The AHA invites proposals for a very limited number of late-breaking sessions for the 2020 annual meeting. These sessions should explore either major, late-breaking controversies within the discipline or the relevance of history and historical thinking to public policy and culture related to current events. The review committee will favor proposals focused on historical framing of contemporary events of great moment. We strongly encourage organizers to build panels that encompass a range of perspectives. Sessions that adopt an international approach are particularly welcome. Examples of successful submissions from 2019 are on the AHA website

Before submitting a full proposal, organizers should send a two- or three-sentence description of the planned session for permission to move forward with the submission. A submission form will be posted in September 2019; short descriptions will be due by November 1. The selection committee will respond within a week of the November 1 deadline.

Proposals must be for complete 90-minute sessions. Most sessions will be limited to four speakers plus a chair; since these are by definition conversations that respond to recent events we do not expect traditional research presentations. Individuals already on the program are welcome to participate, as long as they comply with the rule that participants may appear on no more than two sessions at the annual meeting, in two different roles.

With the exception of foreign scholars and those from other disciplines, all persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA, although membership is not required to submit a proposal. All participants must register for the meeting. The Association aspires to represent the full diversity of its membership at the annual meeting.

This opportunity is not a second chance for proposals not originally accepted by the Program Committee. Our goal is to enable historians to engage major issues that have only recently crossed our horizon, that either relate directly to the work of historians, or call for historical context and commentary. The bar for acceptance will be considerably higher than through the regular process.

A selection committee made up of the 2020 Program Committee chairs, the executive director, and the president will review submissions, and proposers of accepted sessions will be notified of the committee’s decision by e-mail in early December. Electronic submission only, by midnight PST on November 15, 2019. Please no phone calls. Due to the late decision deadline, participants should be prepared to make last-minute travel plans. Accepted sessions will be listed in the online program and the meeting app.

Before submitting a proposal online, session organizers should collect the following information, which will be needed to submit a complete proposal:

  • Session title (of no more than 20 words)
  • Session abstract (up to 500 words)
  • Short session abstract for the meeting app (up to 50 words)
  • Paper or presentation titles
  • Abstract or description for each presentation (up to 300 words)
  • Biographical paragraph or CV summary (up to 250 words) for each participant
  • Correct e-mail address for each participant
  • Affiliation, city, state, and country for each participant
  • Chair (required) and commentator (optional) for the session
  • Audiovisual needs, if any
  • Professional Twitter handle for each participant (optional)
  • Website for each participant (optional)