Publication Date

January 8, 2016

It was a gorgeous day in Atlanta to kick off the 2016 AHA annual meeting. Many first-time visitors found themselves marveling at the architecture of the Hyatt and the Marriott hotels:

Built between the 1960s and the 1980s, the hotels were designed by neo-futurist architect and developer John C. Portman.

For a third year in a row, historians interested in learning digital tools and techniques gathered to attend the “Getting Started in Digital History” workshop before the meeting officially began. The workshop included both beginner and intermediate hands-on sessions on topics such as digital pedagogy, introduction to GIS and mapping, big data, etc. Participants grappled with what public history is and how we can use it to engage our students as well as the communities we serve:

Participants also discussed the pressing issue of how digital history projects can be assessed by departments to determine promotions and tenure. Much discussed was the report on “Tenure, promotion, and the publicly engaged academic historian” released by the working group on evaluating public history scholarship:

As the annual meeting officially began, attendees filled their day with sessions ranging from the origins of women’s prisons in the United States—a panel where all the presenters were incarcerated at the Indiana Women’s Prison and delivered their papers via pre-recorded videos—to challenges facing the National Archives:

Some panels continued ongoing discussions at the AHA on tuning and dual enrollment:

The afternoon included sessions on the LGBTQ historians task force survey and report:

The popular AskHistorians of Reddit:

The comparative study of revolutions:

And a panel on history and the future of interdisciplinary ethnic studies:

By evening, historians were headed to either a myriad receptions (including one for graduate students and another for bloggers and twitterstorians), or to the hotel bars to try one of the AHA annual meeting’s signature cocktails:

The highlight of the day, however, was clearly the plenary on the confederacy, its symbols, and the politics of public culture:

Check back tomorrow for highlights for day 2, and don’t forget to tweet at #aha16!


This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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