History, Art, and Culture Take Center Stage at 48th Annual DC History Conference

History, Art, and Culture Take Center Stage at 48th Annual DC History Conference

WASHINGTON, DC, USA: The untold story of DC's hip-hop scene, the ongoing displacement of Black Washingtonians, archiving DC's art history, hand dancing in the nation's capital, and a conversation on the people and architecture along 16th Street, NW are among the more than 25 sessions, keynotes, and poster presentations presented at the 48th annual DC History Conference. The three-day in-person event runs through Saturday, April 2. For the first time, registration is free to the public.

"We are excited to once again bring hundreds of local historians, researchers, and artists together for the first time since 2019 to be part of the unfolding story of our beloved city," said DC History Center Executive Director Laura Brower Hagood. "We have an outstanding selection of sessions featuring speakers with diverse backgrounds and interests. And with the support of our amazing sponsors, we've made this the most accessible conference to date by making it free and open to the public."

Co-presented by the DC History Center and the DC Public Library, the 48th annual DC History Conference is a hybrid event with select presentations and panels available in person and online. It will feature topics on arts, culture, Black history, community history, cultural history, education, music, and more. The Conference is more accessible than ever to youth and educators with several student-led and education-focused panels designed to inspire students to create original historical research in their classrooms.

Since 1973, the DC History Conference has provided a friendly and rigorous forum for discussing and promoting original research about the rich history, culture, and people of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The 48th annual DC History Conference is possible thanks to a volunteer planning committee representing a broad range of organizations and individuals, academic scholars, community researchers, and local museums.

Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture

The DC History Conference kicked off on Thursday, March 31 with a capacity crowd at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives with the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture. Georgetown University History Professor Dr. Marcia Chatelain presented "Other Franchise Fight: Fast Food and Black Freedom from U Street to Capitol Hill." Dr. Chatelain's research on Black communities, McDonald's, and how the District played a central role in the complicated relationship between Black consumers and drive-thru civil rights won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2021. The lecture honors a renowned researcher and historian who became the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in history from Harvard University. 

Sessions at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Day two opens Friday, April 1 at the Library's Conference Center with presentations and panels of leading scholars, researchers, and community-based history practitioners. Session highlights include: "DC's Asian American Heritage: Engaging the Community and Preserving Its History;" "The Evolution of Hand Dance in Washington, DC;" "Fresh Convos Breathe: The Untold Story of DC HipHop;" "Environment and Society: Case Studies from the District;" and "From ‘Slum Clearance’ to ‘Mixed-Income’: The Serial Displacement of Black Washingtonians."

A keynote speech on "Think-In: Archiving and Activating DC's Art History" and the “History Network” expo will round out the day.

The conference concludes Saturday, April 2 but not before presenting additional panels, workshops, tours, and a poster session. Highlights include: "Capturing the Voices of Black Career Educators: A Critical Race Analysis;" "Living on Sixteenth Street NW: Architecture and Community;" "Race, Place, and Real Estate: Family Journeys;" "By Broad Potomac's Shore: Early DC Poems as History Blockbusting;" "White Flight, and the Price of Housing in Two Uptown Neighborhoods;" and "After Redevelopment: Telling Lorton's Story Through Multiple Media."

Poster presentations, a one-act play on "Culture Unmuted,” and a keynote on "A Mixtape from the 2021—2022 Great Migration Oral History Project" will close out the 2022 conference.

The 48th annual DC History Conference is co-presented by the DC History Center and the DC Public Library and sponsored by the Public History program at American University. It is made possible by grants from HumanitiesDC as part of the "Humanities Grant Program," an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the DC Public Library Foundation, and the DC Office of the Secretary. 

Partners and Sponsors:
The DC History Conference is produced by a group of volunteer planning committee members representing various organizations, individuals, academic scholars, community researchers, and local museums. Partners include Charles Sumner School Museums and Archives, DC Historic Preservation Office, DC Office of Planning, Heurich House Museum, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Cleveland Park Historical Society, Trinity University, Rainbow History Project, and more. Sponsors include Georgetown University Press, AARP Maryland, DC Preservation League, and the White House Historical Association.

Planning Committee Members:
Rina Alfonso, Mike Amezcua, Mariana Barros-Titus, Mark Benbow, Kimberly Bender, Natalie Campbell, Jenna Febrizio, Mark Greek, Laura Hagood, Karen L. Harris, Dominique Hazzard, Linnea Hegarty, Crystal Hurd, Julianna Jackson, Angela Kramer, Melyssa Laureano, Lily Liu, Lina Mann, Kate Morgan (conference manager), Tracey Mullery, Emily Niekrasz, Maren Orchard (program manager), Andrea Pedolsky, Amy Yeboah Quarkume, Glenn C. Reimer, M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, Ryan Shepard, Trisha Smith, Domonique Spear, Kimberly Springle, and Ruth Trocolli.