AHDC 2021 PANELS
All conference panels have been pre-recorded and will be released three at a time at 5 PM EDT on Monday, 18 October; Tuesday, 19 October; and Wednesday, 20 October. Check our our conference schedule to find the dates and times for live presentations, AMAs, and conference networking sessions. Click on each panel to learn more.
How do we write histories of individuals and communities whose existence is ignored or unacknowledged? When it comes to trans people, not only is the historical record itself full of silences, many historians and laypeople alike would prefer that they stay erased. Even queer histories shy away from acknowledging non-gender-conforming historical figures, for both methodological and political reasons. In a contemporary climate where the backlash against trans people’s right to exist only seems to grow in strength, this panel confronts the erasure of non-gender-conforming lives both within and beyond the academy.
AMA: 19 October 2021 @ 1:00 - 3:00 PM EDT
The games we play are often steeped in history. Many take place in a real or imagined past, drawing on both popular and scholarly understandings of history to craft a believable setting. Yet all games have their own histories, and some relationship to historical processes—even when the setting is in the present or future, the ideas they knowingly or unknowingly draw upon are all rooted in the human past. This panel explores these relationships between gaming and history, and what they tell us about both the history we leisurely consume and the games themselves.
AMA: 19 October 2021 @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM EDT
There are certain histories in which we often expect women to be absent. Whether it’s elite politics, war and conflict, or male-coded workplaces, we tacitly assume that we’re not dealing with women’s history, that these were spaces in which men alone were present and exercising power. But what if these assumptions were leading us astray in the first place? This panel explores the historical reality of women’s power and presence in what have long been regarded as male-dominated spheres, challenging long-held assumptions about the ways in which women have exercised historical agency.
AMA: 20 October 2021 @ 3:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
We all want to be remembered after we’re gone, but few of us manage the kinds of achievements that might make our names stick out in the historical record. For some, however, it’s not the lack of achievements that are the problem. History is full of forgotten figures who profoundly shaped the world around them, but whose memory has faded—or been actively [removed] by those who came after. This panel explores how politics, gender and race have shaped the historical record, and helped determine whose names we now remember.
AMA: 21 October 2021 @ 9:00 - 11:00 AM EDT
Unlike most traditional forms of history writing, historical fiction offers immersion into the lived experience of what the past was "like". Through a blend of imagination and historical knowledge, it’s possible to bring the past alive on the page or screen and offer a way for wider audiences to engage with historical settings and characters. This panel reflects on the complexities involved in analyzing and discussing these works with a particular focus on what it means to be realistic, how historical fiction shapes our understanding of historical figures and events, and both the joy and pitfalls involved when fans use historical fiction as a launchpad for their own research.
AMA: 21 October 2021 @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM EDT
Our collective idea of what history was "like" owes a great deal to visual media, with even fictional portrayals offering a visceral point of reference that the written word can rarely hope to match. The decision of how to portray the past in popular media can therefore take on a profound social and political importance, and history-based media often risks becoming a flashpoint in contemporary cultural debates. Different portrayals become highly praised or contested based on how far they conform to or challenge our pre-existing ideas about the past, particularly surrounding contentious contemporary issues such as race and national identity. This panel explores the tensions surrounding portrayals of the past in popular culture, and the power of ingrained assumptions about "accuracy" to distort and even erase particular historical narratives.
AMA: 19 October 2021 @ 3:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
Modern Asian histories have been profoundly shaped by European-led imperialism, which has ushered in new forms of trade, migration and conflict. All too often, these histories are interpreted through the lens of anachronistic national narratives, shaping our judgement of what events and experiences are deemed "important" and the ways that these are contextualized. Yet the full range of Asian experiences, identities, and responses cannot be contained within such narrow frameworks. This panel explores local perspectives on the encounters and ideas engendered by these processes of imperialism and colonialism, using Asian sources to tell Asian stories.
AMA: 20 October 2021 @ 9:00 - 11:00 AM EDT
Shocking violence permeates certain chapters of history. Remembering and recounting these stories is a vital aspect of historical work across many contexts. Yet even in the most well-known cases, the most marginalized victims of violence still have to struggle to have their voices heard. Histories of violence often don’t center victims, but rather tend to emphasize the perspectives of perpetrators and bystanders, reflecting the enduring power structures that helped enable the violence in the first place. This panel seeks to recenter narratives of violence on marginalized experiences and perspectives, challenging traditional understandings of what happened and why it matters.
AMA: 20 October 2021 @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM EDT
Settler societies around the world rest on foundations of violence perpetrated against the original inhabitants of the land. While open conflict has become less common over time, the resulting traumas have been perpetuated by brutal processes of forced assimilation. Even as these societies take unsteady steps towards acknowledging and attempting to reconcile this past, the reality of these histories and their incompatibility with heroic national narratives is a source of inescapable tension. This panel explores these tensions, seeking to carve out space to acknowledge the traumas suffered by Indigenous Peoples amidst wider processes of local and national mythmaking.
AMA: 21 October 2021 @ 3:00 - 5:00 PM EDT