Archival Kismet: Lessons in Launching An Online Conference


What is the feeling of archival kismet? And how can we reimagine the format of academic conferences to better support scholars? This episode explores:

  • The complex feelings of finding unexpected things in an archive.
  • Why using conference presentations as openings for scholarly conversations is important.
  • How Dr. Thompson founded an online conference during the pandemic, and her future plans for Archival Kismet.
  • What can make online conferences more inclusive and inexpensive.
  • Tips for feeling comfortable presenting online, even when things go wrong.

Our guest is: Dr. Courtney Thompson, who is an associate history professor at Mississippi State University, and the founder of Archival Kismet online conferences. Her research and teaching interests are centered in the history of nineteenth-century American medicine; medical humanities; history of the mind and body; history of women, gender, and sexuality; feminist science studies; history of emotions; visual culture; science and crime; psychiatry and mental illness.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

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Welcome to The Academic Life! On the Academic Life channel we embrace a broad definition of what it means to lead an academic life. We view education as a transformative human endeavor and are inspired by today’s knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy. Find us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN.

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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