2018 OAH Annual Meeting Wrap-up

April 30, 2018

Thank you to all the members and attendees who contributed to a successful and exciting 2018 Annual Meeting! Nearly 1,600 historians converged on Sacramento, California, for three session-filled days. This year’s meeting saw some changes as the format of the meeting shifted from four days to three, eliminating the dreaded Sunday morning sessions. That change, however, did not mean that fewer sessions were accepted to the program. To compensate for Sunday’s elimination, Director of Meetings Hajni Selby moved the Awards Ceremony to Friday, which, with a few other scheduling tweaks, such as slightly longer days, actually increased the overall number of sessions by seven percent, for a total of 207 over the three days.

An additional change was this year’s program committee designing a new series of workshops that were available to all attendees at no additional fee. These nine “Doing History” workshops were envisioned as a way to help members engage broader audiences with high-quality scholarships in a wide variety of settings.

A two-day OAH Film Festival also began on Friday, with a conversation with Cornelius Moore, co-director of California Newsreel. “This conversation was designed to recognize not only California Newsreel’s golden anniversary,” Moore says, “but also our past and present collegial relationships with historians involving our film distribution and production projects.”

“I hope that the OAH Film Festival provides professors with ideas about utilizing films,” he continues. “I am eager to find out what folks in the field will be discussing to generate new collaborations.” For a complete list of films screened, ranging in topics from the environment to racialized violence to student activism and including feature-length documentaries as well as animated short films, visit: https://www.oah.org/meetings-events/2018/films/.

Linda K. Kerber (University of Iowa, emerita) received the 2018 Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award during the Awards Ceremony that was held on Friday, April 13. “For over four decades, Linda Kerber has been a dynamic force in the expansion of American history, women’s history especially, a compelling undergraduate teacher and graduate student mentor, and a spirited institutional leader who has persistently pushed our profession to support scholars and histories as diverse as America’s complex past,” writes the selection committee.

For a complete list of award recipients, visit: http://www.processhistory.org/oah-2018-awards/.

In her remarks during Saturday’s business meeting, OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley commented on the role that grants have played in helping the OAH reinvigorate, reinvent, and reimagine its work, drawing particular attention to a new grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, honoring retiring Foundation President and incoming OAH President Earl Lewis. This two-year, $300,000 grant will be used to increase the participation of underrepresented groups at the OAH annual meeting, starting in 2019.

At the end of the day, outgoing OAH President Ed Ayers delivered his presidential address, “Everyone Their Own Historian.”