OAH Call for Proposals

April 3–April 6, 2025 | Sheraton Grand Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Call for Proposals: December 1 – March 1, 2024

The OAH accepts full panel submissions for its annual conferences.



2025 OAH Conference on American History

April 3–April 6, 2025
Sheraton Grand Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

We welcome proposals for the 2025 OAH convention in Chicago in all categories of styles and forms: three-paper sessions; panels and roundtables; state of the field; chat rooms; lightning rounds, and workshops. The three-paper session, along with roundtables, have long been the most popular forms for sessions, but we urge contributors to experiment with other formats to encourage more interaction. 

In a departure from past practice, this OAH meeting will have no single theme.  We welcome all questions, themes, and fields, new and old, in the comprehensive subject of United States and American history.  We invite proposals focused on categories and specializations of history by gender, race, sexual orientation, region, chronology, or area study.  All of these areas of inquiry are at the center of our craft.  At the same time, no one need design a session to fit a theme, large or small.  We welcome all kinds and methods of studying American history.

We are hopeful that this approach might lead to more interaction across sub-fields, prompt us to discuss big and difficult questions, and make us stretch with discomfort.  Embedded within the program will be a few ideas that the OAH calls presidential streams of subjects. These themes may include the crisis for secondary history teachers; censorship, identity, freedom of speech in publishing and curriculum; new challenges and opportunities for historical prose and writing; the fate of the American public school/university; regions that do or do not define us; artificial intelligence and research and writing; why elections and political parties matter; how and why the Constitution is at the center of public discussion and protest; immigration, past and present; the Midwest and how to find and study it; readership, large and small; the politics of teaching American history; the place of shocking events in historical consciousness; and finally, whether the United States will endure its current divisions, and what might be the role of the OAH in monitoring and shaping that story. Proposals may indicate whether they might fit into one of these themes, but we invite proposals on all topics.

Ultimately, our goal is to elevate new ways to ask big questions about the past that can inform the study of American History in the present. The 2025 OAH annual conference is an essential place to present new scholarship and research, and we hope the meeting will stimulate memorable and lasting debates about the public crises and dilemmas facing our profession, our craft, and our society. 

Program Committee

Cochairs

Kate Masur – Northwestern University
Johann Neem – Western Washington University
William Sturkey – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Members

Mike Amezcua, Georgetown University
Daisha Brabham, Yale University
Christy Coleman, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Mandy Chalou, U.S. Department of State
Kimberly Hamlin, Miami University (Ohio)
Hidetaka Hirota, University of California, Berkeley
Emily E. LB. Twarog, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kyle T. Mays, UCLA
K. Stephen Prince, University of South Florida
Marcy Sacks, Albion College



OAH Policies of Participation

OAH Policies of Participation ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for all attendees, fostering vibrant discussions and diverse perspectives that enrich the collective understanding of American history.

Registration and Membership Requirements

All participants are required to register for the OAH Conference on American History. Participants who specialize in American history and support themselves as American historians are also required to be members of the OAH. Participants representing other disciplines are not required to be members of the OAH.

Repeat Participation

Yearly restriction: Participants may only appear one time in the conference in any given year, regardless of role.

Consecutive year restriction: OAH allows graduate students, contingent faculty, and early career scholars (no more than 3 years past receiving their PhDs) to appear in consecutive annual conferences, however, others are prohibited from participating in two consecutive conferences in the same role. Please email OAH meetings department with any questions about this policy.

Diversity of Session Participants

At its fall 2014 meeting, the OAH Executive Board adopted the following Program Committee Directives on Gender, Racial, Ethnic, Sexual, Religious, (Dis)ability, and LGBTQ Diversity: 1) The Program Committee will actively promote the full inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ people on the Annual Meeting program. 2) While not all sessions can reflect the entire diversity of the profession, the Program Committee will encourage proposers of sessions to include diverse sets of participants, addressing gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity, disability-based diversity, and/or LGBTQ diversity. 3) The Program Committee will encourage session proposers to consider the benefits of including on their panels historians in various career paths and of various ranks (i.e., senior scholars, public historians, graduate students, independent historians, and non-tenure track faculty, including all adjunct, part-time, and contingent faculty etc.) within their organizations/institutions. 

There are no bars against inviting doctoral students to participate, but sessions in which all the participants are graduate students should be avoided and senior scholars should be asked to do more than just chair or comment. Most sessions should include a range of scholars representing different age, generational, and career cohorts.

Scheduling

The conference takes place from Thursday through Sunday*. Though OAH committee and affiliate conflicts will be taken into consideration during the scheduling process, you must be available to present during this three day period. 

*Breakout sessions end on Saturday

Note on Time

All sessions will be 90 minutes in length. This time should be divided to allow for at least 25 minutes of audience participation.

All sessions will be 90 minutes in length. This time should be divided to allow for at least 25 minutes of audience participation.

We strongly encourage presenters to deliver ideas and arguments without reading directly from papers. Talks that run long reduce the time for the discussions that make OAH conferences particularly lively, vital, and interesting. When overlong papers, presentations, and comments eliminate the opportunity for meaningful discussion, the results are dispiriting for everyone.

PROPOSAL SUBMITTER RESPONSIBILITIES

Upon review of the submissions, the Program Committee will only announce a “pending acceptance” or a “rejection.” If you receive a pending acceptance it is the proposal submitter’s responsibility to ensure that each session participant, regardless of role, completes their speaker agreement within the requested deadline (typically July 1). Once all agreements have been completed, only then will the session be officially accepted. If the agreements are not received by the deadline, the pending acceptance is void.

The proposal submitter is also asked to inform the OAH at the close of the OAH Conference on American History if any session participants failed to appear without prior notification.

Please ensure each participant reads important notes prior to submission.


Submission Checklist

Plan ahead – What do I need to submit a proposal?


Submission FAQs

OAH Conference Participant and Proposals frequently asked questions.

Single Paper | Panel Building Tool

Single papers and chair/commentator volunteers are accepted
November 1 – January 16, 2024

Beginning with the 2024 Conference on American History, single paper submissions will no longer be accepted for consideration by the program committee during the regular Call for Proposals.

Single paper submissions will be accepted during a separate call between November 1 and January 16. At that time, those interested in commenting on and/or chairing sessions are also invited to submit their information.

After January 16, both those who submitted papers and those wishing to chair/comment will log into the system to identify possible co-panelists, connect with one another, and build complete panel submissions for consideration by the program committee. Please note that all rules regarding dual and repeat participation still apply to this new call.

Session Types

Please remember that all sessions except workshops are 90 minutes in length and that 25 minutes should be reserved for discussion.

High to Moderate Interaction Types

Lightning Rounds

6-10 presenters and 1-2 chairs. Each participant is given 5-8 minutes to present an elevator pitch on their topic in quick succession (50 minutes). The chair(s) act as timekeeper and moderate 40 minutes of question and answer. Virtually this option is presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted
via a Q&A box. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

In these panels senior historians and new professionals discuss a subfield of American history in depth. These panels have one chair, two or three panelists, and no commentator. These in-person sessions will be recorded. Virtually, this option is presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

Workshop

A workshop is a training session where the presenters work directly with participants to teach them a new skill or concept. Workshops are usually small, so the group can participate in the learning and interact with the presenters.Please indicate the length needed for the workshop. These sessions often have one or two presenters. Virtually, this option is presented as an interactive Zoom Meeting and will not be recorded.

Chat Seminar (In-Person Only)

45-minute seminars that encourage discussion, debate, and conversation about topics trending in the field of American history. Each chat is led by 1-2 moderators who are not content providers, but instead direct and guide the conversation. Chats take place over the lunch period on the Saturday of the conference only. Chats include one or two moderators, and no commentators, panelists, or presenters.

State of the Field

In these panels senior historians and new professionals discuss a subfield of American history in depth. These panels have one chair, two or three panelists, and no commentator. These in-person sessions will be recorded. Virtually, this option is presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

Discussion Groups (Virtual Only)

Online 60-minute seminars that encourage discussion, debate, and conversation about topics trending in the field of American history. Each chat is led by 1-2 moderators who are not content providers, but instead direct and guide the conversation. Participants will take part in discussion over Zoom Meetings. This type will not be recorded.

Roundtable Discussion

Roundtable discussions include a group of experts discussing a topic. A moderator leads the discussion, but all participants speak equally about the topic, with no distinct topic assigned to each participant. These sessions include a chair, three to five participants, and no commentator. This is not a paper presentation. Virtually this option is presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.


Lower Interaction Types

Paper Presentation (In-Person Only)

The traditional session format, paper sessions feature a chair, three or four papers, and one or two commentators. A paper may have one or more presenters. (Please note, each submission must have a minimum of three individual papers)

Panel Discussion

Panel discussions include a group of people discussing one topic, such as a film, a new text, or a tribute to a well-known scholar. Each panelist speaks on a distinct topic relating to the session theme. These sessions include a chair, three to five panelists, and no commentator. This is not a paper presentation. Virtually, this option will be presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

Debate

A debate is a regulated discussion of an issue with two matched sides. Debates have one moderator, two or more panelists, and no commentators. Virtually, this option is presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

Film Screening

Film screenings usually show all or a portion of a film and include a question-and-answer segment with the filmmaker and producers. Film screenings have a chair and one or more panelists. FILMS MUST BE CLOSED CAPTIONED to be accepted. Virtually, all films will be made available to registered attendees for at least one month following the live event. Presentations will take place as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded.

Advance Text Session

Substantial papers are offered online three weeks prior to the convention to be discussed in detail during the meeting. These sessions include a chair, the paper author who will make introductory comments for 5 minutes only, and one or more commentators, with a minimum of 45 minutes reserved for audience discussion. Virtually, this option will be presented as a live webinar. Questions will be submitted via a Q&A box. Paper will be posted for registrants 2 weeks in advance. These sessions will be recorded.

Single Paper

IMPORTANT CHANGE: Single paper submissions will no longer be accepted for consideration by the program committee during the regular Call for Proposals. Single paper submissions will be accepted during a separate call between November 1 and January 16. At that time, those interested in commenting on and/or chairing sessions are also invited to submit their information. After January 16, both those who submitted papers and those wishing to chair/comment will log into the system to identify possible co-panelists, connect with one another, and build complete panel submissions for consideration by the program committee.