womens history

Mark your schedules! In one month, the 2016 AASLH/MMA Annual Meeting will begin. Here is a guide to Women’s History sessions and events:

Thursday, September 15
Women’s History Affinity Group Luncheon
12 – 1:15 pm
Cost: $40
Delve into Michigan’s civil rights history through the eyes of its women. Join the Women’s History Affinity Group and special guest Caitlyn Perry Dial from the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, for lunch and a presentation of Detroit’s rich and diverse women’s history.

Friday, September 16
More Than Just Friends? The Do’s and Don’ts of Interpreting Female Friendship
Roundtable, 8 – 9:15 am
Boston Marriage. Lovers. Lesbians. Roommates. Regardless of the label applied, interpreting “female friendship” within the context of LGBT history remains a challenge. Hosted by the Women’s History Affinity Group, this discussion and Q&A centers on how to approach this topic in your museum or site through best practices and case studies. This roundtable will cover lesbian and female friendship, and will allow for an in depth discussion of the various implications and types of female relationships in American history, with a focus on histories from the late 18th and early 19th century. A moderated discussion, panelists include Dr. Susan Ferentinos, author of Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites (AASLH and Rowman & Littlefield, 2015); and Lori Osborne, Director of Archives and Outreach at the Evanston History Center and Director of the Evanston Women’s History Project.

Friday, September 16: Keynote Speaker
10:45 am – 12 pm

Mary Wilson is a living legend from the height of Detroit’s Motown era. A member of the world-renowned Supremes, one of the greatest female vocal groups of all time, Mary Wilson has been the only original Supreme carrying on the group’s legacy to this day.

Friday, September 16
More Than Just Friends? Trailblazing Women at Rochester Hills Museum and Farm
Afternoon Tour, 1:30-5:30 pm
Cost: $35
Take a ride with the Women’s History Affinity Group up the road to the Rochester Hills Museum north of Detroit. We will learn about some incredible Michigan women, including both the founder of the American Medical Women’s Association and the first woman in the United States to earn a Doctorate in Animal Genetics. This custom tour is a companion to the roundtable hosted by the Affinity Group on the topic of interpreting female friendship. Why did she never marry? Were they more than friends? Why does it even matter? Part tour, part brainstorming, we will work together on how to write female friendship into your house museum or tour. This is your chance to ask the experts how to talk about these topics in your museum or site, experience the challenges another museum faces, and begin addressing this issue in the field in real and thoughtful ways.

Saturday, September 17
Where the Girls Are: Public History IS Women’s History
General Session, 9 – 10:15 am
Despite great strides in crafting more diverse narratives, history professionals too often allow women’s experiences to remain marginalized in preservation, interpretation, and programming. This session asks how attention to women’s history can advance gender equality today, examining recent efforts that incorporate women’s history into public history practice.

The following sessions may offer intersectional possibilities of gender issues; or address methodologies useful for conducting women’s history; or address diversity issues for the field:

  • Toward a More Democratic History
  • Oral History: A Tool for Social Action in Changing Communities
  • Revealing and Sharing Stories of Race and Diversity
  • Historical Interpretation of Slavery in Transition
  • Joining a Movement to Recognize and Dismantle Racism in Ourselves and Our Institutions
  • Embracing Social Issues: Public History in the Modern World
  • Latinos in Museums: Conversations about Representation and Interpretation
  • Integrating Tribal Perspectives: Collaborating for the Common Good
  • Tattoos, Burlesque, and the Blues: Following Your Personal Interests Within Your Professional Life


Women's History Affinity Community at the 2015 AASLH Annual Meeting in Louisville

Women’s History Affinity Community at the 2015 AASLH Annual Meeting in Louisville