Wow. I’m at the Big Women’s History Conference. I had dinner last night with the plenary speakers (OMG I am still in major fan squee from being allowed to sit at their feet and drink in their wisdom!) and with women whose work I’ve been catching up on, because it has more and more to do with my own. And throughout this conference, I’ve been struck by how much generosity there is — I’ve found that before, at the Late Antique conference especially, and at K’zoo. But it’s a bit different here.
The transformative part, though, is the realization that women’s history (and I’m not particularly a women’s historian) forces us to be inclusive in ways that more traditional male-oriented history doesn’t. I think many of us can and do regularly consider issues of class, gender, and race (where applicable), in our work, but it’s because we are interested. Women’s history seems to demand that those things be considered.
OTOH, I have heard two papers where the larger political and religious contexts were under-considered, IMO. Balance is good.
Otherwise, having a wonderful time, and am just enjoying myself, since I’m done with my paper!