The AHA’s special projects combine the interests and needs of our members with opportunities for funding or other available resources. The promotion of history, historical work, and historical thinking encompasses a wide spectrum of activities, and each project focuses on a particular set of issues that might engage only a portion of the membership—but that relates to broader areas of concern to the discipline at large. Our current projects tilt towards history education, and the relationship between historical thinking and career opportunities.
The AHA’s Bridging Cultures Project at the Library of Congress
The polar vortex that crippled much of the US in early January was no match for 24 intrepid historians participating in the AHA's Bridging Cultures seminar, "US and Atlantic History, 1450-1850," held January 5-10 in Washington, DC. Braving wind chills that went below zero and bundled in parkas and scarves, these professors from community colleges across the country (including the tropical climes of Hawaii) made the daily trek to the Library of Congress for five days of lectures, discussions, and research in the library's vast collections.
Tuning and Teaching History as an Ethical Way of Being in the World
This might be crazy, but imagine a first meeting of the academic year where no one talked about budgets, assessment, course assignments, or parking. What if we all started the year discussing what disciplinary ideals link us as historians and how we might best introduce those to our students? The Tuning Project has now compiled dozens of examples of departmental and course level expectations for students and curricular maps to guide students in building knowledge and skills, all designed to clarify what we do and why.
2013 Tuning Core Document
The AHA’s Tuning project's Discipline Core is a statement of the central habits of mind, skills, and understanding that students achieve when they major in history. The document reflects the iterative nature of the tuning process. The faculty director of the project, Anne F. Hyde (Colorado Coll.), incorporated feedback that the AHA received after the first version was published. We hope that the new version can again serve as the basis for conversations among history faculty, and between faculty and students, alumni, public historians, parents, administrators, employers, and others about the value of studying history in particular.