Friends of USIH,
At the creation of this web log, we posed the following as a goal: “The creation of an annual or bi-annual academic conference devoted to topics on U.S. intellectual history and held in the United States.” How can we attain this?
It has been suggested that perhaps a more modest goal should be set. With this, someone forwarded the idea of creating a caucus with an existing society, such as OAH. This caucus would then help promote the study of U.S. intellectual history within OAH (or some other society). I believe this is an appropriate, attainable goal. But how does one form a caucus? Is it an official thing that must be “okayed” by OAH? If so, do we just write OAH’s President, or someone on the annual meetings planning committee, and express our interest? If so, I’m willing to do this. It’s time to get the ball rolling. Thoughts?
But should we also plan for an independent conference? This could be done in addition to forming an OAH caucus. We could schedule the independent conference for 2009 to allow for plenty of organizing time. Where should we try and hold it? Are Midwestern cities best for compromise travel? Should we aim for economy, or go for an exciting, symbolic kick off? Perhaps we could contact the University of Chicago? Is there a better symbolic place to begin our proposed renewal of U.S. intellectual history? If economy’s the goal, I could work on my present institution. A low-cost urban setting could be helpful. Thoughts?
All the best,