Special Events

Plenary Session: The Trouble with Voting

Thursday, April 2, 4:45 pm–6:15 pm

In 1870 the ratification of the 15th Amendment guaranteed that the right to vote would not be “denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” and in 1920 the ratification of the 19th Amendment made the same guarantee with regard to “sex.” Despite the promise of universal suffrage, inequality in voting has persisted. During a critical election year, our panelists will mark the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with reflections on the troubled history of voting.

Chair: Nancy MacLean, Duke University

Panelists: • Carol Anderson, Emory University
• Geraldo Cadava, Northwestern University
• Liette Gidlow, Wayne State University
• Allan Lichtman, American University

CC - this session is CART Captioned

The OAH Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 3, 4:45 pm–6:00 pm

Celebrating 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.  Longtime members of the organization will also be honored.

OAH Presidential Address

Saturday, April 4, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm

Joanne Meyerowitz, Yale University

Joanne Meyerowitz, Arthur Unobskey Professor of History & American Studies, Yale University

CC - this session is CART Captioned

Hub Fair

Friday, April 3, 11:30 am–1:00 pm

This new event invites attendees to meet agencies, consultants, and companies who work with, and hire historians outside the academy. Explore the fair and learn about the various participants, the types of positions that exist for historians, and how one can find these opportunities. Some groups will also be available for one-on-one informational interviews.

Click here for more information

Offsite Sessions

Reconstruction and Public History at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Thursday, April 2, 11 am–12:30 pm

Pre-registration required
Complimentary| Limited to 40
Transportation to and from the NMAACH is at the discretion of the attendee

One hundred and fifty years after the ratification of the 15th Amendment, the era of Reconstruction remains in the public eye. A major PBS documentary, exhibit space at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a new Reconstruction Era National Historical Park in South Carolina all testify to an outpouring of public history connected to Reconstruction. This session features a conversation among historians and practitioners of public history about the challenges and opportunities posed by Reconstruction.

Panelists include Dr. Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University; Dr. Turkiya Lowe, chief historian for the National Park Service; Julia Marchesi, the producer of the PBS documentary Reconstruction: American After the Civil War; and Dr. Kate Masur, associate professor of History at Northwestern University. 

#Unmute DC History at the DC History Center

Sunday, April 5, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Pre-registration required
Complimentary| Limited to 40
Transportation to and from the DC History Center is at the discretion of the attendee

As the nation’s capital experiences demographic change and gentrification, the challenge of preserving Washington D.C.’s local history and culture is becoming acute.  In 2019, protests were organized after a store was ordered to turn down the city’s iconic go-go music that it had been playing from its loudspeakers for years. The hashtag #UnmuteDC was born. This panel gathers historians and activists for a conversation about recovering and preserving DC’s local history and culture so that it endures as a community resource.

Panelists include Dr. Ananya Chakravarti, associate professor of history at Georgetown University; Dr. Natalie Hopkinson, assistant professor at Howard University; Dr. Samir Meghelli, Chief Curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum; and Dr. Sabiyha Prince, Political Education Coordinator at Empower DC. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Bell Clement, the Editor of Washington History. Jane Levey will lead a tour of the DC History Center following the event.

Because of Her Story: Women’s History and the Public at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Friday, April 3, 1:30 pm–3:00 pm

Transportation to and from the NMAH is at the discretion of the attendee

In an effort to celebrate the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and to honor the appointment of Dr. Anthea Hartig as the first woman to serve as Director of the National Museum of American History, this roundtable panel brings together leading scholars to discuss how to engage the public in women’s history in ways that challenge common assumptions and create a more inclusive understanding of the diversity of women’s experience. The roundtable conversation, moderated by Kathleen Franz, curator of the National Museum of American History’s upcoming exhibit, Girlhood: It's Complicated, focuses on current trends in women’s history scholarship and how museum curators are incorporating new historiography into exhibitions through historical artifacts and public programs. In addition, Dr. Hartig will explain her vision for the “Because of Her Story”: Women’s History Initiative at the National Museum of American History. The panel will also address the how the Centennial of the 19th Amendment has renewed public interest in women’s history. Following the roundtable discussion, there will be a reception sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center at Spelman College, Mount Holyoke College, and the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. At the reception, attendees will be able to meet Dr. Hartig and the panelists.

This session is preceded by the tour Because of Her Story: Women’s History and the Public Smithsonian National Museum of American History Tours and followed by a reception sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center at Spelman College, Mount Holyoke College, and the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. Attendees will be able to meet with the panelists of this session. 

Billy Hathorn - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_American_History#/media/File:Nat._Museum_of_American_History,_Washington,_D.C._IMG_4758.JPG

"Hey, I Know Your Work" Mentorship Program

Graduate students, recent graduates, or early career historians can meet with seasoned scholars to discuss research, professional aspirations, or simply to get acquainted.

The OAH’s Committee on the Status of African American, Latino/a, Asian American, Native American (ALANA) Historians and ALANA Histories is committed to intersectionality in its conception, constitution, and in the practice of its rotating members. Our mission is to serve a broad swath of the rising underrepresented scholars in our craft. Mentees have the opportunity to learn strategies to navigate an academic career from a more senior scholar aligned with ALANA’s goals. Look for ALANA-endorsed mentors on the listing.

The Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE) is again partnering with the OAH to provide mentors to those interested in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Look for SHGAPE-endorsed mentors in the listing.

How does it work?

  • Select mentors from the list posted December 2019. The list will include the mentor’s positions and research interests.
  • Connect: The OAH will assign up to three mentees to a mentor based on availability. In March 2020 all mentors and mentees are connected with each other to finalize their scheduled meeting time.
  • Meet: During the event, mentors and mentees meet for coffee and conversation at a predetermined time. Meetings last between forty-five minutes and one hour.
  • Why? This program offers emerging scholars the opportunity to forge professional and personal relationships with scholars whose work they admire.

How do I become a mentor?

If you are interested in becoming a mentor please email meetings@oah.org with the following:

  1. Name
  2. Title/Position
  3. Institution if applicable
  4. Contact information including email and phone number
  5. Topics of specialty or areas of interest
  6. If you would like to be listed as an ALANA or SHGAPE mentor

Mentors will be accepted until January 2020

How do I become a mentee?

If you are interested in becoming a mentee please email meetings@oah.org with the following:

  1. Name
  2. Institution if applicable
  3. Contact information including email and phone number
  4. Brief bio (150 words)
  5. Top three mentor choices

Mentees will be accepted beginning January 2020. Please note that slots with mentors will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hub Fair

Friday, April 3, 11:30 am–1:00 pm

Hub Fair - 2020 OAH Annual Meeting

The OAH is excited to invite attendees to meet agencies, consultants, associations, institutions, and companies who work with, work as, or hire historians outside the academy. Join us on Friday, April 3 between 11:30 am and 1 pm to explore the fair and learn about the various participants, the types of positions that exist for historians, and how one can find these opportunities. Some groups will also be available for one-on-one informational interviews.

Participating groups include:

National Park Service Drop-In

Friday, April 3, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm

In conjunction with the workshop, “Historical Research on the National Park Service: Sources and Methodologies,” conference attendees are invited to participate in small group discussions about finding and using NPS collections. Some groups will focus on particular types of primary source materials while others will discuss methodological issues such as dealing with gaps and bias in the sources. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas and questions about current and potential research projects, or to listen, collaborate, formulate ideas, and contribute their expertise.

Catherine Cocks
Catherine Cocks is the editor-in-chief at Michigan State University Press, which publishes 40 to 50 books and 11 journals annually in US and African history, Native American studies, Latinx studies, African literature and film, animal studies, rhetoric, and other fields. She earned a PhD in U.S. history before going into scholarly publishing in 2002. A member of the AUPresses’ faculty outreach committee and the co-founder of H-Net’s scholarly communications forum Feeding the Elephant, she welcomes questions on careers in publishing.
Grove History Consulting
Tim recently started a consulting company after twenty-five years working in history museums (including 20 years at three Smithsonian museums). He specializes in interpretive planning and exhibition development, education strategy, and assessing relevance. He is a co-founder of the History Relevance initiative (historyrelevance.com), a national effort to raise the profile of history in the US. Tim is also an author and his fifth book will be published in 2020. (timgrove.net) He writes to make history accessible to young readers ages 10-14. 

Historical Research Associates, Inc. 
Since 1974, Historical Research Associates, Inc. (HRA), has provided consulting services for public and private clients in history, litigation support, exhibit development, interpretive planning, cultural resource management, and historic preservation. We conduct archival research and oral histories country-wide and turn these investigations into compelling agency and company histories, expert witness reports for litigation, and exhibits and historical displays for a variety of venues. If you are interested in how you could put your historical training and skills to work in a consulting environment, please stop by the HRA booth to speak with Keith Zahniser 

Journal of American History
Visit the JAH to learn more about academic publishing and how graduate level training translates to production schedules, content development, editorial duties, and project management. Most societies produce a publication by coordinating with an academic publisher. Attendees can also expect to learn about publisher contacts and relations. Finally, there are other non-academic jobs at journals such as editorial assistants (if not already covered by graduate students), office staff, copy editors, typesetters, etc.
OAH/NPS Collaboration
For 25 years the Organization of American Historians has partnered with the National Park Service to bring leading scholarship to bear on the presentation of history at our national parks. Membership in the OAH makes you eligible for a wide range of sponsored funding opportunities through the OAH-NPS cooperative agreement. Your commitment can range from serving as the principal investigator on a multiyear research and writing project, to providing a peer review of a study in progress, to participating in a scholars round table at an NPS site. The OAH posts new opportunities as they become available. To learn more, and for more information about getting involved, stop by and talk to OAH Public History Manager Paul J. Zwirecki.
U.S Forest Service
For over ten years, Lincoln Bramwell has served as the Chief Historian of the U.S. Forest Service. His duties include directing all aspects of this Federal agency’s history program, including research and publication, public speaking, external outreach, producing and managing oral histories, as well as policy support, expert testimony in Federal court, and developing a strategic vision for history within the land management agency’s mission. He has also served as a Legislative Affairs specialist acting as a direct liaison between the agency and Congress and as a Program Manager overseeing social science programs across the Rocky Mountain West. If you’d like to chat more about how to apply skills obtained in a graduate history program outside of the normal bounds of history work, stop by the Forest Service’s booth.

The Hub | one-on-one meetings

Meet one-on-one with consultants and publishers during the Annual Meeting. Information to book your appointment can be found in each description below. Book early as spaces fill quickly.

You must be registered to the Annual Meeting prior to signing up for an appointment.


Questions about publishing? Get answers from a veteran editor
Whether you're revising your dissertation, drafting a book proposal, looking for a publisher, evaluating ideas for your next project, or just trying to make sense of the publishing process, sign up for a one-on-one consultation with Melody Herr. Come with your questions or, for more comprehensive feedback, email an overview of your project to her  prior to your appointment.

A veteran acquiring editor, Melody Herr, PhD, has more than 16 years of experience working for scholarly publishers–including Johns Hopkins University Press and the University of Michigan Press. Currently, she serves as Head of the Office of Scholarly Communications at the University of Arkansas. An author herself, she has published six books; the most recent is Writing and Publishing Your Book: A Guide for Experts in Every Field (Greenwood, 2017). Email Melody for your appointment


Beacon Press
Beacon Press is interested in publishing academics who have written at least one previous book and are committed to writing a more accessible and "crossover" history book. Beacon is particularly interested in publishing on issues of race, ethnicity, gender and class. Contact Gayatri Patnaik, Editorial Director to set up a meeting.

Duke University
Duke University Press editor Gisela Fosado is available to meet with potential authors during the 2020 OAH meeting.  Gisela is interested in books that make a substantial intervention in many sub-fields within history, including gender studies, environmental studies, African-American studies, Latino/a studies, and studies on social movements.  She acquires academic books, as well as books that reach readers beyond the academy.  Contact Gisela Fosado to set up a meeting.

McFarland Publishing
We are happy to hear about all things American history! The following is a list of some topics within our American history offerings: military history, popular culture and the performing arts, sports and games, transportation, body & mind, literature, language, mythology, religion, librarianship, social sciences, science & technology, African American studies, Appalachian studies, Jewish studies, American Indian studies, women’s studies, gender studies, food studies, and notable and infamous figures. Email to book an appointment.

University of Missouri Press
Andrew J. Davidson, editor in chief of the University of Missouri Press, invites you to meet with him to discuss ideas and proposals for new book projects in all aspects of U.S. history and culture, including military history, sports history, constitutional history, and the history of the early American republic. He also seeks to expand the Press’s list in African American studies, Native American studies, women’s studies, and regional history of the Missouri Valley. Active U.S. history book series at the Press include Studies in Constitutional Democracy (History of the EAR/Political Science); The American Military Experience; Journalism in Perspective: Continuities and Disruptions; and Sports in American Culture. Andrew welcomes proposals in advance of the conference for both scholarly books and those with crossover trade potential. You may contact him directly to submit a proposal or to set up an appointment at the meeting.

Yale University Press
I look for projects in all subfields of American history that challenge and change the historiographical conversation, as well as projects that address and inform essential questions in the public sphere and that seek to bring a historian’s perspective to a broad readership. I am particularly interested in projects that conceptualize American history broadly and place the United States in a global context. Themes and topics of particular interest are the way environmental factors and climate crises have shaped societies, the history of empires and the resistance to empires, the history of economic and financial development, connections between the United States and Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, the history of borderlands, histories of human migration, the rise of the right, African American history, Latino history, and Native American history. Please email Adina Berk at Adina.berk@yale.edu for an appointment.

OAH Opening Night Reception

Thursday, April 2, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Celebrate the opening day of the conference with peers in the Exhibit Hall. Enjoy drinks, snacks, and a chance to meet with friends while browsing the exhibits and museum displays. Take this opportunity to visit and talk with exhibitor representatives, plan your book-shopping strategy, and meet colleagues before dinner!

The OAH Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 3, 4:45 pm–6:00 pm

Celebrating 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.

OAH Business Meeting

Saturday, April 4, 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 one hundred 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.

The Humanities Truck: “Downtown Displaced”

The Humanities Truck is a fully customized delivery truck that serves as an experimental mobile platform for collecting, exhibiting, preserving, and expanding dialogue around the humanities.  The truck project, founded by American University’s Public History program, seeks to mobilize the humanities and democratize the sharing and production of knowledge by bringing together scholars at American University with community residents across Washington, D.C.  Working with community partners, the project seeks to co-create, co-interpret, and co-curate stories that can return to the communities they originated from and circulate throughout the metropolitan region.  During the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting, the truck will present the exhibit, “Downtown Displaced,” that was produced in collaboration with Street Sense Media, an organization which seeks to spotlight solutions to homelessness.

The truck will be located at the Main Entrance of the hotel during Exhibit Hall hours beginning on Friday, April 3 through Saturday, April 4.

In the Exhibit Hall, Humanities Truck fellows will present materials from the range of projects that we have worked on since the founding of the truck in August 2018.  These include, among others, The Historic African River Road Project, Invisible Hands: Jornaleros / Manos Invisibles: Day Laborers, Community Snapshots: Shepherd Park, Finding Reno City, Meridian Hill National Historical Park Oral History Project, and Downtown Displaced.

The Humanities Truck
The Humanities Truck

Lightning Rounds

Friday and Saturday

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. Topics include:

  • Agriculture
  • Early America
  • LGBTQ history
  • Public history 
  • Women's history

The Chat Room, 2018 OAH Annual Meeting

The Chat Room

Saturday, April 4, 11:30 am–12:15 pm

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.

  • History Gateways: Reimagining Introductory Courses
  • Old Directions in Gilded Age and Progressive Era History
  • Non-Tenure Faculty and the Future of History
  • Refugees and Asylees
  • Current Trends in  Teaching the U.S. History Survey Course