The Organization of American Historians (OAH) and the National Council on Public History (NCPH) will bring together more than 2,000 historians from around the globe for their annual conference showcasing the latest scholarship in American history. The meeting will take place April 18-22 at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The four-day meeting will include more than 150 sessions on historical topics, workshops, networking events, and excursions into the city of Milwaukee. A team of scholars from China will also attend the conference, representing the American History Research Association of China. They will be among the approximately 100 scholars of American history attending the convention who live and work outside the United States.
Milwaukee’s rich culture and history, and the state of Wisconsin’s recent political controversies, help set the stage for the theme of this year’s meeting, “Frontiers of Capitalism and Democracy.”
“The recent legislation passed by the Wisconsin Legislature limiting collective bargaining for its public employees will serve as a backdrop to talk about labor history in a city which is truly affected by it,” said Katherine Finley, Executive Director of the OAH.
Other sessions will present the latest work in public and environmental history, new media, military history, labor history, diplomatic history, and more.
The meeting will also include exhibits from publishers of American history textbooks and other scholarly products, a silent auction, and a live broadcast of “BackStory with the American History Guys,” (http://www.backstoryradio.org), a weekly public radio program and podcast that applies historical perspective to current events.
“BackStory” is one of the many events that will be free and open to the public. Open sessions encourage the wide discussion of historical scholarship and help to connect the meeting’s theme to current events. (For the list of sessions that are free and open to the public, visit: http://bit.ly/oah2012-public-sessions.)
The 2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting is an event unlike any other. It will bring together professors, public historians, teachers, museum curators, archivists, journalists and others and provide unique historical insight into contemporary problems. “The tension between capitalism and democracy is arguably the central issue of our time,” said Duke University historian and OAH/NCPH Program Committee Cochair Nancy MacLean. “We see it playing out in so many ways today: a global economic crisis which is accelerating the demise of welfare states in Europe and the United States, surging economic growth accompanied by continued political repression in China, and the way poverty and political aspirations combined to produce the revolutions in the Middle East.”
“We can’t understand the challenges our nation faces today without knowing the history of how they came to be,” Finley said. “By supporting the scholarship of the past, we better our future.”
For more information about the upcoming annual meeting, visit: http://annualmeeting.oah.org/
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