Breaking down NCPH’s First Twitter Mini-Con

NCPH Active poster

My latest piece, “Breaking down NCPH’s First Twitter Mini-Con” was written in collaboration with Christine Crosby.  Head over to History@Work to our reflections on #NCPHactive.  We take a behind the scenes look at the Twitter mini-con organizing, provide reflections on successes, and consider changes we might make to a similar event in the future.  Personally, I really enjoy the Twitter conference format and would love to explore other ways it can be used to stimulate conversations across disciplines and distances.

Archives As Activism: Community Narrative Building at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre

As part of the “(re)Active Public History” Twitter mini-con hosted by the National Council on Public History I presented a presentation on the role of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre as a place of community building and activism.  The complete Twitter presentation is below.

(Re)Active Public History Twitter Mini-Con

Mini-con poster

The NCPH (Re)Active Public History mini-con schedule is now live!  There are some fantastic presentations planned including two great keynotes.  The Thursday October 18th keynote by LaTanya Autry is titled “Beyond Conversations: Transforming Museums through Social Justice Action” and the Friday October 19th keynote “Memory to Action” is by Allison Tucker from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

In addition to the two keynotes there are session from 12:30-7:30 PM on both Thursday October 18th and Friday October 19th.  The theme for the conference is “(Re)Active Public History” and is rooted in a desire to critically discuss the active ways that public historians engage with the public, the past, and historical scholarship. I’m really excited about all of the presentations on the schedule and look forward to participating both days.

Interested in learning more about how you can join the #NCPHactive twitter conference? Check out the tips NCPH has compiled for participants.

(Re) Active Public History Twitter Mini-Con

Poster for Re Active Public History Mini Con with date and hashtag.

NCPH is having it’s first virtual mini-con! Modeled after last year’s Beyond 150 Twitter Conference organized by Andrea Eidinger and I, the “(Re) Active Public History” Twitter mini-con will take place October 18-19, 2018. The CFP for this mini-con is now live and is open to submissions until September 7, 2018.

Like #Beyond150 the #NCPHActive mini-con has no registration fees or travel costs! Just follow #NCPHactive on Twitter to participate.

Want more details on what a Twitter Conference involves? What does a presentation look like? Why should you participate? Check out my History@Work blog post which introduced the NCPH Twitter mini-con.

NCPH 2018 Excitement and Planning

Next month I’ll be heading to Vegas for this year’s National Council on Public History conference.   As usual, this conference is shaping up to be the highlight of my academic travel for the year.  If you’re on the fence about registration you have until April 4th to complete pre-conference registration. After that date, registration is only available onsite.

The schedule looks fantastic with a great mixture of walking tours, panels, roundtables, and workshops.  I’m really looking forward to learning from folks and connecting with public historians from across the United States and Canada.

I haven’t selected which panels I will be attending during the conference but there are a number of events that I will definitely be participating in either as a facilitator or as a participant.  If you’re interested in connecting with me during the conference feel free to contact me before hand.  Otherwise, you can look for me at the following events:

Pre-Conference Events

  • Membership Committee Twitter Chat focused on all things #npch2018.  This virtual event will be held on April 3rd from 11:30-12:30 ET on twitter.  Join us using the hashtag #ncph2018 to share your conference survival tips or to ask questions.

Wednesday April 18

  • First Time Attendee and Conference Connections Meetup (5:30-6:00pm).  Great opportunity to ease into the conference if you are new!
  • Opening Reception (6:00-7:30 pm).  There will be food!

Thursday April 19

  • My term on the NCPH Board doesn’t start until after the end of this year’s annual meeting, but as a learning opportunity I’ll be sitting in on the Board of Directors meeting from 8am to 1pm.
  • Pop-Up: What does NCPH mean to you? (3:00-3:30pm)  Hosted by the membership committee, this pop-up is a great change to talk about why you love public history and where you see the public history field going in the next ten years.
  • Poster Session and Reception (5:00-7:00pm)

Friday April 20

  • Membership Committee Meeting (8:30-10:00am)
  • Sharing the Power: The Role of Public History in Reconciling Indigenous-Settler Narratives (10:30am-12:00pm)  I’m speaking on this panel with a lot of other fantastic folks. You should come.
  • Public Plenary: Breaking Barriers in Public Storytelling (6:00-7:30pm)
  • 3rd Annual Great Canadian NCPH Gathering (8pm)

Saturday April 21

  • Awards Breakfast and Presidential Address (8:00-10:00am)

Image credit: NCPH

NCPH Election Results

Dictionary definition of vote

Jumping up and down news! (Okay, I admit that I might be the only one who jumps up and down at this news). I was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Public History (NCPH). Folks can find the complete election results in the March issue of the Public History News publication. Congrats to Kristen Baldwin Deathridge and Kimberly Springle who were also elected to the Board and congratulations to Gregory Smoak to who was elected as NCPH president.

I talk about NCPH a lot. It is a professional organization that I truly care about and the space that I consider my professional home. The folks who I’ve meet though NCPH are a constant source of inspiration.

Each year I come away from the annual meeting with a sense of renewed love for my profession, enthusiasm for emerging public history practices, and possibilities for projects within my own workplace. For example, the Canada-wide Canadian History Edit-A-thon organized by Jessica Knapp and I developed out of an idea we had at the 2017 annual meeting. Details on this year’s annual meeting, which is being held in Las Vegas from April 18-21, can be found on the NCPH website.

I look forward to serving on the NCPH Board and to giving back to an organization I love.

Professional Service: NCPH 2018 Election

Photo of Ryan Gosling in tan suit with words " Hey Girl, Lets Perform Public History Together"

I’m excited to share some news that I’ve been sitting on since October – I’m one of the nominees for this year’s National Council on Public History (NCPH) Board of Directors election.  I’m honored to be nominated alongside such a great slate of candidates. This year’s election is now open to current NCPH members.

NCPH is an organization I talk about a lot. It is my professional home. It is where I have found supportive colleagues and have constantly been inspired to improve my professional practice.  NCPH’s annual meeting is something I look forward to every year, I leave that conference filled with energy and new ideas.  And often I bring those ideas home to build on and develop collaboration around.

I see this nomination as a form of ongoing service. NCPH has given me so much over the years and volunteering to participate within NCPH’s governance structure is one way for me to give back. Want to learn more about this great organization I’m always talking about? Visit NCPH.org.

NCPH Award Deadline

The deadline (December 1, 2017) for a number of this year’s National Council on Public History (NCPH) awards is quickly approaching. A list of the complete award guidelines and information on past recipients can be found online here.  NCPH offers a range of awards including student travel, consultant projects, and new professional awards.  Two of my favorite include:

NCPH Outstanding Public History Project Award
Know of a fantastic and innovative public history project?  This is the award for you. An $1,000 award recognizing a project (digital, print, film, exhibit, etc.) that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice.

NCPH Book Award
Some of my favorite public history books have won this award in the past and I look forward to seeing who wins in 2018.  This $1,000 award is for the best book about or growing out of public history published within the previous two calendar years (2015 and 2016). This award also includes publications beyond the monograph and works such as exhibition catalogs,  policy studies, and other works that have a clear public dimension are eligible.

Check out the NCPH website for more information on the other awards offered.

Where to Find Me At NCPH

NCH program cover
NCPH 2017 Program Cover

Next week I’ll be heading to Indianapolis for this year’s National Council on Public History conference. The agenda is filled with great sounding panels, roundtables, and workshops.  I’m really looking forward to connecting with other public history professionals and digging into some public history.

I haven’t selected which panels I’ll be attending during the conference but there are a number of events that I’m helping facilitate as part of my role on the membership committee. There are also a number of broader conference events that I definitely plan on participating in. If you’re interested in connecting during the conference I will be at the following events:

  • Membership Committee Twitter Chat (Wednesday April 19, 11:30am-12:30pm) *Virtual – join the conversation using the #ncph2017 hashtag.
  • First Time Attendee and Mentoring Connection Meetup (Wednesday April 19, 5:30-6:00pm)
  • Opening Reception (Wednesday April 19, 6:00-8:00pm)
  • New Member Welcome (Thursday April 20, 7:30-8:30am)
  • NCPH Business Meeting (Thursday April 20, 1:00-1:30pm)
  • Indy Behind the Scenes: Eiteljog Museum of American Indians and Western Art Walking Tour (Friday April 21, 8:45-10:00am)
  • Public Plenary: Making LGBTQ History American History (Friday April 21, 6:00-7:30pm)
  •  2nd Annual Great NCPH Canuck Gathering (Friday April 21st)
  • Awards Breakfast (Saturday April 22, 8:00-10:00am)

You will also likely find me at individual sessions focused on archives, Wikipedia, podcasting, and Indigenous history.

Professional Organizations and Finding Your Niche

soda.hotglue.meOne of my service gigs currently involves sitting on the membership committee of the National Council of Public History (NCPH).  If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you probably know that this is one of my favourite professional organizations and that their annual meeting is something I really look forward to.  I’ve served on the membership committee for a couple of years now and recently started acting as the co-chair of the committee.

As a committee we’ve been working on a handful of projects this year many of which revolve around making sure new members feel welcome to NCPH as an organization and to the annual meetings.  Professional conferences where you don’t know anyone can be intimidating – but they can also be amazingly rewarding experiences.  The first NCPH conference I attended was in 2012 in Milwaukee.  I went solo but knew other Western Public History alumni and students would be there.  Despite only knowing a few people at the conference it was a hugely welcoming experience where I felt like I belonged.  Granted, part of this had to do with my love of the NCPH meeting format and the flexibility of the sessions.  But it also had a lot to do with people just being helpful.

Conferencing, networking, and putting yourself out there can be exhausting – regardless of how many times you’ve done it.  As a new NCPH annual meeting attendee I found the mentorship program helpful in orienting myself with the conference. It also took me a little bit to find my group – archivists and museum professionals who define themselves as public historians.  But they existed and were welcoming.  I think that’s another reason I love NCPH there is a such a range of professionals who attend from community historians to academics that you’re bound to find your niche. NCPH also encourages technology usage during sessions – so if you’re on twitter that can be a great way to connect with other attendees.  I personally love the “Hey, I know you from twitter” moments.

What were your experiences as a new conference attendee or new member of a professional organization?  Did specific events make you feel welcome at a conference? I would love to hear other people’s perspectives on first time conference attendance and building relationships within a professional organization.