Scholars in a variety of fields continue to experiment with social media. One of the longest established efforts is H-Net, http://www.h-net.org/, a network of discussion boards that can be read as e-mail lists or RSS feeds. Many historians maintain individual or group blogs, and an increasing number are turning to Twitter, sometimes using the hashtag, #twitterstorians.
News from the Department of History and Art History can be found on the department website < http://historyarthistory.gmu.edu/> and Twitter feed <@histarthgmu>. We also have pages on Facebook < https://www.facebook.com/gmuhistarth> and a LinkedIn group for history alumni <https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=4654459>.
Scholarly organizations welcome graduate students into their ranks. In the United States, the main organization is the American Historical Association, which represents historians working in all disciplines of history. It has prepared at Guide to Graduate Study in History, www.historians.org/grad-guide-pdf.
Other associations represent more specialized groups, defined by their geographic focus (e.g., the Organization of American Historians), chronological focus (e.g., Society for Historians of the Early American Republic), or methodological approach (American Society for Environmental History). All have a variety of journals, newsletters, e-mail lists, websites, conferences, and the like, some free, others discounted for students.
Part of becoming a professional historian is participation in scholarly gatherings. Occasionally Mason itself hosts events, such as the 2014 conference on “The American Civil War in a Global Context.” Many more take place in and around Washington, D.C., at the National History Center, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, local universities, and other venues. National scholarly organizations regularly schedule annual meetings in Washington or nearby cities. Consult faculty members in your particular fields on how to keep track of these opportunities.
As in any graduate program, students can expect to learn as much from each other as from faculty. And while much of this learning takes place in formal courses, students should seek ways to get to know each other outside of seminar. Because ours is an evening program, and many students come straight from day jobs, it can be hard for students to find time to spend together outside of class. But keep an eye out for such opportunities.
Finally, one of the major differences between graduate and undergraduate education is the close working relationships between students and faculty. Since all of our graduate classes are small, you will have chance to get to know and be known by leading scholars in a range of historical specialties. We look forward to working with you, and to welcoming you to the international community of scholars.