoire of critically acclaimed theatre and performance works as well as showcase some of her new film/photography projects. For more information on Nina Arsenault, visit her website: www.ninaarsenault.com.
All CLAGS events are FREE and open to the Public.
Please RSVP to: email@example.com.
|| Please consider donating to CLAGS or joining our listserv by going to
How has a conservative-taxpayer identity come to shape the tea party’s anti-tax, small-government agenda? The tea party movement emerged in early 2009, decrying President Obama’s stimulus and health care plans. Its initial protests explicitly evoked the symbolism of the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War, while drawing on the ideological, organizational, and financial resources of contemporary libertarian and conservative struggles. Sandra Morgen (Anthropology, University of Oregon) has completed over three years of ethnographic research on tax-related campaigns in Oregon. Her talk will serve as the keynote to a day-long workshop on the tea party movement held at the Graduate Center.
Co-sponsored by the PhD Program in Anthropology and the Center for the Humanities