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

The OAH proposal submission system is accessed via the OAH User Portal during the open period. It is advisable to collect all information ahead of time in order to simplify and reduce any frustrations for the proposal submitter. The below information is intended as a guide to simplify the process.

Submission Checklist

1. Ensure diversity on your panel.  Ideal session proposals will actively promote and include diverse sets of participants, addressing gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity, disability-based diversity, and/or LGBTQ diversity. The Program Committee encourages session proposers to consider the benefits of including historians in various career paths and of various ranks (i.e., senior scholars, public historians, graduate students, independent historians, etc.) within their organizations/institutions. Most sessions should include a range of scholars representing different age, generational, and career cohorts. 

2. Only submit once, either individually or as part of a session, including as a chair or commentator. Please ensure that your fellow participants are also only submitting on one proposal. If you appear on more than one submission you will be asked to drop one, rendering the submission incomplete. 

3. Submit on time. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 11:59 PM (ET). The OAH will not accept any submissions after this date. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

4. Submit as part of a complete session. Though the Program Committee will consider single paper submissions and make every attempt to match the single paper with other papers, chance of acceptance is greater if the paper is part of a cohesive session. We know it can be difficult to reach out to people you may not know so we encourage you to call for collaborators on the OAH Connected Community or twitter using the handle @The_OAH. 

5. Determine whether your group plans to participate in-person or virtually. The in-person and virtual series are two separate events and are not interchnageable. Please ensure that all participants agree to the policies to take part in either event. For the in-person event, participants will need to register, become members (if U.S. historians), and cover all travel costs. Virtual participants will have to register and become members of the OAH (if they are U.S. historians).

Information needed for sessions

Session Types

There are several different "types" of proposals that are available for submission via the portal. All types need the same information, however some, like "paper presentations," will need additional information. To view a full list of types please click here.

Information needed for all submission types

  • Title - please ensure you input the title exactly as you would like it to appear in the print program
  • Abstract - the abstract should be no longer than 500 words. This is the abstract that is sent to the program committee to review and will be listed in the mobile app
  • Choose three subject areas and one time period for the list below


19th Century     20th Century     21st Century      Early America     Survey


African American

Agricultural and Rural

Animal Studies


Archives and Bibliography

Asian American



Business and Economy

Civil War and Reconstruction


Consumerism and Consumption

Crime and Violence


Digital History

Disability Studies








Gender and Sexuality


Gilded Age & Progressive Era

Immigration and Internal Migration


International Relations

Labor and Working-Class


Legal and Constitutional

LGBTQ History and Queer Studies

Local and Community History

Material Culture and Architecture

Media and Communications

Medical History





National Park Service

Nationalism and Transnationalism

Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples

Oral History


Popular Culture



Print Culture

Professional Development

Public History and Memory



Science and Technology

Science, Medicine, and Public Health



Social and Cultural

Social Welfare and Public Health


Sports and Recreation

Teaching and Pedagogy

Theory and Methodology

Transportation, Travel, and Exploration

Urban and Suburban

Visual and Performing Arts


Women's History


Additional/Optional Information needed

  • For all types except "paper presentations" - 100 word abstract. This information will be printed in the program
  • For "paper presentations" only - Paper titles and up to 250 word abstract for each
  • If your proposal is solicited by an affiliate group note this in the "Solicited by Committee or Association" field. If your session is not solicited please leave blank
  • The "Additional Information" field is provided for any information you would like the program committee to be aware of, such as order of presentations. This information will not be visible in the program or website

Information needed for all participants

Participants are selected via the OAH User Portal, for this reason all participants must have an account in the system to be added to a submission. If a participant does not have an account the proposal submitter may initiate one for them.

Please note: if an account is initiated by the proposal submitter the participant will receive an email to finalize their account. This account is neccessary in order to receive notifications, complete speaker agreements, and view schedules.

  • Please ask participants to supply their names as listed in the OAH User Portal - on occassion participants list their names differently in their OAH accounts making it difficult to locate. Knowing their listed names will ensure you do not inadvertently create a new account for them. Creating duplicate accounts can cause confusion for the participant when they attempt to sign their agreements as the session will be associated with a different account.
  • Brief biography for each participant - 500 word limit. Do not paste a CV.

If a participant does not have an account in the OAH User Portal you will have to create one for them. Please ensure you have the following information: 

  • First, middle (if applicable), and last name
  • Affiliation
  • Title
  • Email address (the email is needed in order to activate the OAH account) 
  • Phone number  
  • Either work or home address (street, city, state, zip) 


Assistance is always available by emailing