Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

Caring for the OI Community

· March 12th, 2020 · No Comments

Like all of you, we have been assessing and planning for the challenges of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization has now classed as a pandemic, and I wanted to bring you up to date on what this means for the OI.  First, all OI events for March and April are canceled.  We will not be hosting our regular colloquium series, reading groups, or public lectures and workshops in Williamsburg.  Other events we were scheduled to participate in, including this week/end’s Virginia Festival of the Book, the Georgian Papers Programme workshop and lecture next week at King’s College London, and the OAH annual meeting, are canceled.

Second, we will be assessing May and June events, including our annual conference, over the next weeks and will make further announcements by the end of March at the latest.  We will continue to be guided in this by William & Mary‘s plans for students and the campus community.

Third, we have been creating a more robust digital infrastructure for OI operations for some time, and thus are in good shape to proceed with business mostly as usual for publications and digital programs.  Staff travel is curtailed for March and April as well, so we won’t be able to display books at conferences or other events during this time, Editor of Books Cathy Kelly and her team are working on other, virtual forms of promotion. They are continuing to work on current and prospective / potential projects.  William and Mary Quarterly Editor Josh Piker and his team are processing submissions and reader reports and editing articles and book reviews.  In short, we’re open for the business of scholarship.

We’re also continuing to work on new digital projects and platforms.  Our priority is making sure we can do the work we’ve already committed to but we’ll also be exploring new ways we can serve scholars, scholarship, and the public during this challenging period.  Watch for newsletters and our social media channels.

Last and fourth, amidst all this effort to keep the OI humming and serving you, my top priority is keeping our staff healthy, safe, and supported.  We are going to be flexible as school and work schedules change and as family members have changing needs.  Please be in touch with me directly as you have questions or concerns.

Karin Wulf
Executive Director, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

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