Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 2003. “Lists: Starting Points for Researching and Writing the Histories of Academic Departments.” Invited paper presented in the Professional Workshop: Writing a Departmental History, organized by Patricia Madoo Lengermann and Jill M. Niebrugge-Brantley, American Sociological Association, 98thAnnual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, August 15-19.


Copyright 2003 Michael R. Hill


The discovery, imaginative construction, and methodical compilation of lists is a productive initial strategy for researching and writing the histories of academic department and small professional organizations. When purposefully conceptualized as inclusive, list construction provides a methodological framework that curtails the seemingly inherent tendency of historical writers to overlook the contributions and participation of minority members of professional organizations – I use the term “minority” here in the widest possible sense, to indicate virtually anyone who by one criterion or another has come to be defined or perceived as somehow “marginal” or “unimportant” to the historical record you are documenting.