From the AHA Activities column in the February 2002 Perspectives
Report of the Nominating Committee on the 2001 AHA Election
Sara T. Nalle, February 2002
On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I am pleased to report the results of the 2001 election for AHA offices. The committee is extremely grateful to all the candidates, who agreed to stand for Association elective office and committee positions despite other pressing obligations. The Association depends for its continued well-being upon the willingness of its members to serve. Elected candidates are indicated with an (*) asterisk.
Slate of Candidates for the 2001 Election
President (1-year term)
*Lynn Hunt, UCLA (France, early modern Europe, late modern Europe, cultural, gender)
President-Elect (1-year term)
Jack P. Greene, Johns Hopkins University (colonial and revolutionary America; early modern British Empire, including West Indies and Ireland; comparative colonialism, plantation societies, slavery, identity; early modern Atlantic)
*James M. McPherson, Princeton University (Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery and antislavery, race relations in American history)
Vice President, Professional Division (3-year term)
*William J. Cronon, University of Wisconsin-Madison (U.S. environmental, U.S. West, frontier)
Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University (U.S: social and political history of women, labor and social policy, twentieth century)
Council, Position 1 (3-year term)
Lonnie G. Bunch, Chicago Historical Society (African American, the urban West, museums and their role in society)
*Victoria A. Harden, National Institutes of Health and DeWitt Stetten Jr. Museum of Medical Research (history of biomedical research policy in U.S., history of infectious diseases, history of biomedical instrumentation)
Council, Position 2 (3-year term)
*Stefan Tanaka, University of California, San Diego (modern Japan, historiography, non-Western constructions of identity, intercultural relations)
John K. Thornton, Millersville University of Pennsylvania (African, African Diaspora, world, Atlantic, military history, history of missions)
Divisions (3-year term)
*Peter C. Hoffer, University of Georgia (early American, legal)
Jeffrey Merrick, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (early modern France; family, gender, and sexuality; intellectual and cultural)
Gary B. Cohen, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (modern European social history, East-Central Europe 1740–1939, social and political history of Austria and Germany 1790–1939, ethnic group relations and nationalism)
*Lawrence Wolff, Boston College (Eastern Europe, Enlightenment, Habsburg monarchy, Mediterranean, history of childhood and family, European intellectual and cultural history)
*Ellen Furlough, University of Kentucky (modern France, 20th-century European cultural politics, consumer cultures)
Matthew Restall, Penn State University (colonial Latin America, Atlantic world, gender and ethnicity)
Committees (3-year term)
Committee on Committees
*Carole K. Fink, Ohio State University (European international history, 20th-century Europe, historiography)
Jane Gilmer Landers, Vanderbilt University (Latin American colonial history, Africans in the Americas, Atlantic,
Nominating Committee, Position 1
Luise White, University of Florida (Africa, women's, medical, nationalism and decolonization, military)
*Anand A. Yang, University of Utah (South Asia, comparative, Asian American, world)
Nominating Committee, Position 2
Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia (U.S. 19th-century, U.S. South, digital history)
*Patricia Nelson Limerick, University of Colorado, Boulder (Western American, ethnic, environmental, comparative colonialism)
Nominating Committee, Position 3
*Alice L. Conklin, University of Rochester (modern France, modern Africa, 20th-century Europe, European colonialism, intellectual and cultural history)
Mack P. Holt, George Mason University (Reformation, early modern Europe, France)
This year's election was affected by the events that transpired in Washington, D.C. after the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. The discovery of an anthrax-laden letter addressed to Senator Tom Daschle and the detection of anthrax spores in several other postal facilities led to the quarantine of mail in the District's postal system. As a result, the Association received almost no mail for nearly three weeks at the end of October and the beginning of November. This affected also the ballots for the AHA election that are required to be returned to the headquarters office. The AHA's constitution stipulates that all ballots received as of November 1 will be valid and counted; however, there is no provision in the constitution that allows for a lengthy interruption of mail service such as was experienced during the election period. Following consultation by the full AHA Council, it was the members' decision to delay counting so that all ballots postmarked no later than October 31, 2001, and received in the headquarters office by November 30, 2001, could be counted. Council chose the November 30 date because it was thought possible at the time that mail service might not resume immediately, and once it did, the backlog of mail to be delivered would overwhelm the system and lead to further delays. As it turned out, mail from the AHA's postal facility was shipped to Ohio for treatment, sorted piece-by-piece upon return to Washington, and subsequently delivered to the AHA. We are fortunate that mail deliveries did resume by the end of the second week in November, and mail postmarked in October was delivered well before the November 30 deadline.
Of the 13,389 members of the Association, 2,940 cast ballots before the November 1 deadline, only 90 less than last year. Forty-three ballots postmarked after November 1 were not counted. Survey and Ballot Systems, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, scanned the ballots and tabulated the results. Only 11 ballots needed to be hand counted. Some voters registered their opinions about candidates, and the committee will review these criticisms and comments at its next meeting in February 2002.
The Nominating Committee met in Washington, D.C. from February 3 to 5, 2001. This was the fifth year that the committee had met from Saturday to Monday. Although some telephone calls had to be made by the chair after the meeting had adjourned, the revised schedule allowed us to reach nominees more easily. We elected to continue the meeting time frame for the 2002 meeting, which is scheduled for February 9–11, 2002. The chair of the 2002 Nominating Committee is Gary Kates, Pomona College.
The committee made every effort to keep the nomination process as open and inclusive as possible. As in recent years, this effort included a call for nominations, which was published in Perspectives and posted on H-Announce, through which it was crosslisted on many of the lists of H-Net. The call stressed the AHA's commitment to diversity of all kinds and urged members to suggest nominees. A number of members responded with suggestions and expressions of willingness to serve. All of us on the Nominating Committee are extremely grateful to members of the AHA who nominated colleagues or themselves for office. The committee carefully considered all such nominations and acted upon some; given the complexities of the nomination process and the relatively few slots available, unfortunately not everyone who wished to stand for election could in fact do so. Their curricula vitae will be kept for use by the 2002 and future committees.
Committee members also contacted a large number of colleagues and associates, asking for suggestions and expressions of interest. Positive responses also provided a source of possible nominations, as do a file of curricula vitae of those who have been suggested, who have expressed interest, or who have otherwise been considered by the committee in the past.
The committee took pains to find able and energetic members who could work well with colleagues. In the case of the president, the committee recognized the importance of selecting nominees who could represent the interests of historians effectively to the society at large and whose experience suggested some degree of administrative skill. In all its selections the committee was anxious to reflect the broad diversity of the historical profession in terms of geographic location, type of institution served, subdiscipline, interests, gender, and cultural background. We believe that this year's election ballot went a long way toward meeting our goal of offering the membership a truly diverse slate of candidates.
The committee wishes to thank the staff of the Association, and especially Assistant Director Sharon Tune, for her consistent, outstanding work and her expert guidance and advice, without which the committee could not fulfill its responsibilities.
Finally, I wish to thank my fellow committee members, whose combined expertise and broad knowledge of the Association and its membership enabled the nomination process to proceed smoothly and efficiently.
—Sara T. Nalle (William Paterson Univ.) was chair of the 2001 Nominating Committee.