Saturday and Sunday at Last Weekend’s OAH Conference


I did not get to post these links earlier in the week, but the Organization of American Historians have posted updates on day 3 and day 4 of the annual conference in New Orleans.  The posts, along with highlights from day 1 and day 2, can be found at Process.

Here is a taste of the Saturday report:

A late addition to the program, “Historians Respond to the Advent of Trump,” took place during the 11:00 am session slot and drew over 150 attendees. The session was chaired by Robert Self, Brown University. Panelists included Benjamin L. Alpers, University of Oklahoma (Authoritarianism in America), Ibram X. Kendi, University of Florida (Race and Racism), Joanne Meyerowitz, Yale University (LGBTQ Rights), Maria Cristina Garcia, Cornell University (Immigration and Refugees), and Jennifer Nelson, University of Redlands (Reproductive Rights). The session was added to the program in response to the belief that the rise of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency demands the attention of historians, regardless of partisan affiliation or conviction. Trump’s ascendancy has amplified, and potentially normalized, a civic discourse grounded in racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia, and derived from political scripts with long histories. His presidency seems destined to alter public policy dramatically on a range of issues, including immigration and refugees, policing and incarceration, reproductive rights, health care, climate change, corporate regulation, public funding of scientific research, arts, and the humanities, and much more. Since Donald J. Trump is the second president in sixteen years to be elected while losing the popular vote, the November 2016 result raises additional historical questions about the mechanics and democratic character of U.S. elections. While no single session can capture the full range of historical issues and entanglements raised by Trump’s rise, the historians featured in this panel will frame a number of key questions for broader discussion and reflection.

Read the Saturday report here and the Sunday report here.