By Jackie Barton, 2019 Annual Meeting Program Chair

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) will present its 2019 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 28-31, in partnership with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Deadline for submissions is December 7.

AASLH is now accepting proposals for sessions and workshops.

2019 Annual Meeting Theme: What Are We Waiting For?

In this time of political, social, and cultural turmoil, history institutions stand poised to connect with their communities and audiences like never before. Rancorous debates over issues like racial violence, immigration, global climate change, mass incarceration, and others divide our communities and the nation. These flashpoint issues also reveal opportunities for the history community to provide context and information to help make sense of modern challenges. History institutions can serve as a refuge from the rapid swirl of the news cycle and offer the restoration, contemplation, and community sought by a tired and disconnected citizenry.

Even as a need for the history community to take action becomes increasingly apparent, many of us remain hesitant to enter the fray. Some are aware that there are no quick solutions and that real connections take time. Others are afraid to weigh in on politically divisive issues or simply uncertain how, when, or if to make the jump. As history practitioners and history organizations encounter increasingly pressing and even dire challenges in our communities and within the field, the question remains:

What are we waiting for?

This question serves as our theme for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) 2019 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Depending on the work at hand, our response to the question will vary. It might serve as a call to action, a challenge to embrace difficult work now. It might also serve as a cautious whisper, a reminder to slow down and get it right. Although different issues warrant different responses, consideration of the question is essential in light of the challenges our field, communities, nation, and planet are facing.

In the spirit of this theme, the Program Committee seeks proposals that:

  • Engage intentionality around advancing or pausing initiatives.
  • Inspire movement for “stuck” colleagues.
  • Empower AASLH Annual Meeting attendees to address the pressing issues of our time successfully.
  • Provide understanding and tools for “slow growth” in areas where the weight of the issue requires foundational preparation.
  • Encompass a variety of formats that engage Annual Meeting attendees in fun, inspiring, serious, intellectual learning.

Deadline for session proposals is December 7.

Learn more about submitting a session and how to submit online.