Dialogue not Monologue

Last week, I attended the Association of Midwest Museums conference in Indianapolis.  The official conference theme was civic engagement and public discourse.  At the sessions I viewed a broader communication theme emerged:  no museum is an island.  You must dialogue with your public, your fellow institutions, funders, and the government (at the local, regional, state, and national levels).  These dialogues will build the relationships needed to survive in the 21st century.

I will begin with the key points from the sessions I attended and then share the cool details from the various behind-the-scenes museum tours I enjoyed.  Continue reading “Dialogue not Monologue”

Reflecting on 2011: One Presenter’s Review of the Loyola Graduate History Conference

Chicago’s famous Water Tower with Loyola’s downtown campus in the background–the site of the Loyola Graduate History Conference.

In preparation for the ninth annual conference, Loyola’s conference organizers have reached out to previous conference attendees in hopes of having them write up some thoughts about their experiences at our conference.  The following post was written by Brian Sarnacki, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  You can learn more about Brian and his research here.

The conference, held this year on November 3, is an ideal setting for graduate presentations and especially welcomes public history content. Interested? See the call for papers.


As a second year graduate student, last year I wanted to get more experience presenting my work in a conference setting. I figured a graduate conference was a good place to get some feedback and practice in a rather low pressure situation (when compared to presenting at a major conference). I had a number of various factors I took into consideration: I was organizing my own department’s conference in the spring so I needed to present in the fall. My brother lives in Chicago so I thought I would use a conference as a good excuse to visit. Other graduate students in my department had attended Loyola’s conference the year before and recommended it. When I applied I figured I would I have a nice opportunity for practice presenting. However, I ended up getting much more than a practice venue. Continue reading “Reflecting on 2011: One Presenter’s Review of the Loyola Graduate History Conference”