American Historical Association Year in Review 2018-19

Three images: Careers for History Majors booklet, two scholars looking at an AHA19 program, and a cover of Perspectives on History


Rethinking History Education

  • Published Careers for History Majors to help departments recruit students and to inform current and future undergraduates about the social and economic value of studying history, distributing 5,000 copies in six months
  • Launched History Gateways, an initiative to revise introductory college history courses to better serve students from all backgrounds
  • Engaged with more than 30 institutions to discuss strategies and spearhead cultural and curricular change in PhD programs as part of the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative. Activities included 136 seminars, workshops, informal information sessions, visits, and conferences

Improving Data Transparency

  • Expanded the annual jobs report to provide more context about academic hiring
  • Collaborated with the Association of American Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools to collect improved data about doctoral career outcomes across disciplines
  • Published “The History BA since the Great Recession” by Benjamin M. Schmidt in Perspectives on History, which sparked wide conversation about the future of historical knowledge in the United States

Raising the Bar for Diversity and Inclusion in the Discipline

  • Partnered with the American Philosophical Association to collaborate with faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to explore how scholarly associations can better serve these institutions
  • Embarked on a broad range of initiatives to comprehensively diversify the American Historical Review with respect to article topics, contributors, peer reviewers, and more
  • Developed policies and a code of conduct to safeguard our member spaces and to protect members from harassment and discrimination within the scope of AHA activity


Three images: the front of the AHA townhouse, the undergraduate poster session at AHA19, and a brainstorming session from the AHA19 Assignment Charette

Defending and Supporting the Work of Historians

  • Issued a record-breaking number of letters and statements regarding academic freedom and the integrity of historical work in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nicaragua, Hungary, and across the United States
  • Mobilized members to protect federal funding for the humanities, higher education budgets, and history courses in public higher education systems
  • Established a committee to advise on issues at the National Archives and Records Administration relating to the work of historians
  • Played a leadership role in the National Humanities Alliance, National Coalition for History, and American Council of Learned Societies, in addition to continued participation in the Consortium of Social Science Associations and Social Science Research Council

Bringing Historical Thinking into Policy Debates

  • Responded to current events with late-breaking sessions at #AHA19 related to such issues as Confederate monuments, threats to the collections and work of archives, and Brazil’s presidential election
  • The National History Center convened five congressional briefings by expert historians on the histories of federal agricultural policy, US refugee policy, congressional reform and rules changes, US gun rights and regulations, and US health care policy, which consistently attracted large audiences and were filmed and broadcast by C-SPAN
  • A series of Perspectives Daily articles contextualized contemporary issues, including marijuana decriminalization, white supremacist nostalgia for the Middle Ages, and African American student activism
  • A webinar with leading political historians discussed the historical implications of the 2018 midterm elections

Creating Community

Supporting Members with Professional Development