One-on-One Meetings
The Hub | Meet with consultants and publishers
"Hey, I Know Your Work!" Mentorship Program
Special Events
Graduate, Adjunct, and Independent Scholar Grant - Workshops, Travel Grants, Discounted Regsitration
Public Voice Workshops
Plenary Session
OAH Presidential Address
Work of Freedom Soul Jam - OAH President's Afterparty
SWEAT - Pulitzer Prize-winning play
OAH Awards Ceremony
OAH Business Meeting
Lightning Rounds
Chat Room Seminars
Book Bridge


Plenary Session:
Chronicling the Work of Freedom

Thursday, April 4
4:45 pm-6:15 pm

For generations, journalist and scholars, especially historians, have worked to frame an understanding of the durable constructions of freedom. It has allowed us to puzzle over how a country founded on a belief in inalienable rights, decided to include and exclude based on class, race, gender and national origin. This ever changing framework has required us to update notions of citizen, redefine ideas about inclusion, and recast the central characters in the ongoing drama about a living democracy. This plenary aims to probe the dual roles of scholar and journalist in chronicling the work of freedom.

“Chronicling the Work of Freedom,” will be moderated by noted historian and social commentator, Professor Robin D.G. Kelley of UCLA. Joining him on the panel will be Laura Walker, president, WNYC, Jelani Cobb, professor, Columbia University School of Journalism and contributor, New Yorker, John Ydstie, national economics reporter, NPR, Danielle McGuire, public historian, and Maria Balinska, editor and co-CEO, The Conversation.

The plenary occurs on April 4, 2019 from 4:45-6:15 pm. During a moment when truth, evidence and facts are debated, we welcome your attendance and participation in this timely discussion.

Chair: Robin D.G. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles

• William J. Cobb, Columbia University
• Laura Walker, WNYC
• Maria Balinska, Executive Director designate of the US UK Fulbright Commission and former Editor and co-CEO of The Conversation US
• Tom Gjelten, NPR
• Danielle McGuire, Public historian

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OAH Presidential Address:
History and the Common Good: Scholarship in the Public Eye

Saturday, April 6
5:15 pm-6:45 pm

A photo of OAH President Earl LewisEarl Lewis
Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies,
Director, Center for Social Solutions, and
President Emeritus, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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Work of Freedom Soul Jam at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Saturday, April 6
8:00 pm-10:00 pm

You are cordially invited to the OAH President's Reception afterparty at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. With a special performance at 8:30 pm by spoken word artist Trapeta B. Mayson, who sheds light on and honors the immigrant experience as well as amplifies the stories of everyday people; and musical guest the Alfie Pollit All-Star Trio.

Trapeta B. Mayson

A photo of Trapeta B. Mayson

Trapeta reads her poetry widely and works extensively facilitating poetry and creative writing workshops. Her work sheds light on and honors the immigrant experience as well as amplifies the stories of everyday people. She is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship in Literature, Leeway Transformation Award, Leeway Art and Change Grant and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grants. Her work was also nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. She is the author of She Was Once Herself and Mocha Melodies. Her other publications include submissions in The American Poetry Review, Epiphany Literary Journal, Aesthetica Magazine, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry among others. Trapeta is a native of Liberia. Currently residing in Philadelphia, she is a graduate of Temple University, Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Villanova University School of Business. Trapeta is a member of several local organizations where she uses the arts to mobilize, build community and create change.

Alfie Pollit All-Star TrioA photo of the Alfie Pollit All-Star Trio

This is a dynamic mini - orchestra, which is disguised as a three piece unit. Each member of this musical ensemble is a virtuoso in his own right, similar to the tradition that produced the great jazz trios of the past. Mr. Pollitt’s trio has performed primarily in concert during various culturally related events throughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware Tri-state area.

Alfred "Alfie" Pollit

Alfred (Alfie) Pollitt, composer, producer and songwriter, has been stud-ying and playing music since receiving his first formal piano lessons at the tender age of three. A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Alfie was surrounded and inspired by all types of music by his parents, both re-spected and influential members of the Philadelphia music communities. Since his first musical composition in 1958 entitled “15th Street”, Alfie has written well over one hundred songs and continues to do so.

Alfie’sA black-and-white photo of Alfie Pollitt major jazz influences include John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Hor-ace Silver and Jimmy Smith. These and other musical greats helped to shape and formulate Alfie’s diverse playing style. Throughout Alfie’s aspiring musical career, he has had the fortunate op-portunity to perform with a broad spectrum of prominent jazz and R&B artists. Such artists include Barbara Mason, Donald Byrd, Archie Shepp, Art Blakey, Norman Connors, Sister Sledge, Billy Paul, Stepha-nie Mills, George Howard and the Four Tops. Alfie has also led his own bands and ensembles.

Alfie toured extensively with the late legendary super star Teddy Pen-dergrass, which earned Alfie two platinum recording credits to his im-pressive list of achievements. Mr. Pollitt also represented Philadelphia at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival in Jamaica (1995), and at the Fesgine Third International World Music Festival in Salvador Bahia, Brazil (1993). Additionally, Alfie has extensive experience of having composed and co-written musical works, including theme songs and jingles for events and organizations. A few examples of these are: Theme/jingles for the Matah Network, The Black Music Association and the Africamericus Festival.

He has also collaborated as writer of “Our Family Reunion”
(A piece that promotes family reunions) and “Malcolm X” (an epic work which depicts events in Malcolm’s life in song. Alfie is also one of the Camden, New Jersey based Unity Community Center’s music teachers and is considered a legendary music historian and scholar.

Alan Nelson

Saxophonists, trumpet players, pianists, and bass players have enthusiastically sought out Master Drummer, Alan Nelson, for the musical magic he provides on the bandstand. Alan's musical career spans well over five decades. He's been influenced by drumming greats such as Art Blakely, Philly Joe Jones,Elvin Jones and Max Roach. His extensive career also includes touring for seventeen years with trumpeter and composer, Hannibal Marvin Peterson.

Alan's touring performance work also includes international travel across the globe to places such as Europe,Central America and Southeast Asia.The demand for his services.has brought this about. Mr. Nelson, a Philadelphia, Pa and South Jersey native, has performed in many clubs and concert venues in New York City N.Y.,such as Birdland, Boomer's,Tin Palace, Small's, The Village Vanguard,Sweet Basil and The Shomberg Museum. Nelson has worked in Philadelphia,Pa. in night clubs , Pep's Musical Bar, The Saraha Supper Club, The Postal Card and The Bijou Cafe.

Alan has also played with jazz greatsJames Moody, Sonny Stitt , Jymie Merritt and The Forerunners and bassist, Cecil McBee.

Drummer Alan Nelson, with his skill set and mastery of poly and cross rhythms, in addition to his years of top quality musical playing experience, provides the Alfie Pollitt All - Star Trio, with the glue that locks this unit together rhythmically, like a well oiled musical ma-chine, and takes the listener on a wonderful soul filled musical journey.

Richard Hill

Richard Hill, Philadelphia native, Composer, Double and Electric Bass-ist, has been actively involved in the Philadelphia music scene since high school. Winner of the 2014 Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Award for bass, Richard has performed and toured with Wynton Mar-salis, Nicholas Payton, Frank Foster, Jackie McClean, Robert Glasper and the United States Army Band.

Richard has recorded with Javon Jackson, Jill Scott and DJ Jazz Jeff in Jeff’s Touch of Jazz Studios. Mr. Hill has also recorded in Korea for the Korean Broadcasting Network System. Richard Hill does a masterful job, holding down the bass position as a
integral part of the Alfie Pollitt All-Star Trio.

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Friday, April 5
7:30 pm--8:30 pm

Watch a scene from the Broadway play SWEAT. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Lynn Nottage,SWEAT tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat.

The scene will be followed by a discussion with Artistic Director of The Public Theater, Oskar Eustis.

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OAH Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 5
4:45 pm-6:00 pm

Two rows of men and women on a stage holding their awardsCelebrating the best in American history—writing, teaching, public presentation, research, support, and distinguished careers—the OAH Awards Ceremony recognizes colleagues and friends whose achievements advance our profession, bolstering deep, sophisticated understandings of America’s complex past and informed, historically relevant discussions of contemporary issues. Hard-working OAH members on over 25 committees examine nearly 1,000 nominations to select outstanding recipients each year. Their care, and the excellence of the individuals they have chosen, enlarges American history everywhere. Longtime members of the organization will also be honored.

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OAH Business Meeting

Saturday, April 6
4:45 pm-5:15 pm

All OAH members are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the governance of the organization. Proposals for action should be made in the form of ordinary motions or resolutions. All such motions or resolutions must be signed by fifty members in good standing and submitted at least forty-five days prior to the meeting to OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley and OAH Parliamentarian Jonathan Lurie, c/o OAH, 112 North Bryan Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408. Should a motion or resolution be submitted in this manner, OAH membership will be notified via electronic communication at least 30 days in advance of the Annual Business Meeting. The OAH Business Meeting will immediately precede the Presidential Address.

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Lightning Rounds

Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6
Various times

We invite everyone to attend Lightning Rounds on Friday and Saturday in which you will be introduced to emerging scholars and their works in various field. Support these scholars and share your feedback.

  • Women in Digital and Public History
  • America in the Trans-Pacific World: Political, Economic, and Cultural Encounters
  • The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Lightning Round on Emerging Scholarship in the Field
  • Emerging Voices in LGBTQ History
  • The Future of Early America: Lightning Round on Emerging Research
  • Re-Engaging With Military History: The Path Forward
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Chat Room Seminars

Saturday, April 6
11:45 am- 12:30 pm

Launched in 2016, the Chat Room provides an opportunity for historians to share and learn from the knowledge and experiences of their peers. Led by up to two moderators, each 45-minute seminar encourages conversation in a relaxed and unstructured environment. To take full advantage of the seminar, we invite all participants to attend from the start of each chat. Teach, learn, debate, while meeting friends both old and new.

  • Navigating the Community College Job Market: A Conversation for Job-Seekers and their AdvisersSeveral people sitting around a table listening to another person speak
  • What is Birthright Citizenship, What Threats Has it Faced in the United States, and Why is it Under Attack Today?
  • Academic Freedom: Do you (really) have it? What is (could be) the role of scholarly organizations?
  • Current Trends in Teaching the U.S. History Survey Course
  • Redefining Women's Activism
  • Navigating the Social Media Minefield
  • Must Early America be Vast?: Continuing the Conversation

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Book Bridge

Did you know that the OAH has facilitated the donation of thousands of books to a local library in every conference city that we’ve visited since 2002?

The OAH Book Bridge Program springs directly from our mission of promoting excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history. Each year, we encourage conference exhibitors to donate display copies of their books to public libraries, community colleges, and universities across the country through our Book Bridge Program, thus making the most relevant and recent U.S. history scholarship more widely accessible to so many.

Past recipients have included:

Over the years we have received wonderful feedback from deserving program recipients, and with many non-profits and community libraries currently facing more difficult budget restraints, we feel this is not only a worthwhile endeavor, but an important extension of our overall mission. We couldn’t make this program happen without the help of our generous participating exhibitors, some of whom have donated books every year, as well as the many individuals who have advised and supported the Book Bridge Program over the last seventeen years. We look forward to carrying this rewarding experience forward in Philadelphia this April!


The recipient of the 2019 Book Bridge Program is
Free Library of Philadelphia!

The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and The Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach. With more than 5 million in-person visits and 5 million more online annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.

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