I get to go to Mankato!! I know it sounds too exciting to be true. Mankato, for those of you who may not be familiar is a city in southern Minnesota. Back in March, I sent in a paper proposal for the upcoming 2011 edition of the Northern Great Plains History Conference. I presented at the same conference when it was held in Grand Forks last October. Last year's presentation was my first ever presentation at a professional history conference. Some conferences seem to be open only to established historians that already have earned doctorates. The NGPHC, however, is a generalist conference that opens its doors to students. My paper last year discussed women in the West and the type of work that they did. The paper was reasonably well-received, which was a major concern, considering it was the first time that I had presented at such a conference (I had so much as sat in on only one conference previous to my presentation, so I was a bit nervous).
These presentations at academic conferences and colloquia are some of the basic expectations for obtaining faculty positions in the field of higher eduction, in addition to actual publications. Therefore, I sent in my proposal in an attempt to get another line on my CV (a fancy acronym for "curriculum vitae--the hopefully very long academic resume). In April, I received my official acceptance to the program, which will be held from September 21-24 of this year. My paper will discuss North Dakota Baptists and their nativist (a fancy word for anti-foreign and anti-Catholic) sentiments, and is tied to the paper that I already posted on this site related to North Dakota Baptists and World War I.
My presentation is tentatively scheduled for a session on "Religion"--imagine that. There appears to be only one other paper in this session, which will be on nuns in Southern Black communities during the mid-twentieth century. These conferences are a great opportunity to get positive feedback on work in progress. I am hoping to do some more work during the summer to expand this research beyond a single church to see if the conclusions that I reached previously are more widely applicable. I will post the completed paper on this site after its presentation in September.