From the 2000 Annual Meeting column in the September 1998 Perspectives
Theme for the 114th Meeting
AHA Staff, September 1998
The Year 2000 Program Committee invites panels on "History for the Twenty-First Century: Continuity and Change." The advent of a new millennium offers an opportunity for members of the historical profession to assess the state and direction of their discipline. By bringing together historians working in many different fields, the annual meeting of the American Historical Association provides the perfect occasion to do so.
The Program Committee has therefore chosen a broad theme for the annual meeting and welcomes submissions that present the results of research on all fields, periods, and topics. The committee hopes a majority of the sessions will raise issues that pertain to the theme of "History for the Twenty-First Century: Continuity and Change," because presenters can address this theme in an area of their expertise. It particularly encourages panels and papers that in the course of their substantive consideration of important topics in particular fields reflect upon broader issues of historiography, interpretation, methodology, and perspective.
The committee anticipates that some panels and papers will deal explicitly with the intellectual evolution of the discipline, a particular field, or the state of the profession. But it expects that most submissions will present the results of research on substantive historical issues and will give preference to those papers that illustrate and reflect upon either time-tested or emergent methods and perspectives.
The committee recognizes that its broad theme and quest for broad participation may simply reveal the fragmentation of the discipline. But it hopes that consideration of issues of approach and perspective will move the profession toward a common understanding of its own history and prospects.