A Great Conference for Historic Sites Coming Up in April

The Organization of American Historians and the National Council on Public History are combining their annual meetings this year and this double-header is creating a really interesting conference for people who are working to preserve and interpret historic places.  Here are just a few sessions that caught my eye (and just a few–there are more than 200 sessions offered over five days):

  • Museum and Makers:  Intersections of Public History and Technology Buffs from Steam Trains to Steampunk
  • Museums, Historic Sites, and the University:  Public History Projects and Partnerships in the American Indian Great Lakes
  • The Witness Tree Project:  Using Historic Landscapes to Explore History and Memory
  • Toward a Reinterpretation of the Indian Wars at National Historic Sites and Parks
  • Closing Up Shop:  Strategies for Partners and Communities When Historic Sites Close
  • Place, Race, and Preservation:  Stories from the Field
  • Working as Partners:  How Historic Sites and Local Schools and Universities Can Work Together
  • Public History as Civic Engagement:  Place-Based Learning as Both an Opportunity and a Problem for History Education
  • Lessons Learned in Researching, Preserving, and Interpreting Women’s History at Historic Sites
  • How High the Moon, How Deep the Probe:  A Fresh Look at Measures of Success in Public History Work
  • State of the Field:  The Present and Future of History Museums
  • Letting Go?  Historical Authority in a User-Generated World
  • Public History and Latino Communities:  Projects, People, Problems
  • Right Here on This Spot:  Place and Meaning in Historical Scholarship and Community Engagement
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Interpreting Slavery for Public Audiences

And although we each have our preferences for topics and periods of study, this conference is bringing out some of the rockstars in the history field, including Ira Berlin, David Blight, Kenneth T. Jackson, Eric Foner, Linda Gordon, Mary Beth North, William Cronon, Gary Nash, Edward Linenthal, David Levering Lewis, Merritt Roe Smith, Edward Ayers, Steven Lubar, and many others.  Plus there is the exhibit hall with demonstrations, luncheons and plenary session with special speakers, poster sessions, career center, workshops, tours, speed networking, films, lighting talks, digital drop-ins, a public history commons, working groups, silent auction, live radio broadcast, and a service project.  I’m overwhelmed and dizzy from the options (and I’ll admit, perhaps a bit nerdy).

Tempted?  You’ll find more information on the OAH website (including the preliminary program as a pdf) and mark April 18-22, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on your calendars.  The discounted advance registration fee ends April 1 (no fooling!).  Hope to see you there!