AHA 2010: some first thoughts
I’m still recovering from three whirlwind days of conference—half socializing, half drinking from a scholarly firehose— but the annual meeting of the AHA was a great experience. There’s been discussion on Twitter (#aha2010) about the fact that relatively few people reported back from sessions in that format. As scholars’ travel budgets dwindle, I think that conference attendees who share the new work we see are doing a valuable form of professional service. The most frequent examples of this I saw on Twitter were from Dan Cohen (@dancohen), Jana Remy (@janaremy), and Chad Black (@parezcoydigo). Predictably, many tweets were from digital-history panels, but not all of them were.
When I explained the idea of twittering the AHA to some of my colleagues, I found myself saying first that it wasn’t about tweckling. After that, once I described tweeting and blogging as a form of public intellectualism—exposing what we scholars do to people who aren’t currently part of the academy—many people seemed to understand better, and even to find it fascinating.
I’m currently planning to write up notes from several panels I attended, and those will trickle in as I type them up. Feel free to point to your talk transcripts, notes, or other conference reports in the comments.