2023 OAH Virtual Conference on American History
CONFRONTING CRISIS: HISTORY FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES
April 13 - May 4, 2023
New live content every Thursday
The OAH Virtual Conference Series on American History is the leading online conference for American historians and the study of American history. Explore a library of content and take part in new live content every Thursday.
We live in uncertain times. Authoritarian rule, border walls, immigration bans, children in cages, police killings, a global pandemic, hate crimes, and global warming are just some of the crises we’ve faced in recent years. They point to the possibility that we’re living in a state of permanent crisis as the new normal. Or, maybe constant crises have always shaped the lives of all but the fraction of people whose social status has offered them comforts and reprieve? Perhaps the only difference now is that COVID-19 has made even the privileged feel vulnerable. If or when the pandemic recedes, we’ll re-enter a world that will be different than the one we lived in on the eve of the shutdown. It is difficult to imagine, though, that the world to come will be rid of the precarity, instability, and inequities--in short, crises--that have plagued the past.
Los Angeles, the site of the 2023 in-person conference, is the perfect setting for our conversation about crises and how we might overcome them together. A settler city, sited on Tongva territory, Los Angeles is today home to the largest urban Indigenous population. It is also home to some of the largest immigrant, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the country. The city is being devastated by climate change. Yet it is also the site of a dynamic environmental justice movement. Los Angeles has always been a key site of Black activism. Yet Los Angeles authorities have worked to impede Black social, economic, and political progress, building the largest jail system in the United States. Local activists are now engaged in one of the nation’s most active prison abolition movements. As it has been for more than a century, Los Angeles represents both the American crisis and the site of unusual creativity for people trying to create a more just and equal society.
Organization of American Historians
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