News of the OAH
OAH Election Information
OAH Vice President
ERIKA LEE, Regents Professor of History and Asian American Studies, Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, Director, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
- STEPHEN ARON, Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
- SUSAN SLEEPER-SMITH, Professor, Department of History, Michigan State University
- BRENDA E. STEVENSON, Nickoll Family Endowed Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
- MARTIN SUMMERS, Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies, Boston College
- TIKIA K. HAMILTON, Owner, Triple Ivy Writing and Educational Solutions
- MIKE WILLIAMS, Education Projects Manager, National Humanities Center
- GLENN SPEER, Researcher, Leon Levy Center for Biography, Graduate Center of CUNY
- NICHOLAS L. SYRETT, Professor and Chair, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor, by courtesy, Department of History, University of Kansas
- MAX KROCHMAL, Associate Professor of History and Chair of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, Texas Christian University
- MARIO SIFUENTEZ, Associate Professor, University of California, Merced
- STAN DEATON, Dr. Elaine B. Andrews Distinguished Historian & Senior Historian, The Georgia Historical Society
- NATHANIEL SHEIDLEY, Executive Director, The Bostonian Society
One hundred voting members of the Organization may present a petition for an additional candidate for any office open for election, such petition to be presented to the Executive Director by October 15. The names of persons so nominated shall be placed on the official ballot, being identified as “candidate by petition.” The ballot shall also contain a space where members may suggest candidates for the following year. (From the OAH Constitution, Article V-Elections, Section 2.)
Upcoming Award, Prize, and Residency Deadlines
Many OAH awards, prizes, and all the residencies have an application deadline of October 1, 2019. Learn more about application requirements at http://www.oah.org/awards.
New Staff at the OAH
The OAH is pleased to welcome Tina Irvine as the new Book Review Editor for the Journal of American History. Irvine graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2019. Her dissertation, “Reclaiming Appalachia: Mountain Reform and the Preservation of White Citizenship, 1890-1929,” was completed under the supervision of Kathy Peiss, Kathleen M. Brown, and Sarah Barringer Gordon. In addition to her duties at the JAH, Irvine also teaches in the history department at Indiana University.
2021 Call for Proposals Opens December 2—“Pathways to Democracy”
The Program Committee, chaired by Natalia Molina, University of Southern California, and Jack Tchen, Rutgers University-Newark, welcomes proposals from all areas and eras of early American and U.S. history, broadly conceived. While “pathways to democracy” might be linked to virtually every subject historians study and teach, the committee does not expect all papers and sessions to adhere to the conference theme. Read the Call for Proposals and learn more about submitting a proposal at www.oah.org/CFP.
Renew Early and Win Contest
Renew your membership by September 30, 2019, and you will be entered into the annual Renew Early and Win Contest. Prizes this year are:
- Grand prize – A portable Scanner with Auto-Feed Docking Station
- First prize – A free night at Marriott Wardman Park during the 2020 Annual Meeting
- Second prize (2) – A free registration for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
- Third prize (2) – A HALO Pocket Power Portable Battery Charger
If you’ve already renewed, don’t worry. You are automatically entered into the contest.
We appreciate everyone who completed the two recent surveys. Your feedback provides us with essential information so that we can provide you with the best service as well as the benefits you want.
American History Experts Database
We encourage you to create a profile in the OAH’s American History Experts Database. This resources assists members of the media when they need an expert to provide background and to contextualize breaking news. Create or update your profile here: http://www.americanhistoryexperts.org.
OAH Annual Meeting Expands Accessibility Options
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 2020 OAH Annual Meeting 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 Annual Meeting. For this reason Aira will only be available within the Marriott Wardman Park, 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.
The next Annual Meeting will also introduce the use of Remote CART Captioning at the Presidential Address and plenary session. 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.
If any attendee has additional accessibility needs such as assistive listening devices or sign language interpretation we request you contact firstname.lastname@example.org by February 4, 2020, so that we can provide the services to maximize your conference experience
OAH Launches Endowment Capital Campaign
After his presidential address at the 2019 OAH Annual Meeting, Professor Earl Lewis announced a generous donation of $50,000 to build the OAH endowment fund and then issued OAH members a challenge. He agreed to donate another $50,000 if the OAH raises $500,000 in the coming five years. In response to Earl Lewis’s challenge, OAH President Joanne Meyerowitz and the OAH Executive Board have announced a capital endowment campaign and are asking OAH members to make a contribution to the endowment.
Why is an endowment important? Should there be a downturn in the economy or should the OAH face a major crisis, the organization will need to turn to endowment funds. As important, income from the endowment’s investment returns helps to support our everyday operating expenses. Right now, the OAH has less than $400,000 in its endowment fund. Nonprofit experts advise that an organization’s endowment should equal twice its annual budget. According to that equation, the OAH should have $6 million in endowment. To secure the stability and the future of the OAH, the organization urgently needs to begin building its endowment and has set the initial goal of $1 million.
An endowment fund will ensure that the many programs and services of the OAH will continue should economic adversity strike the organization. The OAH supports scholarship and teaching and fosters a vibrant community of historians through the Journal of American History, the online magazine The American Historian, the Annual Meeting, the Distinguished Lectureship Program, our collaborations with the National Park Service. OAH President Meyerowitz notes, “As you know, we are in the process of a leadership transition at the OAH. Our executive director Kathy Finley is slated to retire in the summer of 2020. Kathy has done a terrific job of stewarding the organization these last years.” She adds: “As we search for her successor, we hope to arm the new executive director with the resources needed to fulfill our ambitions of becoming the leading twenty-first-century scholarly society, one committed to excellence in pursuit of the common good.“
Any capital campaign can only succeed if all leadership participates, and the OAH is delighted to announce that 100% of the OAH Executive Board has donated to this campaign, and to date through pledges and outright gifts, we have raised an additional $72,000 through gifts from OAH’s leaders alone (not including Earl’s donation).
As the OAH plans for a brighter future, you should have received a letter by now asking you to match Professor Lewis’s largesse with a gift or pledge. Meyorwitz is optimistic about this campaign. She notes: “Together, as an organization, we have the size and strength to answer the call—but it will require the generosity of our full membership.”
Members can either use the pledge card they received to send in their donation or they can donate online by going to https://www.oah.org/donate/.