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The Association planned to hold its 135th annual meeting January 7-10, 2021, in Seattle, Washington. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was impossible to meet in Seattle as originally planned. The best available information from public health authorities and medical experts suggested that the global health crisis would not be sufficiently resolved by January. With regret, the Association concluded that canceling the face-to-face meeting was necessary to maintain the health and safety of our members, our staff, and the public.

We did not make this decision lightly, as we know how important the annual meeting is to the discipline. Members rely on the opportunity to meet in person to build professional relationships, share their scholarship, and engage in professional development. While we were not be able to connect in person, the AHA staff prepared a variety of web-based programming over 2020-21 to continue to bring together our communities of historians to further advance our mission.

The AHA Colloquium was a program of web-based content designed to bring together historians from all fields, institutions, and career paths who would ordinarily gather at our annual meeting. The greatest benefit of the annual meeting is the chance to build a research, teaching, and professional network by engaging in conversation with fellow historians. This community-building function was the goal of the Colloquium. Indeed, we chose the term “colloquium” for this reason—it is a space for conversation and intellectual exchange.

AHA staff coordinated the production of approximately 30 webinars selected from sessions originally accepted for the canceled annual meeting. Additional Colloquium programming was organized and produced by participants.