The 2020 Annual Meeting will be held online this fall.

As we adapt to changing circumstances, we hope to carry as much of our original conference programming forward as possible. In addition, the flexibility of this year’s online format will offer greater relevancy, allowing us to speak to our theme in ways we hadn’t anticipated just a few short months ago. The conference will address questions that are emerging from the pandemic, such as defining what history institutions will look like and how they will operate in and after the recovery. We will also continue to examine the unique roles that history museums, historic sites, historical societies, and other history organizations, including AASLH, must play in combating racism, among the nation’s most deep-seated societal challenges.

Although we will not be gathering in-person in Las Vegas this year, we are working with the Tropicana Hotel and our 2020 Host Committee to find a time in fall 2023 to return to Las Vegas.

AASLH staff are excited to work with the Program and Host committees, presenters, and other AASLH members to make this year’s Annual Meeting a unique and rich experience. We expect conference registration to open on or around August 1.

What Kind of Ancestor Will You Be?

This question, more relevant now than when it was first selected, remains the theme for the 2020 Online Annual Meeting. Richard Josey, founder and President of Collective Journeys, AASLH Council Member, and Vice Chair of the AASLH Diversity and Inclusion Committee, first posed this question to us at an AASLH 2017 panel on diversity and inclusion in Austin, Texas.

Our role as members of history communities comes with a responsibility to advocate for the unheard and the unseen. Arturo Schomburg, the black Puerto Rican historian, writer, activist, and bibliophile for whom the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is named, was motivated to “stand in the gap” for black people when his schoolteacher told him black people have no history. He went on to build one of the most prolific collections of books detailing the rich history of the continent of Africa and its growing diaspora. His legacy was to confirm the humanity of a people by disrupting the “single story” that still attempts to dehumanize them today.

We have the chance to dislocate dominant culture and tell stories from multiple perspectives by being co-stewards with the communities that we serve in the spirit of equity and inclusion. Our history communities get to provide transformational experiences which allow the world to understand the value of all humanity.

Our sector should strive to be the types of ancestors that changed the course of history by how they stewarded it. What will historians, history professionals, and history lovers say about us? Will they say that our generation was the one to lift the veil of division? Will they say that our generation focused on community interpretation that emphasized bringing proximity to differences as opposed to isolation?

One of our African American ancestors, James Baldwin, said this about history: “History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it, in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.”

Our theme is not just a question. It is a clarion call to our professional community to consider our work in the temporal continuum of the past, present, and future. Now ask yourself: “What kind of ancestor will you be?

Sponsor, exhibit, and advertise at the 2020 Annual Meeting.

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities will soon be made available for the 2020 Online Annual Meeting. Current and prospective sponsors can contact Rey Regenstreif-Harms at with questions.


Waiver and Photo Release

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

  • AASLH is committed to provided 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 you 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.
  • You agree that you are not aware of health or medical conditions preventing your safe participation in the activities for which you register, and release and discharge AASLH, their respective affiliates, and subsidiaries, as well as any event sponsor, jointly and severally, from any and all liability, damages, costs (including attorney fees), actions, or causes of action related to or arising from or out of your participation in or preparation of any of the events for which your register.

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.
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 threatening 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 at the meeting venue, hotels, or other AASLH-contracted facilities 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, or 615-320-3203 or Bethany Hawkins, Chief of Operations, or 615-320-3203 so that we can take the appropriate action. You can also request assistance at the AASLH registration desk or email
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.

Responsible Drinking

At most AASLH networking events, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served. AASLH expects participants at our events to drink responsibly. AASLH and meeting host event staff have the right to deny service to participants for any reason and may require a participant to leave the event.

Personal Safety and Security

AASLH works diligently to provide a safe and secure environment at its meetings and events by working with venue staff to make sure meeting participants are safe. We ask that all attendees report any questionable or concerning activity to AASLH staff so that they can take immediate action. No concern is too small, if you see something, say something.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Use the buddy system when walking to and from the event venue, networking event locations during early or late hours.
  • Don’t wear your meeting badge on the street. Take it off as soon as you leave the building/venue.
  • Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime.

If it is an emergency or if you need immediate assistance, you should ask any AASLH staff member or the on-site security personnel to help you.

Based on guidelines from the American Society of Society Executives,

Frequently Asked Questions

AASLH staff is continuing to work with our Program and Host Committees to finalize details for the 2020 Annual Meeting, which will be held online this fall. Please check back soon for additional information and updated FAQ’s.

Below is a collection of questions asked often as the Annual Meeting approaches. Registration for the 2020 Annual Meeting will open in summer of 2020.

How much should I budget for the Annual Meeting? The following ranges should help you prepare your budget. 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 $250
  • Event fees: $50 and up
  • Hotel fees: Between $129-$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 Meeting. 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, click Membership Center in the upper right corner, and click to reset your password.

I need a receipt. Send an email to to request a receipt.

Refunds on evening events and tours. Email your cancellation to 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 speakingDo 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 Meeting 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 meeting? Yes, all attendees will be included in this directory as long as your registration is received 3 weeks before the Annual Meeting. 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.

Annual Meeting Scholarships

There are several opportunities for scholarships to attend the AASLH Annual Meeting. We will have more specific information about scholarship applications soon.

AASLH Small Museums Scholarship 

The Small Museums Committee of AASLH offers scholarships for the AASLH Annual Meeting. Scholarships are available to full- or part-time paid/unpaid staff of small museums (annual budget of up to $250,000). Each scholarship will cover the complete cost of one individual conference registration fee.

DEADLINE: August 2, 2020

AASLH Douglas Evelyn Scholarship for Diversity 

The Evelyn Scholarship is named in honor of Douglas Evelyn, AASLH president from 1992-1994, and recognizes Evelyn’s strong support of AASLH’s professional development mission. A primary objective of the Douglas Evelyn Scholarship is to increase culturally diverse participation at the AASLH Annual Meeting and in all of the association’s programs. The scholarship includes annual meeting registration fee, a one-year individual membership in AASLH, and $700 toward travel and hotel expenses.

Full-time Students

It’s not a scholarship, but full-time students can receive free registration to the AASLH Annual Meeting in exchange for working two four-hour shifts during the meeting. Volunteer opportunities include monitoring sessions, distributing session evaluations, assisting with transportation to evening events, and more. Contact Rey Regenstreif-Harms for more information.

The American Association for State and Local History will present its 2020 Annual Meeting online this fall.

Deadline for submissions was December 9. We are no longer accepting session proposals.

What Kind of Ancestor Will You Be?
In the spirit of this theme, the Program Committee seeks proposals that:

  • Challenge the single narrative in interpretation, education, public programs, and exhibition
  • Demonstrate internal organizational strategies that increase equitable practices through cultural
  • Centralize issues that have been on the margins of our field to help our audiences see the
    humanity in one another
  • Decrease traditional methods of engagement and increase decolonized practices across
    organizational operations
  • Embolden our members to utilize public history as a tool that informs the conscious of many communities.

In crafting your proposal, consider what your colleagues can learn from you, your institution, and others as you strive to:

  • Develop new methods of fundraising and enterprise to solidify your financial stability
  • Build diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion within the profession, AASLH, and other audiences
  • Construct strategic coalitions that increase the capacity of your organizations to help you meet your missions
  • Honor the continuum of time to use the knowledge of the past to inform the present and change the future.
  • Encourage sustainable practices in your organization.


  • Each session must have a session chair responsible for finding other speakers and coordinating logistics.
  • Session chairs must be affiliated with an institutional member or be an AASLH individual member.
  • Membership is not required for session speakers.
  • Topics for sessions should fall into at least one of the categories listed on page one of the Proposal Form.
  • Proposals must be submitted on a Call for Proposals form through AASLH’s online submission system. Access the form here.

The 2020 Annual Meeting will also include times for less formal presentation and discussion formats. More information will be released closer to the conference time.

Read the guidelines and instructions for submitting a proposal.

Submit Your Proposal