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  • Preparing Future Faculty at Boston College Added July 28, 2014

    Editor's Note: During 2000–2002, the AHA received a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools and the Association of American Colleges and Universities under their joint program, "Shaping the Preparation of Future Social Science and Humanities Faculty," to provide funds for Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) programs in selected departments. Four history departments—of Boston College, Arizona State University (ASU), Howard University, and Florida State—participated in the AHA's ...

  • Preparing Future Faculty at Florida State University Added July 28, 2014

    Editor's Note: During 2000–2002, the AHA received a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools and the Association of American Colleges and Universities under their joint program, "Shaping the Preparation of Future Social Science and Humanities Faculty," to provide funds for Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) programs in selected departments. Four history departments—of Boston College, Arizona State University (ASU), Howard University, and Florida State—participated in the AHA's ...

  • Summary of the Education of Historians for the 21st Century Added July 28, 2014

    Editor's note: Earlier this year, the AHA Council received and endorsed the final report of the Committee on Graduate Education. The full report, entitled The Education of Historians for the 21st Century , is now in publication at the University of Illinois Press and will be available in December 2003. Here we present a summary of the report's guiding principles and main recommendations. Introduction Research Methods Organization of the Report Guiding Principles Ma...

  • History Takes a Tumble in Degrees Conferred: New Data Shows Field Lagging Behind Added July 28, 2014

    According to data published by the U.S. Department of Education in June, history degrees comprise a relatively small proportion of the total number of degrees conferred, and the field is significantly diminished from its standing 30 years ago. 1 In the 2000–01 academic year—the most recent year with data available—history accounted for 2 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, 0.5 percent of the master’s degrees, and 2.1 percent of the doctorates conferred. ...

  • The Qualifying Exam: A View from the Past Added July 28, 2014

    Over the course of any academic year, several hundred students will be anxiously preparing to sit for their qualifying exams in history. Though this dreaded rite of academic passage has been shared by thousands of their predecessors, students rarely have more than anecdotal comments—often embellished—upon which to rely as they face their day of reckoning. The following recollection, penned several hours after its author survived his oral exams in 1952, provides an unusually detailed...

  • Letters to the Editor: Three Suggestions on Languages for Historians Added July 28, 2014

    Editor's Note: Perspectives on History welcomes letters to the editor on issues discussed in its pages or which are relevant to the profession. Letters should ideally be brief and should be sent to Letters to the Editor (or mailed to Letters to the Editor, Perspectives on History , AHA, 400 A Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889) along with full contact information. Letters selected for publication may be edited for style, length, and content. Publication of letters does not signif...

  • Pragmatic as Well as Prescient Added July 28, 2014

    In 2001, George Mason University’s Department of History and Art History enrolled ten graduate students in its nascent doctoral program, listed in the original brochure as “A PhD with a Difference.” The difference? An emphasis on digital history. The expansion of graduate education and the rise of digital history are intertwined stories at Mason. Graduate education in our Department of History and Art History has benefited greatly from a focus on digital media and methods, a...

  • Letters to the Editor: On Rethinking Graduate History Education Added July 28, 2014

    Editor's Note: Perspectives on History welcomes letters to the editor on issues discussed in its pages or which are relevant to the profession. Letters should ideally be brief and should be sent to Letters to the Editor (or mailed to Letters to the Editor, Perspectives on History , AHA, 400 A Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889) along with full contact information. Letters selected for publication may be edited for style, length, and content. Publication of letters does not signify endorsem...

  • Graduate Student Mentoring Added July 28, 2014

    When I began teaching in my first real job, the two things about which I was most apprehensive were lecturing and training graduate students. In the end, I came to love doing both, although I eventually decided that liking to lecture might be a character flaw. Teaching graduate students, however, means seeing young men and women develop an independent scholarly voice. I am grateful for having been able to watch that happen. Thinking systematically about what I've been doing on an ad hoc basis...

  • Learning the Craft Added July 28, 2014

    Graduate training in history is a survival of an artisanal mode in an educational world of mass production and corporatized universities. Shaped by the personalities and quirks of all parties, training is a process of watching, doing, and constant practice. The goal of a mentor is to oversee apprentice historians as they are introduced to the standards, unstated expectations, and craft secrets required for professional accomplishment and success. My approach to mentoring recognizes that histo...