2022 AHA Election: Council

Voting begins June 1 and extends until July 15. Watch your email for your personalized link to the ballot. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact ltownsend@historians.org.

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View Candidates for Committee on Committees and Nominating Committee

President

The president-elect stands unopposed for election to president. The current president is James H. Sweet, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison (professor; Africa, African diaspora, Brazil).

Edward W. Muir Jr.

Northwestern University (Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor; medieval and early modern Europe, religion, urban, legal and criminal)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

From a small state college and a large state university to two private universities, my teaching positions have offered me a stimulating diversity of students. I have especially learned from those first-generation college students who have coached me how to be a mentor. A native of the Mountain West, I found at a young age that European history offered an escape from the narrow provincialism of my background. As a historian, I have pursued research around two issues that have long-term implications: how did late medieval and early modern Europeans create some of the earliest functioning communities through civic/religious rituals and the law, on the one hand, and how did centrifugal forces such as selfish individualism and factional feuding tend to pull those communities apart, on the other? The marvelously rich archives in Italy have fueled this research on the forms of trust and distrust in human society.

Professional service as a history department chair, book-series editor, fund-raiser for research libraries, and president of the two major international and interdisciplinary societies in my field have expanded my appreciation for the power of listening. During my career, the historical profession has stretched its commitments to all kinds of human experiences previously unrecognized as necessary subjects. As an undergraduate, I took the first course in African American history offered at my university. A male colleague at my current university taught the first course here in women’s history. As president of the AHA, my challenge would be to nurture these bountiful trends.

The traumas of the COVID pandemic, economic disruption, closed schools, and racially motivated violence have disfigured our country. As the largest historical organization in the world, the AHA must play a vital role in providing guidance as we seek to recover from, not just cover over, the blemishes on education and foster once again the vast cultural landscape of libraries, archives, university presses, and historical societies. As teachers and researchers, historians cannot live alone. We need the intellectual infrastructure that the AHA has helped build since its founding in 1884. Many decisions will come down to money, and the historians’ job will not be to provide the cash but to alert our fellow citizens to what has been lost and how essential the recovery of historical memory and cultural vigor is to the future.

President-elect

The president-elect serves a one-year term. At the end of the term, he or she stands unopposed for election for president. The current president-elect is Edward W. Muir Jr., Northwestern Univ. (Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor; medieval and early modern Europe, religion, urban, legal and criminal).

Thavolia Glymph

Duke University (Peabody Family Distinguished Professor of History and Professor of Law; slavery, emancipation, plantation societies and economies, gender, women)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am a historian of the US South, with a research and teaching focus on slavery, the plantation economy, and the Civil War. As a member of the AHA, I have served on the Nominating Committee and the Program Committee and in several capacities in the profession at large: as president of the Southern Historical Association, as a member of editorial and advisory boards and committees for other professional organizations, as associate chair of my department, and in numerous university leadership positions including the Duke Institutional History project. Collectively, these roles provide a breadth of insight that informs my professional commitments and priorities.

If elected to serve as president-elect of the AHA, I’d work to ensure that the organization remains steadfast in its historic role as a fierce supporter of historians in the profession and historical research that continues to push the boundaries of knowledge. I plan to support initiatives that bring awareness to the work we do as scholars, teachers, and public advocates to ensure that future generations understand what I learned at an early age—that history mattered. As someone who grew up in the U.S. South, and as a graduate of an HBCU, I cultivated a passionate interest in history that dates to a time when I did not know that organizations like the AHA existed. I’d bring a perspective relevant to current challenges and opportunities for encouraging the diversity of the profession and the organization. Additionally, I possess experience teaching at public and private institutions in various professional capacities that position me to weigh in on how the organization might attend to the challenges experienced by historians working under vulnerable conditions. A global pandemic and threats to academic freedom and job security continue to exacerbate the precarity that many historians face. I believe the AHA is in a powerful position to provide advocacy and guidance on how to navigate our current moment.

The historical goals of the AHA—to lead in the promotion of new approaches to history education and scholarship, set professional standards, and advocate for these things—are unchanged. How we understand what this means has changed in important ways to include approaches and standards not imagined in 1884 that are vital to who we are today and to a fidelity to the important goals that brought us here.

Earl Lewis

University of Michigan (Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies and Public Policy; race and ethnicity, US, politics and power)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

For several decades I have been fortunate to serve in a variety of leadership roles, both academic and non-academic. Each allowed me to assert the importance of history. History is not only about the past, it is also about how the past bends into the future. The late Vartan Gregorian put it this way: “We cannot and must not lose our sense of history, our memory, and our identity. We cannot become a prisoner of the present and wander out of history. For a society without a deep historical memory, the futures ceases to exist and the present becomes a meaningless cacophony.”

Nearly four decades ago I started as an assistant professor of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley, although trained as an American historian, with a focus on African Americans, and a minor in African history. Four decades of being affiliated with history and its allied brothers and sisters in African American Studies, American Studies, and now public policy has taught me the value of the interplay between disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary questions and perspectives. Those relationships have informed all that I have written and all I have taught.

Over the last decade, the AHA stood out as an emblem of what an intellectually and socially involved learned society can contribute to the common good. America has long needed an engaged society of historians committed to asking hard questions, following evidence, writing for and speaking to specialists and non-specialists alike, and engaging in debates that have the potential of shaping the future. While president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that sense of the AHA garnered our enthusiastic support.

If elected to serve as president-elect of the AHA, I bring to the role my steadfast commitment to history, the humanities, and questions of significance and importance. For example, I direct a multi-year, multi-institutional study of race, history and reparations. The network of scholars involved in this grant-funded initiative pairs research universities with liberal arts colleges, and includes the Council of Independent Colleges and the media company, WQED. The project, Crafting Democratic Futures, centers history in defining, shaping and reshaping memory, understanding, and public policy. It invites community members in each locale to co-author histories attached to the particulars of place. And it imagines histories that inform contemporary debates about race and reparations. Imagine the AHA spearheading such a project in the future.

Professional Division

The AHA Professional Division promotes integrity, fairness, and civility in the practice of history. Returning members are Simon Finger, councilor, Coll. of New Jersey (American colonial to early republic, medicine, maritime, labor) and Laura Hostetler, councilor, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago (Qing empire, Sino-European relations, early modern world, cartography, humanities education).

Vice President

Anne Hyde

University of Oklahoma (professor; 19th-century North American West, Indigenous America, race)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

We face an emergency. Our professional heart is being challenged by state legislatures, school boards, PACs, and parent’s groups. This wave of reaction is because of successful efforts to expand who history includes, what methods and sources create it, and who writes books and stands in classrooms. The AHA can’t solve this problem, but the AHA’s Professional Division must focus there. Upholding the standards of our profession, now, means explaining why a diverse set of experts belongs in classrooms and archives, with stability and pay conditions conducive to teaching and learning. How can the AHA’s membership work with partners in K-12 classrooms, lobbying groups, cultural facilities, and universities to defend our expertise and to protect students’ rights to a fuller history? Taking on that task, alongside the range of scholars who write and disseminate history, is vital. Over a long career, I’ve had jobs in three different places: two southern public universities and a western liberal arts college. I’ve learned a lot about the ecology of universities and scholarly organizations and why they are worth protecting. I’ve been committed to faculty leadership and community service. If that experience can help, I’m willing to serve.

Maria Montoya

New York University (Global Network Associate Professor) and NYU Shanghai (dean of Arts and Sciences; US, American West, labor, environmental)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am committed to making academia more inclusive for first generation, LGBTQ+, and ethnically diverse faculty, which is necessary to meet the increasingly diverse population we teach. I am also concerned about the plight of new PhDs who face a shrinking job market, and long-term job insecurity. I believe in making our workplace more humane, equitable, and transparent, especially in our not-quite-yet post-COVID world. I also have a strong commitment to making our communities better through outreach, public history, and active engagement with the issues on which we are best equipped to comment and advise. With more than a decade of administrative experience: director of Latina/o studies at the University of Michigan, director of undergraduate studies in history at NYU, and dean of Arts & Sciences at NYU Shanghai, I am familiar with the many challenges that face our profession. I also have more than two decades of experience in recruiting diverse faculty to the University of Colorado, the University of Michigan, and now NYU Shanghai. Finally, as the most recent past-President of Western History Association and prior service on various committees for OAH and AHA, I have some insight on how to better meet the needs of our membership and the profession at large.

Councilor

Tony Frazier

North Carolina Central University (associate professor; social and legal history of blacks in 18th-century in Great Britain, Atlantic slavery and emancipation, African American)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

I am a historian of modern European history, whose research intersects with digital history, the African diaspora, and African American history. As someone who teaches at a Historical Black College and University, I am deeply interested in matters of diversity within the AHA. I teach and mentor future graduate students which supports the mission to diversify the discipline. I understand the challenges faculty face with a heavy teaching, service, and a research commitment. The AHA has serious challenges as we face declining numbers of history majors, job placement concerns, and fairness and equity. I want to offer my time and voice to improving these circumstances as a councilor. I hold onto a tenacious determination that our discipline has much to teach and share with the world. My task as a committee member is to support the mission of the AHA and ensure the organization values all its members.

Mike Rattanasengchanh

Midwestern State University (assistant professor; US-Thai public diplomacy)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

My interests and associations are at the intersection of the United States and Southeast Asia, specifically foreign relations and Asian American studies. My participation in the community enables me to educate others of the impact of the US in Southeast Asia and how Asian minorities contribute to American society while struggling to navigate two cultures. My priorities are first, to ensure ethical standards support equity and collegiality so as to make the discipline accessible to aspiring historians and lay persons. Second, to support the exchange of ideas among academics and people outside the community. My personal experiences navigating higher education as a student and professor will be valuable to the Professional Division. The journey began as a non-traditional community college student without familial support. I understand the struggles of overlooked communities and know that with good mentors and support, practitioners from less-advantage backgrounds can succeed in this community.

Research Division

The AHA Research Division works to help promote historical scholarship, preserve historical documents and artifacts, ensure equal and open access to information, and foster the dissemination of information about historical records and research. Returning members are Ben Vinson III, vice president, Case Western Reserve Univ. (Hiram C. Haydn Professor and provost; African diaspora, colonial Mexico); Sara Georgini, councilor, Massachusetts Historical Society (early American history, religion and culture, public history); and Pernille Røge, councilor, Univ. of Pittsburgh (assistant professor; 18th-century France and French empire, political economy).

Councilor

Maureen Elgersman Lee

College of William & Mary (Mellon Engagement Coordinator for African American Heritage and Bray School Lab Director; African American community, Black women in Canada and Caribbean, slavery)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

My training is in African American studies and my research has focused on the history of African-descended women, men, and children in the Americas—specifically, the United States, Canada, and the British-colonized Caribbean. I have been a tenured professor, department chair, and museum director, and have published on topics including slavery, women in the African diaspora, and African American community history. This nomination to the AHA Research Division coincides with the beginnings of my latest role as director of the William & Mary Bray School Lab. The Williamsburg Bray School (1760–74) educated more than 350 Black children—most enslaved, some free—under the auspices of the London-based Anglican charity, the Associates of Dr. Bray. The Bray School Lab aligns with AHA goals in striving to uncover fully the history of the Williamsburg Bray School and its students, and to make that information widely accessible to the public.

Erin Greenwald

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (vice president, Public Programs and editor in chief, 64 Parishes magazine and website; French Atlantic world, colonial Louisiana)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

In my role as a public historian—first within archives and museums and most recently as a public programs division lead at a state humanities council—I have worked to build and strengthen connections between scholars engaged in the formal practice of history, archival and museum repositories, government agencies, and local communities. If selected to serve on the AHA Council, I will continue to advocate for the creation and maintenance of high-quality open-source digital humanities platforms and increased access to primary source materials for historians, historians-in-training, and members of the general public. I would bring 15 years’ experience in research and writing, editing and publishing, grant program creation and management, and relationship building to the position, and would encourage initiatives that promote greater visibility of primary source collections and increased outreach to and collaboration with historians and related humanities professionals employed outside the academy.

Teaching Division

The AHA Teaching Division collects and disseminates information about the training of teachers, studies and encourages innovative methods of instruction, and works to foster cooperation among faculty. Returning members are Shannon T. Bontrager, councilor, Georgia Highlands Coll., Cartersville (commemorations and public memory, death and burial of military dead) and Katharina Matro, councilor,  Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (history and economics teacher; modern central and eastern Europe).

Councilor

Hanael Bianchi

Howard Community College (professor and chair; St George’s Day in English history, Catholic culture in modern America)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

As a community college professor and department chair, I have witnessed a transformation in the teaching of history from face-to-face instruction to online, the use of hard copy texts to OERs, fifteen-week semesters to a combination of five-, seven-, and fifteen-week courses, lecture to active learning, a western civilization focus to a global focus, and classrooms comprised with high school graduates to significant numbers of dual-enrollment students. The pace and number of changes have challenged my faculty, but we are most anxious about the shift from classes with full enrollment to sections frequently canceled due to low enrollment. The future of many departments depends on the outcome of debates regarding funding, the staffing of dual enrollment classes, and general education curricula. If elected, my priority would be to facilitate robust conversations around curriculum design, student recruitment, and instructional strategies to meet the challenges and opportunities of teaching history today.

Charles Zappia

San Diego Mesa College (retired dean; corporatization of higher education, community college historians, transformation of work and the American labor movement)

Website | Curriculum Vitae

Candidate Statement

By the time I completed my PhD, I had already taught at community colleges in California. After appointment to a tenure-track position, I spent the next 23 years teaching US history to a diverse group of students, many hungry to learn history and place themselves in its panorama. I was troubled, however, by the rhetoric I heard from administrators about community college education as job training. I believe that a college education should be more than vocational: it should teach students to understand the world in which we live and encourage them to find ways to make it better. I accepted a position as an instructional dean with the intention of supporting faculty in teaching history and the other eleven disciplines taught in our School with the philosophy I noted above. If elected, I will endeavor to help the AHA in supporting the teaching of critical history at all levels.

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