Saturday, May 18, 2013

The American Revolution Reborn and Philly DH

I just registered for two free conferences at the University of Pennsylvania.

The first conference, The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, is sponsored by American Philosophical Society, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Museum of the American Revolution.  It will be held throughout Philadelphia from May 30 to June 1.  Here is the overview:

The conference aims to identify new directions and new trends in scholarship on the American Revolution.  The conference organizers expect that it will be the first in a series of conferences exploring important themes on the era of the American Revolution.  The four themes that will guide the first conference are Global Perspectives, Power, Violence, and Civil War.

The format of the conference will differ from most academic conferences.  Instead of privileging papers, the conference organizers have created a program that aims to foster conversation between panelists and the audience with the hope that this dialogue will point toward the new directions in scholarship that the conference hopes to catalyze.  For that reason, we encourage all scholars interested in the era of the American Revolution to attend.  We expect the audience to be as much a part of the conference as the panelists..

Instead of reading papers, panelists will pre-circulate short papers (10 pages).  In the papers sessions, panelists will have just eight minutes to present their work, leaving the larger part of each papers session for discussion with the audience.  After each papers session, a commentary session will follow.  A group of eminent scholars will continue the conversation, reflecting on the papers and on what was said.  In addition, the conference has ample time for participants to talk casually with one another between sessions and at lunch and dinner each day.  The conference will “happen” outside the sessions as much as in them. 

The lineup of speakers is star-studded.  It includes:  Edward Gray, Jane Kamensky, Aaron Fogleman, Ned Landsman, Linda Colley, Ed Countryman, Christine Heyrman, Marjoleine Kars, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Marcus Rediker, Peter Thompson, Annette Gordon-Reed, David Shields, Thomas Slaughter, and Alan Taylor.

This is probably one of the best conferences on the American Revolution ever assembled.  You really need to be there.

The second conference, Philly DH@Penn, is a one day introduction to the digital humanities.  It includes workshops on creating video, encoding for beginners, open access images, WordPress, Omeka.net 101, and social media tech tools.  This sounds like an ideal conference for folks who want to learn something about the digital humanities but are not yet ready for a THATCamp

See you in Philly.  I will probably be tweeting and blogging from both events.