events events

OI 23rd Annual Conference

ANN ARBOR, JUNE 15–17, 2017


The 23rd Annual Institute Conference convened 15–17 June 2017 in beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan, site of the first annual OI conference in 1994. Hosted by the Department of History at the University of Michigan, the conference’s theme will be “Taking Stock.”

The inaugural Institute annual conference was held to encourage scholars to reflect on the state of early American history and culture studies. In 2017, the program committee—chaired by David Hancock (University of Michigan) and co-chaired by Patrick Griffin (University of Notre Dame), Margaret Newell (Ohio State University), and Joseph Rezek (Boston University)—hopes to spark similar conversations about how three decades of research from many disciplines have reshaped the field and what new approaches are on the horizon. Benchmark events and political narratives have receded; Atlantic worlds have become global exchanges; North America’s history has become both a transnational and continental story. New research in race, slavery, gender, sexuality, environment, material culture, media studies, and Native studies has transformed our understanding of these processes. Scholars in many fields are now discussing what—if any—grand narratives or paradigms can replace older interpretive frameworks and what methods can best help unlock and express our understanding of the past.

In addition to panels and roundtables, the conference will feature a THis Camp on podcasting with Liz Covart, creator of Ben Franklin’s World and Doing History, and a tutorial on how to write op-ed pieces with Aeon’s Sam Haselby.


Located approximately a half-hour’s drive from Detroit Metropolitan airport (DTW/KDTW), Ann Arbor is also easily accessible via Bishop International airport in Flint (FNT/KFNT), Toledo Express Airport (TOL/KTOL) and Windsor International Airport in Canada (YQG/CYQG).

A number of shuttle services ( run between the Detroit airport and Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is also accessible via Amtrak train.


The conference will take place on the main campus of the University of Michigan, on the top floor of the Rackham Building, 915 E. Washington Street. Additional events will take place at the Michigan Union and the William L. Clements Library.

Coffee service will be provided during both conference days and receptions will follow the afternoon plenary session on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Book exhibits will be located on the same floor as the panels.

NEW IN 2017

In a break from Omohundro tradition, the conference will not extend into Sunday. The final event of the gathering will be the Saturday night reception at the Michigan Union. We hope this lets conference attendees take advantage of the area’s many tourist attractions.


June 11–16, 2017, is Restaurant Week in Ann Arbor and June 15–17, 2017, is the Ann Arbor Book Festival.You also can read about things to do in Ann Arbor in this recent article in the Washington Post. If you are a fan of folk music, junk stores, bagels, or records then make sure to check it out!


All conference attendees will receive an abbreviated printed program for quick reference when they pick up their registration packets. A PDF of the information on these pages, including panel and paper titles and participants, will be posted on this site.

You will also be able to access the detailed conference program via our free app. Look for details in mid-May on this website.


An all-inclusive fee of $75 will be charged to all tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members (FTEs). Non-FTEs (for example, adjunct or part-time instructors), emeriti faculty, independent scholars and students are asked to pay $30 each.


The Omohundro Institute and the conference Program committee would like to acknowledge the following groups at the University of Michigan for their support of this conference.

With thanks for generous gifts from:

  • The Atlantic Studies Initiative
  • The Department of History
  • The Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies
  • The College of Literature, Science & The Arts
  • The Rackham Graduate School (Dean’s Strategic Initiative Funding)
  • The University of Michigan Office of Research

With thanks for financial assistance from:

  • The Departments of English and of African-American Studies
  • The Programs in American Culture, Native American Studies
  • Women’s Studies