Little Berks Report

Posted on October 5, 2008. Filed under: research, travel, Women's Studies |

Interlaken Inn and Conference Center

Interlaken Inn and Conference Center

Yesterday, I drove out to the Interlaken Inn and Conference Center in Lakeville, CT to attend the second day of the “Little Berks” meeting (I was too sick on Friday to drive out and back — turns out that since I’m on the program, they would have paid for me to stay there. Oh well, it was less than an hour each way).  I arrived just before lunch.  Here’s a view of Lake Wononscopomuc, where we ate al fresco:

And since “Interlaken” means between the lakes, here is the other lake that I walked to after lunch:

As you can see, it was a gorgeous autumn day.

Now the schedule at these things is very leisurely — there was a good couple of hours between lunch and the business meeting, during which one can stroll, troll for antiques, or loll around as one sees fit.  The business meeting was very informative — we learned that Kathleen Brown, Professor of History at UPenn, will be the next Berkshire President.  A few proposals for the location of the next Big Berks were discussed although I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to divulge here.  I imagine there will be an official report sometime on the Berks homepage.

I heard that the weekend was supposed to be casual — so I fit right in when I arrived in jeans and a knit shirt.  However, no no told me that there was a tradition of dressing for dinner.  So, I remained in my jeans and shirt while others went back to their rooms to get into various levels of elegance (okay, a few others remained pretty casual too).  Apparently this is a hold over from the organizations beginnings in the glamorous 1930s.

The panel went extremely well.  Tenured Radical has posted the highlights of her talk at her blog and Clio Bluestocking plans to do so shortly.  I gushed at length about the possibilities of social scholarship and waxed nostalgic for the heyday of H-Women in the 1990s, when the list was a discussion forum rather than an announcement board. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the discussion continued for nearly an hour.  Hopefully we encouraged at least a few to consider blogging.

I neglected to mention that one way to keep up the momentum of the Sunday seminars at the Big Berks going is to have use the Berks  blog for discussion after (or even before) the meeting starts.  Or perhaps we can have carnivals of posts by women’s history bloggers as they do at Disability Studies, Temple U.  At the very least, I hope we can get a larger group of bloggers and/or digital history folks together for a panel for the next Big Berks (any takers out there?).

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4 Responses to “Little Berks Report”

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I’m hosting the History Carnival on Nov 1, I’d love a good showing of women’s history topics!

Hey–thanks for this report! I think your idea about linking the seminars to the blog is a great one–although of course, who knows if the next Program Committee co-chairs will consider the seminars a worthy experiment or not? (Not my problem now!)

[...] she missed the first night of the conference due to a bad cold, KC writes about a great idea of hers, namely, linking the Sunday seminars with the new Berks blog although as a place for starting the [...]

[...] can find a number of women’s historians who blog.  In October 2008, I was on a panel for the little Berks meeting with Tenured Radical and Clio Bluestocking. The Journal of Women’s History [...]


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    Heather Munro Prescott

    Heather Munro Prescott

    Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT.

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