Did you know that the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) offers two conferences?

In addition to the Annual Conference, which will be held in Buffalo this September, we also offer a Virtual Conference, which will be held November 1-3.

Both conferences share the same theme, but each conference has its own, unique program.

We know that for many, the Virtual Conference may be more accessible because if its lower financial and time cost.

The theme of our conferences this year is “Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place.” Each conference will explore how our sense of place is deeply connected to our understanding of history.

“The Power of Place” is one of the five guiding themes in Making History at 250: A Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial. As we prepare for the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States in 2026, now is a great time to think about our place in our communities and in this upcoming national celebration.

Here are some highlights of the 2022 Virtual Conference:

Each day begins with a general session, followed by concurrent sessions. There are two rounds of concurrent sessions on Tuesday, November 1, and one session each on Wednesday, November 2 and Thursday, November 3.

The general sessions begin at noon Eastern time each day and the concurrent sessions take place in the afternoon. This not only allows everyone across the country to participate, but also provides everyone some time during the day to attend to other work demands.

Connecting with Others
Participants will be encouraged in multiple ways to connect with each other, build their networks, and to continue discussions outside of sessions. Brown bag and happy hour sessions will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

General Sessions 

November 1: Connecting to History Through TikTok
Hear from TikTok creators who are using the social media platform to bring marginalized stories to a broad audience. It is clear from the popularity of these videos that there is a great desire to connect with stories left out of “traditional” narratives. What lessons can history organizations learn from these historians, scholars, and content creators and how can organizations support growing online communities of educators and learners?

November 2: Jason Steinhauer
Steinhauer’s bestselling book, History Disrupted, looks at the many ways the Web and social media have changed how the public thinks about history, how historians communicate, and the implications for all of us. Steinhauer has responded to his findings by creating History Club on the social audio platform Clubhouse, and by founding the History Communication Institute, which seeks to create a better future for history content online. Steinhauer was also the co-host of the AASLH Reframing History podcast. He will share his insights into the opportunities and challenges facing public historians as we communicate with public audiences across a growing array of media and social media channels.

November 3: Plugging into Gen Z: How the Public History Field Can Reach Younger Generations
How can history organizations serve younger generations? AASLH is handing over the mic to future history leaders and consumers to share how public history can adapt to meet the needs of Gen Z. Join Civic Season Design Fellows and staff from Made By Us, a coalition of more than 150 museums and historic sites focused on serving 18-30 year olds, to hear how you can expand the conversation to include the next inheritors of our nation. Learn what makes these individuals tick and how to take an audience-first approach with your programming and content.

Concurrent sessions include topics such as creating “next narratives,” centering Native peoples and communities in programming, preservation as activism, museums and social change, virtual field trips, how to lead to encourage staff growth, and environmental topics.

You can see the entire program on the 2022 Virtual Conference webpage.