35th Annual Conference on New York State History

Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist to host June 12-14 event

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (May 15, 2014) — The 2014 Conference on New York State History will be offering something for anyone with interest in New York State history when it meets at Marist College in Poughkeepsie June 12-14.

Conference highlights include presentations by author and CBS news commentator Douglas Brinkley (below), Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer (left), and History Channel Vice President and Chief Historian Libby Haight O’Connell (bottom right). Doug Brinkley

Conference attendees will also be able to hear celebrated filmmaker Ken Burns speak about his upcoming documentary, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," at a public program sponsored by the FDR Presidential Library & Museum and the Home of FDR National Historic Site.

"This year’s program is intended to serve a broad audience and make good history more useful and enjoyable for all New Yorkers," said New York State Historical Association President and CEO Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.

The New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown is the principal conference sponsor. Co-sponsors include the Hudson River Valley Institute of Marist College, the New York State Museum, the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, and the New York Humanities Council.

The three-day program will feature presentations by more than 100 speakers who will together address a wide range of topics—from the most up-to-date professional research on such topics as women’s suffrage, the politics of the Civil War, and the changing public memory of 9/11 to the current state of such issues as classroom education, museum programming, and heritage tourism.

Harold Holzer"New York State’s history community is extremely diverse. It includes scholars, teachers, museum and archives professionals, and history buffs of every description," said New York State Historian Robert Weible, who chaired the committee that organized the conference. Both Weible and D’Ambrosio noted that one goal of the conference would be to foster closer relationships among New York’s many historical interests.

Dr. James M. Johnson, Executive Director of The Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College, added that "We are excited about hosting the 35th Annual Conference on New York State History at Marist College. We have put together panels about important themes in the history of the Hudson River Valley from the Dutch to landscape architecture to the Roosevelts to African-Americans. We will also host the distinguished Civil War historian Harold Holzer for our annual Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History. We know that everyone will enjoy our new facilities and the magnificent views of the Hudson River."

The organizing committee included representatives of the Association of Public Historians of New York State, Bard College, the Libby Haight O'ConnellCenter for Applied Historical Research, the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, the Hudson River Valley Institute, the Iroquois Indian Museum, the Museum Association of New York, the National Park Service, the New York Academy of History, the New York State Archives, the New York State Council for Social Studies, the New York State Museum, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

The conference has a special interest in strengthening history education in New York by providing focused sessions for elementary and secondary teachers, as well as for museum educators.

Just prior to the conference on Thursday, June 12th, the Home of FDR National Historic Site, the FDR Presidential Museum & Library, and the Center for Applied Historical Research will sponsor a free public program entitled “Imperiled Promise: Public History and Shared Authority at New York’s NPS Sites.” Program participants will discuss and solicit public comment on a recent study, authored by the Organization of American Historians, that critically examines the ways in which the National Park Service presents history to the public.

Ken Burns will speak afterwards and screen scenes from his most recent production, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History." This presentation is also free and open to the public. Both the Burns and National Park Service programs will seek to attract conference attendees when they take place at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center of the FDR Presidential Library & Museum. The Wallace Center is located a short distance from Marist College.

The conference program and registration information are available online at NYSHA.org.

For further information, please email Mary Zawacki, Managing Consultant for the Conference on New York State History at HistoryConference@NYSHA.org.

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