The Freak Show that is the AHA

Over at The Edge of the American West, Ari Kelman’s giving out a few free tips on dealing with the AHA.  For those on the job market, or headed there soon, it’s helpful.
Some advice as well from PhDinHistory here.

For those who aren’t on the market, the AHA looms ahead, scaring the poo out of weeny little grad students (like me).  Kind of like a 30th/40th/50th birthday.  And like those auspicious milestones, I expect the AHA is not quite as scary as we’ve been led to believe.  In the end it’s an interview for a job, and we grad students should get a grip and deal with it as such.  That being said, the AHA interview does seem like a freak show: hundreds/thousands of candidates corralled into a big room, filing in front of glazed-eyed interview committees, doing their best not to look like the amateurs that we grad students are.  The more I think about it, the more I understand the extent to which our profession’s institutions and traditions create the conditions for utter madness or, at least, the social ineptitude which we historians are so well known for.