Roundtable Inside Stories: Identity, Community, and the Historian's Subjectivity

AHA Session 3
Thursday, January 5, 2012: 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Armitage Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Martin Summers, Boston College
Rethinking Family History: Storytelling and Scholarship
Kendra T. Field, University of California, Riverside
Working from Home: Researching Lumbee Indian Identity from the Inside and Outside
Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This Is Not a Game: Thai Americans, the Academy, and Everything In Between
Tanachi Mark Padoongpatt, University of Southern California
From a Student Activist to an Academic: When Your Passion Becomes Your Project
Mario Sifuentez, University of California, Merced

Session Abstract

This roundtable features scholars of color—at various stages in their careers—who are engaging in research that intimately involves the histories of their own families and ethnic communities. Some of the questions, provocations, or insights that this roundtable poses include: What are the challenges in writing about one's own community? Do scholars of color in particular bear a greater burden in writing about their own communities? If so, what is that burden? Do scholars of color who write about their own communities run a greater risk of having their objectivity challenged? Is there a role for self-reflexive subjectivity in the historical profession? All of the presenters have grappled with these questions in one way or another and will share their experiences in having to negotiate the murky boundaries between familial and community connection and objective historical inquiry. Each presenter will speak for about 10-15 minutes and the chair will turn it over to the audience for a larger discussion of the issues.

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