CHA and Regina Extras

First Nations University Exterior

When I attend conferences I typically try to engage in a couple of activities outside of the conference programming.  This usually means scoping out local museums, heritage sites, and art galleries. While in Regina I was able to squeeze in a few local sights and engage in some more general Congress programming in addition to the sessions offered by the CHA.

On Sunday May 27th I had the chance to attend a Secret Feminist Agenda Podcast meetup at Malty International Brewing.  For folks who haven’t heard of the Secret Feminist Agenda, I highly recommend you download a few episodes and listen.  Hosted by academic Hannah McGregor, this podcast is a great example of digital scholarship.  McGregor has partnered with Wilfred Laurier University Press to develop a platform for the peer-review and critical discussion of the podcast. The meetup was a fantastic opportunity to be in a space with other feminist folks who are pushing boundaries and engaged in exciting scholarship. It was also a chance to connect with some folks from the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities.

I also had the opportunity to check out the Stonecuts and sealskins: Inuit work on paper exhibition at the Fifth Parallel Gallery which featured works from the President’s Art Collection, Shumiatcher donation. Though a relatively small gallery space and a relatively small exhibition Stonecuts and Sealskins included a number of impressive examples of early and contemporary Inuit print making styles.  The show included a couple of Kenojuak Ashevak prints, which I had seen before – but are breathtaking every time I see them.  I am glad I carved out some time during a break to check out this gallery space.

I also stopped by the beaded blanket collage by Katelyn Ironstar.  I loved the participatory art project aspect of this work and the idea of taking up space at an academic conference to reclaim traditional beading styles.  Essentially Ironstar was inviting folks to sit with her, learn about traditional beading, and contribute to a collaborative art piece. The space Ironstar carved out was both mindful and reflective. I think we need more of this within academic spaces.

There were definitely local spaces that I wish I had more time to visit during CHA.  But I am very glad I had the opportunity to step a bit outside the main conference stream and explore.  If nothing else, I now have a few things I want to see in Regina if I ever make my way back through that area.

Photo: Exterior of First Nations University in Regina.

Tweets from CHA 2018

I spent this week at the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) annual meeting.  I was pleasantly surprised by the range of context at this year’s meeting and was thrilled to be able to listen to so many great sessions on public history and Indigenous history.

I live tweeted the majority of the sessions I attended.  I tend to use this as a form of note taking, the tweets definitely aren’t perfect but they provide a nice summary of what was covered by the presenters.

I’m still thinking about the best way to preserve these tweets, but I have made one of the panels – the “Subverting Traditional Historiographies: Seeking Diversity in the Archives and Beyond” panel – into a Twitter moment.  I’d like to do this for all of the panels I tweeted, but it might have to wait until I have more time next week.

CHA 2018: Gathering Diversities

Highway and sky in distance.

Next week I’m headed to Regina for the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) annual meeting.  I’m looking forward to connecting with colleagues and to taking in a number of great sessions.  If you are going to be in Regina you can likely find me at the following events:

Monday May 28th

  • Bright and early at 8:30am I’ll be speaking as part of the “Diversifying Narratives: Intersections of Public and Digital History in the 21st Century” roundtable with Andrea Eidinger, Jessica DeWitt, and Jessica Knapp.  Join us in room ED 315 for great discussion about the intersection of digital and public history work.
  • From 10:30-12 I’ll be at the CHA Keynote Address featuring A.B. Stonechild.
  • In the afternoon I’m chairing the “Unsettling the Settler Narrative: The Possibilities and Limits of Material Culture in Canadian History” session featuring Erin Millions, Krista Barclay, Elizabeth A. Scott, and Susie Fisher.  We’ll be in room RC 175 from 1:30-3pm.
  •  I’m really excited that Speed Networking, a National Council on Public History (NCPH) stable will be at CHA this year.  I’ll be participating as one of the established professionals. A huge shoutout to Jessica Knapp for her work organizing this event.
  • To round out Monday I’ll be attending the Lost Stories Film Festival.  For anyone interested in learning more about the Lost Stories project, check out the posts from last week’s Active History theme week on the Lost Story initiative.

Tuesday May 29th 

  • I’m undecided on the 8:30am session.  But there is a good chance you’ll find me at the “Indigenous Education in Settler Settings: Interpretations, Responses, and Resistance” session.
  • From 10:30-12 I plan on attending the “Indigenous Histories and the Canadian Narrative” panel
  • The Active History business meeting is from 12-1:30 on Tuesday! Interested in learning more about the work we do at Activehistory.ca and about Active History more broadly? Join us in room RC 228.2.
  • I’m leaving my Tuesday afternoon plans open at this point, partially because there are so many interesting sessions to pick from.

Wednesday May 30th

  • I’ll be up early for either the “Categories of Colonization: Administration and Legal Regulation, 1850-1950” or “Agency in Education and Research” session.  So many good things!
  • In the afternoon I’m looking forward to the “Subverting Traditional Historiographies: Seeking Diversity in the Archives and Beyond” session and the “Working with Indigenous Communities and Concepts” session.

Other Activities:

Photo: Paul Trienekens on Unsplash

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.

Revisiting Beyond 150

beyond 150 logo

Remember that awesome Twitter Conference Andrea Eidinger and I organized in August? You can now checkout a select number of the Beyond 150 presentations on the Canada’s History Society website.  Beyond 150 was “designed to encourage collaboration, public engagement, and spark discussion about Canada’s history in a way that is accessible to everyone. It aimed to uplift diverse perspectives, unrepresented histories, and support the work of early-career and emerging scholars.”

The five presentations highlighted by Canada’s History Society include:

I’m still so very happy with how #Beyond15CA turned out. I have gone back to a number of these presentations since the event and used a couple of them in the classroom.  Have a great idea for a 2018 twitter conference theme? Let me or Andrea know!

Digital POWRR Institute Reflections

Long lines of white light on a dark background

Last week I attended the inaugural Digital POWRR Institute in Naperville, IL.  Since 2012, the Preserving digital Objects With Restricted Resources (Digital POWRR) project has been trying to breakdown digital preservation barriers to a wider range of information professionals.  Building on their past workshop model, the POWRR Institutes are designed to provide hands-on learning experiences, are offered free of charge as a way of breaking down cost barriers, and include sessions with digital preservation practitioners.

The two-day Institute in Naperville was fantastic.  It included a theoretical introduction to digital preservation, covered some of the big challenges of getting started with digital preservation, and included a whole lot of ‘playing with all the things’ opportunities where we had a chance to actually test digital preservation tools.  Hands-on workshops included an introduction to the workflow tools (including the open source tools: DataAccessioner, Bagger, and Fixity), web archiving, Archivematica, digital storage, and recovering outdated media.

The Institute was designed in the cohort model – it included 30 participants, but we were then broken into smaller cohort groups with similar backgrounds.  For example, a number of the members of my group came from small post-secondary backgrounds.  The cohort model allowed you to get to know others at the workshop on a more personal level and also allowed participants the opportunity to learn from each other.  The community skill building mentality that was fostered by the cohorts is something I wish more conferences would attempt.

For me the highlight of the Institute was the POWRR Plan that we created while attending.  Each participant was asked to survey their current digital preservation level and come up with a pilot project for moving digital preservation processes forward.  The pilot project was then used to build goals and action items associated with 3, 6, and 12 month milestones.  The Plan included tangible outcomes, small setups towards better digital preservation, and realistic goals.  Each Institute participant also had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with an instructor and develop their plan within that consultation framework.

I love the POWRR Plan idea. I often come away from workshops full of enthusiasm and ideas but unsure of how to apply them to my day-to-day work.  The POWRR Plan helped solidify steps I can make towards better digital preservation strategies and left me with something to reflect on once I returned home.  I am hopeful that in the coming months I can make solid headway on my pilot project and goals.

I would recommend this workshop to anyone with digital preservation responsibilities in a small archive or library, particularly if they have a limited budget or a limited staff.  Four additional Institutes will be offered in 2018 and 2019 and applications for the second Institute are now available online.

Photo credit: Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

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.

Beyond 150 Twitter Conference Update

beyond 150 logoRemember that thing that Andrea Eidinger and I are organizing in partnership with Canada’s History Society, Active History, and the Wilson Institute?  The schedule for the Beyond 150: Telling Our Stories Twitter Conference is now live.  #Beyond150CA is the first-ever Canadian History Twitter Conference and it is happening on Twitter August 24-25, 2017.

The conference  is designed to encourage collaboration, public engagement, and spark discussion about Canada’s history in a way that is accessible to everyone. It also aims to uplift diverse perspectives, unrepresented histories, and support the work of early-career and emerging scholars.  There were a ton of great submissions to the CFP and I’m really excited about the range of presentations that will be part of this conference.

And if you’re not presenting you can still participate! Use the hashtag #Beyond150CA to follow the conversation.  Additionally each 30 minute presentation slot includes 15 minutes for questions and discussions – so get on twitter, ask those burning questions, and engage with the presenters.

Not sure what a Twitter Conference is? Check out the conference FAQ page.