The Practice of History: A Kathleen Canning Frame of Mind


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Kathleen Canning
Event Date: 
December 15, 2017
Event Time: 
10:00am to 6:00pm
Tisch Hall 1014
Kathleen Canning

2-Day Conference

Thursday, Dec. 14 / 2am - 6pm

Friday, Dec. 15 / 10am - 6pm

Kathleen Canning’s work has transformed the way we do history and her indefatigable spirit has inspired scholars and students here at the University of Michigan and beyond. This symposium will bring together scholars whose work has been inspired by her writings and teaching and students whose careers she supported and shaped, with the purpose of marking her transition from the University of Michigan to Rice University, where she will serve as Dean of Humanities.

The Practice of History will feature a keynote lecture in Canning’s honor by Tracie Matysik (University of Texas, Austin) and bring together leading scholars, colleagues, and former students of Canning’s to reflect on her numerous contributions in four panels. In a first session, colleagues from Michigan and elsewhere will consider how Canning’s work has shaped the field of German History. A second session on Citizenship and Gender will engage with her most important historical and theoretical arguments to illustrate how they continue to transform historical understanding of categories such as gender, citizenship, experience, practice and participation. The third session, features some of Canning’s more recent former students who will comment on the key role her work and mentorship have played in their education, their development as scholars, and their current careers. The last session “Kathleen and the World” brings together scholars who work in non-European fields to reflect on the breadth and reach of Canning’s influence.

Besides celebrating the scholarship and educational vision of Kathleen Canning, The Practice of History also seeks to remind us all of the extraordinary citizen, colleague, mentor. and friend she has been to her Michigan students and colleagues as well as to scholars, thinkers, and activists elsewhere. Her work has never been purely abstract. Her labor has never been only theoretical. Her scholarship is marked most by its heartfelt connections to actual people and places, both in the now and in the past and driven by her deep commitment to activism, practice, empowerment, and enjoyment.

This event is cosponsored by Department of History, The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Comparative Literature, Rackham Graduate School, Center for European Studies, Women's Studies Department, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Department of Sociology, and Germanic Languages & Literatures.