2021 AHA Election: Committees

Committee on Committees

The Committee on Committees nominates individuals to fill vacancies on all regular Association committees. Returning members are Leo J. Garofalo, Connecticut Coll. (associate professor and chair; colonial Andean cities and markets, Afro-Iberians and African diaspora), and Raúl A. Ramos, Univ. of Houston (19th-century US-Mexico border, transnational identity construction).

Slot 1

Julie Hardwick

University of Texas at Austin (John E. Green Regents Professor; early modern Europe, social/legal/gender)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

AHA leadership across committees should look like our profession so that it can speak to the interests of all historians now and in the future. We need our leadership and efforts to include faculty of color, women faculty, LGBTQ faculty, historians from a wide range of institutions, and historians who have contingent appointments or are outside of the academy. Many historians work at teaching intensive campuses that have proven increasingly vulnerable in recent years. Our current reality is that many colleagues, and increasingly our junior colleagues across the country, are adjuncts. The voices and professional experience of precarity should be central to our thinking about how the AHA can productively support the future of the discipline and our profession. Through increased representation on committees, I aim to encourage the AHA commitment to work on behalf of our most vulnerable as well as our more secure colleagues.

Dana Rabin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (professor and interim chair; Great Britain/nation/race, 18th-century empire)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am delighted to be nominated to serve on the AHA’s Committee on Committees. I am a British historian of the 18th century working at the intersection of law, empire, and belonging; my current project focuses on the Jewish Caribbean. I am currently the chair of the history department and previously served as director of graduate studies, director of undergraduate studies, and associate director of the Program on Jewish Culture and Society. I enjoy making connections among scholars with similar or complementary thematic interests across a range of geographical and chronological specialties. I look forward to working with other members of the AHA to expand leadership opportunities for historians from diverse educational and cultural institutions. As chair during the COVID pandemic I have tried to lead with compassion as faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students have faced the challenges of the past year. I am committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to broadening the reach of our scholarship beyond the academy.

Slot 2

Sarah C. Kovner

Columbia University (senior research scholar; modern Japan, war and society, gender and sexuality)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

As a historian of modern Japan and the world, my academic work uses military history and gender and sexuality. I've held appointments in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast, in tenure-track, tenured, renewing, and adjunct positions. Over the course of my career, I've often been the only Asianist, enabling me to work closely with historians in a variety of thematic and geographic fields. I've worked with scholars across the country and worldwide through conferences, communities, local historian groups, and archives. This has shown me the urgency of diversity, equity, and representation in identifying scholars for appointed positions. I hope to serve the AHA by bringing in historians from all fields and all professions as we together address the unprecedented struggles that we face from research challenges and economic struggles caused by the pandemic.

Franziska Seraphim

Boston College (associate professor; modern Japan, global and comparative, historical memory, social politics)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I came to the United States for my undergraduate studies after having spent several years living and traveling in East Asia, and then followed the “regular” academic track through graduate studies in modern Japanese history to a tenured associate professorship and directorship of the Asian Studies Program. My career parallels the rise of memory studies in the 1990s as well as the history wars in Asia, from the initially nation-framed questions about war memory to multi-scalar studies of justice for historical wrongs using insights from critical geography. While the AHA is rightly focused on urgently responding to our current reckoning with systemic injustices in this country, I am concerned that we not lose sight of the connective, comparative, conceptual, and contextual ways in which the historical dynamics of race, capitalism, and extractivism have reverberated around the world and conditioned America’s place in the world.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee makes nominations for all elective posts in the AHA, oversees the counting of ballots, and reports the results of the election to the membership. Returning members are Fahad Ahmad Bishara, Univ. of Virginia (Indian Ocean economic and legal, Islamic law and capitalism); Amy M. Froide, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (professor and chair; female investors and single women, Britain 1500-1800); Beatrice Gurwitz, National Humanities Alliance (deputy director; Latin American/Jewish history, higher education policy, public humanities); Carla G. Pestana, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (early America, Atlantic world); Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir, Xavier Univ. of Louisiana (associate professor; African American, New Orleans); and John Thabiti Willis, Carleton Coll. (religious encounters, African and diaspora religions).

Slot 1

Amanda Herbert

Folger Institute (associate director, Fellowships Program; gender/sexuality, health/healing/body)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I’m a historian of the early modern body: gender and sexuality; health and wellness; food and drink; constructions of class, race, and self. I began my career in the professoriate and currently oversee fellowships at a major independent research library. I co-direct Before “Farm to Table,” a $1.5 million Mellon initiative in collaborative humanities research, and co-organize “Critical Race Conversations,” a free online platform for experts in the field to launch work in support of more equitable research agendas and for a more inclusive future. This interdisciplinary and cross-contextual work has given me the opportunity to collaborate with scholars from many different fields and to engage with historians inside and outside of the professoriate. As a member of the Nominating Committee, as in all of my work, my priorities would be to amplify and promote the work of scholars who historically have been underrepresented, undersupported, and underrecognized in our field; to demonstrate the utility and applicability of our discipline across career paths; to reach beyond traditional boundaries and divides; and to embody generosity and compassion in and for our profession.

Lisa Leff

US Holocaust Memorial Museum (director, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies) and American University (professor; Jews of modern France)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

Since receiving my PhD in history, I have worked in a variety of professional settings and have developed a deep appreciation for the ever-expanding scope of career paths for historians. I have worked as a professor at a liberal arts college and at a research university; as a university administrator; and now, as director of an academic center within a federally supported history museum. I support the AHA’s efforts to be inclusive in its approach and give equal weight to voices from across the profession. We must define diversity in terms of social and institutional location as well as specialization, and through our Association, provide a common space to discuss what matters to all of us. The Nominating Committee plays a crucial role in constructing that discussion by making sure the diversity of our profession is represented and I would be honored to help in its work.

Slot 2

Evan Dawley

Goucher College (associate professor; Taiwanese ethnic identity formation, Chinese nationalism and Chinese diaspora, East Asian regionalism, memory studies, historical geography)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am a historian of modern East Asia whose research focuses on Taiwan, identity formation, colonialism, and Chinese nation-building through and around Chinese diasporas. Trained in the methodology of international history, I look for the connections and interactions that link local actors and case studies to broader networks and processes. I want to join the Nominating Committee in order to help ensure that the officers of the AHA are representative of the membership and ready to expand its demographic, professional, and regional diversity, and can address the many challenges facing historians today. I would bring to the position a wide view of the historical profession, gained through my studies and employment at both small liberal arts colleges and a large research university; my past participation as a member of the AHA annual meeting Program Committee; experience reviewing grants for the NEH; and my work as a historian with the US State Department.

Philip Thai

Northeastern University (associate professor; modern China, legal, economic, diplomatic)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am a historian of modern China and East Asia, with research and teaching interests in legal, economic, and diplomatic history. My work is informed by my experiences as a first-generation college graduate and my time working in the private sector prior to graduate school. At my institution, I served in various administrative roles, including revamping our Asian Studies Program and my department’s undergraduate curriculum to attract more students and better meet their needs. Outside my institution, I served as a book review editor for the Journal of Asian Studies and a member of the finance committee for the American Society for Legal History. If elected to the American Historical Association’s nominating committee, I want to recruit candidates who bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and talents to broaden our membership and address the critical challenges facing our profession, especially the precarity of many colleagues and the decline in history enrollments.

Slot 3

Wendy E. Lucas

University of Central Arkansas (professor and chair; early America, material culture, identity, women/gender/sexuality, Native American–European relations)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

As a department chair of a four-year public institution and formerly an associate provost of assessment and enrollment support, I am on the front lines of promoting and defending our discipline. This has taken the form of re-imagining courses to fit an ever-shrinking general education program, articulating the importance of history to legislators who seek to dictate content based on reactions to current events, and highlighting to students and parents the value of our discipline. I have worked with colleagues on campus, in the state, and across the nation to navigate the issues of falling enrollments, the looming demographic drop, and budget cuts. Presently, it is critical for us to use the AHA to unite as discipline and find paths forward. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I hope to bring diverse, innovative, practical, problem-solving voices to the ongoing conversation of the future direction of the discipline and AHA.

Melissa N. Stuckey

Elizabeth City State University (assistant professor; African American migration to Oklahoma, African American history, Black freedom struggles)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am a historian of African American history with a focus on late 19th- and early 20th-century Black activism and Black institutions. I am committed to engaging the public in important conversations about African American history and do so through my teaching, board work, work with nonprofit organizations, and historic preservation. I served as chair of the AHA’s Committee on Minority Historians from 2015–18. I am deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the AHA and would support that mission as a member of the Nominating Committee.