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Virtual AHA FAQ

What is Virtual AHA?

Virtual AHA not a virtual conference; instead, it is a yearlong platform of online opportunities to bring together communities of historians, build professional relationships, discuss scholarship, and engage in professional and career development. A service to our members as they navigate the current emergency, Virtual AHA provides a forum for discussing common issues, building research networks, and broadening and maintaining our professional community in dire circumstances. It also provides resources for online teaching and professional and career development.

Virtual AHA content runs through June 2021 and incorporates the AHA Colloquium, our name for content drawn from the canceled 2021 annual meeting. It also includes an online teaching forum, career development workshops, a series of History Behind the Headlines webinars, National History Center programming, and more. Many of the webinars will be available for later viewing on the AHA YouTube channel.

Is there a charge to participate?

No. Virtual AHA is free, and AHA membership is not required to register.

Is there a Code of Conduct for participants and attendees of Virtual AHA?

Yes. Webinars are covered by the Code of Professional Conduct at Officially Sanctioned AHA Activities; see our Virtual AHA Policies page for details. We have also developed these tips on webinar etiquette.

Are webinars captioned?

All staff-produced Virtual AHA webinars will have automated live captioning. See the live captioning guide for details. Due to technical constraints, interactive workshops and/or events that feature breakout groups cannot be automatically captioned. Please email virtualaha@historians.org at least two weeks before the scheduled workshop or event to request captioning. This will allow time to arrange for captioning for those discussions. If you are unsure if the virtual event you are interested in will be live captioned, please contact virtualaha@historians.org.

Are professional development certificates available for webinar attendees?

Certificates are not automatically provided, but a letter of participation is available on request; contact VirtualAHA@historians.org. Letters will be provided after the webinar upon confirming attendance for the duration of a webinar.

Do you have guidelines for speakers?

See our Best Practices for Webinar Participants for useful hints about cameras, lighting, microphones, bandwidth, and what to do if your WiFi goes out during your presentation. Chairing a session? Consult our guidelines for chairs.

I was accepted for the canceled 2021 annual meeting. How do I document that for my CV?

A PDF program—documenting all sessions accepted by the AHA Program Committee and the affiliated societies for the originally scheduled AHA annual meeting in Seattle—is posted on the AHA website so that participants can document their acceptance for their CVs. All sessions are included in the PDF program, whether or not participants chose to participate in virtual programming. Canceled conference presentations can be listed on your CV as “accepted for the 2021 AHA annual meeting.”

I was accepted for the canceled 2021 annual meeting. How do I participate in AHA Colloquium?

Because we will not be running concurrent sessions over the course of a four-day “virtual meeting,” the AHA staff will instead produce about 30 webinars selected from the originally accepted program sessions. These sessions were chosen in conjunction with the AHA Program Committee, and AHA staff will coordinate and host these virtual events throughout the year. Participants in these selected sessions were contacted on October 19, 2020.

If your session was not selected to be one of the 30 AHA-produced virtual webinars, there are still a variety of options to share your work. For some ideas on how to contribute to AHA Colloquium, please see our Guidelines for Participant Produced Sessions and our introductory video. Feel free to contact us at virtualAHA@historians.org if you have any questions.

My session was accepted as a staff-produced webinar. What will the process for scheduling the webinars look like?

On October 19, AHA staff sent session organizers and chairs for staff-produced webinars a form asking them to select participants first and second choice month for the webinar on the form. Responses were due by Thursday, October 29.

AHA staff will draft a monthly schedule, then be in touch with chairs and organizers to determine a final date and time for each webinar.(We will take into account that some participants may not know their spring teaching schedules until later this fall.)

We plan to organize two webinars per week over the next eight months. Webinars will generally be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 or 3:30 p.m. ET. There will be flexibility to accommodate participants schedules. To help staff members and presenters balance work and family concerns, we will try to avoid scheduling webinars on evenings or weekends.

I was accepted for the canceled 2021 annual meeting and was not selected for the staff-produced webinars. What are my options for participating in the AHA Colloquium?

We encourage participants to organize and produce their own virtual sessions, which the AHA will help to promote as part of AHA Colloquium. We imagine that some of the participant-produced sessions could be held as live webinars, while others could be prerecorded. We hope that this model will allow for maximum flexibility and creativity to make the most of a virtual format. For example, formal panels could become precirculated paper sessions, with papers posted on the AHA website and live discussion occurring at a set time via videoconference or even on Reddit or Slack. The AHA will list participant-produced sessions on our Virtual AHA calendar and our app. We will provide as much advice and support as we can, within staff and technology constraints.

Staff have developed guides and procedures for producing your own virtual session, which we have shared on the Virtual AHA website. We will post additional details as we finalize our plans and incorporate ideas suggested by other participants. Please let us know if there is any way we might be helpful, but perhaps haven’t thought of yet.

What is the deadline for submitting written remarks?

Anyone who was expecting to deliver a prepared presentation will have the opportunity to post written remarks on the Virtual AHA app and website. Participation is optional. Written remarks should be submitted by December 1. Session organizers and chairs will receive an email with a submission link.

Is there a format for written remarks?

Files must be submitted as paginated Word documents or PDFs with a title page listing presentation title, author(s) name(s), and session name.

How long will the written remarks remain online?

PDFs of written remarks will be posted on the Virtual AHA app and website, which will be taken down in fall 2021.

What is the deadline for scheduling live participant-produced sessions?

There are rolling deadlines for participants to inform us about self-organized online events. We need at least four weeks' notice to publicize and market sessions.

Session organizers and chairs received an email with a link for submitting information. Please contact virtualaha@historians.org if you need us to resend the link.

Are there specific time slots for live participant-produced sessions?

No, sessions may be scheduled at any time that works for the participants. One advantage of the decentralized structure is that multiple events can take place at the same time. Staff-produced Virtual AHA content is often scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons Eastern time, so planning around those timeslots will avoid conflicts. You can also take a look at the Virtual AHA calendar to see any conflicts with other scheduled webinars.

How do I submit a prerecorded participant-produced session?

Session organizers and chairs will receive an email with a link for submitting video files. Please contact virtualaha@historians.org if you need us to resend the link. Staff will add a title card to recordings before uploading them to the AHA’s YouTube channel. Where possible, please included text files of any captions or transcripts.

I was accepted to present a poster at the canceled annual meeting in Seattle. Will I have a chance to present?

Poster presenters will be able to publish their posters on the AHA website. If there is enough interest, the AHA staff will consider coordinating online poster discussions.

How will Virtual AHA sessions be advertised?

All sessions will be posted on the Virtual AHA website and in the app. The AHA will also market the program via social media and email. Participants are encouraged to reach out to their own social media network using the #VirtualAHA hashtag.

Will Virtual AHA offer opportunities to network and connect with fellow historians?

Yes. While nothing can replace meeting in person, the AHA plans to organize web-based networking events.

Will there still be an exhibit hall?

The AHA Virtual Exhibit Hall launched on October 1 and is available online through June 2021. The Virtual Exhibit Hall provides an opportunity to learn about the latest historical scholarship, take advantage of publisher discounts, and network with editors and press staff. If you normally look forward to the exhibits at the annual meeting, the Virtual Exhibit Hall offers a similar experience from the comfort of your home. Best of all, no name badge necessary: the Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public! Check it out at historians.org/ExhibitHall.

Can I submit a proposal to participate in Virtual AHA?

Due to staff time constraints, we are unable to accept additional proposals to take part in Virtual AHA. Only panels previously accepted for the canceled 2021 annual meeting are eligible to participate in the AHA Colloquium, either as selected staff-produced sessions or as participant produced sessions. Creative ideas for presenting sessions as online content are welcome.

Keep an eye on our proposals page for information about submitting proposals for the 2022 annual meeting in New Orleans.

Feel free to contact us at annualmeeting@historians.org if you have additional questions.