Sunday, June 10, 2018

Female Historians Try to End the I-Didn’t-Know-Any-Women Excuse for Men-Only Panels

Following in the footsteps of other disciplines, a group of female historians unveiled a searchable online database on Tuesday listing their peers’ areas of expertise and contact information. The site — called Women Also Know History — is meant to make it abundantly easy to find female historians to invite to speak at conferences, quote in articles, or add to a syllabus. 

In March, the issue boiled over when an invitation-only history conference hosted by Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was publicized on social media. The conference included 30 panelists, all of whom were white and male — a stark example of what’s become known as a manel

The idea for Women Also Know History came from the initiative Women Also Know Stuff,which includes a database of 1,650 female-identifying political scientists. There’s also, Diverse Sources, a database of underrepresented people who can talk to reporters about science, health, and the environment, as well as online lists of female neuroscientists,astronomers, and physicists.

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