The graduate student caucus of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) organized a pre-conference on twitter to highlight academic contributions at the conference, and to provide an opportunity for those unable to travel to Riverside, CA to participate by sharing their own work and commenting on presentations. I was fortunate to be able to travel this year, but enjoyed the opportunity to develop an abbreviated Twitter version of my talk, which focused on the origins of the plantation oil palm industry in Southeast Asia in the first half of the twentieth century.
The tweet format raises challenges for historians accustomed to delivering a 15-minute talk (roughly a 2000 word paper). I don’t claim to have mastered the format (see Alan MacEachern’s excellent presentation!) but it was a great tool for focusing a presentation on a set of key concepts.