Response to Question #2
Nancy, I’d like to thank you for your contributions to the conversation so far. I hope that you are willing to stay in touch and also wonder if you would be willing to let Seth and me know privately by email exactly how you imagined the working group conversation was going to go.
Seth and I had hoped that the question we posed would be an expansive, inclusive one that encouraged the group to think about low/minimal compensation, moderate compensation, and high compensation. We were attempting to ask about scale of earnings and about success in the same question, not saying one has to have high earnings to be successful. In fact, we might have even intended to imply the opposite. In our eyes, success in public history comes from being a participant in lots of collaborations, regardless of compensation.
As to conference attendance, I can only write about my own experience. I started attending NCPH when I was a graduate student. I received no (or very little) financial support for attending my first couple of years. However, the network of contacts I made at those conferences has proven invaluable in my career. Without sounding like an advertisement for the organization, I would not be the scholar or public history practitioner that I am without NCPH. Although everyone must make their own determination regarding the cost-benefit of attending the conference, I can say that it has been an investment that has paid off for me.
So how to proceed?
Our inclination is to revise, but not abandon, Question #2. To that end, Seth and I would like to solicit suggestions from the group for a modified version of this question. We’ll wait a few days to give the group a chance to respond and then proceed.
I do hope that we can continue to build on a promising start.