|From the Supplement to the 123rd Annual Meeting
Attention Public Historians
This article highlights some of the sessions and events that will be of interest to public historians and colleagues wishing to learn more about the field.
As the AHA’s public history coordinator, I would like to extend a special invitation to public historians and their colleagues to attend the open forum on public history to be held Sunday, January 4 at 12:15 p.m. in the Hilton’s Madison Suite. The session offers a chance to speak with members of the Professional Division (PD) about the Association’s progress in implementing the recommendations of the AHA’s Task Force on Public History (2001–05) and the forthcoming report of the Joint AHA, National Council on Public History, and Organization of American Historians Working Group on Evaluating Public History Scholarship. The conversation will help set priorities for the future of public history in the Association.
On Sunday evening from 6–7:30 p.m. in the Hilton’s Clinton Suite, public historians and anyone with an interest in the field are invited to a reception hosted by the Professional Division; the American Association for State and Local History; the National Council on Public History; the New York Council for the Humanities; the Department of History, New York University; and the Society for History in the Federal Government.
Public historians will find many sessions of interest on the program this year, including a presidential session, “History, Museums, and the Politics of Memory: The Congo in Belgium after King Leopold’s Ghost” (152). (The author will receive the AHA’s Roosevelt-Wilson Award on Friday.) Other sessions will focus on determining the knowledge, skills, and experiences essential to the public history professional (88), the future of memory studies (113), the National Declassification Initiative (149), and oral history (91).
The Local Arrangements Committee has organized tours designed to encourage historians to interact with the local public history community, including several archive tours, a tour of the new African Burial Ground National Monument and Visitor Center, and a tour of industrial sites in Paterson, New Jersey that local and regional public historians have been campaigning to have designated a National Historical Industrial Park.
Other sessions will educate undergraduate and beginning graduate students about the range of career paths open to professional historians, including a session organized by the AHA Graduate and Early Career Committee on careers outside academe (155) and a session sponsored by the Society for History in the Federal Government, “Careers in Federal History”.
The AHA is committed to increasing the presence of public history at the annual meeting. We invite our colleagues to submit proposals for the 2010 meeting in San Diego.
Please visit www.historians.org/annual for the call for proposals and access to the electronic submission system.
Debbie Ann Doyle is the AHA’s public history coordinator.Last Updated: December 13, 2008 1:14 PM