Conference Reports?

Patrick Cox, H-NET President and Editor's picture

Hey there.

Is anyone out there interested in conference reports? I’ve been on over 100 list serves in the last 5 years and I have always thought H-Material Culture gets the most interesting CFP’s for some really fascinating events. Like the AAS’s Books in the Larger World, or this one on Aluminum! Fascinating! Who went to this one at princton on the materiality of emotions? Or this one about The Archive of the Future ? What was said about the The Materiality of in-Betweenness?  Our CFP’s (like our field) cover quite a range, including politics, chemistry, sugar, anatomical collections, rust and trash (not to be confused with garbage).

I’m often so intrigued by these CFP’s and I want to know how the conferences turn out even if I have nothing to present, but cost and time make it impossible to go to even a fraction of them. Live tweeting helps some, images crop up, occasionally I even run across some video, but conference reports can really help. I wonder about using a nifty tool like Storify to weave all these traces of conferences together right here on H-Material Culture. Compiling everything availible online, we could virtually follow a whole conference from CFP to final reception.

I can put together some of these myself with what I can find but I really think conference reports with full sentences and paragraphs do much to flesh out the Twitter feeds and photos. I don’t want to do this without intrepid reporters out there writing up their conference experiences. If you are out there going to conferences, if you were just at Consuming Objects or if you plan on attending The Art of Ritual and you want to tell the world about it, let me know and let’s publish some geeky techie material culture conference reports! We can even just publish traditional conference reports without twitter feeds! 

And as always, anyone who wants my job can become an editor and do this themselves!

Interested in writing a report, or working on this more extensively? Drop me a note at


Katherine Hepworth kindly sent in some Storify conference round-ups she created for a couple conferences. They're great examples of the multi- and media social-media type of publication that can really expand communication/knowledge/connection/information in our field. And as I said, they can be bulked up with more prose without being ALL prose. These particular conferences are not about material culture--they are conferences Katherine a professor of Visual Journalism! And here she is on H-Material Culture! See what I mean? This is an amazingly diverse field!

So here's one from The Nevada Conference on Digital Learning.

And here's day one of the AIGA Design Educator's conference Connecting the Dots. I like the way this one begins; capturing the unique scene and one of those quirky moments that happen at conferences is a neat way to create a sense of "being there." Here's Day Two.

So if anyone is attending anything, send your photos, your hastags, your text... and I envision compiling them all into forward looking, informative conference reports for the digital age!