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Open conversation on HPS: Program options for September’s conference

John Schuster writes …

We are faced with the problem, obvious from the beginning, that packing talks at 3 per hour (with discussion) into the one session planned is going to present serious obstacles.  Here is a compromise proposal skeleton.

Let’s consider, first, the 4 themes into which I parsed the potential field for conference presentations on ‘early modern hps’ in Oz. They were:

1. Recent Research Programs:  Recent Concrete Products [recently published material only]

2. The Big Interpretative/Historiographical Issues

3. Work-in-progress reports [reports on material not yet published]

4. Institutional Sites and Prospects: Sydney, Queensland, Campion, Melbourne, UNSW

I make the following points:

If our ‘one shot’, following a suggestion by Alan Chalmers, is to be on ‘how we actually do this stuff’, then some selection from [1] and/or [3] would be presented. In that case, one does doubt that six quick paper/discussions will be very satisfying – we’d need more expansive papers and discussions. Hence, additional expansion into the concurrent AAHPSSS Conference would be the recommended strategy.

If something like [2] or [4] were decided upon, that would appear to be it, a nice two hours could probably be designed, staying entirely within the National Committee allocation. But, is that all we’d wish to do?  Why not expand into some AAHPSSS time slots by pre-planning and bidding now?

Hence, compromise: we work out on this blog what activity will take up the ‘granted’ two hours; but we do that planning to put in for at least one more session at AAHPSSS 26 to 28 September, University of Sydney (at any time except at the appointed two hours with the National Committee Session). The purposes of expanding into AAHPSSS are to fill out whatever our intended program turns out to be, and to ‘bring Early Modern HPS back to AAHPSSS‘ – and the latter surely is one outcome envisioned by those who created and offered the initial 2 hour National Committee slot.  The strategy in this paragraph is my preference.

One thought on “Open conversation on HPS: Program options for September’s conference

  1. Thanks for these constructive suggestions John. I can now confirm that there will be an AAHPSSS meeting during the conference. However, it will be a short one on the Friday afternoon and will be focused on postgrads and the AGM. It seems, therefore, that we won’t be able to have any other sessions on early modern HPS other than our allotted 2 hours. I’ve asked for more time, but at this stage we should all think about how to use our 2 hours most efficiently.