Volume 12, No. 2
News of the Field:
Nothing can convey the magnitude and complexity of a communication network as can a map. Hence, maps provide our visual theme for this issue, which features global networks.
Apropos of global networks, Andrew Butrica and Pam Laird, your faithful editors, participated in a plenary roundtable a month ago at the 2000 conference of the Organization of American Historians, held jointly with the National Council on Public History. The session's theme, "Communication and Transportation Networks as Keys to Global History," fit squarely into the conference theme of "The United States and the Wider World." The cast was stellar, which I (Pam) can say without undue immodesty as I merely organized and moderated the session. You can find a summary here.
Extending discussions to technologies and the "wider world" stretched the usual frameworks within which the OAH and NCPH participants normally function. This showed in the relatively small audience compared to what we expected for a plenary session positioned centrally within the conference theme. In contrast, Mercurians can be proud of their cosmopolitan and skillful work on communication technologies. Our maps, announcements, and essays this issue demonstrate that yet again.
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