April 24, 2015

Job Announcement: VAP in American Religions @ University of Wyoming

The Religious Studies department at the University of Wyoming announces a one-year position in American religions at the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor or instructor, beginning in August 2015.  Responsibilities include five undergraduate-level courses over the academic year, with at least one of these taught online.

Required qualifications: Ph.D. in Religious Studies or related discipline, or evidence of imminent completion of the degree; demonstrated expertise in American religions.

Preferred qualifications: Specialization in religion in the American West; ample experience in undergraduate teaching.

To apply: Submit a cover letter and CV, as email attachments to: relstudies@uwyo.edu.  Please include names and contact information for three recommenders in cover letter.

Review of applications begins May 5, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled.

Direct any inquiries regarding this position to Quincy D. Newell, qdnewell@uwyo.edu.

The full job ad can be found here.

The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy.  Please see www.uwyo.edu/diversity/fairness.

We conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of the background check.

April 20, 2015

OAH Presidential Address: On Social Amnesia and Neutrality as Public Performance

This past weekend Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, delivered the presidential address at the OAH 2015 annual meeting. Her address, "Historians as Public Intellectuals: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, Seen from the Interior" considered how historians can help society avoid amnesia.

To revive the profession and its place in American culture, Limerick encouraged members of the Organization of American Historians to think less about professors and the academy and more about the story, or stories, that bring life to their work. Limerick used herself as an example of a historian who lived the kind transition she is encouraging: moving from an early career scholar focused on speaking to her field (with monographs like Legacy of Conquest) to a historian who speaks to a larger public audience about the importance of historical context (writing briefs for Congress, hosting public events and forums through the Center of the American West, and applying historical methods to endeavors other writing books).  In both kinds of efforts, Limerick sees her role as supplying historical perspective in order to better understand and shape the future. Rather than detract from her role or status as a scholar, Limerick argues that her work engaging the public brings greater credibility to her scholarship and enhances her purpose as a historian.

Limerick's speech is well timed as as the April 2015 issue of Perspectives on History also considers the current state of the profession. Perspectives provide a roundtable on a related concern: "History as a Book Discipline. It's worth reading after watching the entire presidential address, which can be found here courtesy of History News Network. 

April 13, 2015

Meet Me in St. Louis

Daniel Schwen, "St. Louis on the Mississippi River by night," January 27, 2008.
 The 2015 meeting of the Organization of American Historians is coming up this weekend: April 16-19.  (The program can be found here.) The theme is this year is "Taboos" with panels that promise to discuss "what historians miss when we avoid topics that have come to be regarded as taboo."

Readers of Religion in the American West will not be disappointed. Here's a brief round up of panels that may be of interest.

Thursday, April 16, 12:00-1:30PM
Citizenship, Nationhood, and Power in Indian Country

Constitutional Law and History or Constitutional Law in History

Friday, April 17 9:00-10:30AM

The Civil War Era and the American West: Unifying Concepts for Scholars, Students, and Museum Goers

Tradition and Taboo in Asian American History

Writing U.S. History: The View from Mexico

Friday, April 17 10:50AM-12:20PM

New Directions in Asian American History
Indigenous Perceptions of Nineteenth Century Treaty Making

Friday, April 17 1:50PM-3:20PM

State of the Field: 19th Century Indigenous and American Indian History

Challenges of Indigenous Women’s and Gender History

Saturday, April 18, 9:00AM-10:30AM

Looking North and West: New Directions in the Study of Free African Americans

The Limits of Freedom: Labor, Violence, and Coercion in the American West
Saturday, April 18, 10:50AM-12:20PM 

Rediscovering the Lost World of Midwestern History

Sex, Religion, and the Outlaw Teachers: Taboo Topics in the History of American Education

Saturday, April 18, 1:50PM-3:20PM

Indigenous Rights and Resistance in Alaska (Twentieth Century)

Memorializing Massacres in the American West
Radical Political HIstories of the Midwest

Saturday, April 18, 5:15PM

Presidential Address: Historians as Public Intellectuals: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, Seen from the Interior
In addition to the panels, St. Louis includes plenty of opportunity for research. According to St. Louis Public Radio, the Missouri History Museum holds the largest collection of Native American artifacts outside the Native American Museum in Washington, D.C. "St. Louis is Rich With Art Collections of the American West" gives other suggestions for research as well, like Washington University's Kemper Art Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum (which has the memorable url slam.org).