AASLH 2023 Annual Conference

#AASLH2023: “I, Too, Am America” — September 6-9, 2023 in Boise, Idaho

I, too, am America.

— Langston Hughes, “I, Too” from The Weary Blues, 1926

The preamble to the United States Constitution, begins with the phrase “We, the People…” This phrase has become synonymous with the definition of an American identity. Despite its inclusive appearance “We, the People” was employed as an exclusionary tactic. The phrase indicated an incorporation into a larger American identity while, for generations, ignoring significant groups of people who contributed to, sustained, and influenced American society. Today, “We, the People” has evolved into an inclusive statement of the history and experiences of people within in the United States.

The 2023 conference theme “I, too, am America” is inspired by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’s 1926 poem “I, Too” where he stakes his claim on the evolving promise of an inclusive nation by stating “I, too, am America.”  His demand tests the promise of the preamble. His poem demonstrates that, despite the country’s segregated society and exclusion of Blacks from the American identity, as a Black man, Hughes was also an American. The 2023 AASLH Annual Conference theme draws on the broadening concept of American identity that is found in Making History At 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial.

“I, Too, Am America,” evokes an inclusive definition of America which expands beyond citizenship documentation to everyone who lives, works, and contributes to American society regardless of legal status. “I, Too, Am America” applies to all people: Black, White, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTQ+,  men, women, nonbinary individuals, adults, teens, children, the elderly, immigrants, undocumented individuals, poor and low income, non-native English speakers, multi-lingual people, high school graduates, college students, K – 12 students, the formerly incarcerated, the incarcerated, East coast, West coast, South, Southwest, Midwest and all variations in between. “I, Too, Am America,” is a bold statement looking at the past, present, and future states of being an American, how we interpret American history, and our evolving audience.

In the countdown to country’s 250th anniversary, we are forced to wrestle with our collective identity. Our 2023 conference is a call for an engaging examination of identity through creativity, innovation, and compelling discussion. Questions we should consider are:

  • What does “I, Too, Am America” mean to you?
  • How does this challenging sociocultural moment inspire innovation?
  • How are institutions navigating this sociocultural moment?
  • How does the changing physical and cultural landscape impact our institutions and work as public historians?
  • How do we incorporate and highlight underrepresented and unknown stories?
  • How do we reconsider longstanding narratives?
  • What are our audiences’ needs, and how has that impacted our ongoing community engagement?
  • What is technology’s role in our ongoing work? How does it facilitate education, inclusion, and engagement?
  • How, when, and why have definitions of “the people” and ideas about belonging changed in the United States, in your state, or in your community?

Boise, Idaho will serve as the location for this discussion. The city has seen significant growth and change in the last decade. In 2019, Boise was the second-fastest growing metro area in the nation. The city’s longstanding commitment as an inviting place to all has resulted it welcoming over 800 new citizens each year from over 20 foreign countries. Idaho is home to five federally recognized tribes—the Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone Paiute, and Shoshone Bannock—whose history and culture can be seen throughout the state. The state’s distinct and rugged landscape and the city of Boise’s incorporation of urban and outdoor landscape urge us to consider the influence of changing landscapes on our work, identity, and community. Idaho’s land, which transcends nearly 700 miles from its north at the Canadian border to its southern neighbor Utah, has significantly shaped the culture and character of its people. Home to the second largest Basque population in North America, Boise reminds us of the influence and culture that various groups bring to our communities.

“I, Too, Am America” means that we must consider all parts of the country and all people within the country. It is a demand echoing throughout history and reverberating within Idaho’s history.  From women’s suffrage in 1896 to the Native American struggle for civil and human rights to the preservation and interpretation of Japanese internment camps to the ever-evolving demographics, Idaho reflects the ongoing discussion of American identity. Join us in Boise as we gather and explore our collective identity.

Dr. Noelle Trent
Director of Interpretation, Collections, and Education, National Civil Rights Museum
2023 Annual Conference Program Chair

What is the AASLH Annual Conference?

The AASLH Annual Conference is an in-person experience that engages and connects history professionals and volunteers and inspires them in their work. We encourage every attendee’s full participation in the sessions, workshops, tours, and discussions. Each session type is categorized so that attendees can see the level of participation it involves. Before you propose a session, think carefully about how it will engage your audience.

We hope the Annual Conference becomes a transformative moment for all, a chance to go deep, to reenergize, to build professional relationships, and to focus on a sense of place and history in the host city. In formal and informal spaces, participants will work through challenging discussions and learn new practices. While there will be an emphasis on communal events to build shared experience, we will offer multiple opportunities for personalized learning, in tours, workshops, and sessions.

Marketing Opportunities

Connect with public history practitioners at the 2023 AASLH Annual Conference in Boise, Idaho, on September 6-9. Advertise your organization, institution, services, or products to conference attendees and a total estimated reach of 25,000 history practitioners.

Why attend the Annual Conference?
History and museum professionals from all over the country attend the AASLH Annual Conference to learn new techniques, solve challenges together, and find new products or services to improve their practice of history. As an exhibitor or sponsor, you have a unique opportunity to meet prospective clients and network at dozens of sessions, tours, evening events, luncheons, and more.

Sponsor: Get maximum brand exposure as an Annual Conference Sponsor. Packages start at $500.

Exhibit: Reserve a booth in our two-day Exhibit Hall. Packages start at $825.

Advertise: Raise awareness of your organization or product with a full-color ad in our Preliminary Program and Onsite Guide. Prices start at $200.

For more information about these opportunities, and to reserve an ad, sponsorship, or exhibit booth, download our Marketing Kit.

Annual Conference Fellowships and Scholarships

The Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowships and Small Museums Scholarships are the two programs that are available to assist those who would like to attend the AASLH Annual Conference.

Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowship

The Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowships are named in honor of AASLH’s president from 1992-1994, and recognizes Evelyn’s strong support of AASLH’s professional development mission. A primary objective of the Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowships are to increase culturally diverse participation at the AASLH Annual Conference and in all of the Association’s programs. The scholarships include the Annual Conference registration fee, a one-year individual membership in AASLH, and $700 toward travel and hotel expenses. Five fellowships are available. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2023.

Apply Here

Small Museums Scholarships

AASLH’s Small Museums Committee is offering scholarships to any AASLH members who are full-time, part-time, paid, or volunteer employees of small museums. The $700 scholarship will cover the cost of registration. Any remaining funds can be used to offset travel and/or lodging expenses. To qualify, the applicant must work for a museum with a budget of $250,000 or less and either be an individual member of AASLH or work for an institutional members. Deadline for applications is June 15, 2023.

Apply Here

Call For Posters

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is once again partnering with the National Council on Public History (NCPH) to invite proposals for an NCPH‐sponsored Poster Session at the 2023 AASLH Annual Conference.

Deadline: June 2, 2023
Submit a proposal at: http://ncph.org/aaslh-poster-proposal-form/
Questions about your poster submission? Email NCPH Program Manager Meghan Hillman at [email protected]
Questions about AASLH 2023? Email AASLH Program and Publications Manager Aja Bain at [email protected]

What is the Poster Session?

Built on NCPH’s model, the poster session at AASLH 2023 is an opportunity to share project-based work with attendees in a creative, visual format that invites lively discussion. It can be useful for works-in-progress, student-driven work, ephemeral or temporary projects, and collaborative or experimental work. It may be a particularly appropriate format for presentations where visual or material evidence represents a central component.

Why is the Poster Session Important?

Posters are an interactive and collegial way to display and discuss projects. In the sciences, posters are often used to present preliminary data on a research topic and gather feedback. Participants—whether seasoned museum professionals or students—can get responses to work in progress or additional feedback on finished projects. Students may choose to share projects or programs completed through classes, internships, or capstones.

When is the Poster Session?

The poster session will be held on Friday morning, September 8 at Boise Centre (850 W. Front Street) in Boise, Idaho. Set‐up will begin an hour before the poster session begins.

How Do I Submit a Proposal?

Please fill out the online form. Along with contact information and a brief (~300 word) explanation of your poster, we ask that you provide a one-page CV or résumé for each presenter and a simple visual mock-up of your poster (saved and uploaded as a PDF). This need not be the final version of your poster. You might think of it as a visual outline—a representation of the main points and key elements of your display.

When is My Proposal Due?

Poster proposals are due Friday, June 2. Upon submission you will receive a confirmation email; if you do not receive a confirmation email, contact NCPH to ensure your submission was received. You will receive notification of whether your poster has been accepted by late June 2023.

How Will My Proposal Be Judged?

The review committee will consider the persuasiveness of your abstract, the persuasiveness/quality of your visual presentation, and your project’s relation to major issues and questions in public history and the historical community.

Design Guidelines

While we want to encourage creativity in presentation, presenters must stick to these size and material guidelines to ensure that their posters can be displayed within the hall’s constraints and, as well, to reduce the cost of participation and shipping. Upon request in your proposal, one half of a six-foot table will be provided where participants can display websites, video, audio, objects, or other optional supporting materials.

Note: Basic wireless internet access will be available for the poster session. However, in case service gets interrupted, you should save any websites or videos to your hard drive so that you are able to navigate the site without internet access.

What are the dimensions of a poster?

No larger than 36” x 48”.

What materials should I use?

Use laminated paper or poster paper. Some folks even get their posters printed on fabric. If you will need space to hang a poster, please be sure to include in your proposal a request for cardboard backing and an easel.

Formatting and Content Advice

  • A good poster should introduce your topic, research questions, or goals; describe methodology and/or best practices; and suggest lessons learned that will be relevant to your own work and to others interested in pursuing such projects.
  • Give the poster a title.
  • Include a central paragraph that summarizes the whole project.
  • Use images to illustrate your points.
  • Caption the photos with a title, photographer, and date.
  • Keep text brief. Edit carefully. The test of a good poster is if someone can read it in two minutes and understand your main points.
  • Print out all text. Do not hand letter.
  • Consider making copies of your poster as handouts. This will mean shrinking the poster to legal‐sized copies. Observers often want something to take away. Provide your contact information so that people can reach you later with additional questions, resources, and/or suggestions

Printing and Shipping

You have a few options for printing and shipping. You may print the poster at home, roll it in a poster tube, and ship it to your hotel or to the Boise Centre (more details will be provided closer to the conference). You may also print your poster at home and carry it on the plane. If you do not wish to ship or transport the poster, you may email your poster file to a print shop in Boise and pick it up there.

Conference Center Location

Boise Centre
850 W. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702

Hotel Information

The 2023 AASLH Conference in Boise will be a bit different from previous years. There are AASLH room blocks at four hotels within a short walk of Boise Centre, where the conference will be held. Please choose the hotel that works best for your budget and travel preferences.

We recommend making hotel reservations early! The Boise State University football home opener is Saturday, September 9, increasing the demand for rooms on Friday and Saturday night.

AASLH Hotel Options Room Types and Rates Room Block Cut-Off Date
Headquarter Hotel: The Grove Single/Double or King: $184 August 4, 2023
Hotel 43 King/Double: $179
Pure Wellness Room: $199
August 4, 2023
Home2Suite by Hilton Boise Downtown Single/Double: $149 August 4, 2023
Hampton Inn and Suites Boise Downtown Single/Double: $135 August 12, 2023

Headquarter Hotel:
The Grove
245 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702
(208) 333-8000

The Bar at The Grove is designated as the “official watering hole” for the 2023 AASLH Conference.

Room Rate: Single/Double or King Suite: $184 plus 13% in local taxes

Room Block Cut-Off Date: August 4, 2023, or when the room block is full (whichever occurs first).

Reservations: https://bookings.travelclick.com/76224?groupID=3808769#/guestsandrooms


  • Check in: 4 p.m.
  • Check out: 12 noon
  • Complimentary basic wi-fi (premium wi-fi for a fee)
  • Complimentary airport shuttle
  • Room service
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Access to the Grove Fitness Club and Spa and indoor pool
  • Onsite and valet parking with a fee

Hotel 43
981 W Grove St., Boise, ID 83702
(208) 342-4622

Room Rates:

Room Block Cut-off Date: August 4, 2023, or when the room block is full (whichever occurs first).

Reservations: https://bookings.travelclick.com/110127?groupID=3353001#/guestsandrooms 


  • Check in: 4 p.m.
  • Check out: 12 noon
  • Complimentary high-speed internet
  • Complimentary airport shuttle
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Access to the Grove Fitness Club and Spa
  • Valet Parking
  • Complimentary guest tickets to Boise Art Museum
  • Complimentary bike rentals
  • Metro Café and room service from Chandlers (5:30 – 10:30 p.m.)

Home2Suite by Hilton Boise Downtown
202 South 6th St., Boise, ID 83702
(208) 336-8277 

Room Rate: Single/Double: $149 plus 13% in local taxes

Room Block Cut-Off Date: August 4, 2023, or when the room block is full (whichever occurs first). 

Reservations: https://group.home2suites.com/xr3tkj
If you prefer to make your reservation over the phone, please call (208) 336-8277 and let the reservation team know you are with the Association for State and Local History to receive the discounted rate.


  • Check in: 3 p.m.
  • Check out: 12 noon
  • Complimentary hot breakfast
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Full kitchen
  • Business center
  • Indoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Onsite parking with a fee 

Hampton Inn & Suites Boise Downtown
495 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-1900
If you have any special requests, questions, are having trouble with the site, or would rather book through the hotel’s front desk, please call the hotel.

Room Rate: Single/Double: $135 plus 13% in local taxes

Room Block Cut-off Date: August 12, 2023, or when the room block is full (whichever occurs first). 

Reservations: https://www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/americanassociationforstateandlocalhistory/


  • Check in: 3 p.m.
  • Check out: 12 noon
  • Complimentary hot breakfast
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Business center
  • Indoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Onsite parking with a fee


Waiver and Photo Release

By submitting a registration for the AASLH Annual Conference, you agree to the following: 

  • AASLH is committed to provide a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AASLH staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, AASLH staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by the Meeting Safety & Responsibility Policy. You can read the full policy below. 
  • You authorize AASLH to use, reproduce, and/or publish photographs and/or video that may pertain to you — including your image, likeness, and/or voice without compensation. AASLH may use this material in various publications, recruitment materials, or for other related endeavors in print and online, including the AASLH website and email correspondence. 

Meeting Safety & Responsibility Policy

AASLH is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AASLH staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, AASLH staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by this Meeting Safety & Responsibility Policy. This Policy applies to all AASLH meeting-related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than AASLH but held in conjunction with AASLH events, in public or private facilities. 

Unacceptable Behavior

AASLH has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment in any form, including but not limited to sexual harassment by participants or our staff at our meetings. This policy also covers any virtual meetings hosted by the association. 

Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threateningcyber-bullying, or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AASLH staff member, service provider, or other meeting guests. 

Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AASLH staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest or disruption of presentations at sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organized by AASLH  will not be tolerated. 

 If you experience harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, AASLH asks that you inform either John Dichtl, CEO, [email protected] or 615-320-3203 or Bethany Hawkins, Chief of Operations, [email protected] or 615-320-3203 so that we can take the appropriate action. You can also or email [email protected]. 

AASLH reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior, and AASLH reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting. 

Based on guidelines from the American Society of Society Executives, https://annual.asaecenter.org/meetingsafety.cfm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a collection of questions asked often as the Annual Conference approaches. Registration for the 2023 Annual Conference will open in summer of 2023.

How much should I budget for the Annual Conference? The following ranges were provided to help plan for the 2022 Annual Conference in Buffalo. These fees will be updated at a later date for Boise. Your final fees will depend on your travel expenses, how many ticketed events you attend, and how many days you attend.

  • Registration fees: Vary. Full conference registration member rates begin at $320
  • Event fees: $25 and up
  • Hotel fees: Between $139-$179
  • Travel fees: vary depending on your location

How do I register? There are two ways to register:

  • Online
  • Fax or mail the registration form

I am a staff member of an Institutional Member, what do I need? You need your Institution’s membership number to receive membership rates.

I need to register someone other than myself for the Annual Conference. Can I use my username and password to register them? No. Each attendee will need to register themselves with a unique username and password.

I forgot my username and password to register. Visit aaslh.org, click Membership Center in the upper right corner, and click the link to reset your password.

I need a receipt. Send an email to [email protected] to request a receipt.

Refunds on evening events and tours. Email your cancellation to [email protected] with your name, the event, and reason for cancellation. A refund may be issued if applicable. Please refer to the cancellation policy in the program guide.

Can I purchase event tickets or any other paid events onsite? Yes, if tickets are still available you can purchase onsite for any event or tour. It’s always best to purchase your ticket(s) in advance.

I am a one-day speaker and I plan to attend only on the day that I am speaking. Do I need to fill out a registration form and pay registration fees? Yes, everyone who attends the conference needs to fill out a registration form and pay for their registration.

Who is considered a “guest” on the registration form? Anyone who accompanies you to the Annual Conference that is not going to attend any sessions or workshops. A “guest” may attend the tours and evening events and will need a name badge for that purpose. Please be sure that you list the name of your guest(s) in the “Guest’s name” field on your registration form.

Will I be included in the Attendee directory that is sent out to all attendees prior to the Annual Conference? Yes, all attendees will be included in this directory as long as your registration is received three weeks before the Annual Conference. However, if you check the box “Please exclude me from the attendee directory ” on the registration form, you will not be included in the directory.

I have a “complimentary” registration because I am an exhibitor, a host site, or a volunteer. Can I register on your website? Exhibitors may register online with the promo code provided to them. Host sites and volunteers need to mail or fax a completed registration form to us.

We received coupon(s) from AASLH. Can I register on your website and use them? No, you will need to mail or fax a completed registration form to us and include a copy of the coupon(s). If you are provided with a promo code, you may use that to register online.

Upcoming Annual Conferences

Save the date to join us at our 2024 conference, September 11-14, 2024 in Mobile, Alabama.