Late last week, historians of all kinds converged on New York City for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to AHA. There are a variety of reasons for that, none of which have to do with a lack of interest in what my colleagues are doing. Social media now provides pretty complete, near simultaneous coverage of many of the sessions, so I followed along with some that interested me.
There was a lot going on at AHA in terms of public history and digital history and how to be a public intellectual in the 21st century. At least two sessions focused on publishing, the area of public engagement I have been struggling with my entire career. History always appealed to me for its great stories. I have always liked to write. So I figured I could find a way to make the two work together.
Despite a 4-4 teaching load and limited leave opportunities, I have published two books, each with a different university press. You can see them on this website. I love both of those books. Few people have read them.
This AHA session on writing trade history is very illuminating:
Tomorrow I will write more about that leap from university press publishing to trade publishing.