On March 5, Assistant Professor Hope Grebner presented on a panel at the Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) 2016 Conference at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. The presentation was entitled, “Windows/Mirrors, Yesterday/Today: Why You Should Visit Your Local Congressional Archive,” and focused on how modern congressional collections are a mirror into which we can see our own communities, our own identities, and the issues that shape our political discourse. Such collections are revealing sources for scholars of the American experience – the cultural, social, communications, political landscape – and the intersection of these. Her session introduced congressional collections as expansive – and largely untapped – resources for American studies scholars interested in the historical trajectory of contemporary issues. She also shared examples of how you can work in partnership with congressional archivists to support undergraduate instruction and research, as well as facilitate digital humanities projects.
MAASA encourages the development and sharing of scholarship by sponsoring a biennial Spring meeting. The MAASA meeting offers academicians—from graduate students to emeriti, and from independent scholars to affiliated professionals—an opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives in a convivial atmosphere. The theme of this year’s conference was “Battleground Midwest: Defining Who and What Matters in the U.S. and Beyond.”