General Information

General Information - Amenities and Resources

Dear Colleagues,


As you are aware, there is great anxiety about COVID-19 within the global community. We are monitoring the situation closely through the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and DC Health ( nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/en/,  and Based on information available at this time, we have no plans to cancel the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting taking place in Washington, D.C., April 2–5. Currently, there are no limits to internal travel within the U.S., nor are there any recommendations by either the CDC or DC health to cancel events.


At the meeting, we will take precautions to minimize the possibility of contagion by following the CDC guidelines and recommendations. The Marriott Wardman Park and OAH will provide hand sanitizers in hallways and all breakout rooms. We also ask all attendees to wash their hands with soap and water frequently. Room monitors will wipe down podiums and microphones during breaks, and rooms will have tissues for coughs or to use with the sanitizers to wipe surfaces. We ask all attendees at the conference to limit physical contact and respect any requests to refuse a handshake.


If you have symptoms of the disease (cough, fever, shortness of breath), and think you may be at risk of carrying COVID-19, please follow these CDC guidelines ( and seek medical attention. If you do exhibit any of these symptoms, we ask that you do not travel.


We will continually monitor federal and local restrictions and recommendations, and we will notify attendees of any changes that may occur.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this challenging situation.


Joanne Meyerowitz, OAH President
Katherine M. Finely, OAH Executive Director

For more information on COVID-19 please read the CDC FAQs here.

The OAH is committed to providing an inclusive environment and doing our best to accommodate requests for special assistance. This page describes the accessibility features of the Annual Meeting to help you make an informed decision about whether the conference will be accessible to you. Please contact us if your question is not answered here. We will work with you, to the best of our ability, to make the conference accessible.

The OAH has partnered with Aira to make the conference more accessible for blind and low vision attendees. Aira is a service that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to connect blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to visual information, enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence. 

As an Aira Access Location, the 2022 OAH Conference on American History will provide free limited access to Aira agents within the conference facility. Providing this service for a conference is new for both Aira and the OAH. As we both learn how to navigate this service within the conference environment we ask users to be aware of some limitations. To make the service available, Aira had to use a geofencing method to isolate the OAH Conference on American History. For this reason Aira will only be available within the Sheraton Boston Hotel, and in order to determine costing, Aira also had to limit the number of hours Aira Agents will be available to the OAH. As each communication should last no more than 5 minutes we expect the number of hours to be sufficient for our blind and low vision attendees but request that only those with need access this service. 

To learn how an Aira Access Location works we invite you to to watch this video

To sign up for your Aira account visit aira/ and sign up as a guest.

If you have any questions about this service please email

Attendees of the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting are invited to reserve their rooms under the OAH room block at a discounted rate. These discounted rates are limited and only available until March 12, 2020 or until the block is filled.

To learn more click here!

All-Gender Restrooms will be available at the Marriott Wardman Park. Exact location TBD.

CART, or Communication Access Realtime Translation, is a speech-to-text interpreting service for anyone who needs communication access. A trained and certified CART translator receives a remote audio feed of a session and provides instantaneous speech to text translation. The text is displayed on a screen allowing the audience to follow the session via captioning.  

What is the difference between CART and captioning?
“CART” officially now CART Captioning, and “captioning” are often used interchangeably. CART is a text-only translation of the spoken word displayed on a screen, or over the internet (e.g. to a personal device). Captioning is text displayed in conjunction with a video image and requires an encoder or character generator as well as captioning software on the provider’s computer.

The Plenary Session and Presidential Address will both offer remote CART Captioning.

Visit the OAH Registration Desk or the OAH Booth in the Exhibit Hall to pick up an application for a Professional Development Certificate. Completed forms can be returned to the Registration Desk or emailed to Certificates will be mailed within 30 days of the conference

Attendees who have child care needs during the meeting are advised to make arrangements prior to the conference, as formal child care services are not provided at the meeting. The OAH assumes no responsibility with respect to the services and accepts no liabilities related to the services provided by the options below. The recommendation below was provided by the Washington D.C. Tourism Bureau.

College Nannies, Sitters + Tutors
7908 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (202) 759-5400
Contact: Maxine Gill
Phone: (301) 980-6367


The Organization of American Historians (OAH) holds an annual conference and may at times hold other smaller meetings both in person and online. To ensure that all participants benefit from these events, the OAH seeks to provide a harassment-free, respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion, or other group identity. The OAH has no tolerance for sexual harassment or any other form of harassment at its events.

The following professional conduct guidelines apply to any OAH-sponsored event and refer to anyone present at these meetings, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, speakers, OAH members, non-member attendees, and any other participant.

All participants in the OAH Annual Meeting and any other events sponsored by the OAH are expected to:

  • Abide by the norms of professional conduct that are necessary to promote free academic exchange
  • Alert OAH staff or security personnel if a situation arises where a person or persons are in imminent danger.

Behaviors that violate OAH’s expectation of professional conduct include but are not limited to:

  • Actions that endanger the safety, health, or well-being of others.
  • Prejudicial actions or comments that coerce others, foment broad hostility, or otherwise undermine the principles of free academic exchange.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), unsolicited physical contact, and requests for sexual favors. (For a fuller description, see OAH’s Sexual Harassment Policy.)
  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, appearance, or other group status
  • Verbal or physical threats of either physical or professional harm, punishment or retaliation.


Speakers and attendees are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others.

These minimal guidelines are expected to be observed at all meeting venues (in person, teleconference, and online) and conference social events.

Dry Bars will be available at select receptions. Use your Opening Night Drink ticket for a Mocktail! Dry bars will be available at the Opening Night Reception, OAH Committee’s Reception, Distinguished Members, Donors, and Award Winners Reception, and the President’s Reception.

Gender neutral bathrooms will be available at the Marriott Wardman Park

A private A nursing mother’s room is provided at the Marriott Wardman Park for the duration of the conference. As a courtesy we ask that you knock before entering.

Want more in-depth information?

The 2020 OAH Annual Meeting App lists complete session abstracts and speaker information! By creating a profile, you can build a personal daily schedule and utilize the messaging system that allows everyone registered to communicate. The OAH Annual Meeting App is a great way to plan, network, and stay informed. Download the Crowd Compass Directory from your app store in late March and search for the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting App. All registered attendees will receive an email mid- March with quick login information.

Pronoun stickers: He, Him, His, She Her, Hers, They, Them, Their, Ask Me About My PronounsPick up your pronoun sticker at registration or the information desk. These stickers aim to reduce instances of misgendering and to make it easier to know which pronouns to use for someone you just met, especially if you are not sure about their correct gender pronouns.

The OAH offers a variety of registration discounts and travel grants to help ease the cost burden of attending. Explore these opportunities and view the registration fees and frequently asked questions here

View a list of research repositories in Washington D.C as you plan your visit.

Explore here!

Please be courteous of attendees with sensitivities to fragrances by limiting scented products while at the conference.

Reports of sexual misconduct and sexual harrassment will be made to a complaints team. The complaints team includes:

  • Claire Potter
  • Donald Rogers
  • Katherine M. Finley
  • Karen Barker

Complaints may be submitted to or by calling (513) 453-6061.


Adopted December 23, 2019 by the OAH Executive Board


The OAH is committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other forms of sexual misconduct. Our organization’s collective professional and intellectual pursuits can only be realized when we treat one another with dignity and respect. To this end, OAH prohibits discrimination, harassment, retaliation and other forms of misconduct on the basis of sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. The protections and prohibitions in this policy extend to any members and participants, including employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and guests taking part in OAH-sponsored events and activities. All members and participants, including employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and guests, shall engage in professional and respectful behavior and preserve common standards of professionalism.
Sexual Harassment. OAH prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is behavior (speech or actions) in formal or informal settings that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of their sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment can also take nonsexual forms and includes discriminatory remarks or actions based on an individual’s sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal comment or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including situations in which the request or conduct involves any implied or expressed promise of professional reward for complying; or the request or conduct involves any implied or expressed threat of reprisal or denial of opportunity for refusing to comply; or the request or conduct results in what reasonably may be perceived as a hostile or intimidating environment. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature or consensual personal and social relationships without discriminatory effect. It refers to behavior that reasonably situated persons would regard as not welcome and as personally intimidating, hostile, or offensive. According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, the victim of harassment can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct, not just the individual at whom the conduct is directed.

Sexual Misconduct. OAH prohibits other forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different genders. Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behavior or attempted behavior. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. It includes but is not limited to: sexual assault (a continuum of conduct from forcible penetration to nonphysical forms of pressure that compel individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will); sexual exploitation (taking nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another person); and sexual intimidation (threatening another person that you will commit a sex act against them or engaging in indecent exposure).

Consent. For the purposes of this policy, consent is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and, by definition, a person is incapable of consent if the person is unable to understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the situation and/or if the person is incapacitated, which includes incapacitation by extreme intoxication, drug use, mental disability, or being unconscious. Critically, the person initiating a particular sexual activity or behavior bears the responsibility of receiving consent. In examining the existence of consent under this policy, OAH will seek to determine, in view of the totality of the circumstances, whether a reasonable person would conclude that the recipient of the initiated sexual activity or behavior was (a) capable of consenting and (b) affirmatively communicated consent to the sexual activity or behavior at issue by words or clear, unambiguous actions.

Retaliation against a complainant of sexual discrimination or harassment or other forms of sexual misconduct is also a violation of these policies. Retaliation occurs when a complainant is deterred from, or punished for, making a complaint in good faith. Retaliation is not limited to formal employment actions such as termination, demotion, non-promotion, or non-selection, but includes any harassing behavior made against a complainant as a result of filing a complaint in good faith.
Members and participants, including employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and guests, should be aware that their home institution’s policies (such as Title IX) may require them to report allegations of sexual discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other forms of sexual misconduct involving people affiliated with their institution.

OAH will endeavor to keep all proceedings related to sexual discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other forms of sexual misconduct confidential between OAH, the parties and witnesses. However, OAH cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality of such proceedings. OAH will cooperate with and otherwise share its knowledge and findings with public authorities as required by law. OAH reserves the right to respond to authorized inquiries received from a member’s employer concerning allegations, proceedings, and outcomes under this policy.

This policy will be clearly and prominently displayed on the OAH website. All participants in the annual meeting and anyone obtaining or renewing an OAH membership will be required during the registration process formally to acknowledge the policy and their responsibility to abide by it.


Each year, the OAH will designate a complaints team, normally composed of the executive director, a representative from the OAH staff, a member of the OAH executive board, and an additional OAH member. The complaints team will be available to receive complaints from, describe reporting procedures to, provide advice on resources to, and discuss issues with participants in any OAH-sponsored event or activity who have experienced or witnessed violations of this policy. The team’s contact information will be made available on the OAH website and in annual meeting registration materials. Neither the complaints team nor any other OAH official can provide legal advice to those who make reports under this policy.

Members and participants, including employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and guests, who in good faith believe that they have been aggrieved by or witnessed conduct prohibited by this policy should contact the OAH complaints team. The OAH executive director will alert the OAH executive committee to any reported complaints. The executive director will work with the executive committee to review complaints that require action. The OAH will endeavor to respond proportionally and fairly to all complaints. Responses may range from informal resolutions agreed to by the parties to investigations conducted by trained external investigators. In any reported complaint, if any members of the complaints team or executive committee have conflicts of interest, they will recuse themselves.

Possible Consequences

In investigating a complaint, the OAH will hear from both the accuser and the accused. If a violation is determined, possible consequences to be implemented during or after the meeting, activity, or event may include:

  • Warn the violator to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in more serious consequences

  • Issue a “no-contact’ directive that prohibits the violator from contacting the complainant

  • Require that the violator immediately leave the event and not return

  • Ban the violator from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period).

  • Immediately end any volunteer responsibilities and privileges the violator holds.

  • Require that the violator not volunteer or serve as a contract employee or vendor for OAH, either indefinitely or for a certain time period.

  • Remove and ban the violator from membership in OAH, following established procedures.

The OAH executive director is responsible for implementing and enforcing any response to a violation.

Appeals Procedure

Violators who wish to appeal the OAH’s decision may contact the executive committee in writing with further information regarding the incident. If necessary, an external investigator or consultant ombudsman will conduct additional interviews or other information gathering.
If a majority of the executive committee finds that a reconsideration of the decision is warranted, it may overturn the earlier decision in consultation with the full executive board.

Annual Report

The Executive Director will prepare an annual report of complaints or other evidence of policy violations (with no names used). The report will be circulated to the full executive board at the fall meeting and made available to the membership on request. If sufficiently aggregated to protect privacy and confidentiality, the report may identify how many reports were received, the forms of sexual discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other sexual misconduct alleged, how long the matter took to be resolved, and the outcome.

The text in this policy borrows directly from documents produced by the Society for the History of American Foreign Relations and the American Historical Association. It also draws on documents produced by the Western History Association, the American Geophysical Union, the Shakespeare Association of America, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the University of Iowa.

The official Annual Meeting hashtag is #OAH20. 

All sessions are listed with their unique hashtag in the OAH Annual Meeting Program. Use these tags to communicate before, during, and after the event.

Solicited sessions are those that have been organized entirely by the committee or the organization listed. An endorsed session indicates sessions that an organization or committee believes may be relevant to those sharing their interests. View the Session Endorsers and Sponsors Index in the Annual Meeting Program to follow a committee or association's topical stream.

Map your conference experience using the Theme Visualizer. We invite attendees to explore proposals and papers based on common topics. By selecting a topic in the Theme Visualizer, attendees are able to view sessions that share a common focus, which may not be immediately apparent. Select a theme such as "civil rights" and see related sessions, paper abstracts, and corresponding information such as speaker, date, and time. The goal is to make explicit latent connections across the conference so that participants can follow a different and unexpected path through the conference.

The Theme Visualizer will be available to explore January 2020.