Roundtable Beyond “Plan B” for Renaissance Studies: A Roundtable

AHA Session 170
Renaissance Society of America 3
Saturday, January 5, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Nottoway Room (Sheraton New Orleans)
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University
The Public Practice of History in and for a Digital Age
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

Session Abstract

Since 2011, AHA presidents Anthony Grafton and William Cronon, executive director Jim Grossman, and other colleagues have conducted an important discussion on the future of graduate training at research universities and, in general, the discipline of history in the digital age.  Affirming that the utility of studying and practicing history is a topic that concerns all of us in the profession, we will hold a roundtable discussion that addresses these questions in the context of Renaissance studies. While the academic job market and academic presses provide some evidence that the field of Renaissance history is in crisis, treatments of the Renaissance in television, film, and fiction continue to attract attention. Exploring how Renaissance studies can be relevant in new ways, discussants on this roundtable will share their diverse work in the field including writing popular fiction, educating non-specialist audiences, publishing in the digital realm, and experiential teaching.  In the process, we will examine the relationships between different modes and methodologies of practicing Renaissance history.  In particular, we question the current division between the way research is typically produced and presented for an audience of specialists and more popular presentations of Renaissance history, whether in a pedagogical or a public setting.  The overall purpose of the panel would be to suggest new avenues for collaboration between different practitioners of history and to consider new approaches to justify Renaissance studies in a changing academic and wider world.

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