(Virtual) OHA Annual Meeting Preview

The Oral History Association’s annual meeting is right around the corner, with the theme “The Quest for Democracy: One Hundred Years of Struggle.” While we aren’t traveling to Baltimore as planned, we do hope to see colleagues and friends, new and old, over Zoom and in SecondLife. Let us know what you are looking forward to at this year’s event.

From the editors

Normally this time of year, your OHR editors are packing their bags, sending invitations for our editorial board meeting, shipping books for review, and highlighting the sessions we plan to attend in our OHA annual meeting program. But 2020 is not your typical year. This year, we will send Zoom links for the editorial board meeting and still highlight the program. But like many of our colleagues in the oral history community, we will join the meeting virtually, and we hope to see you remotely too. 

Typically, OHA’s annual meeting is a professional highlight of the year, not only for the chance to hear the latest scholarship in the field, but also because the OHA membership is comprised of the most welcoming, diverse, and talented group of people.  In short, we go to see our friends and make new ones. This year, there will be no receptions or meet-ups in the hotel bar. Instead we will socialize in SecondLife and participate in presentations in Zoom.

The OHR editorial team will be scouting out articles and blog posts, just like we always do. Usually you could find one of us sitting at the OHR table in the vendor’s hall, giving out books for review. It won’t be quite the same this year, but you can still give us a wave when you see us, and choose your books virtually! And please pitch us your ideas and let us know what you are working on. 

We will also participate in sessions. Here’s when and where you can find us:

Oral Histories of Science and the AIP/NASA Heliophysics Oral History Project
Tuesday, October 20, 1:30 to 3:00 pm Zoom: Room 3
Roundtable Panelists: Joanna B. Behrman, American Institute of Physics Jon B. Phillips, American Institute of Physics Ryan Hearty, American Institute of Physics Samantha Thompson, Smithsonian Institute Chair: David B. Zierler, American Institute of Physics
Commentators: David Caruso, Science History Institute, Kristine Harper, Florida State University

Telling COVID’s Stories: Implications for the Field (panel focused on OHR’s special section on Oral History and COVID-19).
Wednesday, October 21, 3:30 to 5:00 pm Zoom: Room 9
Roundtable Panelists: Janneken Smucker, West Chester University Abigail Perkiss, Kean University Anna F. Kaplan, DC Oral History Collaborative Stephen Sloan, Baylor University Jason Kelly, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Disaster Testimonies: Climate Change, Natural Hazards, and the Lived Experience of Extreme Weather 
Thursday, October 22, 11:30 to 1:00 pm Zoom: Room 3
Roundtable Panelists: Deb Anderson, Monash University Abigail Perkiss, Kean University Carmen Bolt, American University

Multi-Year Digital Oral History Project Design in the College Classroom. OHA Annual Meeting Mini-workshop
Friday, October 23, 11:30 to 1:00 pm Zoom: Room 5
Workshop Leaders: Janneken Smucker, West Chester University, Charles Hardy, West Chester University, and WCU students Bryce Evans, Kayla DiPaolo, and Nicholas Heydeman

Janneken Smucker, David Caruso, and Abby Perkiss serve as co-editors of the Oral History Review.

Featured image from simpler times, at the 2018 OHA Annual Meeting in Montreal.