American Historical Association’s (AHA) 125th Annual Meeting / Conference: Daily Recaps

125th Annual Meeting

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Boston, MA
January 6–9, 2011

Theme: History, Society, and the Sacred

2011 Logo

The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held January 6–9, 2011 in Boston with events scheduled in the John B. Hynes Memorial Veterans Convention Center, the Boston Marriott Copley Place (headquarters), and the Westin Copley Place Boston.

Meeting Program

125th Annual Meeting Concludes

Sunday Overview – 125th Annual Meeting

By Elisabeth Grant

USS Constitution Museum shipIt’s the last day of the 125th Annual Meeting but there are still quite a few sessions and events going on today.

Here are just a few of the sessions taking place today. See a list of all of today’s sessions in the online Program.

The 2011 General Meeting – Presidential Address and Prizes Recipients

By Elisabeth Grant

Presidential Address
Barbara D. Metcalf presented her presidential address: “Islam and Power in Colonial India: The Making and Unmaking of a Muslim Prince(ss)” at the AHA’s General Meeting last night. In her address she told of Shah Jahan Begam, the third female ruler of the Bhopal state of India, and how she navigated Islamic religious traditions, colonialism, and the complexities of power. The address will be printed in the February 2011 issue of the American Historical Review, or you can listen to the audio of it here now:

Audio of Barbara D. Metcalf’s presidential address,
“Islam and Power in Colonial India: The Making and Unmaking of a Muslim Prince(ss)”

Preceding the presidential address, AHA President-Elect Anthony Grafton presented 20 book prizes, numerous teaching prizes, awards for scholarly distinction, and other honors…. See the complete list of recipients, as noted in the November issue of Perspectives on History. 

All Clear at Hynes After Alarm

Around 10 a.m. this morning an air conditioning unit on the 4th floor triggered an alarm at the Hynes Convention Center. The fire department investigated and an all clear was given at 10:10 a.m.

Saturday Overview – 125th Annual MeetingBeacon Hill

By Elisabeth Grant

AHA members are welcome to attend the AHA’s Business meeting at 4:45 p.m. this evening, to hear reports from members of the AHA’s Council, divisions, and committees. Also going on tonight is a free screening of The Conspirator (just register to attend), followed by a panel discussion with the film’s consulting historians, as well as a reception. Read on for more about today’s sessions, films, and receptions…..

Opening of the 125th Annual Meeting

By Elisabeth Grant

AHA President Barbara D. Metcalf warmly welcomed attendees at the Opening of the 125th Annual Meeting last evening in the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom. She began by taking a moment to acknowledge the untimely death of David Weber, a “cherished human being and distinguished historian,” who’d served as vice president of the AHA’s Professional Division….

Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award
After the opening words, the first event of the evening was the presentation of the Seventh Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award to Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman, vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, and retired president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Plenary SessionArnita Jones
Following the award presentation was the plenary session: “History and the Public: A Session in Honor of Arnita Jones’ Commitment to the Public Work of Historians.” New AHA Executive Director James Grossman chaired the session, which honored his predecessor Arnita Jones. Grossman spoke of Americans appetite for history, and how historians need a more active role in public culture to bring in the historical perspective….

Council Decisions January 6, 2011

At the semi-annual meeting of the Council of the American Historical Association yesterday, the governing board made the final decisions…

Friday Overview – 125th Annual Meeting

By Elisabeth Grant

Custom House, BostonToday’s culminating event is the General Meeting, which includes the presentation of this year’s awards, prizes, and honors and Barbara D. Metcalf’s presidential address. The winner of this year’s John O’Connor Film Prize is The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, it will be screened this morning at 9:30 a.m. in room 210 of the Hynes Convention Center. Read on for a round up of other sessions, open forums, films, and events taking place today at the 125th Annual Meeting…

Thursday Overview – 125th Annual Meeting

By Elisabeth Grant

Today is the first day of the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, being held in Boston. This year’s theme, “History, Society, and the Sacred,” is appropriate for Boston, which is “a location redolent of numerous sacred sites and practices.” Over 300 sessions will be presented at this year’s meeting, covering a wide variety of time periods, locations, and topics. Find them all in the online Program of the 125th Annual Meeting.

For those attending the meeting, welcome to Boston! And for those reading from home, you can stay up-to-date with Annual Meeting sessions and events over the next few days (January 6th through 9th) with daily morning overviews right here on AHA Today….READ MORE

From the 125th Annual Meeting column of the November 2010 issue of Perspectives on History

Highlights of the 125th Annual MeetingFaneuil Hall

The 125th annual meeting of the American Historical Association will be held January 6–2011, in Boston at the Boston Marriott Copley Place (headquarters), Sheraton Boston (co-headquarters), Hynes Convention Center, and Westin Copley Place Boston. More

By Sharon K. Tunethan 1,700 scholars, including 236 from other countries, will participate in 397 AHA and affiliate sessions. Fifty-seven specialized affiliated societies and other groups will cosponsor sessions or hold separate luncheons, sessions, and meetings. AHA and affiliate events are summarized in the front portion of the Program, beginning on page 16 and 19, respectively, with details of sessions listed in the main body of the program. AHA-sponsored session details begin on page 39 with affiliated society sessions following in alphabetical order in each time period…READ MOR

Sessions of Interest to H-Net Groups and Others

By Elisabeth Grant and Matthew Keough

The discussion lists at H-Net are much like the sessions at the AHA’s annual meetings, in that they both focus on a wide variety of specific topics in history, covering nearly every time period, region, and theme that historians study. With this in mind, the AHA’s Matthew Keough sat down and found sessions at the 125th Annual Meeting and organized them into the same categories as a number of H-Net lists. See below for a few examples from his exhaustive spreadsheet. These of course aren’t all the sessions in each of these categories, but rather just a sampling….READ MORE

Edited Mark Twain Novels Attempt to Rewrite History

Edited Mark Twain novels stir concern from Oklahomans

A University of Central Oklahoma professor and an Oklahoma historian agree a volume with edited versions of two Mark Twain novels is an attempt to rewrite history.

Source:  News OK, 1-7-11

A local English professor says he is outraged over new edited versions of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” due out in February.

The Mark Twain novels use the n-word 219 times in “Huck Finn” and four times in “Tom Sawyer.” In a new volume containing the two novels, Twain scholar Alan Gribben replaces the n-word with “slave” and “injun” with Indian.

“We have to respect the integrity of the author’s language,” University of Central Oklahoma professor John Springer said. “The author’s language is always a product of the historical moment and the social milieu in which the author lives.”

Springer, who teaches “Huckleberry Finn” once a year as an undergraduate course, said the use of the racial words is integral to the texts.

“To correct them or to modify them in the interest of current sensibilities … it really does, I think, constitute a kind of disavowal of history,” he said. “This is in fact the way we talked about people of color when those books were written.”

Springer is not alone in his objection to the new edition. Currie Ballard, a historian and assistant secretary to the state Senate, said any change to Twain’s writing would be a major error.

“You can bring about healing and understanding without warping or distorting history,” he said. “For all of a sudden, a hundred years after Mark Twain’s death, for us to try to sanitize history I think is wrong.”

Ballard, who was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame for his work in the preservation of black history, said editing the language of that day would leave the books historically inaccurate.

“I realize what their intent is, but it is such a powerful story that he told in ‘Tom Sawyer’ about trying to help a slave reach freedom,” he said.

“We can get so politically correct we become incorrect historically.”…READ MORE

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