Monday, January 7, 2013

Dispatches from the AHA in New Orleans (9)

Mary Sanders--historian, blogger, and Ph.D student, reflects on her AHA experience.--JF

I spent Sunday morning at a panel on “New Directions in the Study of Global Evangelicalism,” a roundtable conversation about John Wolffe’s and Mark Hutchinson’s new book A Short History of Global Evangelicalism—another one of those books that is now on my list of must-reads.  Jehu J. Hanciles, Mark A. Noll, and Dana L. Robert all offered their perspectives, and there was a lively question and answer session after.

I spent much of my trip home yesterday decompressing and reflecting over the past few days.  This was my second AHA meeting, and, to be honest, I think a lot of people were wondering why I went.  I’m not on the job market, I wasn’t presenting a paper—I just went.  I’m glad I did.  It was good to talk with people, meet new people, and see old friends.  Graduate school is such a solitary activity—read, grade, write, repeat.  Conferences remind me of the essentially collaborative nature of what historians do.  I was exhilarated and refreshed by many of the conversations I was able to have this weekend, and I’m ready for the new semester (which started today!) because of them.

Perhaps I’m glad, also, for a slightly more selfish reason: I’m writing this post as I take a break from my dissertation prospectus—a prospectus that is much more clear in my mind after answering the question “So what is your dissertation about?” multiple times in New Orleans!  I may be back to the grindstone, but the way ahead is a little clearer than it was in December.

2 comments:

Exploring the Study of Religious History said...

Mary, tell us more anout the panel on NDSGE.

mcconeghy said...

Glad to hear this panel was worth going to. Over at the Race and Pentecostalism session with A. Sanchez-Walsh, Blaine Hamilton, and Anthea Butler made my last session a doozy.

I was so jetlagged today, though, that I didn't finish the half-blog posts I drafted on Sunday about Fri-Sun. That's on the agenda for tomorrow. I'll tweet you the link when it goes live.

Also, congrats on your prolific tweeting. Maybe next year we'll find time to cross paths irl.