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A New Scholarly Society is Doing the Urgent Work of the Past - African American Intellectual History Society

A combination of factors — elections, funding scarcity and funder mandates, metrics for “impact” — has helped produce among scholars a burst of enthusiasm for public engagement. But in the last few years it may be that the urge to advocate and teach eclipses them all. Things that seemed obvious and of clear public benefit are newly vulnerable:  science now needs a march on Washington.

But the very thing that required the March on Washington in 1963 still demands advocacy and teaching. In a compelling turn, and at a moment when older scholarly societies worry about membership declines and formulating new sustainability models, a new scholarly society exemplifies a fresh approach to the history and meaning of race in America. The African American Intellectual History Society began in early 2014 as a group blog, founded by Professor Christopher Cameron of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Cameron undertook this work to “provide a space for scholars in disparate fields to discuss the many aspects of teaching and researching black intellectual history.” The blog soon acquired an organization, which begat some familiar scholarly society structure including officers, bylaws, and a program for scholarly communication. AAIHS officers are mostly early career, but also have a depth of experience as scholars and writers. The society held its second annual conference this past weekend at Vanderbilt University.

Continue reading at The Scholarly Kitchen.
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SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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