Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Next Steps - 2

What else can you do to further your career or educational aspirations during your time at West Chester or any other Master’s program? Last time I talked about presenting your research, showcasing the upcoming Graduate Symposium this month. Today I want to talk about other ways to search for conferences and getting published.

Due to my deep entrenchment in the world of history and historical societies, all of my links here will be for history based conferences and publications. That does not mean, however, my means of research are not valid for you as well. Let's start with online networks.

If you were to go to Google and type in history networks, one of the first things that pops up is H-Net. This is a VERY valuable tool for any historian, and I know there are other "nets" out there for other academic fields. What is great about finding one of these online networks is that everything is sent via email - so there is no website you have to check every day. I get at least 20 emails a day (some of which I do delete) that discuss reviews of new books, conferences, and calls for papers. I even had the ability to specialize my threads by selected History of Science and Medicine. Perfect for me!

It also helps to email other professionals in your field. Networking does not have to be as hard as it sounds. I was a bit overwhelmed at the idea of trying to find a PhD program for my seemingly over-specialized, academically bi-polar brain. Since I want to study medico-military history, I contacted the Army Medical Department because they have an excellent program - but it's only for military personnel. The response I got was awesome and he helped push me in the right directions.

Because of the likes of H-Net and the AMD, I have been able to connect with historical societies for history of medicine and military history. I joined both the HSS (History of Science Society) and the AAHM (American Association for the History of Medicine), both of which had student rates that were VERY affordable! All together I think it's 60 bucks for both for the whole year. I get journals in the mail and email updates as well as access to all past journals on JSTOR. We all know JSTOR! It's awesome.

H-Net and the two societies also make Calls for Papers public on a daily basis. While many of the conferences are currently still out of my league, it does not hurt to apply and get your name out there. Don't see yourself short. Make sure you really dive into the nitty gritty of your field and make yourself known. You have gotten this far for a reason; let's push it just a bit more!!

Hope this was informative... Any questions, email me. :)