Return of the Vann Seminar

vannGnomeEmory University’s Vann Seminar in Pre-Modern European History is starting up again this week for the fall. I’ve attended several past seminars and have always found stimulating conversations in a relaxed atmosphere. (Possibly the Emory students in attendance feel less relaxed than outsiders like me.)

Each seminar is devoted to a draft paper by a guest historian who also occupies the hot seat (or at least the warmest seat) during the roughly two-hour seminar. The focus is on Europe before ca. 1789, but topics have ranged around the sixteenth-century Atlantic as well. This Friday’s seminar, for instance, will discuss a paper by James Van Horn Melton on German migration to the British Americas. The German Studies department is co-hosting this one.

Joining the seminar is not difficult, but you must read the paper in advance. To receive a copy by email, google Emory Vann seminar — or go here — and use the contact information.

The standing policy seems to be to send a copy of the seminar paper to anyone who requests it. Of course, further distribution or citing of the papers is prohibited without the author’s written permission.*

I’ll omit the time and place of the seminar, to guard against someone showing up unprepared. But if you call yourself a historian, can find Aquitaine or Pomerania on a map, and are within range of Atlanta, you should probably be on the Vann Seminar mailing list.

* Note to term paper millers: I can see the wheels turning in your head, but be forewarned: These papers are nothing like the stuff you peddle to desperate students. Pirating them is bound to lead to awkward questions from even the doziest instructors, plus potential legal trouble for you. Stick to what you know. 

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