The 116th annual meeting of the Association will be held in San Francisco, January 3–6, 2002. The Program Committee welcomes proposals from all members of the Association (academic and nonacademic), from affiliated societies, and from scholars in foreign countries and in related disciplines. In planning the program, the committee seeks presentations that address the entire community of historians and provide opportunities to examine the larger concerns of the profession. Panels focusing on research and teaching and on discussion of significant professional issues, rights, and responsibilities are welcome. Continuing the practice of previous years, the committee encourages the participation of established scholars and also requests, in particular, panels on time periods, regions, topics, and approaches that have been underrepresented in recent AHA meetings. As the last few meetings have indicated, those assembling panels and those attending them have found that comparative sessions have worked well both in stimulating discussion and attracting a diverse audience.
The 2002 conference theme will be “Frontiers.” The idea of the frontier has long been an imaginative source for American historians. We seek to extend its reach in a host of new directions, both spatial and theoretical. We have in mind the exploration of intellectual as well as geographical and physical frontiers; disciplinary frontiers are no more or less imaginary than those involving mountains or rivers. We see frontiers as evoking intellectual imaginings and explorings as well as a spatial awareness of surroundings and borders, and believe this topic will add greatly to our understanding of human effort and aspiration.
How have frontiers, whether spatial, national, or intellectual, influenced the evolution of historical studies? In what ways might the idea of the frontier encourage new collaborations, new approaches to the discipline of history? We hope to encourage our colleagues quite literally to open up the idea of the frontier, a project we believe to be workable across nations, topics, and methodologies. We also invite reflections on the history of frontiers (from Frederick Jackson Turner to the history of human invention and exploration) and on the impact of ideas of the frontier, whether physical, intellectual, spiritual, or however else imagined. Accordingly, we will give weight to panels that investigate this paradigm in various ways.
More information is available on the AHA web site. The Annual Meeting Panel Locator Database is now available for persons seeking to assemble panels for the 2002 meeting. You can record your topic of interest in the database, and search for others with similar interests.
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