Little Rock Central High School, now a National Historic Site.

By Michelle Moon, 2021 AASLH Program Chair

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) will present its 2021 Annual Meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 22-25. This meeting will be a hybrid with virtual components as well as onsite sessions and events. AASLH is now accepting proposals for sessions and workshops.

The Theme: Doing History/Doing Justice

The work of history institutions is justice work. Historic sites, museums, and archives help bring complexity and nuance to questions of right and wrong. Our work helps to establish relevant facts, provide access to evidence, and weigh competing claims for rights, freedoms, access, ownership, and our duty to one another. We raise a range of perspectives and challenge ourselves and our audiences to evaluate and reconcile conflicting views.

The theme of justice resonates throughout Arkansas’s history. At the 2021 Annual Meeting, we can witness the interactions between judicial procedure and social justice at the steps of Central High School, where the Little Rock Nine fought for their right to equal education in 1957. We can explore restorative justice through Rohwer Japanese Relocation Center, where World War II detainees, after a decades-long campaign, secured reparations and commemoration. We can visit the Clinton Presidential Library to study the Good Friday Peace Accords, examining the processes of history, accountability, and reconciliation that brought an end to long, violent conflict in Northern Ireland.

Deadline for session proposals is December 18. Visit our 2021 Annual Meeting page to learn more about the upcoming conference and how to submit a session proposal online.