November 04, 2005

History with a Colon, Part

History with a Colon, Part the Second

In yesterday’s humble “post,” dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had some fun offering the titles of some upcoming papers at the all-important annual meeting of the American Historical Association. Naturally, without these weighty academic lucubrations, Western culture will pretty much tank, and we’ll all have to pledge allegiance to our new Islamist overlords.

Given the obvious import of these papers to the course of history, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we would also devote today’s humble “post” to revealing a few of these ultra-important gifts to humanity. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our federal matching funds at work.

At the crucial “Food and Reform in the Progressive Era” session, one Jill M. Nussel of the University of Toledo is presenting the meaty paper “From Stew Pot to Melting Pot: Progressive Era Reform through Cookery, 1890-1913.” We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Why stop in 1913? Perhaps we’ll have to wait till next year for the sequel.

Devotees of the great evil known as “conservatism” can relish the “Foremothers of Ann Coulter: Right-Wing Women and the Conservative Intellectual Movement in the United States, 1930-80” session. If you ask us, it’s very interesting that the academics in charge of such a panel have chosen this title. Normally, academic types are obsessed with discussing the plurality of things, wary of “essentializing”—hence you get “feminisms” for “feminism,” &c. But somehow these careful professors have no difficulty assuming all conservative females are merely the “Foremothers of Ann Coulter.” Would they argue that all feminists are the “Foremothers of Judith Butler”? Somehow we think not.

Okay, you say, so there’s some interesting stuff at the conference. But do any papers focus on gender and nationalism? Is anyone writing work on such an unfashionable topic these days? Well, dear reader, say hello to the “Gender, National Identities, and World History” panel, which features presentations titled “Gender and Nation in Recent Latin American History,” “The Gendered Nation in Recent European Historiography,” “Gender, Decolonization, and Revolutionary Nationalism in Southeast Asian History,” and “Gender and Nation in World Historiography.”

Wow—so this is the “herd of independent minds” about which art critic Harold Rosenberg spoke. Why doesn’t someone just buck up and write an article called “Gender and the Nation in the Solar System”? After all, aren’t men from Mars and women from Venus, or something?

But let’s not forget such essential papers as Carolyn Thomas de la Pena’s “Mechanized Southern Comfort: Tasting Technology at Krispy Kreme.” She got a job at UC Davis with such pabulum? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding us! The hour(s) of research at the local doughnut hole that such a project must have entailed!

Posted at November 4, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack