WHA conference

Yesterday, today, and this weekend SSC is hosting the annual conference of the World History Association. This is a very big deal for the college and the history department in particular. Last year the conference was held in London, and next year’s is in Istanbul, so bringing this conference to Salem is quite an accomplishment.

On Sunday, I will be chairing two panels, but yesterday and today I am just hanging around helping out where I can.

Yesterday and this morning, I was working at the main registration desk, helping people find their name badges and get their conference programs and information. There were a number of badges that didn’t get printed properly for some unknown reason and we had to tell a lot of people to come back later. Most people took it all in stride, but we saw a few PhD-holding tenured professors throw tantrums worthy of a two-year old.

In addition to panels and discussions, the conference also hosts an exhibition by book publishers. One of the publishing representatives made an enormous fuss about the location of his assigned table, the signage for the conference, and the name badges and then started ordering people around to carry his book boxes for him. After he had been mollified and set up at his table, one of the SSC history faculty stopped by registration and remarked: “And that guy’s job is to get us to buy his books?”

Despite a few troublesome individuals, most people coming by for registration was very pleasant and it was quite satisfying to be there to help people get what they needed.

This afternoon, I am assigned to one of the classrooms where panels are being held to help with setting up the display technology, find tables and chairs, and take care of anything else the panelists need.

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One Response to “WHA conference”

  1. khj Says:

    Sounds like a very interesting experience! I like this line: “And that guy’s job is to get us to buy his books?”

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