By Iliana Morton, AASLH Emerging History Professionals Committee
There’s something magical about conferences, especially as an Emerging History Professional. From networking to learning to engaging in conversation about topics that truly matter, conferences are a chance to connect with our industry peers. This year’s AASLH Annual Meeting features over fifty presentations, both live and recorded. As a bonus, since this year’s conference is online, we all get to attend in our most comfortable slippers while sipping our favorite tea! You can browse through all the sessions in the Program Guide, and here is a list of the AASLH Emerging History Professionals Committee’s top picks.
Thursday, September 24
11-12:15 pm ET: #MeToo, and #BlackLivesMatter: Black Women Leaders Overcoming the Double Burden
Opening remarks at a conference are a chance to get yourself into the right headspace. The opening session for this year’s conference is no exception. The session, which considers how Black women leaders in our industry are faced with a double burden, is sure to make us all think about our work, studies, and commitment to our communities in new ways. This dialogue is especially important for EHPs, as it will give us a better understanding of the state of our industry and how we can work to improve it as we move through our careers.
Friday, September 25
4-5:15 pm ET: “OK Boomer”: Breaking the Cycle of Generational Bias
This facilitated dialogue will ask us to think about the biases we hold about our multi-generational peers, and even about ourselves. This discussion may be useful for EHPs, as it will provide tools you need to address generational differences without resorting to bias-based judgement. Likewise, it might provide some tips for how to better communicate with colleagues with different experiences than your own.
Saturday, September 26
1-2:15 pm ET: Democratizing Curation
For EHPs who are working (or plan to work) with historic collections or in developing exhibits, this presentation is a must! Presenters will talk about how to approach exhibit development in ways that can open up an organization to new and exciting possibilities.
Monday, September 28
11-12:15 pm ET: Intersecting Pandemics of Racial Injustice and COVID 19 and Its Impacts on the Future of Public History
We are living through what are arguably some of the most defining moments of our generation. As EHPs it is critical to think about how conversations around race, justice and COVID-19 overlap, and what that means for the ways we practice history moving forward.
Tuesday, September 29
4-5:15 pm ET: Putting Essential Understanding/Foundational Truth into Practice
This year’s conference asks us to consider what kind of ancestor we will be. What legacy will we leave behind? As history professionals, this is doubly important as we are often tasked with helping the public understand the past so that we can all create a better future. This session offers chances to think about how different organizations have defined and rooted foundational truths in their work.
Wednesday, September 30
12:30-1:45 pm ET: Museum Salaries: Turning Talk into Action
This session will look at ways to actively promote salary transparency in our field. It’s important that EHPs feel empowered to navigate discussions about compensation for their work. This session will help promote dialogue and give you plenty to consider while navigating the job market.
On Demand Presentations
One of the great things about having the conference online this year is the pre-recorded sessions list. Whether you’re working, attending classes from home, or shifting your schedule to help with a child’s schoolwork, our schedules have all been a little more hectic than usual. These pre-recorded sessions can be watched any time, giving you more flexibility to benefit from this year’s program. Here are few that may be of interest to EHPs:
Becoming a Director
If a leadership role is part of your career plan, this is a great session to tune in to. Panelists will share how they came into their roles, their job search stories, and what they learned about being a woman and a leader in the history field.
Shelving Isn’t Sexy and Other Grant Writing Snafus
Every organization needs staff who can list grant writing as a skill. Brush up on your grant-writing dos and don’ts in this presentation. Panelists will share why they were rejected for funding so that you’re better prepared to write a winning proposal.
Register for the Annual Meeting here.
Learn more about the Emerging History Professionals Affinity Community here.