2022 OAH Call for Proposals

2021 OAH CALL FOR PROPOSALS IS NOW CLOSED. Decisions will be posted in the OAH User Portal in May, 2020.

2022 OAH Annual Meeting - Call for Proposals: Indigenous/American Pasts and Futures

NEW: Use the OAH Annual Meeting Crossroads to find collaborators or contribute to a proposal for the 2021 OAH Annual Meeting
Submissions will be accepted between December 01, 2020 and Februrary 01, 2021.


Call for Proposals:

Across the world, as many as 475 million Indigenous people—defined by and tied to long histories in place—struggle on the front lines of climate change, even as they fight the legacies of violent histories of dispossession. Their histories matter, both around the planet and in the United States. While historians now routinely gesture toward settler colonialism, and Native histories win major prizes, it is still the case that American Indian, Alaska Native, and Kanaka Maoli peoples struggle to find a place in historical narratives focused on American national politics, racial formation, capitalism, slavery, immigration, citizenship, rights, and other familiar thematic organizing principles. The integration of indigeneity into the field of American history has proceeded in fits and starts—and indeed, Native histories are still subject to the erasures predicted by settler colonial theory.

The 2022 meeting of the OAH invites participants to triangulate, incorporate, and synthesize Indigenous histories in order to explore questions and narratives that transform American history. Our provocations encourage specific engagement with place and space: How does the climate crisis shape our understanding of Native continental ecologies, the long tail of pipeline resistances, and pasts and futures with and without carbon energy? Can we reimagine a “deep” North American history freed of a Euro-centric concept of pre-history? How do we understand and recognize the nature of wealth transfer enabled by Indigenous lands, from the first treaties to the eminent domain seizures characteristic of water and carbon regimes? How does the presence of the Indigenous change the ways we talk about borders and immigration?

We invite participants to propose new ways of seeing the past and reckoning with its possibilities: How do American Indian histories change our picture of American constitutional politics, particularly in terms of the nature of rights-bearing subjects and political collectivities? How would an enriched dialogue among Continental, Pacific, and Atlantic worlds alter early American history? How do different forms of (Indigenous) racialization complicate and transform our understanding of enslavement, the carceral, disability, and domestic militarization? Might we better integrate Indigenous histories with the narratives of slavery and freedom, immigration and citizenship rights? How does the Indigenous transform understandings of gender and sexuality? Does a long and continuous history of Native futurities offer new ways of thinking about place and space? Might we consider engaging Indigenous ways of knowing the past that challenge conventional models for understanding temporality, science, and religion? Finally, we seek to instigate new conversations about American expressive and performative culture that center Indigenous culture-producers, particularly musicians and visual artists. Where and how do Indigenous artists evade the deep shadow of primitivism and shape the past and present of American cultural production?

The Organization of American Historians 2022 meeting will offer opportunities to consider these and other issues, as we invite papers and sessions that seek to locate the Indigenous in the broad sweep of American history. We of course welcome proposals from all areas and eras of American and U.S. transnational history, broadly conceived. While we imagine ways that the Indigenous might be linked to virtually every subject historians study and teach, the committee does not expect all papers and sessions to adhere to the conference theme. The OAH meeting will continue to be a site for wide-ranging conversation, a place to talk across subfields, to experiment with methods, topics, and presentation, and especially to learn from one another. The committee encourages proposals for panels, workshops, and roundtables that transcend traditional disciplinary and geographic boundaries, and especially that showcase work that reaches out to a broader public. We welcome teaching sessions, particularly those that involve the audience as active participants.

The program will reflect the full diversity of the OAH membership in the United States and abroad. We especially aim to include public historians, archivists, curators, and independent scholars as well as those teaching at universities, colleges, community colleges, and secondary schools. Whenever possible, proposals should include presenters of different genders, different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and different levels of seniority in the profession. We prefer to receive proposals for complete sessions but will consider individual paper proposals as well.


2022 Program Committee

  • Cochair: Adria Imada, University of California, Irvine
  • Cochair: Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina
  • Cochair: Suzanne Smith, George Mason University    
  • Eddy Alvarez, Jr., Portland State University
  • Matthew Blanton, Milton Academy  
  • Cindy I-Fen Cheng, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Michele Mitchell, New York University         
  • Josh Shepperd, Catholic University
  • John Troutman, National Museum of American History
  • Jason Ward, Emory University

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 Annual Meeting if any session participants failed to appear without prior notification.

Please ensure each participant reads important notes prior to submission.


Session Types

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

NEW: 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. 

Paper Presentation: The traditional session format, paper sessions feature a chair, three or four papers, and one or two commentators. A single paper can have one or more presenters.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Single Paper: Single paper proposals include a paper that the presenter would like the program committee to join with other single paper proposals or small sessions. The committee can only place single papers if other papers pair well to create a complete session. We encourage you to utilize the OAH Online Member Directory or use the NEW: OAH Crossroads to connect with other historians in your field to construct a full proposal for consideration.

Chat Seminar: 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.

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.

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.