2020 Participant Information

Below you will find pertinent information to assist you in preparing and presenting at the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Please read through all sections carefully and make particular note of the deadlines provided. Any questions are welcome at meetings@oah.org.

Annual Meeting Calendar

July 1 Speaker agreements due
September 2 Requests for internet in presentation room due
November Speaker Registration Opens
January 13 All participants must be registered for the conference and be members of the OAH
January 13 Last day to cancel without potential future participation restrictions
February 15 Paper submissions to session chairs (paper presenters only)
Feb 1 2021 CFP closes
April 25 Early-bird registration ends


The 2020 OAH Annual Meeting | Conference on American History will be located at Marriott Wardman Park, April 2-5, 2020

Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Rd. NW
Washington, D.C., 20008
+1 202 328 2000

Room block information will be available in June


Your session will be scheduled upon the submission of your speaker agreement. If you have not completed your speaker agreement, please do so as soon as possible, and no later than July 1, 2019. If you are unable to access your speaker agreement, please contact meetings@oah.org. Once you have completed your agreement and after all sessions have been scheduled, your schedule will appear on the Session Proposals page. Room locations will be finalized in late February.

Note: due to the high number of scheduling requests we are no longer able to accommodate for personal conflicts, such as family or work. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Media may be present during your session.


All participants must be registered and be a member of the OAH by January 13, 2020 to participate in the conference. Please be aware that OAH policy requires all participants whose career is in the field of U.S. history (either as a professor/instructor, graduate student, K-12 teacher, or public or independent historian) to be members of the OAH. If you have any questions about whether the membership requirement applies in your situation, please contact us at membership@oah.org. All participants are also required to register for the meeting. We will be providing a special presenter registration rate until January 11, 2019. We require that you be registered and be a member of the OAH by this date in order to be included in the program. Once registration becomes available later this year, we will contact you with the details.


Please note, each session is allotted 90 minutes. The 15 – 20 minutes between sessions is designed to allow ample preparation time for other session speakers and grant networking time for attendees. We ask you be considerate of the time limitations of your session.

You should be in contact with your fellow participants ahead of time to reach an agreement about respective time allocations. The OAH requires that twenty five minutes be reserved for audience participation. Please keep this in mind when allocating time for presentations, comments, and introductions.
We strongly encourage presenters to deliver ideas and arguments without reading from papers and not to exceed stated time limits. While all of us are tempted to exceed the time allowed, overlong presentations or comments eliminate the opportunity for the kind of meaningful discussion that makes OAH meetings vital.

Whatever form a session takes, we propose that all papers given adhere to the "words per minute" formula outlined below. Most speakers read 100 words comfortably in 1 minute, taking into consideration the "asides" commonly made while presenting a talk. Experience suggests most speakers and listeners find this rate comfortable.
The formula is simple:

10-minute papers = 1000 words
12-minute papers = 1200 words
15-minute papers = 1500 words
20-minute papers = 2000 words

Session chairs should remind panelists of the time allotted and thus the number of words suggested for each paper or comment. Sessions will be 90 minutes in length, with the exception of workshops (which may run longer). Twenty-five minutes should be reserved for discussion. Please take these time limits into account when planning your session.

If you are serving as a chair at the meeting, make sure that all the required material and participants are present before your session begins. If the room is missing requested equipment, contact the room monitors assigned to your room. If a participant fails to appear, proceed with the session as best you can, and notify meetings@oah.org. Your most important responsibility as chair is to keep the session moving smoothly and on time. Introduce each of the participants briefly and, if you wish, make some prefatory remarks about the theme of the session and the participants.

Please be firm in enforcing time constraints (no more than 90 minutes total), even if that means interrupting a speaker, so that all participants will have their full share of time and the audience will have the opportunity to respond. It is often helpful to alert a speaker when her or his time is about to expire by handing him or her a note indicating how many minutes remain. Audience responses must also be monitored by the chair. Please ask each speaker to identify herself or himself, and you should interrupt a member of the audience who speaks too long or otherwise inappropriately. You might also consider soliciting questions for a session participant who is being ignored or perhaps pose such a question yourself.

Paper Presenters
Paper presenters must send copies of their papers to the session chair and commentator(s) no later than February 15, 2019. To facilitate introductory remarks, please send a brief c.v. or biographical statement to the session chair.

Other Session Types
Workshops, roundtables, and other less traditional sessions are also allotted 90 minutes. Panelists on these sessions should reach agreement prior to the meeting on time allocations. Although these sessions are more flexible, it is important that the ninety-minute limit be observed and that at least 30 minutes be reserved for audience response.

Each room will be equipped with an LCD projector, screen, and microphone. Special requests will be considered on a case by case basis and may require a fee. Though we are typically not able to provide additional AV please let us know if you need anything in addition to the standard room set-up. Please email meetings@oah.org.

If you are using AV equipment, you must bring your own:

  • laptop
  • adapters (dongles for MAC users)
  • pointers
  • clickers

Internet is not available in breakout rooms unless specifically requested by September 2, 2019. As per the program committee, skyping into sessions will not be permitted.