Sunday, July 29, 2007

Historical Sports Movies

One of my colleagues teaches a class on movies and history. He has an entire list of genres - good war movie, bad war movie, biography, etc. The one category he leaves out, however, are movies based on real-life sporting events. I personally get a big kick out of historical sporting movies, but perhaps that is because I like sports.

I also do have a favorite historical sporting film - Hoosiers. I mean how much better can a film be? A small rural team overcomes tremendous odds to become state champions. It also helps that the film focuses on the best sport EVER invented - basketball. But in the interest of fairness, I provide the list below of other historically based sporting films.

Remember the Titans
Cool Runnings
Cinderella Man
Friday Night Lights
The Rookie
A League of their Own
Chariots of Fire
Eight Men Out

Did I miss any? Anyone want to argue about the vast superiority of Hoosiers over these other films?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rain in DC

So it is raining in DC today, no big deal except that this guy in the subway was selling umbrellas for $5. I was like $5?! That is cheap! You can't even get an umbrella at a Wal-mart for less than $7. Who is this guy's wholesaler?

The Buzz in DC

I'm in Washington, DC this week to do some research at the Library of Congress and to go to a conference. What is everyone talking about? On the subway? In the Library? Coming out of the House office building?

Harry Potter

The congressional interns were bitching cuz the staffer in their office took an hour and a half lunch break to read Potter. At the LOC, the staff was abuzz with how long they had waited in line for the book and how late they stayed up reading it. On the subway, it was about what had happened in the book, whether or not they were surprised, and how it did or didn't live up to expectations.

I've always thought of DC as a city apart. It's kind of the graduate school of the nation - they worry about different things than everyone else, get caught up in things the rest of the citizens don't think is all that important, but today proved me wrong. DC really is like the rest of country - at least for a weekend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Berks

Well, I got my rejection email from the Berkshire Conference of Women's Historians yesterday. This was the third time I had submitted a panel and the third time it has been rejected. It is a good thing that I don't evaluate my entire career on whether or not I am accepted by women's historians - because I am quite certain I would have given up and become computer programmer if I did.

I am sure there are some historians out there who are thinking 'buck up- maybe your proposals are just not that good.' Okay, MAYBE, but similar proposals were good enough for me to present at other national conferences. I've been to the AHA three times, they love me at SHAFR, at PHS conferences there is standing-room only available at my sessions (this last one is a lie - about the standing room only - but my proposals have been accepted at PHS conferences regularly since 2000).

So what is the problem with me and the Berks? As far as I can tell, it is that I'm not 'edgy' enough. I write traditional history about women, women who are involved in politics and foreign policy. I can just imagine how my proposals have been viewed by the program committee.

Committee member 1: Oh, another proposal for a session on the historical importance of the clitoris.

Committee member 2: Haven't we already accepted proposals about 'The History of the Vagina' and 'The Origins of Foreplay?'

Committee member 3: Yes, but a scholarly discussion of the clitoris is so much different than those other panels.

Committee member 1: Very true. Are we all agreed it is in? (general nodding ensues) Good. Next?

Committee member 2: I have a proposal about women's involvement in U.S. diplomacy prior to the 1960s.

Committee member 3: Political history? How very 1970s! (everyone laughs and then my proposal gets thrown in the trash can without further discussion.)

This must be how military historians feel.

Of course to add insult to injury, the form rejection letter the Berkshire Program Committee sent was from 2005 - first line reads: Thank you for your submission to the 2005 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

I think I'll write back and let them know that luckily I didn't apply for the 2005 Conference, but to let me know when they get around to rejecting my 2008 proposal.