Omohundro Conference

I just got back from the Omohundro Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s really the premier conference for historians of early America and along with SHEAR, which covers the Early American Republic as opposed to the colonial period, one of two main conferences that pertains to my field of research and writing.

Honestly the best thing about the conference was seeing and catching up with Jason Sharples and Anne Twitty and meeting Jonathan Gienapp. Also my co-panelists, Jane Landers, Edward Pompeian, Eric Herschthal. It’s the personal interactions that make conferences fun, really. The panels tend to be fairly lame, although that varies — Jason and Annie’s panel on recent scholarship on slavery & resistance was truly fascinating, but on the other hand a certain Plenary Panel was a snooze fest (literally, as senior scholars all around me were actually nodding off). My own panel was alright, although I must confess that after two years focused primarily on teaching Global history, my chops at answering incisive questions by experts about my research are a little rusty. But that’s all good — nothing like a slightly-too-confrontational question from Frederika Teute to get one’s juices flowing … 🙂

Also it was nice to see quaint little Halifax. One of the centers of British Atlantic power in the 18th c., now a quiet, charming college town with a serious amount of fog. I jogged every morning, saved $ staying in a spartan Dalhousie dorm room (although it was very nice that Loyola paid for this trip), avoided the excessive drinking that sometimes happens at conferences, and generally enjoyed the company of scholars. As weird, obtuse, and career-obsessed as they can sometimes be, they’re also smart, fascinating people and spending time with them is one of the little-mentioned nice things about being in this line of work.


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