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Conference Update 2: Diversity as an Asset

Conference Papers

I love history conferences, especially the Center of Military History (CMH) run event, the Conference of Army Historians (CAH). This is a very inclusive event, in that it doesn’t matter your academic/employment affiliation, because what’s important is that you are part of the conference. I credit the organizers and the history leadership for fostering this. Academics, defense contractors, foreign researchers, active Military members, civilian historians, archivists, and museum specialists all attend and present here. So it’s not just nice people, but lots of nice people from diverse backgrounds.  

This conference boasts a variety of presentations, workshops, and talks. Some are roundtable events about certain things going on within history offices; like the BRAC-focused talks from Tuesday (we’ve already posted a history blog about it). There are also workshops about successful practices; like CMH’s project on digitizing the ‘Green Books’ series and posting them on their website. Maybe it is a bias that I have, but I am always impressed by the panel papers. 

These papers are a chance for people to showcase their research. Many of those historians who work for the Army present papers *outside* the scope of their day-to-day history work. Occasionally a paper will be presented that overlaps with the scope and operations of that person’s archival focus. For the most part, though, the talks represent the area of history that the presenter is an expert in. Many Army historians are professional historians who bridge the divide between academia and public history. 

This is an asset to this conference because you get fantastic history from people who have varied backgrounds. Which leads to great interactions and fosters dialogue between participants long after the conference concludes. 

Note: More on-site blogging! When I return to the office next week, I’ll add in photos and hyperlinks, and fix any HTML.

Posted in History Happenings, History Outreach.

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