From the News column of the September 2004 Perspectives
AHR's Next Editor Selected
AHA Staff, September 2004
The Council of the AHA is pleased to announce the selection of Robert A. Schneider, a historian of early modern France, as the next editor of the American Historical Review. Roy Rosenzweig (George Mason Univ.) the AHA’s vice president for research and co-chair of the search committee, commended Schneider for bringing "a strong scholarly record as a French historian, substantial administrative experience as a department chair, and a broad vision for the future growth and development of the journal.” Schneider will take the helm in fall 2005, leaving his current post as professor and chair at the Catholic University of America for a joint appointment as professor of European history at Indiana University, which houses the journal.
Schneider received his BA degree from Yale University, his MA from Wesleyan University, and his PhD from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Brandeis University and Catholic University of America, and has been a visiting professor at the National Irish University at Maynooth and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation; All Souls College, Oxford; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the American Council of Learned Societies. Among Schneider’s major publications are Public Life in Toulouse, 1463–1789 (Cornell Univ. Press, 1989); The Ceremonial City (Princeton Univ. Press, 1995); and Tocqueville and Beyond: Essays on the Old Regime in Honor of David D. Bien (Univ. of Delaware Press, 2003), which he coedited with Robert M. Schwartz. He has also coedited with Whitney Walton a forthcoming special issue of French Historical Studies on the theme "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on History and Literature.”
Schneider will succeed Michael Grossberg, whose distinguished tenure at the Review has been marked by his successful attempts to publish articles dealing with a wider range of issues, the development of online publication of the Review, formation of the History Cooperative, and the reorganization of the book review section. Rosenzweig noted that "Mike Grossberg has set an extraordinarily high standard as editor of the AHR for the past 9 years; the committee felt that Schneider was someone who could build effectively on Mike’s achievements.”
Inheriting the editorial mantle of the American Historical Review "is an awesome task,” Schneider wrote in a recent communication, but one which he eagerly accepted, "largely because of the health and vitality of the enterprise, especially under the leadership of Mike Grossberg, and before him David Ransel.” Schneider said he intends to continue on the path taken by his predecessors at the Review, especially "in expanding its coverage, in encouraging historical debate and methodological discussion, and in pioneering the use of electronic publication.”
In setting priorities for the future, Schneider said that "the Review must continue to be the premier forum for the best and most interesting historical research being carried out today,” and that it should also be the place "where historians turn to learn about new methods and findings in fields other than their own.” Schneider hopes that "the Review could perform a service in periodically revisiting debates and controversies of the past—especially from the ‘sixties and ‘seventies, a period of such fruitful contentiousness—if only to remind ourselves of those historical issues once at stake.”