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Meetings & Events

Meetings & Events

Thank you to the 1,900 people who attended the 2014 OAH Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia! 

Read about the 2014 OAH Annual Meeting 
View pictures of the conference
Watch the plenary session "1964 at 50: Remembering and reassessing the Mississippi Summer Project"
Watch "Is Blogging Scholarship?"
Watch HNN interviews with attendees

A Look Back at Atlanta and the 2014 OAH Annual Meeting

OAH Outlook, May 2014

Nearly 1,880 individuals attended the 2014 OAH Annual Meeting in sunny Atlanta this April. The warm southern climate not only provided a welcoming thaw for many who endured a brutally long winter that hit many parts of the country but also a dynamic and engaging environment to host a full schedule of sessions, workshops, and events.

In addition to the always vibrant receptions and social events interspersed throughout the conference, many highlights stood out. The plenary session on Thursday, "1964 at 50: Remembering and Reassessing the Mississippi Summer Project"—made possible with the generous support of the Georgia Humanities Council—reunited participants of the summer project for a lively presentation of first-hand accounts from that tumultuous summer in which 800 college students at the invitation of the Congress of Federated Organizations (COFO) participated in a campaign to awaken the federal government, and the entire nation, to racial oppression and violence in the South. Ms. Rita Bender, Dorie Ladner, and Charles E. Cobb, Jr. recounted their experiences during that summer. The plenary was skillfully moderated by James Campbell of Stanford University. C-SPAN's American History TV recorded the event, which is available for viewing online.

We were pleased to welcome back to the OAH meeting the Albany (Georgia) Civil Rights Institute Freedom Singers, founded by original SNCC Freedom Singer Rutha Harris. Always moving and highly inspirational, the Freedom Singers brought the crowd to their feet with their high energy and soulful vocals as they performed traditional gospel and congregational songs. Also attendees enjoyed the one-person play by actor Ian Ruskin, as he presented "To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine." We again thank the Georgia Humanities Council for its support to allow these events to be open to the public.

Not that this year's conference was just centered around fun and entertainment! The meeting was filled with more than 250 sessions, workshops, and offsite events to fit the needs of attendees. Throughout the four days, our tireless network of volunteers conducted the important work of the organization by attending hours of service committee and board meetings. Professional development opportunities kept dozens busy with workshops on oral history, "NPS 101: Doing History in the National Park Service," as well as many sessions on career strategies and preparing for the job market both inside and outside the profession.

The meeting concluded with the closing awards and prizes ceremony, OAH President Alan M. Kraut's presidential address—"Doing as Americans Do: The Postmigration Negotiation of Identity in the United States,"—followed by a reception, sponsored by the Department of History at American University and its College of Arts and Sciences, held in his honor.

We wish to thank the many sponsors, donors, our affiliated organizations such as the Labor and Working-Class History Association, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the Urban History Association, and others, for meeting with us in Atlanta. We also thank the many exhibitors who helped make the 2014 OAH Annual Meeting such a success. We couldn't do it without everyone's support!
For links to video from the plenary and OAH President Alan Kraut's presidential address, a list of the 2014 OAH award and prize winners, photographs, social media, and more, visit: http://www.oah.org/meetings-events/.

We look forward to seeing you next April 16-19 in St. Louis, Missouri!

2015 Annual Meeting St. Louis

We look forward to seeing you again in St. Louis, Missouri
April 16 to April 19, 2015—America's Center and Renaissance Grand Hotel

The theme of the 2015 conference is “Taboos”

Join us as we explore what historians miss when we avoid topics that have come to be regarded as taboo. How are familiar histories complicated, enriched, or transformed when we address issues that have been silenced or avoided in the past?

During recent decades, historians have approached history from a wide range of perspectives and developed innovative methodologies that have opened up new fields of historical inquiry and understanding. In all fields of history, however, certain topics remain taboo. The courage to challenge such taboos, to offer fresh interpretations and to ask original kinds of questions marks the historical work that most inspires us and often signals important turns in historiographical approach. In the judgment of the program committee members, challenging taboos does not reduce the significance of familiar topics, but deepens and enriches their meaning by enlivening the conversation they inspire. What explains our reluctance to place certain topics under critical examination, and what do we miss when we avoid subjects that have come to be regarded as taboo? How is our understanding of seemingly familiar histories complicated, enriched or transformed when we address issues that have been silenced or avoided? What taboos have been broken in the past, what silences remain, and what new orthodoxies have emerged over time? Are there topics we do not address because we believe that we will be penalized in some way for doing so? Conversely, are there taboos that we should continue to respect and defend?

The program committee hopes for a wide variety of forms of conversation at the 2015 Annual Meeting. 

See videos from past events here!