Curating LGBT History Month: Lessons Learned

February 2016 featured the most successful LGBT History month event series the University of Nottingham has ever seen. Hannah Rose Murray, programme organiser, reflects on the challenges she faced when curating the series and what systems of support she needed in place when she began. The post concludes with a series of event reviews from postgraduates in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. Continue reading

Fault Lines in American Studies: Re-evaluating Academic Conference Models

In the first month of my PhD I read Barbara Tomlinson and George Lipsitz’s daring article on academic conferences in American Quarterly. “American Studies as Accompaniment” criticizes, amongst other things, the institutionalized, egotistical model of scholarship that prioritizes the scholar over the work or discussion:

“Because of the publications, presentations, positions, honors, and awards enumerated on it, the CV circulates out in the world as a strange surrogate for the person whose work it describes . . . The CV represents scholarly achievement largely as individual activity capable of being measured in quantitative terms. The work that scholars actually do, however, is innately collective and qualitative . . . scholarly conversations are cooperative creations, the product of collective communications in which all participants play a part.”

In writing this post I intend to expand on Tomlinson and Lipsitz’s reflections to make visible the flaws in our field with regards to conferences and, more importantly, offer feedback to postgraduates in the ways they can approach conference organizing. Continue reading

What is, and how to do, LGBT History?

In this post, Dr Mark Walmsley, independent scholar and a member of the Academic Advisory Panel to Schools OUT UK, discusses the shift in attitudes towards engaging with LGBTQ issues within HE at a research, teaching, and ‘impact’ level. Mark argues that “in an age of ‘impact agendas’ and ‘public engagement initiatives’, Universities should not be ignoring a sizeable community that is often crying out for academic support and interest… It is time that LGBT history is not something we contribute to in February, but something that we actively take into account throughout the academic year.” Continue reading

What We Learned: Organiser’s report on the 1st Americas Postgraduate Conference at the UCL Institute of the Americas

In part two of our 1st Americas Postgraduate conference double header the organisers James Hillyer, Anthony Teitler, Thomas Maier and William Sawyers offer some useful organising tips for next year. Continue reading