Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Trip to the AHA Annual Conference in New Orleans

Empires, Nations, and Families By Anne F. HydeAnnie and I just got back from wonderful, warm (comparatively) New Orleans, where we travelled to attend the American Historical Association annual meeting. It was my second academic conference ever, and we had a lot of fun the whole weekend—it was definitely a nice way to start out 2013!

We woke up last Wednesday at a frighteningly early hour to catch a morning plane, and got to New Orleans around 9:30 am for set up. We sent a smaller number of books for this conference, which allowed me more time to get a real sense of the strength of our history list. Some of the titles, like Howard Zinn's incomparable A People's History of the United States, were familiar to me (I, along with most classmates, read it and loved it in high school—it served as the antidote to many of the drier history textbooks that we had been subjected to). Others, however, were entirely new, and the long set-up time gave me a chance to get better acquainted.

The next day, the convention hall opened to conference-goers at 3pm, and as people started to wander in, I learned what texts history professors and AHA members are truly excited about. Anne Hyde's Empires, Nations, and Families was definitely a standout. We sold out on the second day, spurred, of course, by its distinguished status as a finalist for the Pulitzer, excellent word of mouth, and Anne Hyde's talk at the conference, which a number of people came to the booth lauding (Hyde also stopped by the booth to check in, which was very cool). Other big sellers were The Storm of War, Stasiland, Tinderbox, The Partnership, and A Train in Winter.

The conference was a lot calmer than my first one. It was nice to really get to speak with the historians who came up to the booth about what they were teaching and what they were interested in. A few told us how much they love our books for their students, which was really nice to hear.

It was a wonderful second conference, and I know that this is how I ended my post about NCTE, but it would be a crime if I didn't mention the food in New Orleans. I'm coming to realize that conferences = amazing food in new places, and I could not be happier about it. I think I may have taken a few years off of my life with all the artery-clogging deliciousness that I consumed, but let me tell you, IT WAS WORTH IT. I don't think I've ever been to a city with better food, which was definitely a nice topper to a great working weekend.


1 comment:

  1. Nice Post...