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Annual Meeting

“The Quest for Democracy: One Hundred Years of Struggle”

2020 OHA Annual Meeting
October 19-24, 2020
Virtual Meeting

Make plans to digitally attend the 2020 OHA Annual Meeting. The annual meeting attracts a broad range of people and features the best work in the field. The meeting enables students and both emerging and established scholars to network and learn valuable skills. The theme for 2020 is The Quest for Democracy: One Hundred Years of Struggle.

The complete program is here: ***All times are listed in Eastern Time.

Registration information is available here:

See more 2020 Virtual Meeting details here:

Conference Update:

Thank you for your patience as the Program Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Executive Office, and myself have worked tirelessly to develop the Oral History Association’s first virtual conference.  For a normal annual meeting, planning for the conference starts a year and a half before the actual gathering.   The first vice president forms the Program and Local Arrangements Committees, the program co-chairs draft the CFP and invite major speakers, and the Local Arrangements Committee strategizes ways the conference can effectively engage with the local community.  Normally, we would have let people know whether their proposals were accepted in April, scheduled the sessions in May, opened up registration in June, and sent out the full program in August. But as you know, this year has been anything but normal. 

As things shut down in March, no one was certain what the impact would be on the conference, but we scrambled to make contingency plans, researched best practices for hybrid and virtual conferences, surveyed our members, and developed a plan and a budget for a virtual conference.  The Executive Office negotiated with the conference hotel and reached an agreement in late June to reschedule our conference there in 2023.  It was not until we were able to ensure that we would not take a devastating financial hit that we were able to fully commit to an all-virtual conference.  The OHA Council approved a budget for the virtual conference in late June, and from that point we started implementing our plans for our upcoming virtual conference with breakneck speed. 

I believe we will have a very creative and robust virtual annual meeting that will enable us to continue to move the field forward and also develop the professional networks that are essential for sustaining our field.  We have reason to believe that we may have the largest number of people participating in our Annual Meeting than ever before.  While we usually have approximately 90 sessions at our conferences, this year we will have approximately 125 sessions.  Additionally, we will have over a dozen workshops and nearly a half-dozen free virtual tours for conference attendees.  Smithsonian Visionary Artist and MacArthur Fellow Joyce Scott will deliver the keynote address. Award winning radio producer Marc Steiner will conduct a live on-air interview with critically acclaimed author D. Watkins for our first plenary.  The second plenary features Toni Tipton Martin, an award-winning food and nutrition journalist who explores the relationship between cultural heritage, cooking, and social change.  The plenary sessions and keynote address will be live streamed from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore and made publicly available.

This year’s conference will forever be remembered for the way we came together in the midst of the crisis of the pandemic and the crisis of systematic racism.  The program is more relevant than ever as we address the relationship between Oral History and Democracy in the weeks before a pivotal Presidential election and 100 years following the passage of the 19th Amendment.  Now more than ever is the time to assess what is our role as oral historians.  Please join us for the Oral History Association’s Annual Meeting in 2020.

(Read the full letter here)

Dan Kerr
Vice President/President Elect, Oral History Association


In light of the virtual conference, scholarship awardees will receive complimentary registration instead of the additional travel support.



Online Forum:


Mentor Program:



The Call for Papers is closed. The deadline was February 17, 2020. Please note that you will have to create a new account, even if you have submitted proposals in the past or are a member of the organization.

The Poster Submission Portal is closed for poster submissions. See the full Call for Posters for more information.

Advertising and Exhibiting:




OHA Member with Institutional Support… $75
OHA Member Independent Scholar … $50
OHA Student Member… $40
Non-member… $120
Non-member Student… $50

Future Annual Meetings

October 13-17, 2021

Los Angeles
October 19-22, 2022

Baltimore, MD



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