Tomorrow is the deadline for panel and paper submissions to the 2017 S-USIH conference in Dallas. And if you’re anything like me, you may be planning on submitting on the last day. So, in addition to reminding everyone of the deadline, on behalf of this year’s conference committee, I wanted to draw your attention to a new kind of panel (for S-USIH at least) that appears on our Call for Papers.
Guided Discussion panels are designed to lead the audience in the exploration of four interrelated scholarly or pedagogical questions. Four presenters each take five to ten minutes to introduce one of the questions. Then the audience splits into four groups, each led by one of the presenters, to discuss his or her question. Finally the room reconvenes, each of the presenters offers a brief summary of the group discussions and a general discussion takes place.
One of the most rewarding aspects of any conference are the scholarly exchanges that take place in the sessions. Guided Discussion panels are designed to maximize audience participation. And since the conference allows participants to appear twice on the program in different roles, you can be a Guided Discussion presenter if you’re already giving a paper or commenting in a traditional panel or roundtable.
As we watch your proposals for the 2017 conference of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History roll in (keep ‘em coming!), we’re pleased to announce our Friday plenary session, “Toward Democracy as Faith or Doubt.” We have assembled a panel of outstanding scholars who will be interrogating and at times no doubt challenging James Kloppenberg’s argument in his most recent, remarkable book: Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (OUP, 2016).
Christopher Cameron of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will chair the discussion. Joining him will be W. Caleb McDaniel of Rice University, Amanda Porterfield of Florida State University, Manisha Sinha of the University of Connecticut, and Daniel Wickberg of the University of Texas at Dallas. James Kloppenberg will also join the conversation, responding to his readers’ comments and questions and perhaps posing some questions of his own.
We are delighted to be able to bring this group of scholars together for what promises to be a lively and substantive discussion, and we are sure that this panel will spark many more conversations at the conference and afterwards.
We hope you will join us in Dallas this October.
Guest Post by Daniel S. Goldberg
Several weeks ago, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R- Utah) found himself the target of some acid criticism in multiple news outlets for attempting to justify some of the provisions in the AHCA by stating that ‘people may have to choose between iPhones and health care.’
Predictably, a storm of controversy erupted. Opponents of Rep. Chaffetz’s perspective pointed out the basic functional significance of a smartphone for more marginalized groups, including taking the time to note how smartphones were important for disease management, family and community care, public health, etc. This matters a great deal because the vast majority of health care services (by volume) actually happens outside of inpatient settings, and frequently outside of clinical settings at all. There is little doubt that smartphone access is material to the informal caregiving that places such tremendous demands on the resources of caregivers and intimates. There is no reason why more disadvantaged groups would be excepted from this assessment.
As I mentioned last week, Angus Burgin kindly sent me his intellectual history syllabi to help me address the question of who assigns Peter Novick, who assigns Ellen Fitzpatrick, and who assigns both authors.
Professor Burgin has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his syllabi here at the blog as the latest installment in our series of intellectual history syllabi (a series launched by my colleague Andy Seal).
So, after the jump, you will find Angus Burgin’s excellent 2014 and 2017 intellectual history syllabi, which he offers with the following crucial caveat: “they were developed to meet the needs of specific graduate students’ lists, which are developed over four semesters and multiple seminars; neither are intended to be comprehensive, and both have odd lacuna because of assignments in other semesters.”
Marking nearly a decade of gathering diverse scholars in dialogue, program plans for the 2017 Society for U.S. Intellectual History’s annual meeting in Dallas are well underway. (A friendly reminder: There’s still time to send in your proposals, due by 15 April). Given our conference theme of “Histories of Memory, Memories of History,” we hope to bring more librarians, museum professionals, and archivists into the discussion. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce that we’ll kick off the proceedings on Thursday, Oct. 26th, with an opening plenary session on “Public History and the Future of the Past.” (more…)
“Their foot shall slide”, Or: Pencehouse Letters
guest post by Jonathan Beecher Field*
Recent discussions of Mike Pence’s rules for happy marriage (no dining with women not his wife, no events with alcohol without his wife), was another reminder that the early American novels I teach have a way of becoming more relevant than I would prefer. (WARNING SPOILER ALERTS FOR 227 YEAR-OLD NOVEL FOLLOW). I have been teaching Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette for almost as long as I have been teaching. In case you have not read it, it is a based-on-a-true-story story of a young woman, Eliza Wharton, who vacillates in her choice between two suitors: Boyer, the boring but reliable preacher, and Sanford, the dashing but untrustworthy colonel. Eliza hesitates, but the monitory chorus of her female friends and relatives leads her to decide in favor of Boyer. The pivotal moment of the novel comes when, having informed Sanford of her choice, he insists on hearing the news from Eliza face-to-face. She agrees, and Boyer comes upon Eliza and Sanford conversing in the garden, and at once realizes that Eliza could never be his wife, because this exchange with Sanford reveals her as a “finished coquette.”
When I started teaching this book to undergraduates at Clemson in 2004, I was surprised and a little disturbed to find out how relatable my students found this story that was two centuries removed from their own time. One student in particular confided to me that it was difficult for her to join in class discussion, for she, too, had a boring suitor her friends and family favored, and a more dashing lover she fancied instead. One of the challenges of teaching the novel is getting students to identify what, exactly, it is that Eliza does to warrant Boyer’s rage and rejection. The nature of her betrayal is that she has a semi-private conversation with a man that she is not married to. This is, as it happens, is exactly the kind of betrayal that Mike Pence spares his wife because he respects her too much.