Affiliation with the American Historical Association (updated 2017)

Approved by AHA Council, January 2008; revised June 2017.

Currently, over 150 history-oriented organizations are affiliated with the AHA. This diverse group includes the American Studies Association, the History of Science Society, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the World History Association, to name just a few. The Association’s goal in establishing this broad network of organizations is to promote collaboration and communication across the history community.

As described in the AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct, the history profession is defined by self-conscious identification with a community of historians who are collectively engaged in investigating and interpreting the past as a matter of disciplined, learned practice. But this is not defined narrowly, within the confines of academia. Historians work in an extraordinary range of settings: in museums and libraries and government agencies, in schools and academic institutions, in corporations and nonprofit organizations. Some earn their living primarily from employment related to the past; some practice history while supporting themselves in other ways. We welcome affiliated societies that represent this diversity of professional workplaces and practices, as well as the full range of topical and field specializations in the discipline.

Criteria

Requirements for affiliated status are fourfold:

  1. Affiliated groups must demonstrate a formal structure; have been in existence for a minimum of three years prior to application (organizations will need to supply their articles of incorporation or similar founding documents); and serve the interests of AHA members.
    • For organizations that have an individual membership structure, the group must include a community of historians and have a commitment to maintaining connections among historians. Both the leadership and the membership of the applicant organization should include current members of the AHA. (No minimum proportion is stipulated; interdisciplinary organizations that otherwise meet the guidelines are encouraged to apply.)
    • For institutions without an individual membership structure (archives, libraries, etc.), the entity must facilitate the work of historians, have a formal organizational structure, and be committed to advancing historical knowledge. Institutions should submit (if applicable) a list of authors, awardees, staff, and board members to be checked for AHA membership. They should also provide a statement about how they serve AHA members (or those who might become AHA members).
  2. There must be clear evidence that the organization monitors, protects, and ensures high quality in both the means and the products of its communications with its members.
  3. The group must describe how affiliation will benefit both the affiliate and the AHA by establishing a partnership in the practice of history.
  4. Affiliate status will be conferred only on organizations where at least part of their mission focuses on particular subjects or practices of history. The Association will not consider for affiliation any organization that limits membership based solely on criteria extrinsic to the study of the past, or otherwise discriminates on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ideology, political affiliation, age, or disability.

Affiliation Process

To apply for affiliated status, an organization must complete and submit the Application Form (PDF), along with the following supporting materials, to the AHA:

  1. A copy of its constitution and/or bylaws
  2. A copy of its articles of incorporation, if applicable
  3. A copy of its latest audit or financial statment
  4. A list of elected officers, indicating those that are members of the AHA
  5. A membership list (including addresses so that they may be checked for membership in the AHA)
  6. Evidence of activities, such as records of conferences, copies of the newsletters, or other periodical publications and record of conferences
  7. A one page description of your organization addressing the four required criteria for affiliation

Applications will be screened by the AHA’s Committee on Affiliated Societies, a permanent committee with four members, comprised of the president-elect and three other members. The three other members are chosen from among those who have been active in one or another of the affiliated societies and who bring the perspective of the affiliated societies to the work of the committee. The committee will review all applications, usually electronically, and make recommendations to the Council.

Benefits of Affiliation

The specific nature of the AHA’s relationship with its affiliates varies considerably. In some cases, the ties are close, as evidenced in collaborative projects and publications, joint prizes and awards, and co-sponsored meetings and conferences. In other cases, the principal activity is consultation regarding special concerns or referral of inquiries. The following are the most consistent avenues of communication and collaboration:

  1. Affiliation provides an opportunity to contribute to and participate in exciting discussions about new forms of publishing and new ways of doing history through collaborative partnerships with the AHA and other affiliates. AHA affiliates have the opportunity to endorse AHA advocacy statements.
  2. Affiliates have access to an online forum with other affiliate leaders that can be used to share information on best practices and discuss common challenges.
  3. The Association publishes an affiliates page on its website, which lists each organization’s date of founding; size of membership, website address, and annual dues; names, addresses, and phone numbers of the president, the primary contact, and other appropriate officers and staff; date of annual meetings; list of periodical publications; and a short statement on the group’s nature and purpose. The Association depends on each organization to provide this information annually in response to a request from the AHA headquarters.
  4. The AHA will promote affiliate activities on the AHA website. Affiliate listings in the AHA Calendar (CFPs, award deadlines, meeting registration, etc.) will be marked as featured items. The AHA will host an updated web listing of all upcoming affiliate annual meetings, which will include a link, along with the city and dates.
  5. Each year several affiliated societies sponsor joint sessions at the AHA annual meeting. Proposals for such sessions must be submitted formally through the AHA Program Committee in accordance with the AHA’s Annual Meeting Guidelines.
  6. Affiliated groups organize sessions and events at the AHA annual meeting that are not subject to review by the Program Committee. Currently, around 50 affiliates meet during the AHA’s meeting, taking advantage of the Association’s favorable hotel rates. Details about affiliate participation in the annual meeting are available online.
  7. For a nominal fee, each affiliate can request a table and seating in a convenient location during AHA annual meetings for dispensing literature and other items. Generally, the timeframe is for three hours on Friday midday, in a central location.

Requirements for Continued Affiliation

  1. The affiliated society should update annually elected officers and primary contact for the organization, and to keep the AHA informed regarding changes in organization status, purpose, and the like.
  2. No more than once in every three years, the AHA will request one-time free use of an affiliate’s mailing list of members to seek dual membership from individuals who do not belong to the AHA.

Suspension of Affiliate Status

The committee may also periodically review an affiliate’s policies and status. Groups that no longer meet the criteria for affiliation may be suspended or removed. If over the span of four years an affiliate fails to respond to annual requests for new and updated information for the online listing, and/or have not sponsored a session or event at an AHA annual meeting, their affiliate status will be suspended and all benefits revoked until the affiliate formally requests renewal of their status. Affiliates that cease operations will be removed either at the request of outgoing leadership or after four years of inactivity. Organizations that wish to end their participation in the AHA Affiliates Program can request removal at any time from Jane Green (jgreen@historians.org).