Our AASLH 2013 Program Proposal

Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change

AASLH Annual Meeting Call for Session Proposals

Proposals Due: November 16, 2012

Location: Birmingham, AL

Meeting Dates: September 18-21, 2013

Session Title: Using the Web To Untangle Yourself, Or How To Avoid Trite Museum Program Names

This session addresses issues related to:
Please check the most appropriate category for your session:
___ Administration
___ Capital Projects
___ Collections/Exhibits/Digitization
___ Community Engagement/Collaboration
___ Diversity
___ Evaluation
___ Facilities/Operations
___ Financial Management
___ Funding/Fundraising
___ Human Resources
___ Leadership/Governance
___ Marketing
___ Professional Career Development
___ Publishing
___ Technology/New Media
___ Volunteers

Format of Session (check one):
See full Call for Proposals form for definition of each category and minimum number of presenters for each format.
___ Current Issues Forum
___ Lab
___ Panel
___ Point/Counterpoint
___ Roundtable
_X_ Workshop
_X_ Full day or ___ Half day
___ Enrollment limit

Session Description (50-words or less):
If session is accepted, this will be used in the printed annual meeting program guide. Please do not use bullet points.
You will learn to avoid overused phrases by simply googling your proposed program title.

Abstract (250 words or less):
The abstract should focus on the following questions:

  •     What are the central issues, the significance to the field?
  •     What are the main points to be covered in the proposed session?

Creativity has recently come into prominence in museum discussions. Many of these conversations have focused on developing creative program content. However, many commentators don’t acknowledge that most program developers start with a snappy title and then fit the content into that. Further, most of these conversations ignore the fact that so many museum program titles are duplicates of other museum program titles. For example, many museums use phrases such as “Turning Points” or “Ordinary People, Extraordinary (noun)” as their titles or subtitles. This repetition could easily be avoided using readily available resources.

This session will introduce participants to the tools they need (Google) to avoid redundant naming.

We can’t teach anyone how to be creative, but at least they can learn to find out if they are being trite (we realize there’s no stopping the rampant abuse of alliteration among museum professionals). Still, we believe that if we can help program developers write more creative titles, perhaps their programs will be a little more original as well.

What are your primary objectives for this session? As a result of this session, what will participants know, learn, or understand? Minimum of three, maximum of six:

Finish this statement. At the conclusion of the session, participants will: overcome their innate blandness and be able to creatively name their programs. (yes, it’s only two goals, but they are pretty important)

What is your target audience of history professionals?

  1. Directors/CEOs
  2. Administration (Finance, Marketing, Volunteer Coordinator, Fundraising, etc.)
  3. Programming (Educator, Exhibitions, Public Programming, etc.)
  4. Archivists/Librarians
  5. Collections (Preservation/ Conservation, Collection Management, Curator, etc.)
  6. Historians/Teachers
  7. General Audience
  8. Other:____________________________

Session Chair Name: T.H. Gray
Title: Director-Curator
Institution: The American Hysterical Society
Mailing Address: None
City, State, Zip: Same As the Address
Phone: I don’t even KNOW you!
Email: thgray@yahoo.com
Check One:
___ Chair will moderate only.
_X_ Chair will moderate and serve as panel speaker

Describe chair’s credentials/background and what chair brings to the session
Limit 125 words

T.H. Gray is the Director-Curator of the American Hysterical Society. A graduate of the Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program, he has worked in museums for decades and after all these years he’s tired of reading the same titles over and over again.


About T.H. Gray

T.H. Gray is the self-appointed court jester and Dr. Demento for the history museum field. A lifelong museum professional and reenactor, he is a graduate of the prestigious Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program. Until 2011, when the AHS hired him away, he was on staff at the Benjamin Dover Memorial Museum & Swimming Pool ("Our History is All Wet!"). He remembers when museums were still about history, science, and art. BTW, all of these posts say they are by T.H. Gray because he can't turn off the byline. Credit, when due, is given. View all posts by T.H. Gray

One response to “Our AASLH 2013 Program Proposal

  • History reference center

    Oct 3 years ago, 2008· when we talk about companies that get very humble start, then a record of samsung can serve as the perfect example. It all going on 03 a single, 1938…history

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