2013 OAH Annual Meeting Wrap Up
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After four days of engaging sessions and panels, tours of the city's cultural and historical attractions, workshops, and many networking opportunities, we are excited to announce that the 2013 OAH Annual Meeting in San Francisco attracted 1,894 attendees. The comments and feedback are very positive about this year’s meeting.
“I liked the conference very much. In fact, the OAH sessions represented the new wave of historians who received their PhD training in the post-1960s era and the new approaches to history!”
"I appreciate variety in topics and formats, state of the profession and academic specialty.”
“This was one of the most satisfying OAH meetings ever.”
“The programming at the meeting was great, and the meeting seemed to run pretty seamlessly for such a big group.”
In the capstone event Saturday afternoon, Albert M. Camarillo, the Leon Sloss, Jr. Memorial Professor, and Professor of History at Stanford University (at left), gave the OAH Presidential Address titled, “Navigating Segregated Life in America’s Racial Borderhoods.” Prior to the presidential address, hundreds gathered for the 2013 OAH Awards and Prizes ceremony where awards for scholarly distinction in American history were awarded to more than thirty individuals. Jonathan Levy of Princeton University, scored an OAH award trifecta by taking home three prizes for his book, Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America (Harvard University Press). Levy’s work earned the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award for an author’s first book on American history, the OAH Avery O. Craven Award for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the era of Reconstruction, and the Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States. Read more about this year’s award and prize winners.
Many lively panels, plenary sessions, and gatherings of other historical groups and organizations who regularly meet at OAH added to the buzz of the San Francisco meeting. Among them were the annual Women in the Historical Profession Luncheon which featured a capacity crowd who came to hear two very engaging speakers—Nancy Cott of Harvard University, and George Chauncey, of Yale University—who spoke of their work in family and legal history, as well as expert testimony both have provided at court cases involving same-sex marriage and California’s Proposition 8.
C-SPAN's American History TV was on hand in San Francisco to cover several events, and interview dozens of historians on the latest research in American history. Part of C-SPAN’s coverage included the two plenary sessions, “Freedom Struggles,” and "Corporations in Public Life.”
This year marks the anniversaries of two major events in the history of black freedom struggles—the March on Washington's fiftieth anniversary, and the Emancipation Proclamation's sesquicentennial anniversary. The following scholars provided reflections on the long history of black freedom movements, their significance to United States history more generally, and their relevance for today: Clayborne Carson, Stanford University; Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago; Tera Hunter, Princeton University; Matthew Countryman (at left), University of Michigan; and Scott Kurashige, University of Michigan. Watch now >
After the plenary, Professor Clayborne Carson joined C-SPAN for a call-in show after the panel. Watch the call in show >
Corporations in American Life
In an age of financial collapse, Occupy Wall Street, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, and corporate personhood debates, many Americans struggle to make sense of the proper role of corporations in the political economy of the United States. In Friday’s plenary session, these scholars provided context for the national and transnational history of corporations in American life and the relevance of that history for today: Richard White, Stanford University; Naomi Lamoreaux (at right), Yale University; Bethany Moreton, University of Georgia; Karen Ho, University of Minnesota; and Hudson Peter James, Vanderbilt University. Watch now >
After the panel, White and Lamoreaux joined C-SPAN for a live call-in session with viewers.
Honoring Gerda Lerner
Friday afternoon friends gathered to remember the extraordinary life of Gerda Lerner who died on January 2, 2013 at the age of 92. (For more on Gerda and her life, see: http://www.oah.org/news/20130128_lerner.html) Lerner, a pioneer in women’s and gender history, transformed the profession through her many personal and professional contributions. We are pleased to share the video of the session held in her honor (http://youtu.be/PvXxn9DxgQ0). Before those in the audience shared their memories and reflections, the session began with formal remarks from: William H. Chafe, Duke University; Sara Evans (at right), University of Minnesota; Linda Gordon, New York University; Thavolia Glymph, Duke University; and Elizabeth Minnich, Queens University of Charlotte.
Careers for Historians
Important in the life of any historian is finding fulfilling work within the profession. The OAH, in continuing to provide its members with important tools and resources, launched in San Francisco the latest member benefit, the OAH Career COACH™: Creating Opportunities for the Advancement for our Community of Historians. This new resource is now online to all current members of the organization and is designed to help anyone with an advanced degree in American history navigate today’s job market.
As a companion to the OAH Career COACH™, several sessions and activities were held in San Francisco to support its launch. Dr. Kate Duttro, an independent career consultant and self-proclaimed “career coach to recovering academics,” participated in two sessions—“Articulate Your Strengths,” and “Online Visibility, Resumes and Interviews”—and was on hand to consult with meeting attendees.
In addition to blogs by Historiann and John Fea and others, our colleagues at the History News Network (HNN) recorded several sessions which are available via YouTube. Be sure to catch up by reading their daily updates from the meeting. Also, several videos are posted for the following sessions and events.
- “Real Jobs Outside Academia for Historians”
- Albert M. Camarillo’s OAH Presidential Address: “Navigating Segregated Life in America’s Racial Borderlands”
- “Research and Publishing in the Digital Age”
- “Eric Foner’s Reconstruction at Twenty-Five”
OAH Book Bridge Program
We would like to thank the many exhibitors who generously donated their surplus books to the OAH Book Bridge program. The library system of the City College of San Francisco is this year’s recipient of more than 650 books from the OAH program. The City College of San Francisco, founded in 1935, is the largest single community college in California with approximately 100,000 ethnically diverse students. Its library consists of seven sites and provides reference services and bibliographic instruction to assist students, including many who are studying history. Currently, the college offers 69 sections of history classes with very high enrollment numbers. The library provides print and digital resources in the areas of American, world, and local history, and also addresses the specific research needs of the college’s African American studies; Latino/Latin American studies; Asian studies; Asian American studies; labor studies; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies; and interdisciplinary studies programs.
Thank you to the many program participants, attendees, exhibitors, and our tireless volunteer members who serve on various OAH boards and committees, for coming together in San Francisco to make this year’s meeting a huge success! We look forward to seeing you next year in Atlanta (April 10-13)!