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WHEATS 2013, Signing Off

Thanks to everyone who came to WHEATS 2013 and made it such a rousing success! A special thanks to all our presenters, respondents, and sponsors who donated time and/or money to the cause.

A feedback form will be going out to all participants in the coming days so that we may update the workshop handbook for future organizers with your suggestions in mind. And if your department or university might be interested in hosting WHEATS 2014, please be in touch — the field is currently wide open, and your university would have the particular honor of hosting WHEATS for its auspicious 10th anniversary!

Have a wonderful spring and keep the interdisciplinary scholarship (and fellowship) going strong.


Workshop Format

WHEATS is almost upon us. Since the format of the workshop is a little unconventional, please keep the following in mind:

We will be discussing the work of eight graduate students over the course of eight 50-minute sessions. At the beginning of each session, a senior scholar discussant will spend 10-15 minutes introducing, framing, and commenting on the paper. The next 15 minutes will be devoted to questions from the audience without direct response from the author. Finally, the author will have approximately 20 minutes to reply and discuss all comments with the rest of the room. This is a nontraditional format that recent WHEATS meetings have tried out with positive results, and we would like to continue the experiment.

See you soon.


Publishing Panel

On Sunday morning, March 17th we will explore the publishing process during a panel discussion in the Golkin Room, Houston Hall. It is traditional to cap off WHEATS with a bit of professional development aimed at helping authors (and other interested participants) turn the feedback they’ve gotten into a product for publication. This year the panel will feature a distinguished group of scholars who will be on hand to provide guidance based on their extensive expertise in the following areas:

  • Dr. John Tresch, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science at Penn, will speak about monograph publishing.
  • Dr. Audra Wolfe, a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, and historian, will discuss the ins and outs of manuscript development.
  • Dr. Andrew Isenberg, Professor of History at Temple University, will talk about the process of submitting to and publishing in scholarly journals.
  • Dr. Benjamin Cohen, Assistant Professor of Engineering studies at Lafayette University will discuss the process of putting together and publishing an edited volume.

The discussion will be largely driven by questions from conference participants, so please come prepared to ask any question, big or small.


Field Trip to Bartram’s Garden

We are pleased to provide more information about Sunday’s field trip to Bartram’s Garden, led by curator Joel T. Fry. We still have a few spaces available, so if you have not already registered and would like to join please e-mail us at

This tour will explore the varied historic and natural landscapes preserved at Bartram’s Garden—an historic site situated in the 21st century post-industrial terrain of the Lower Schuylkill in Philadelphia.

Bartram’s Garden is the oldest surviving botanic garden in the United States. John Bartram (1699−1777), early American botanist, explorer, and plant collector, began the botanic collection in 1728 as a personal garden within a larger agricultural landscape. With Bartram’s lifelong devotion to plants it grew to become a systematic collection of new North American species. Although not the first botanic collection in North America, by the middle of the eighteenth century Bartram’s Garden contained the most varied collection of North American plants in cultivation in the world, and placed John Bartram at the center of a lucrative business centered on the transatlantic transfer of seeds and plants.

Following the American Revolution, Bartram’s sons John Bartram, Jr. (1743–1812) and William Bartram (1739–1823), continued the international trade in plants and expanded the family’s botanic garden and nursery business. Following his father’s lead William became an important naturalist, artist, and author in his own right, and his Travels, published in Philadelphia in 1791, chronicling his own explorations in the American South, remains a milestone in American literature.

Please bring two SEPTA tokens or $4 in single bills or coins for roundtrip transit. We will be eating lunch at the site, so in the hour between the end of the publishing panel and our noon group departure, please pick up something to eat and drink (see our lunch options map for suggestions), meet at the Golkin Room by 12 noon, and get ready to enjoy one of Philadelphia’s historic gems.


Keynote Address by Conevery Bolton Valencius

We are excited to welcome Conevery Bolton Valencius to WHEATS 2013 to deliver the keynote address on Friday evening, March 15. Her talk, “Vernacular Science of the New Madrid Earthquakes: Creating Knowledge in the Early United States,” will be delivered at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, which has generously agreed to host the event. The keynote address is open to the public.

Please check out the above link to learn more about Dr. Valencius’s talk. We hope to see you there!


Preliminary Program Posted

We are a little under a month away from WHEATS 2013, and are pleased to announce the preliminary program (subject to change) for the weekend of March 15-17. We are also happy to provide travel instructions, dining suggestions, etc. on our “Getting Around” page.

Mark your calendars, read the papers, and be in touch if you have any questions.

Oh, and if you haven’t already: REGISTER!


Papers Available

If you have registered for the March 16 workshop, the precirculated papers are now available for download. If you have not yet registered and plan to attend the workshop or any of the other WHEATS activities, please register now and we will provide you with access information.

Please read early and often! We look forward to your questions and comments on March 16.


Program Forthcoming

The official program for WHEATS 2013 will be posted here shortly. Stay tuned to this space for more details.


Abstracts now available!

The accepted abstracts for WHEATS 2013 are now available to read online! Check them out here.

And don’t forget to register in advance so that you’ll get copies of the papers when they are precirculated in February.


Registration Open!

Registration for WHEATS 2013 is now open!

Come one, come all. But be sure to register first! Registration will close on March 1, 2013.