CFP: National Council on Public History 2024 Annual Meeting

The National Council on Public History and Utah Division of State History/Utah Historical Society jointly seek proposals for our 2024 annual meeting, to be held April 10-13, 2024 at the Hilton Salt Lake City.


Submit an optional early topic proposal for feedback and to find co-presenters (due June 12):

For final proposals (due July 15):
Session proposal submission: 
Working group proposal submission:
Workshop proposal submission:


The skills of historians are essential to the fabric of our society—never more so than in periods of extreme political and cultural polarization—and yet historical perspectives, tools, and history workers themselves are increasingly under threat. It is impossible not to feel a sense of urgency in the work we do, and yet urgency seems at odds with the often slow, deliberate work of public historians to build trust and lasting relationships with the communities we serve.

The 2024 Annual Meeting explores the idea of Historical Urgency. What constitutes an urgent historical need? What is the difference between historical urgency and a historical emergency? How have people in the past responded to urgent matters, and what can we learn from them? How do we prioritize our work when everything we do feels urgently pressing?

While submissions on all topics are welcome, in exploring Historical Urgency, the Joint 2024 Program and Local Arrangements Committee co-chairs particularly encourage you to consider a range of topics in which timeliness is a factor. To name just a few examples:

  • Community engagement, particularly with communities whose histories face urgent existential threats
  • Communicating the critical importance of history and historical thinking
  • Discourse and dialogue in a time of extreme social polarization
  • Ethics and processes of crisis and/or rapid collecting
  • Evolving standards in commemoration and memorialization
  • Oral history, especially the collection of oral histories from older generations
  • Preservation of environmental and cultural resources endangered by climate change, and sustainability efforts more broadly
  • Preservation of quick-moving, digital, and ephemeral sources of future historical information like social media
  • Providing public historians and other cultural workers, especially the most vulnerable among us, with safe, secure working conditions and fair compensation
  • Repatriation of human remains and cultural objects
  • Responsiveness to rapid developments with an immediate impact on the work of history education, outreach, funding, and more—including legislative efforts, book bans, outlier events like COVID-19, and more


  • ROUNDTABLE (90 mins): Roundtables are typically about half presentation, half discussion and feedback among presenters and the audience. Presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with each other.
  • STRUCTURED CONVERSATION (90 mins): These facilitated, participant-driven discussions are designed to prioritize audience dialogue and may contain little or no formal presentation component.
  • TRADITIONAL PANEL (90 mins): At least three presenters, a chair, and optional commentator. While this is the most traditional format, we still highly discourage the reading of papers.
  • COMMUNITY VIEWPOINTS (90 mins): A showcase that features a variety of stakeholder and collaborator perspectives across stages of the project’s development.
  • WORKING GROUP (2 hrs): Facilitators and up to 12 discussants grapple with a shared concern. Before and during the meeting, working groups articulate a purpose they are working toward or a problem they are actively trying to solve and aim to create an end product. Proposals are submitted by facilitators, who will seek discussants after acceptance.
  • INDIVIDUAL (~30 mins): While individual proposals are welcome, individual presentations will either be shorter than a full session or will be combined with similar proposals to make a full session. These should be presentations of your work and, like all other sessions, not a reading of a paper.
  • WORKSHOP (4 or 8 hrs): A half- or full-day workshop is a more intensive and skills-based deep-dive into a topic that includes concrete practical tools and lessons for a smaller group of attendees (recommended 15-30 people).


OPTIONAL EARLY TOPIC PROPOSALS: Consider submitting an optional early topic proposal by June 12, 2023 to gather suggestions on your topic, seek collaborators or co-presenters, and get feedback from the 2024 Program Committee as well as NCPH and Utah State History community members. Respondents will contact the original submitter directly with their ideas or offers, and the submitter may choose to select additional participants, refine the proposal, and complete a full proposal form online by the July deadline.

FINAL PROPOSALS: Submit your fully formed session, working group, or workshop proposal online by July 15, 2023 via the forms at the top of this page. (Please note that working group and workshop proposal forms are separate from the main session proposal form.)

When filling out your proposal, please consider whether you would like to be considered for the full National Council on Public History conference or for Utah State History’s content on Friday, April 12. Submissions for Utah State History will be evaluated by a smaller subset of the Program Committee local to Utah. Utah State History members are welcome to submit for the full conference if you prefer, but these submissions will be evaluated by other members of the full Program Committee.

While individuals are not prohibited from presenting in consecutive years at the meeting, session proposals that include new voices will receive preference. Additionally, participants may be presenting members of only one session, but may also be discussants in Working Groups or serve as chair/facilitator on a second session.

QUESTIONS? Please email Program Manager Meghan Hillman at The Call for Posters and Call for Working Group Discussants will come in summer 2023.


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