AASLH 2024 Annual Conference | Mobile, Alabama | September 11-14, 2024

Doing History | Registration Opens in June

Registration Opens in June
Early Bird Member $384  | Early Bird Nonmember $442 | Early Bird Registration Deadline July 26
Preregistration Member $457 | Preregistration Nonmember $548 | Preregistration Deadline August 16
Onsite Member $497  | Onsite Nonmember $587

The 2024 AASLH Annual Conference in Mobile, Alabama, aims to bring together our national history community to explore the vital work of history practitioners with the theme Doing History, which inspires attendees to acknowledge a holistic view of the past, making space for diverse interpretations, and striving toward a future where everyone feels like they belong to something larger than themselves. This conference takes it theme directly from AASLH’s Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, which encourages pulling back the curtain on “Doing History” as we move towards our nation’s semiquincentennial.

Our conference theme seeks to inspire new ideas for history practitioners to help audiences understand how new questions, evidence, and perspectives shape our understanding of the past and present. In Doing History we must be mindful of how our perceptions and experiences influence our understanding of the past. Therefore, history practitioners must pay close attention to what they do, how they do it, and what influences their decisions. By more transparently communicating our methods for learning about the past, we can help audiences better understand how new questions, evidence, and perspectives inform our histories, how they can better do history in their own lives, and how these histories can speak to present-day challenges.

Today, those engaged in Doing History purposefully strive to include a wide range of voices in their work. We acknowledge that the past can provide valuable insights into the present, but only if we approach its lessons honestly and responsibly. However, we must also consider how our own personal experiences and perceptions influence our understanding of the past. We also need to recognize that in doing this work we have to create a safe environment for ourselves and our colleagues.

To achieve a focused collective experience for the conference, we have adopted the following objectives to guide the issues we want to explore:  

Conference participants will:

  • Learn how to invite public audiences to participate in the process of Doing History to help them understand what we do and why it is important.
  • Discover ways our work can help guide our society to become the people and communities we want to be.
  • Be inspired to have confidence that we’ll succeed individually and collectively.
  • Actively seek greater harmony to help us navigate politics and social imbalance effectively and reach a bigger audience on history’s relevance.

Mobile is the perfect location to explore these important topics. The Gulf Coast region has a rich and diverse past, including significant events often unknown outside the area. It has a robust Native American heritage, and served as a colonial capital and played an important role in the efforts of the French, British, and Spanish to establish themselves in the New World before becoming a part of the United States. It prides itself on being recognized as the birthplace of Mardi Gras in America. Some parts of its history, however, are especially difficult. The story of the Clotilda, for example, the last documented ship to illegally transport enslaved Africans into the United States, is one of several touchstones for understanding the region’s complex and often tragic past. The work done by the Mobile history community alongside the residents of Africatown to tell this story is a lesson in collaborative history for AASLH members to explore during the conference.

The Clotilda has been the best-known chapter of Mobile’s history in recent years, but it followed and prefaced many other chapters of similarly profound significance. Mobile is where the Atlantic world and the Deep South intersected for the commercial exchange of enslaved persons, cotton, timber, sugar, and manufactured goods. The Mobile Bay area was a battlefield during the Civil War and the site where one of the largest contingents of African American soldiers in any battle during the conflict helped defeat Confederate forces in the pivotal battle for control of Mobile. Later, Mobile became a shipbuilding powerhouse during World War II and a city where, in the absence of demagoguery by white local officials, civil rights leaders demonstrated that change in the traditional racial order could be achieved by people of goodwill. In recent years, it has become the centerpiece of a high-tech Gulf Coast economy engaged in aviation manufacturing and global shipping. By immersing themselves in the history of the Mobile Bay area, conference attendees will gain a fuller appreciation of how the past informs our present.

We are excited for you to join us at the 2024 AASLH Annual Conference for substantive discussions about what we can do to help communities across the country as we all wrestle with how we can be of better service to the nation at large to pave the way for healing, reconciliation, and a more equitable future.

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.

Annual Conference Fellowships and Scholarships

The Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko Memorial Scholarship, Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowships, and Small Museums Scholarships are the three programs that AASLH offers to assist those who would like to attend the AASLH Annual Conference. Applications are now being accepted! Applications for all scholarships and fellowships are due by June 21, 2024.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko Memorial Scholarship

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko will be best remembered because she used her power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge the status quo for the better. In memory of Cinnamon and her generational impact on museums, historic sites, and public history, AASLH has created a special scholarship in her name to advance her legacy of transformational change across the museum community. The fund will provide one $1,000 scholarship for the AASLH Annual Conference which includes a full conference registration. The remainder of funds can be used for ticketed events or travel costs. Eligible applicants include those working in small museums, as either full-time or part-time paid or volunteer employees and who are institutional or individual members of AASLH; and Indigenous persons and those employed as staff members with a tribal organization, program, or collection. Click here for guidance on what constitutes a small museum.  Apply here.

Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowship

The Douglas Evelyn Diversity Fellowship 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 Diversity Fellowship is to increase culturally diverse participation at the AASLH Annual Conference and in all the association’s programs. The scholarship covers full registration and a $750 travel stipend. Ticketed events with an extra fee are not included in the scholarship but can be covered with a portion of the travel stipend. AASLH will offer up to five full conference scholarships for culturally diverse attendees. Apply here.

Small Museums Scholarship

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 $850 scholarship will cover the cost of registration and the Small Museums Luncheon. Any remaining funds can be used to offset travel and/or lodging expenses. To qualify, the applicant must work or volunteer for a museum with a budget of $250,000 or less and either be an individual member of AASLH or work for an institutional member. Apply here.

 

Conference Center Location

Mobile Convention Center
1 South Water Street
Mobile, AL 36602

Hotel Information

Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel
64 South Water Street
Mobile, AL 36602

The AASLH room rate is $155 per night plus taxes and fees. Book your hotel room early! The cutoff date for reservations is August 12 or whenever the block is sold out. The hotel is across the street from the Convention Center and connected by a pedestrian bridge.

Amenities:

  • Check in: 4 p.m.
  • Check out: 11 a.m.
  • High-speed internet access
  • Restaurant
  • Coffee house
  • Mini fridge

Airport Transportation

We recommend three airports for travel to Mobile.

The Mobile Regional Airport is located 13 miles from downtown. It is a smaller airport but offers lots of amenities for travelers. Visit their website for transportation options.

The Pensacola International Airport is about an hour from Mobile and offers more airlines. There are multiple shuttle services that can provide transportation to/from Mobile, or you can rent a vehicle. Visit the Pensacola Airport website.

The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is located in Gulfport, Mississippi and is a 70-minute drive from downtown Mobile. Rental vehicles are available at the airport. Visit the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport website.

Downtown Transportation

Mobile offers lots of options for dining or shopping within walking distance of the convention center. The city’s Wave Transit System provides bus services throughout the city.

AASLH envisions its annual conference as an opportunity to invigorate and promote our field’s honest approach to history. AASLH and its members, wherever they live and work, believe that whole history belongs to all of us.

Honest, inclusive approaches to history and other liberties are under fire in states and localities around the country. Periodically holding the AASLH conference in these areas allows us, as a professional community, to show support for our colleagues who are “Doing History” in challenging environments and to learn from their experiences. AASLH’s purpose, especially as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary, is to share with people of all backgrounds and beliefs the entire sweep of our common history and its centrality to our continued progress toward “a more perfect Union.”

AASLH is committed to ensuring that our conference is a welcoming, respectful, intellectually stimulating, and safe event for all who attend. We have a robust policy on conference safety and responsibility, and we will strive to make it possible for all attendees to navigate their way through a fulfilling conference experience.

We hope you will join us in Mobile in September and add your voice to the chorus of those working to make history more meaningful to all people.

Policies

Cancellation / Refunds

All cancellations must be in writing. Cancellations postmarked on or before August 16, 2024 will be subject to a $55 processing charge on the cancelled registration fee and a 50% cancellation fee on all special events, including workshops. No refunds for registration, workshops, and special events will be made after August 16, 2024. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received. If you do not receive confirmation from AASLH within three weeks, please contact the AASLH office at 615-320-3203 or membership@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. 

Attendees should respect all participants’ personal choice on the mask issue and any harassment of any kind 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 2024 Annual Conference will open in early June.

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 $384
  • Event fees: $25 and up
  • Hotel fees: $155 AASLH room block rate at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel
  • Travel fees: vary depending on your location

How do I register? Registration will open in early June. 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 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 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

2025 Annual Conference: September 9-12, Cincinnati, Ohio

2026 Annual Conference: Joint Conference with the National Council on Public History