OHA@50! From Lake Arrowhead to Long Beach

Looking forward to the 2016 Annual Meeting

By Sarah Milligan and Sady Sullivan
OHA Program Co-Chairs


As you surely know by now, 2016 is the 50th anniversary for the Oral History Association.  The 2016 annual meeting will capture the spirit of the first National Colloquium on Oral History in 1966 by introducing lively theoretical and methodological discussion space, examining current and ongoing work, as well as looking toward the future of the field.

The theme of “OHA@50: Traditions, Transitions and Technologies from the Field” is well represented in this year’s programmatic line-up. The Oct. 12-16 meeting will have more than 100 sessions, including wide-ranging topics relevant to oral historians’ work in such diverse areas as archives and collection management, social justice, public history and education.

Also this year we welcome the Southwestern Oral History Association (SOHA) members in the first joint meeting of the two organizations. Keep an eye out for SOHA-designated presentations, with a good dose of local and regional topics.

We will continue with the 2015 annual meeting introduction of mini-workshops as a session format (90 minute how-to’s on a range of technical issues) as well as the poster session.  Look for the call in June to present a poster. Performance and documentary work will continue to have a marked representation as well as dedicated time for interest groups.

Exclusive to 2016 is a track, sponsored by the 50th Anniversary Task Force, devoted to seminal points in the oral history field as public space for discourse on the state and future of various key movements.

Expect two engaging plenaries examining the state of the practice of oral history today and reflecting on work as diverse as issues of indigenous sovereignty and gender, race and sexuality.

We have a great line-up of pre-conference workshops including popular standards, like “Oral History and the Law” and new topics such as “Podcasting and Oral History.” There will be a Saturday teacher’s workshop led by Voice of Witness, which will include an “Introductory Oral History” workshop that will also be open to the general public.

Expect a special trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific where we will be mingling with the jelly fish and sharks during a special anniversary evening event. Long Beach promises to be a remarkable location with diverse venues to explore and easy walking distance from the conference site to the Pacific Ocean.

While we anticipate perfect weather, we cannot fail to mention the labor situation with the 2016 conference hotel. We know that many of you are concerned about this, and you have already received information from the OHA Council regarding this. Please visit https://oralhistory.org/hotel-updates/ to stay up-to-date as the situation evolves. Programmatically, we are working to ensure a strong representation of labor-related topics this year as well.

We would especially like to recognize and thank early and often our phenomenal Program Committee members who have devoted serious time and effort to help shape this conference: Adrienne Petty, Allison Tracy, Carlos Lopez, Christian Lopez, Craig Breaden, Curtis Austin, Daniel Horowitz Garcia, Jaycie Vos, Jen Abrams-Cramer, Julie Golia, Katherine Scott, Martin Meeker, Rachel Mears, Samuel Redman, Sarah Loose, Sarah-Jane Poindexter, Suzanne Snider, Teague Schneiter, Terrell Frazier and Troy Reeves.

Register for the 2016 meeting now at Registration.

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