This week I’m attending the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I’ll be part of a couple educational sessions, debuting my new book on the interpretation of African American history and culture, and concluding my term on the Council. The Minnesota Historical Society has worked hard to encourage participation and radio raconteur Garrison Keillor is giving the keynote address, so this is expected to be among the largest annual meetings in AASLH’s history. The AASLH annual meeting has lots going on including more than 70 sessions and workshops, evening gatherings at the Minnesota History Center and Mill City Museum, a dozen tours of local museums and historic sites, affinity group luncheons, poster and pop-up sessions, an exhibit hall of vendors and companies, and lots of receptions. It’s an ideal place to keep up with what’s happening in the field as well as catch up with my colleagues and friends. If you won’t be able to make it in person, consider attending online (deadline to register is 5 pm on Wednesday, September 17).
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences produced this 7-minute video to accompany its report, The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, and Secure Nation. You’ll see lots of familiar names and faces along with many provocative and inspiring thoughts to bolster your day (and some sufficiently pithy to make great quotes in a fundraising letter).
We’ll be discussing the Heart of the Matter report and the state of history at the AASLH annual meeting this week, first at today’s CEO Forum chaired by Kent Whitworth of the Kentucky Historical Society, which will include presentations by Conny Graft and Pharabe Kolb and discussions facilitated by me. Tomorrow, Tim Grove of the Smithsonian Institution moderates a general session with Conny Graft, Pharabe Kolb, and Kim Fortney. I’ll be sharing the results of those meetings in the weeks that follow.