U.S. Intellectual History Blog

S-USIH Conference Cancellation

Dear conference participants,

I regret to announce the cancellation of this year’s conference.  The logistical difficulties, not to mention the concerns over safety and the uncertainties about the scope and duration of the current crisis, make it impossible to proceed as we had wished.  I am unable at this point to provide any information about refunds or any possibility of a rescheduled conference because CUNY is currently closed.  All of that information will have to come later, once things have returned to normal and the Graduate Center reopens.  But I wanted to give you notice as soon as possible so that you could adjust your plans.  Thanks again for your patience in this process.  And please let me know if I can answer any questions or be of help in any way.

Sincerely,

David Sehat
2012 Conference Chair

5 Thoughts on this Post

  1. David: I’m very sorry to hear this. I say that not because of the cancellation—the situation points toward your obvious conclusion. The unknowns, uncertainties, and safety issues dictated a cancellation. But I’m sorry for the the time, now seemingly lost, that you and Allison Perlman put into planning and organizing the event. Even though I wasn’t going to be in attendance, having engaged in this process myself, I had admired the roster of participants and speakers. You two did a *great* job. Kudos to you both. It’s regretful that Mother Nature intervened. Most sincerely, Tim

  2. As I said on facebook, I would urge you to find a technological way to recover some of the conference. People had made the choice to devote part of their week to the S-USIH. Find a way to recoup that time through a tech interface. I know this may be difficult, so I understand if it doesn’t work, but I thought I would throw it out there.

  3. I want to second Tim’s sentiment regarding the immense amount of work that David and Allison put into planning the conference. Let me express here the appreciation for their hard work that I would have expressed profusely in person in New York City. The cancellation of the conference is a great disappointment. Speaking for the Executive Committee, we regret any inconvenience suffered by those planning to attend the conference. Concerns for the well-being of everyone planning to attend as well as the situation facing those living and working in Manhattan dictated the decision. We know that many of those attending put in much work preparing talks and papers, and we acknowledge that, too. Finally, we appreciate the support of the CUNY Graduate Center and the Center for the Humanities, which was to host us for the fourth time this year, as well as that of CUNY’s Ph.D. program in history, Professor Martin Burke, and, in particular, President Kelly, whose support was instrumental to the conference this year.

  4. I’d absolutely echo Tim and Paul’s sentiments, and share everyone’s disappointment that we won’t get to fully experience what the committee and everyone had done so much to prepare. But I also want to give a strong second to Lauren’s point. Perhaps a silver lining to this will be the opportunity to see just how far we can push our technology to implement a virtual conference that does as much as possible of what the physical conference would have achieved.

  5. Fyi:

    The APSA (Am. Political Science Assn.) conference for 2012 (to have been held on Labor Day weekend, per usual) was cancelled b.c of the storm in New Orleans. (I wasn’t planning to attend and indeed there was an organized effort to boycott the conference for reasons I need not go into.) The point is that a lot of people were planning to attend and when it was cancelled, I believe some of them organized virtual panels. I actually watched one such session at someone’s blog; the quality of the transmission etc was problematic. Nonetheless, I mention this here b.c you all are (cough) historians and therefore may not be aware that a whole bunch of political scientists recently grappled with a similar issue. Some of you might want to ask pol. sci. colleagues if they know something (or know other people who know something) about the virtual conferencing that occurred. Might be helpful, might not, I just thought I’d bring it to your attention.

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