Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Omohundro Conference

June 15, 2014

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.

LHA paper done

February 16, 2011

Finished my conference paper for the Louisiana Historical Association meeting this March. This is a relief, since my conference papers are always a chore, it seems; a chore because they always involve distilling and condensing my detailed, verbose dissertation prose. Tucking all the fun stuff away in the footnotes is one way to get it done. Anyway, nice to have done that; now I can finish this book review, and get on to Chapter 4.

Omohundro Conference

July 27, 2010

I attended the Omohundro Insitute’s annual conference this past June in Oxford, Mississippi (a historic town not only because of the civil rights era but because of William Faulkner, whose presence seems to pervade the bookstores and restaurants). My paper was called “The Dreamers: Elite Newcomers and American Identity in New Orleans, 1800-1820” and was part of a panel on Global Migrations put together by my friend Wayne Bodle, who wrote a paper on Charles Wollstonecraft, and a grad student from George Washington University named John O’Keefe, who wrote a paper on free non-white immigration in the early republic.

This was my first conference presentation and I could easily have been stressed and nervous, but I was very lucky to have the friendship of Wayne, who I knew slightly from attending the McNeil seminars and more from an email correspondence that developed after he discovered this very blog! I was also fortunate to have the company of Erin Greenwald, my friend and fellow grad student from New Orleans, who was there to meet with her advisor Alan Gallay.

As at SHEAR six weeks later, my paper went over very well, and I got some moderately useful feedback, although people were not as critical as they justifiably could have been. I also met several interesting people including Rosemarie Zagarri, who gave an interesting paper on Thomas Law, an “Indian nabob in the early republic” that thematically had a bit of crossover with my own work.

Both of these papers were challenges to write in various ways, which should perhaps be the subject of a future blog post. The length constraint (20 minutes) was  frustrating but also I think good practice for editing and focus. Both were fun to deliver in my usual overdramatic style complete with voices. And both put an excellent period on a year of research. Now I’m in a bit of down time, writing this blog, and getting psyched up top start the dissertation writing process in earnest this year.