Message from the President - January 2014




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19 January 2014
Dear SAHSA Members,
Greetings from North Texas!   I am very pleased to be serving as President for the Society for Advancing the History of South Asia in 2014.   The current leadership of SAHSA has shifted over the last year, from New York State and Indiana to Texas and Illinois:  I am delighted to be joined by John Pincince of Loyola University Chicago, who is currently serving as Vice-President and will be SAHSA’s President for 2015.   John and I are indebted to all the hard work of the past to get SAHSA off the ground, and are particularly thankful for the mentorship of Past-Presidents Anne Hardgrove, Michael Dodson, and Lisa Trivedi, as well as Mrinalini Sinha, who have all offered guidance and institutional memory as we pick up the reins.   But we have not left the north and east completely behind:  We are joined by Faisal Chaudhry of the University of Pennsylvania, who has resumed the position of Secretary-Treasurer for 2014. 
This past AHA in Washington, D.C. was a great success for getting South Asia on the AHA Program.  SAHSA’s Annual Business Meeting, Drinks Reception, and SAHSA-CAH (Conference on Asian History) luncheon were all well-attended.   SAHSA sponsored/co-sponsored nine panels about South Asian history, in addition to the second annual John Richard Book Prize discussion, where we discussed the second John Richards prize-winning book, Douglas Haynes’ Small Town Capitalism in Western India: Artisans, Merchants and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870-1960 (Cambridge, 2012). 
For AHA 2015 in New York City, we are planning a SAHSA panel to discuss A. Azfar Moin’s The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (Columbia, 2012), which was awarded the John Richards Prize for 2013.   Congratulations to Azfar for his well-deserved prize!    In addition, along with the SAHSA business meeting at AHA, John and I hope to host a reception for SAHSA members and friends.  Last year we had a hotel suite and we are looking into some off-site locations. 
In order to help keep the South Asia history momentum rolling forward, we encourage members to propose a panel for the 2015 program, due Feb. 15th, 2014.   AHA offers a variety of formats and welcomes new kinds of sessions into the mix.  In particular, the AHA welcomes comparative panels and topics with broad appeal to the largest audience possible.   Below you will see details about AHA submissions along with strategies for submissions.
To sustain the activities we have planned for 2015, we have discussed instituting a modest membership fee. While we understand that many members will already be paying several fees for professional association memberships, we will have to rely on your support once more in the months to come. Please expect another communication about this later in the spring. Second, we will design and execute a new iteration of our website, to be hosted at H-NET. Third, we will complete our registration as a not-for-profit organization.
Our first priority includes encouraging all South Asianists to submit proposals for the 2015 AHA meeting. After the Feb. 15th deadline, we will work toward updating our membership database, website, and fee structure. Please stay tuned for emails about all those topics.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to share your ideas, suggestions, and concerns of how SAHSA can serve our needs in the profession.   We’re really happy to be part of such a useful and important group.
Warm regards,
Neilesh Bose, President 2014,
John Pincince, Vice-President and President Elect (2014-15)
The 129th annual meeting of the American Historical Association will be held on January 2–5, 2015, in New York City. The Program Committee welcomes proposals from all members of the Association, whatever their institutional affiliation or status, as well as from affiliated societies, historians working outside the United States, and scholars in related disciplines. The theme for the meeting, described in greater detail on the following pages, is "History and the Other Disciplines." While seeking proposals for sessions that explore facets of this broad theme, we also welcome submissions on the histories of all places and periods, on many different topics, on the uses of varied sources and methods, and on theory and the uses of history itself. We also invite members to employ and analyze diverse strategies for representing the past, including fiction, poetry, film, music, and art. The AHA is a capacious organization, unique among learned societies in its devotion to the full range of historical scholarship and practice. We hope that our program will reflect this strength, and to this end, we will seriously consider any proposal that advances the study, teaching, and public presentation of history.
The 2015 annual meeting will also continue the discussions, launched at the 2012 meeting in Chicago, of the ways that historical practice is changing as a result of the ongoing digital revolution. We thus invite proposals on what it means to practice history in this digital age, and what new technologies imply for how we do research, how we present our findings, and how we interact with a variety of current and potential audiences. We welcome proposals that focus not only on cutting-edge "digital history," but also on the broad implications of digital technologies for all historical practitioners.
We invite proposals for sessions in four different formats: formal sessions (paper presentations plus comment), practicums, roundtable discussions, and thematic workshops. Individuals or small groups may also propose the presentation of posters as part of a poster session, to be held on Saturday afternoon, in which historians will share their research through visual materials. Finally, members are encouraged to propose experimental sessions (see Debbie Ann Doyle's article) using creative forms of presentation not covered by these standard session types. Please consider choosing a session format that will most effectively achieve your intellectual goals, and will best foster lively interaction among presenters and between presenters and the audience. We also offer 90-minute sessions as well as the usual two-hour slots. To assure substantial time for interaction between speakers and audience, all panels, regardless of format, are limited to a maximum of five participants serving as speakers or commentators; 90-minute sessions should have fewer speakers.
Please consult the "Annual Meeting Guidelines" when preparing your proposal. Note that the Association encourages the representation of the full diversity of its membership in the annual meeting. Successful sessions will reflect, to the extent possible, institutional and career stage diversity as well as gender and ethnic diversity. Proposals for panels that do not include such diversity may need to be revised and resubmitted. Please note also that proposals for individual presentations can be submitted only as posters; single paper proposals will not be considered for any other type of session (see guideline 4.2.E.).
Proposals must be submitted electronically. Full instructions for doing so can be found at "Instructions for Submitting Proposals." With the exception of foreign scholars and scholars from other disciplines, all persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA. Proposals must be submitted in their completed form (that is, with full information concerning all participants and their presentations) by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on February 15, 2014. Proposals cannot be submitted after the deadline has passed; the system will be closed to submissions and will not accept them.
Questions about the content of proposals should be directed to the Program Committee co-chairs Francesca Trivellato and Andrew Sartori. Questions about policies, modes of presentation, and the electronic submissions process should be directed to the 2015 Program Committee.
—Jan E. Goldstein (Univ. of Chicago) is the president-elect of the AHA; she will be presiding over the 129th annual meeting. Francesca Trivellato (Yale Univ.) is the chair and Andrew S. Sartori (New York Univ.) is the co-chair of the 2015 Program Committee.