The 2004 Election

By Alice L. Conklin

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I am pleased to report the results of the 2004 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 their having 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.

Total number of ballots cast: 2,475

President (1-year term)

  • *James J. Sheehan, Stanford University (modern Europe), 1,989

President-elect (1-year term)

  • *Linda K. Kerber, University of Iowa (U.S. women’s, U.S. legal and intellectual, U.S. early republic), 1,439
  • Leon F. Litwack, University of California at Berkeley (America since 1607, African American and race relations, social), 947

Vice President, Professional Division (3-year term)

  • Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia (U.S. South), 1,048
  • *Anthony Grafton, Princeton University (Renaissance and Reformation, historiography), 1,244

Council (3-year terms)

Slot 1

  • *Art Gomez, National Park Service (Spanish colonial, U.S. West, environmental), 1,240
  • Modupe Labode, Colorado Historical Society (public history, U.S. West, African Diaspora, women), 778

Slot 2

  • Indrani Chatterjee, Rutgers University (South Asia, slavery, gender), 824
  • *Mrinalini Sinha, Penn State University (modern India, British imperialism, feminist theory), 1,153

Division Representatives (3-year terms)


  • Richard A. Baker, U.S. Senate Historical Office (U.S. political), 879
  • *Spencer Crew, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (20th-century urban and African American), 1,182


  • Laurie Nussdorfer, Wesleyan University (early modern Europe), 858
  • *Paula A. Sanders, Rice University (medieval Middle East, Islamic civilization, gender in Islamic societies), 1,174


  • *Monica Tetzlaff, Indiana University South Bend (African American, women, U.S. West), 1,038
  • David M. Wrobel, University of Nevada at Las Vegas (American West, American cultural/intellectual), 979

Committee on Committees (3-year term)

  • *Philippa Levine, University of Southern California (modern Britain, colonialism, gender and sexuality), 1,148
  • Jeremy D. Popkin, University of Kentucky (modern French history, historiography, Holocaust studies), 989

Nominating Committee (3-year terms)

Slot 1

  • *Dena Goodman, University of Michigan (early modern France, Enlightenment, women and gender), 1,217
  • Jo Burr Margadant, Santa Clara University (France, modern Europe, European women), 856

Slot 2

  • *Neil Foley, University of Texas at Austin (borderlands, Texas, Mexican American), 1,047
  • Virginia Scharff, University of New Mexico (U.S. West, women, environment), 1,040

Slot 3

  • Edward A. Alpers, UCLA (Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean, African Diaspora, slave trade and slavery), 950
  • *David Northrup, Boston College (Africa), 1,101

Election Process and Results

Of the 14,014 members of the Association, 2,475 cast ballots before the November 1 deadline, 143 fewer than last year. Fifty-five ballots postmarked after this deadline were not counted. Survey and Ballot Systems, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, scanned the ballots and tabulated the results. Some voters registered their opinions about candidates, and the committee will review these criticisms and comments at its next meeting in February 2005.

The Nominating Committee met in Washington, D.C. from February 7–9, 2004. This was the eighth 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, this schedule allowed us to reach nominees more easily, either by telephone or e-mail. We elected to continue the new schedule for the 2005 meeting, which is scheduled for February 5–7, 2005. The chair of the 2005 Nominating Committee is Kenneth L. Pomeranz, University of California at Irvine.

The Nominating committee continues to be committed to bringing a diversity of candidates to the AHA leadership. In the course of our deliberations, several committee members raised the concern that younger historians working in Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American history are not members of the organization despite the dynamic recent growth in these fields. Several factors discourage scholars from joining, including cost, competition from alternative professional associations, and the perception that the AHA is not deemed sufficiently representative or useful to them. This failure becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, since non-members cannot run for an elected office of the AHA. The committee would like to encourage all scholars to consider joining early in their careers, so that the organization might become even more inclusive in the future.

The committee appreciated the thoughtful report and suggestions from the Task Force on Public History and would note that a public historian has served on the AHA Council for a number of years. Public historians also currently serve on two of the three divisions, Research and Professional.

In all its selections the committee sought to reflect the broad and growing diversity of the historical profession in terms of types of ethnicity and gender; institutions represented (high school, college, university; public or private; teaching or outreach); geographic location of institutions represented; previous and existing representation in AHA offices; specialized fields within the historical profession; and ongoing changes in the profession. No single year’s Nominating Committee could hope to achieve complete diversity; successive committees must instead build on previous efforts to achieve this goal.
The committee wishes to thank Assistant Director Sharon K. Tune for her outstanding guidance, experience and advice, without which the committee could not fulfill its responsibilities. I am also very grateful to my fellow committee members, whose collective knowledge of the profession and the Association was invaluable to the nominating process.

Alice L. Conklin (University of Rochester) was chair of the 2004 Nominating Committee.