APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-07 > 1248893392
From: Drew Smith <>
Subject: Re: [APG] APG PMC (Little Rock) Syllabus?
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 14:49:52 -0400
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On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Ray Beere Johnson II<> wrote:
> --- On Wed, 7/29/09, Drew Smith <> wrote:
>> It's invalid to compare genealogy conferences with academic
>> conferences (such as social science conferences).
> Perhaps this is one reason genealogy is not accepted in academia. As long as we insist on handling things differently, what do we expect will happen?
Ray, I'm afraid you're confusing two different kinds of conferences.
A typical genealogy conference isn't intended to be an "academic"
conference. But this doesn't have anything to do with why genealogy
isn't accepted in academia. Even if genealogy were to become a
"normal" academic discipline, existing genealogy conferences would not
somehow transform into academic conferences.
Consider botany. Botany is an academic discipline. There are no
doubt national conferences that are academic conferences in which
university-affiliated botanists present academic papers on the topic
of botanical research.
But there are also conferences that are intended for the home gardener
to learn better ways of growing flowers and other plants. A
completely different audience. A completely different purpose for the
In the same way, existing genealogy conferences (with rare exception)
are intended for the genealogy hobbyist to learn better ways of
researching their families. Their purpose is unrelated to the
academic development of genealogical theories or the presentation of
This is why it is invalid to point to academic conferences (including
social science conferences) as the way in which genealogy conferences
should be organized. Speakers at genealogy conferences are not
presenting "papers" that are intended to be read and understood by
other genealogy academics, and never presented again. They are
providing instructional seminars to the hobbyist genealogist (or to
the practicing genealogy professional), and the same topic may be
presented year after year after year (to new populations of hobbyists