History and the Future of Interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies

AHA Session 53
Thursday, January 7, 2016: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM
Room M301 (Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Marquis Level)
Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, University at Buffalo (State University of New York)

Session Abstract

What is the future of history in interdisciplinary ethnic studies? Disciplinary historians (understood here as faculty with graduate degrees in history) were among the founders of what we now know as ethnic studies programs in African American Studies, Native American Studies, Chicano and Latino Studies, and Asian American Studies—and part of the genealogy of programs in women’s, gender, GLBTQ and sexuality studies as well. Those programs have grown and changed through the years, and the time is right for a discussion of how history and historians fit into them. In this panel, historians who work in a variety of different programs will talk about the role of history and historians in ethnic studies departments today and possibilities for that role in the future. These brief presentations will open up into a roundtable in which participants and the audience can discuss a variety of issues, including the challenges posed by and possibilities opened up by teaching history in contexts that are explicitly and deliberately interdisciplinary. The roundtable will also be an occasion for historians to discuss professional issues, including navigating the job market for faculty in ethnic studies and publishing in a manner that reaches both historians and interdisciplinary scholars.

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