Recently, a friend and fellow historian read a section of my manuscript for me. She made an acute observation about the ways my protagonists consistently dug deep into the past whenever faced with a new conflict or challenge. "Interesting how they always take the long view," she noted in a comment. The long view. I love the phrase. So much so, in fact, that I am determined to use it. I might even incorporate it into the title of my book when it emerges. I will acknowledge my colleague's general brilliance and specific contribution in the acknolwedgements that preface the book. I will figure out a way to cite her. If her phrase makes it into the title, I will buy her a bottle of wine. As a tenured faculty member at a research university, my colleague will probably feel duly recognized and appreciated. This, after all, is part of our job -- to exchange ideas freely for the benefit of others. As a tenure-track faculty member at a regional public university, I too
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I went to numerous conferences this year. It was a nice perk of being a fellow at the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies . Sharing my work on participatory cultural memory, I was on panels with literary theorists, social workers, psychologists, planners, musicologists and geographers. Traveling outside my academic "home" of public history was a learning experience for me. I love my sub-discipline and have long been a booster for public history as a rich community of practitioners and scholars. When one of my students attended her first National Council on Public History annual meeting a few weeks ago in Indianapolis and declared of attendees, "I can honestly say these were the most supportive people I have ever met in my life," my reaction was, "Yes - of course. That is who we are ."