AASLH 2022 Annual Conference

#AASLH2022 Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place

Started in 2021, AASLH offers a dual format conference: two meetings, one in-person and one online, joined by a single theme. The 2022 AASLH Annual Conference will be held September 14-17 in Buffalo with the 2022 Virtual Conference following on November 1-4. Registration for the conference will open in early June.

From Plymouth Rock to Ellis Island to Wounded Knee, history is powerfully embedded in our sense of place. Place offers a powerful lens through which we can view the past, challenging us to think beyond our modern cityscapes to consider the full history of the space we now call the United States.

As AASLH gathers in Buffalo, NY in 2022, we have an opportunity to reflect on the spaces we occupy and the stories they tell. As holders of history, we have a responsibility to ensure that full stories are being shared with our audiences and that those histories represent the diversity and complicated narratives of the space we occupy now, highlight and investigate the spaces of the past, and set standards for interpreting the concept of place for future generations to come. The conference theme is drawn from “Power of Place,” one of the five themes that AASLH has identified for the 250th anniversary of the United States and laid out in its Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial.

Our conference theme, Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place, suggests many questions. What place is important to you? To your community? Do you see these stories reflected in your museums, historic sites, and the local cultural sector? Who decides what places are saved or interpreted and what ends up being worth saving? Answers to these questions trace back to who is at the table when discussing memorializing an event in history or a place in time, who holds authority in decision making processes, structures of power that often go unseen or unaddressed.

Our host city, Buffalo, is a perfect location for exploring the importance of place. Buffalo was at one point the “Gateway to the West.” But we also need to consider the impact on the Indigenous communities facing a continuing societal upheaval that began centuries before and intensified during the Revolution. As the bicentennial of the Erie Canal approaches in 2025, we must consider the environmental, economic, and sociological impact it had on the development of a nation still in its adolescence. Consider the mighty Niagara Falls. What do we see? An environmental marvel? A resource to be exploited? A diverse community living amidst one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the world? How much of our perspective is determined by who tells the history of these places?

Viewing our conversations for the 2022 Annual Conference through the lens of power of place allows us to consider the spaces and places we’ve collectively built, while acknowledging those we’ve had a hand in reimaging over time. We ask you to embrace this year’s theme, Right Here, Right Now as an invitation to pause and meditate on what placemaking really means to you and to the communities you serve and ultimately to interrogate how you may be a tool in this development process. Let’s gather in Buffalo and reexamine ideas about our natural and built environments and to reorient when and where we find our country’s history.

2022 Program Co-Chairs
Sarah Jencks, Director of Interpretation, Ford’s Theatre Society
Jennifer Ortiz, Director, Utah Division of State History

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. Consider these goals when creating your session.

Hotel Information

Individuals will also be able to make, modify, or cancel reservations by calling 877-803-7534 toll free and referring to American Association for State and Local History or AASLH Annual Conference.

Hyatt Regency Buffalo / Hotel and Conference Center
Two Fountain Plaza
Buffalo, New York, 14202
United States
(716) 856-1234

The room rate is $159 plus local taxes. Room block cut-off date is August 8, 2022.

Reserve Your Room

What is the AASLH Virtual Conference?

The virtual conference is designed to be an inspirational and informative experience, with flexibility for incorporating emerging issues and broad reach for bringing in more voices. The virtual conference is more accessible for many people because of its lower financial and time cost, which makes it possible to include a larger percentage of our members and nonmembers around the country. We can also be more responsive to crucial topics that emerge for the field in the months and weeks beforehand. The virtual conference will be no more than five days in length and focus on sessions that require less audience interaction outside of the chat box. Participants will be encouraged in multiple ways to connect with each other, build their networks, and to continue discussions. Happy hours and discussion groups, for example, will be scheduled for this purpose.

If you are interested in being a sponsor, advertising, or exhibiting the 2022 Annual Conference in Buffalo you can download the 2022 Conference Kit for more information. Information on sponsoring the Virtual Conference is also available

To place an order you can call AASLH at 615-320-3203 or email Rey Regenstreif-Harms at regenstreif-harms@aaslh.org.


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, dichtl@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203 or Bethany Hawkins, Chief of Operations, hawkins@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203 so that we can take the appropriate action. You can also or email council@aaslh.org. 

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 2022 Annual Conference will open in summer of 2022.

Are the 2022 AASLH Annual Conference and the 2022 AASLH Virtual Conference the same thing? No. Starting in 2021, AASLH started offering two experiences joined under one theme. The 2022 theme is Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place. The onsite conference is designed to be more participatory and connect attendees to the location and each other. The virtual conference is designed to provoke, inspire, and inform. Sessions were chosen by the program committee for each experience depending on the presenter’s goals for the session.

How much should I budget for the Annual Conference in Buffalo? 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 $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 info@aaslh.org to request a receipt.

Refunds on evening events and tours. Email your cancellation to info@aaslh.org 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 meeting? 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.

Annual Conference Scholarships

There are several opportunities for scholarships to attend the AASLH Annual Conference. Check back for more opportunities.

AASLH Small Museums Scholarship

Now in its seventeenth year, AASLH’s Small Museums Committee is offering up several scholarships to AASLH members who are full-time, part-time, paid, or volunteer employees of small museums. Each $700 scholarship will cover the cost of in-person annual meeting registration. Acceptance of the scholarship is contingent upon recipients submitting a post to the AASLH blog about their online conference experience.

The scholarship is open to AASLH individual members or people working for institutional members and is a benefit of membership.

For questions, please contact Alex Collins at AASLH.

DEADLINE: June 30, 2022