From the 122nd Annual Meeting column of the October 2007 Perspectives

Presidential Sessions at the 122nd Annual Meeting

Barbara Weinstein, October 2007

The program for the 2008 annual meeting builds on the efforts of the previous few years to offer a more diverse menu of panels that reflect innovations in both format and content. Aside from sessions organized around the traditional three papers/one discussant configuration, the program boasts roundtables, linked sessions, workshops, a film series, and an expanded poster session. We are also pleased to note that a substantial number of scholars from abroad appear on this year's program, part of an ongoing commitment to increase the international presence at the AHA meetings.
The plenary session and the presidential sessions (a dozen in all) draw on a wide range of subjects, but most of them connect in some way to the annual meeting theme of "Uneven Developments."

Broadly construed, the theme calls upon us to consider how historical processes occur in uneven ways, and yield unequal distributions—by geographic space, social class, gender, or ethnic identity—of material, political, or cultural resources. The plenary session will explore the parallel processes in Brazil and the United States whereby folklorists located in more prosperous and "whiter" regions of the country sought musical authenticity within a regional community seen as rich in artistic traditions but poor in political and material resources. A panel on inequality and globalization brings together scholars from various disciplines to discuss current thinking on the historical roots of material inequalities. Addressing another facet of the theme, a panel on the uneven development of nations and nationalism brings together historians of France, colonial India, China, the United States, and Mexico to explore the historical challenges to the construction of uniform national entities and identities. Two linked sessions on narratives of difference and domination offer a range of approaches to integrating the history of masculinities into the field of world history. Focusing on postwar Europe, a session on material conditions and transnational citizenship looks at the way postcolonial migration and new global visions complicated entrenched, nationally defined material claims and interests.

The past few years have seen an explosion of research on the Haitian Revolution, and the richness of this scholarship will be on display in two panels, one on the state of the historiography of the revolution, and the other on the "Diasporas of Saint-Domingue" provoked by the slave insurrection. Two profoundly influential and widely admired books form the basis for two other presidential sessions: "Historicism and its Limits" addresses one of the central arguments in Dipesh Chakrabarty's Provincializing Europe, while scholars of Islamic history and culture will discuss Marshall Hodgson's multivolume masterwork, The Venture of Islam. "Beyond the Rainforest," a roundtable in honor of the late Warren Dean, brings together Latin Americanists engaged in innovative research on environmental history and visions of the natural world, and "Recent Trends and Challenges in Brazilian Historiography" explores significant new research on slavery, colonial rule, and postcolonial society. Fittingly, given the meeting's location in the nation's capital, the final presidential session is "Historians Going Public," which brings together scholars who seek to contribute to historical knowledge and debates beyond the academic sphere.

Presidential Sessions:

Thursday, January 3, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

Marshall Hodgson's The Venture of Islam

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 1

Chair: Afsaneh Najmabadi, Harvard University

Topics: "The Orient Does Not Exist": Hodgson and Said, Edmund Burke, University of California at Santa Cruz
Hodgson's Periodization and Terminology
, Louise Marlow, Wellesley College
Persian(ate) Exceeds Iran: A Brief Analysis of How Hodgson's Terminology Has Changed Pre-Modern Islamicate History , Bruce Lawrence, Duke University
Is There "Islam" in "Islamdom"?, Jonathan Berkey, Davidson College
Some Reflections on Hodgson and Modernity, Richard Eaton, University of Arizona
Hodgson's Narrative Style, Chase F. Robinson, The Oriental Institute, University of Oxford

Friday, January 4, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Historicism and Its Limits

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

Chair: Mark Thurner, University of Florida;

Topics: Historicism and Its Supplements, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
History on Equal Terms, Carola Dietze, German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.
Anachrony and Africa, Nancy Rose Hunt, University of Michigan;
Historicism, Time, and Secularization, Eliás José Palti, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes
The Abyss of Historicism, Mark Thurner

Friday, January 4, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Where Is the Haitian Revolution?

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 1

Chair: Laurent M. Dubois, Duke University

Panel: Madison Smartt Bell, Goucher College
Jean Casimir, Universite d'Etat d'Haiti
Elizabeth Colwill, San Diego State University
Colin Dayan, Vanderbilt University
Sibylle Fischer, New York University
David P. Geggus, University of Florida

Friday, January 4, 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Inequality and Globalization

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

Chair: David Ludden, University of Pennsylvania

Papers: The Political Economy of Globalization in Asia, Jomo K. S. (Jomo Kwame Sundaram), Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
Global Economic Inequities, Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development
United States Empire and Inequality in Latin America, Greg Grandin, New York University

Comment: The Audience

Friday, January 4, 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Diasporas of Saint-Domingue: Atlantic Itineraries of Slavery and Freedom

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 1

Joint session with the Conference on Latin American History

Chair: Laurent M. Dubois, Duke University

Papers: From Le Mans and Senegambia to Jérémie: The Converging Paths of a Frenchman and a Fulbe Woman, 1772–1803, Jean Hébrard, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
From Croix-des-Bouquets to Baltimore: Reasserting and Resisting Mastery, Martha S. Jones, University of Michigan
From Saint-Domingue to the Greater Caribbean: A Fulbe Woman in the Era of the Haitian Revolution, Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan

Comment: Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University

Saturday, January 5, 9:00–11:00 a.m.

Beyond the Rainforest: Latin American Environmental History: A Roundtable in Honor of Warren Dean

Omni, Palladium Ballroom

Chair: John R. McNeill, Georgetown University

Panel: Seth W. Garfield, University of Texas at Austin
Susanna B. Hecht, University of California at Los Angeles
Thomas M. Klubock, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Maria Ligia Prado, Universidade de São Paulo
Cynthia Radding, University of New Mexico

Saturday, January 5, 9:00–11:00 a.m.

Narratives of Difference and Domination, Part 1: World Histories and Studies of Masculinity

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

Chair: Kathryn Babayan, University of Michigan

Papers: Missionary Men: Early Modern Evangelization and the Globalization of Christian Gender Norms, Ulrike Strasser, University of California at Irvine
Under Construction: Gendered World Histories and Global Studies of Masculinity, Kenneth Pomeranz, University of California at Irvine
Neckties, an Unworldly Mission Church, and the New African Man: African Masculinity in the Mid-Twentieth Century, Wendy E. Urban-Mead, Bard College
Multiply Marginal: Labor and Trans-Regionality in the British Indian Empire, Indrani Chatterjee, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Saturday, January 5, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Narratives of Difference and Domination, Part 2: World Histories and Studies of Masculinity

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

Chair: Temma Kaplan, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Papers: It's a Man's World: Feminist Approaches to Transnationalism across the Americas, Heidi Tinsman, University of California at Irvine
The Manly Mongols: Uneven Developments in the History of Masculinity, Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Male Sexualities in Early Modern World History, Clare A. Lyons, University of Maryland at College Park
Scale and Difference in World History, Adam McKeown, Columbia University

Saturday, January 5, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Recent Trends—and Challenges— in Brazilian Historiography

Omni, Palladium Ballroom

Joint session with the Conference on Latin American History

Chair: Jose C. Moya, Barnard College, Columbia University

Papers: Early Modern Brazil, Stuart B. Schwartz, Yale University
African Slavery, Herbert S. Klein, Stanford University
Modern Brazil, Barbara Weinstein, New York University

Comment: Jose C. Moya

Saturday, January 5, 2:30–4:30 p.m.

The Uneven Development of Nations and Nationalism

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

Chair: Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University

Topics: Bad French: The Politics of Language and National Identity in Modern France, David A. Bell, Johns Hopkins University
Uneven Development and the Multinational State: India, China, and the Soviet Ideal, Prasenjit Duara, University of Chicago
Uneven Development and the Nation-Form in Late Colonial India, Manu Goswami, New York University
American Nationalism and American Memory, David W. Blight, Yale University
The Transnational Construction of Mexican National Identity, 1920–2000: Internal Strength, External Debility, Mary Kay Vaughan, University of Maryland at College Park

Comment: Gary Gerstle

Sunday, January 6, 8:30–10:30 a.m.

Material Conditions and Transnational Citizenship in Postwar Europe

Marriott, Marriott Ballroom Salon 1

Chair: Lawrence S. Frohman, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Papers: Muslim French Citizens from Algeria and the Welfare State in Fifth-Republic France, Todd Shepard, Temple University
Postwar Negotiations: The First Generation of Turkish Guest Workers in Germany, Jennifer Anne Miller, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Uneven Development and Utopia of Global Health, Young-sun Hong, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Comment:Bonnie G. Smith, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Sunday, January 6, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Historians Going Public: Taking History to Newspapers, Radio, TV, Film, Public Libraries, Web Sites, and Blogs

Marriott, Virginia Suite A

Chair: Warren J. Goldstein, University of Hartford

Topics: If We're So Smart, Why Can't We Help "Them" Get It?, Allida M. Black, George Washington University
Fit to Print? Notes and Suggestions from an Op-Ed Historian, Jonathan L. Zimmerman, New York University
Public History and the F(eminism) Word: It's Still "Not for Ourselves Alone", Leslie J. Lindenauer, University of Hartford
History in 1,200 Words: Dumbing Down vs. Smarting Up, David Greenberg, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Adventures in the Blogosphere: A Pilgrim's Progress, Warren J. Goldstein.