Making Use of H-Net

It’s not an “official” part of graduate school, but it seems as though the Humanities Net (http://h-net.org/) has become an important facet of graduate school life.

What is it? H-Net is a series of lists. Students and professors sign up via email and get discussion comments/questions via email. Scholars contribute book reviews, discussions, and share important announcements.

Why do people us it? It’s a simple way to stay “connected” but it is also quite simple to just delete the emails if they are uninteresting. It is a bit like watching the news ticker on TV in that sometimes the items catch your eye, but many times they do not.

Why you should be on H-“Whatever your specialty is” – Basically, this allows you to stay connected (as I mentioned), but it also helps keep the ear to the ground of conferences and job postings. Even though I’m not “on the market” yet, I still have an opportunity to see what’s going on with job and fellowship announcements. Also, it can be a publication opportunity. Students find H-Net to be a widely-read, yet low stress publication opportunity for book reviews. Students can/should also use the network to put together panels for national conferences. Sometimes committees will not accept one graduate paper to a national conference (AHA, OAH, etc.) but with a strong panel (including a known commenter), the committee is more willing to accept the panel.

For the sake of discussion, do any other grad students have horror stories about H-Net? Anyone want to agree or disagree with this advice? Feel free to comment.

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3 Comments on “Making Use of H-Net”


  1. I have found H-net and its listserves to be extremely helpful. With it’s help, I have helped organize two panels for conferences – SHEAR and ASCH – both of which have been accepted! It has also helped me stay on top of what sorts of jobs are out there in general. Always a good idea to keep the actual market in mind while writing a dissertation.

    As for the downside, some of the listserves are very, very busy. I had to request to be unsubscribed from H-AmericanStudies (AmStdy) because I was receiving 10+ emails every day, and almost none of them were as relevant to me as I had hoped the would be.


    • switching to digest is a good way to avoid to get too many H-Net mails: this way you get maximum one mail per day per list. Moreover, you could consider to filter all H-Net e-mails into a dedicated folder, as to avoid to clutter your Inbox. Using these strategies I am subscribed to at least six list, a few of which quite busy, and it doesn’t take me more than 5 mins a day to have a look at the headers in the digests to see if there is any interesting post,

  2. cfhgradstudents Says:

    Thanks for the feedback Brian. I hope some of the other graduate students can get themselves connected soon.


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