I’ll admit it, I’m something of a conference junkie. I think it started for me when I was still an undergraduate at MIT, working as a research assistant for my beloved archaeology professor, Dorothy Hosler, tracing appearances of tiny metallurgical artifacts in published dig reports (and, ah, in those days, one could still get into the Harvard Tozzer Library on someone else’s research card. Good times), and she suggested I attend the annual meeting of a scholarly society of Mesoamericanists that was being held at SUNY Albany. I had no idea such things existed; it opened my eyes to what scholars DO when they’re not in the classroom – they socialize! – they shmooze! – they present papers and ask each other pointed questions!- they go out to dinner and talk way into the night!
Since then, I’ve gone to many academic conferences and been behind the scenes at quite a few others, as a conference planner, panel chair, logistics person, or commentator. They’ve really never lost their charm for me. I still get a kick out of pinning on a freshly-minted name badge and slipping into the audience of a panel ready to learn something eye-opening.
Over the last few years, here’s a partial list of my conference appearances:
Society for Cinema and Media Studies, where I presented “Troubleshooting the Wayback Machine: When Radio Goes Online,” Boston MA, March 2012.
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, (panel member) “State of the Field: Fundamentalism” with Randall Stephens (Eastern Nazarene College), Mary Beth Mathews (Washington State), Matthew Sutton (Washington State), and David Harrington Watt (Temple), San Francisco CA, November 2011. My paper was titled “Fundamentalisms Gone Rogue,” and was graciously read for me by a colleague when I had to miss the session due to last-minute illness.
New England Faculty Development Consortium Fall Conference, presenting an “Extreme Syllabus Makeover” as a Teaching Tip session, Worcester MA, November 2011.
New England Historical Association, Emmanuel College, October 2011 (panel chair/commentator, “Representation, Writing and the Historical Record”)
“Mormonism in Cultural Context” Symposium (presenter), a Festschrift for Richard Bushman, Springville UT, June 2011
New England Historical Association, Worcester State University, Worcester MA, April 2011 (host university conference planning + on a roundtable panel on teaching the history methods course)
“Painting by Numbers: America’s Changing Face,” Worcester Humanities Collaborative One-Day Conference, Worcester State, April 2011 (invited presenter, “America’s Changing Face and the Most Important Law You’ve Never Heard Of”)
History, Society and the Sacred, American Historical Association, Boston MA, January 2011 (participant)
New England Historical Association, University of New England, Biddeford ME, 16 October 2010 (panel commentator, “Women in 19th-Century New England”)
“Institutionalizing Integrative Learning: Faculty Development, Course Development and Assessment,” Roanoke College, Roanoke VA, June 2010 (participant on a four-person team representing Worcester State)
New England Historical Association, Salem State College, Salem MA, April 2010 (participant; executive committee ex oficio member)
“Dynamic Tension Between the Majority and the Minority,” Worcester Humanities Collaborative One-Day Conference, Worcester State, April 2010 (invited presenter, “On the Wrong Side of History?: Taking Sides in School Desegregation, 1954-1976″)
“The Past’s Digital Presence: Database, Archive and Knowledge Work in the Humanities,” aka #PDP2010, Graduate Student Symposium at Yale University, New Haven CT, February 2010 (participant)
New England Historical Association, University of Vermont, Burlington VT, October 2009 (presenter, “Creating Digital History as a Teaching Tool”; chair of a graduate student paper prize committee)
Omeka “Playdate,” Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax VA, June 2009 (participant)
“Integrative Learning in Practice: Innovative Pedagogy and Course Redesign IX,” Fairfield University, Fairfield CT, June 2009 (participant; funding from the Davis Grant and Worcester State College)
New England Historical Association, University of Southern Maine, Portland ME, April 2009 (participant)
American Studies Association, Albuquerque NM, October 2008 (presenter, “Arks of Hope and God Boxes: Enacting Pacifism at the United Nations”)
New England Historical Association, University of Southern NH, Manchester NH, May 2007 (panel chair)
Popular Culture Association, Boston MA, April 2007 (presenter, “OneWorld: Channelers, Conspiracy Theory, and Cult-Busters at the United Nations”)
The Carter Presidency: Lessons for the 21st Century, University of Georgia, Athens GA, January 2007 (presenter, “US-UN Relations in the Carter Administration”)
New England Popular Culture Association, Rivier College, Nashua NH, October 2006 (presenter, “Sacred Space at the United Nations”)
Graduate Student Conference in International History, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, March 2006 (panel commentator, “Christian Radio in Global Comparative Context”)
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, University of Rochester, Rochester NY, November 2005 (presenter, “From Antichrist to Millennial Harbinger: American Theologies of the United Nations”)
Mormon History Association, Killington VT, May 2005 (conference program planning committee)