This Friday marks the commencement of the 123rd annual American Historical Association’s meeting in New York City. I will be taking a bus up from D.C. on Friday morning, and will spend the next three days doing my best to: a) sit in on as many different sessions as possible, b) lower the average age of attendance, and c) contain my nerdy giddiness at seeing famous historians. I’ll be in the extreme minority of conference-goers, in that I can have a largely stress-free weekend – I have no job interviews, no papers to present, no potential colleagues I need to glad-hand.
In preparation, I’ve been doing some light blog reading on guides to the conference: at Tenured Radical, The AHA for Dummies, and at Edge of the American West, AHA interviews, redux. I’m also looking forward to fellow history bloggers’ paper sessions, including Sterling Fluharty on the history job market and Jana Remy on preparing for research trips.
Despite reading and hearing a whole wide range of complaints about the annual conference’s format, size, and usefulness, I’m still excited to attend. I’m looking forward to wandering around a gathering of thousands of historians and soaking in just exactly what I’ve gotten myself into by applying to graduate programs in history. I’m also going to try to listen to professors who I’ve applied to work with at various schools, and possibly introduce myself if the opportunity arises. Given the hectic bazaar-like nature of such a conference, this might be a challenge. On that front, I’d love to meet anyone and everyone reading this who will also be attending. If you’re interested, please send me an email.