It’s time for my annual report/rant on the lack digital sessions at the American Historical Association annual meeting, a good gauge of what professional historians are interested in. Evidently we historians will just keep on doing what we’re doing how we’re doing it until it seems truly anachronistic. Just one of the main AHA panels, out of nearly three hundred, covers digital matters; perhaps another will touch on digital methods. By my count there are another six digital sessions overall, but these other sessions are put on by affiliate societies or were added by the program committee during lunches or other break times (that is, there were almost no digital panels proposed by historians attending the meeting). Incredibly, there are actually fewer digital sessions at the 2011 annual meeting than in prior years. Because clearly this digital thing is a flash in the pan.
OK, I’ll stop with the sarcasm. I love my colleagues in history, but it’s time for a change, and as a new member of the AHA program committee I suspect the state of affairs will be different at the 2012 meeting. For now, here is this year’s list of digital sessions at the AHA annual meeting:
When Universities Put Dissertations on the Internet: New Practice; New Problem?
[Special session added by the program committee during lunch on Friday]
Critical Issues in Bibliography and Libraries in the Digital Age
[Sponsored by the Association for the Bibliography of History and the American Association for History and Computing]
Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning American History
[CHNM‘s own Rwany Sibaja hosts a 45-minute intro/demo]
Public Media and the Case for Digital History: New Directions and Opportunities for Students, Teachers, and Historians
[Special session added by the program committee during lunch on Saturday]
What’s Next? Patterns and Practices in History in Print and Online
[AHA Session 191, co-sponsored by the American Association for History and Computing]
History and Technology In and Out of the Classroom
[Sponsored by the Coordinating Council for Women in History]
Religious History’s Digital Future
[Sponsored by the American Society of Church History]