Annual Meetings 2021…Virtual Reality

This time last year I was ramping up and excited to attend my first historical association meeting in New York City, hosted by the American Historical Association (AHA). I took the Amtrak regional from BWI and it was great. I schlepped my small roller suitcase to my hotel in Hell’s Kitchen and achieved my 10,000 steps, and then some, during my daily hikes to and from the convention downtown. As always when I get to visit NYC I tried different cuisines and enjoyed my time, albeit by myself. Little did we know, COVID was likely already lurking and had already begun its invasion, waiting to claim its first victims.

One should not fear venturing out alone and it can provide much needed introspect at the right time, to include a renewed appreciation of our homes and those with whom we share that adventure called life. It was nice to be in NYC again and I was looking forward to attending the 2021 AHA in Seattle as two of our closest girlfriends live out there, and we both could have traveled and extended our time so we could visit our friends. Well, we all know what happened and the AHA annual meeting, and at least the others that occur prior to the summer season, are now virtual. The decision to take these large events virtual is responsible and in keeping with taking care of the collective of humankind. No, I am not afraid; however, I am cautious.

I am attending the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) 2021 annual meeting, which is virtual and still overlaps the AHA annual meeting. It is a long meeting from 5-10 January and in reviewing the session agenda, looks to be very interesting and worthy of my time, and moreover, the time of the historians who are presenting their papers. I am looking forward to attending this professional event and that of the Association of Ancient Historians (AAH) for three days in May, again virtual because no one really knows when the last severe wave of COVID will pass through and we will collectively venture out. For now, virtual meetings are among the responsible moves required to get in front of and eventually push COVID into our rear view mirrors. So, long live the virtual meetings, which will likely remain regular routines in our foreseeable future.

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