Starting with last year’s Annual Conference in Little Rock, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) began an experiment to craft a more personal, retreat-like conference.

For 2022, we encourage each person to step beyond the observer mode of being an audience member or attendee and to use this chance to really engage with colleagues from across the country.

This new, more participatory venture in Buffalo complements the AASLH Online Conference, which will take place November 1-4 and allow hundreds of history professionals to share stories, strategies, and expertise virtually.

Nine Session Formats
We encourage your full participation in the Buffalo sessions, workshops, and tours and hope you will try the in-depth discussions, hands-on experiences, and social events we have planned. There are nine session formats and each has a different level of participation. You can find out more about these session formats on page 13 of the preliminary program.

More Plenary Sessions
We have created more plenary sessions, bringing everyone together for a shared experience. In addition to keynote speaker Rick Hill, these sessions include:

  • Historical Thinking Under Fire: This town hall will be a discussion about what the history field can do to combat recent “divisive concepts” legislation that have been passed in statehouses across the country, and what the field can do to continue to champion diverse history at all levels of education.
  • Erasure of History & Power of Place: A Conversation: Hear from a panel of leaders in the preservation community working to preserve and interpret places that have—either intentionally or unintentionally—been destroyed or “let go.” Panelists will address the question: Who decides what places get preserved in spaces that are increasingly contested? This session includes a meal as part of your registration.
  • Voices Shared: A Dialogue with the Honorable Crosby Kemper: Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Crosby Kemper will lead a dialogue with scholars to discuss the impact of social media, polling, and other technological and political forces that have shaped our knowledge of America’s history to address the fundamental question of how we move forward together as a nation in the face of these challenging dynamics.

Learning Circles Pilot
This year, AASLH is piloting a new program to help you network and get more out of your conference experience. Learning Circles will convene cohorts of six peers several times throughout the conference, each group facilitated by a seasoned history professional.

The groups will meet on Thursday morning to create individual learning plans for the conference. They will meet on Thursday afternoon, Friday lunch, and Saturday morning to share observations, discuss new ideas or lessons learned in sessions, and develop a map on how to act upon the ideas learned during the conference when they return home.

You can register to participate in a Learning Circle as you register for the conference. There is no additional cost. Space is limited to four groups, so don’t wait if you are interested, especially if you are a new professional or first-time attendee. Email Bethany Hawkins if you have questions about this program.

More Networking
With our new schedule, there is even more time to network with your colleagues, meet people new to AASLH, and see our host city. Events include:

  • Breaks in the Exhibit Hall: Grab some coffee or soda and a snack and see what’s new with our exhibitors and sponsors.
  • Drop-In Tours: These informal tours give attendees a chance to meet up with new colleagues and old friends to visit local sites in downtown Buffalo (admission and transportation not included).
  • Meet and Eat: Sign up in advance to join colleagues for lunch at a nearby restaurant (food, drink, and transportation not included).
  • Happy Hours: Join some of AASLH’s Affinity Communities at a nearby bar to meet new colleagues and network (admission and transportation not included).

We hope you join us in Buffalo to experience “Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place.”

Photo by Drew Brown.