The Conference Badge: You in 100 characters
This article post first appeared in:
SELBY, Hajni G. "The Conference Badge: You in 100 characters" The American Historian, November 2017, 25.
The blog post 'Hey Academics, Please Stop Calling Me an "Independent Scholar"' by Megan Kate Nelson recently prompted an important conversation about the way in which we label ourselves, and thereby each other. Historians increasingly identify themselves as more than their affiliation, and those without a current affiliation (or non-academic/tenure-track affiliation) increasingly feel on the outskirts of an ever-shrninking group.
Using one's affiliation on conference badges (or in the program) only tells part of the story of who we are as historians. So we encourage all attendees at OAH meetings to reconsider what they list on their badge. Networking happens best when people are not contrained by a specific set of parameters. Present yourself in the way that works best for you. Looking to find other attendees who share your research interests? List your areas of expertise. Wnt to engage with colleagues on twitter? Share your handle. Produce an awesome podcast? List it! Be creative. You've got 100 characters, make the most of them.