Friday, May 04, 2007

Bloggers and the AHA

This is an interesting post at Cliopatria - they had a great idea about proposing a panel composed of bloggers not about their blogs. EXCEPT, they forgot the gender diversity requirement of the organization. It's also been interesting to watch Cliopatria develop - it still reflects the inherent gender leanings of the profession. Personally, they are nothing but gracious, but simply look at the postings by women versus men and come to your own conclusions. It would be an interesting point to discuss - is the history blogosphere much different than the rest of the history profession?

The AHA has gender diversity requirements that apply to panels and such? Interesting! Do tell!
That's part of Manan's point, though: it's not a "requirement" but a recommendation. Our panel is religiously and ethnically diverse, methodologically and geographically diverse, and covers areas where the AHA lags considerably.

I think the gender issue within the blogosphere is a real one; I think the gender issue within the profession is a real one; I think the AHA's "solution" to the problem is cosmetic and unproductive.
Thanks, Jonathon, for clarifying more of the situation.

In reference to Profgrrrrl's request - here are some of the "guidelines" from the AHA website about the annual programs:

# The AHA seeks to avoid gender-segregated sessions. The Program Committee will thus encourage participants to include members of both sexes, wherever possible.

# Organizers should develop professionally balanced sessions, including established scholars, historians early in their careers, and doctoral students in all capacities.

# We likewise encourage the representation of the full diversity of our membership in the annual meeting Program. The Program Committee will therefore promote the constitution of panels representing the AHA’s racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, as well as the wide range of institutional environments in which historians conduct their work.

So, as Jonathon states, it is a recommendation, not a requirement but is at the discretion of the program committee. It sounds like there should have been an initial conditional acceptance instead of an "after acceptance" requirement - easier for all involved.

Here's the direct link to the guidelines if anyone is interested in more related info:
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