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Women’s History Roundup from the 2017 Annual Meeting

by Jennifer Krafchik, National Woman's Party, Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, and Page Harrington, Page Harrington & Co. on

Wall mural from the Tejano history walking tour, Austin, TX. Photo courtesy of Page Harrington.

The 2017 AASLH Annual Meeting in Austin yielded some very rich discussions about women’s history and the direction of the Women’s History Affinity Group (WHAG) through both panel sessions and the annual luncheon. 

The annual WHAG luncheon brought together women’s history scholars and practitioners for a collaborative planning session to strategize about the future of WHAG and review major issues including: women in the public history workforce; cultural competency in women’s history; placing women’s history into a global context; and the challenges and opportunities for women in the field. Additionally, with the Centennial of Suffrage right around the corner in 2020, participants also discussed the need for WHAG to expand the narrative and explore the diversity of women who actively worked for suffrage. Affinity group co-chairs Page Harrington and Rebecca Price are reviewing the outcomes from the meeting and will address 2018 priorities in the coming months.

The panel, “Moving Women to the Foreground through Community Partnerships,” was moderated by Page Harrington, President of Page Harrington & Co., and featured Julia Gray, Director of Collections and Interpretation at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, and Jennifer Krafchik, Acting Executive Director of the National Woman’s Party at the BelmontPaul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington, D.C. Community partnerships offer a way for museums to connect with new audiences, diversify content, and enrich interpretation and educational programs. The speakers offered practical examples of programs that encourage dialogue, open communication with visitors, and find ways to engage visitors of all ages.

Other AASLH sessions that included discussions about women’s history or women in museums included “Positioning Your Museum as a Critical Community Asset: A Roundtable Discussion”and “Workplace Confidential: Museum Women Talk Gender Equity, as well as an afternoon walking tour exploring multiple Tejano history sites and the many celebrated women artists in Austin.

The 2017 Annual Meeting is now behind us and it’s time to start thinking about next year’s meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. Let us know what topics and content are important to you, and please continue to join us in the online discussion. Thank you!

Like this blog and want to learn more about women’s history? Visit Remember the Ladies, the official blog of the Women’s History Affinity Group at AASLH.

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