Fall Institute Schedule and Speakers

Day 1

8:00–9:00 a.m. | Breakfast

9:00–9:15 a.m. | Welcome Remarks

9:15–10:00 a.m. | Plenary: Defining Success for Your Department

10:00–11:30 a.m. | Small Group Conversation 1: The State of the Field 

  • What do history PhD programs do well?
  • What do we not do well?
  • What obstacles prevent us from doing better?
  • What ought the obligations of departments, faculty, and students be in regards to career preparation?

11:30–12:00 p.m. | Small Group Report

12:00–1:00 p.m. | Lunch

1:00–2:30 p.m. | Small Group Conversation 2: Departments and the Doctoral Curriculum

This discussion will draw directly on the information you gathered about the structure of your PhD curriculum. We will ask each of you to begin with a brief (2-3 sentences) description of your program. For example, you might say something to the effect that “ours is a regional public university with an access mission and a mid-sized program. Most of our students come from the local region, and most will stay in the area after graduating. We have a strong focus on teaching, including required pedagogy training course and extensive teaching duties, as an instructor of record, for funded students.”

  • What does your PhD program do well?
  • What possibilities for change exist? What opportunities are there to integrate Career Diversity?
  • Where does resistance come from and how can you negotiate it?

2:30–2:45 p.m. | Break

2:45–4:00 p.m. | Small Group Conversation 3: Learning from Students and Alumni

This discussion will draw directly on the alumni data on your department provided by the AHA and the focus groups you conducted with current graduate students.

  • What do your students see as the strengths and weaknesses of your department? What does the data about your alumni tell you about your department?
  • What surprised you in either the data or the focus group conversation? Did the data and the focus group contradict or complement each other?
  • What messages about the value of the PhD and definitions of career success do your students seem to get from the department?

4:00–4:15 p.m. | Break

4:15–4:45 p.m. | Small Group Work

AHA staff will collect your group’s written responses, which will be used to jumpstart tomorrow’s conversation. Identify 1–3 specific curricular changes that would promote broader career preparation.

  • What would the process of implementing them look like?
  • How would they enrich career preparation?

4:45–5:00 p.m. | Break

5:00–6:00 p.m. | Keynote: The Many Careers of Historians: A Conversation with Daniel Greene (U.S. Holocaust Museum) and Angela Schlater (MacArthur Foundation)

6:00–7:30 p.m. | Dinner

Day 2

8:00–9:00 a.m. | Breakfast

OPTIONAL: During breakfast, Melissa Bokovoy (UNM), John Herron (UMKC), and Dylan Ruediger (AHA) will hold an informal conversation on the topic of creating and sustaining internships.

9:00–9:15 a.m. | Opening Remarks from AHA Staff

9:15–10:30 a.m. | Small Group Conversation 4: A New Assistantship Model: A Career Diversity Fellow and Your Department

  • Where and how could a Career Diversity Fellow make the biggest impact on your department’s activities?
  • What can the department do to assure the success and sustainability of the fellow’s work?
  • What collaborative possibilities would allow you to further your work?

10:30–11:00 a.m. | Small Group Reports

11:00–11:15 a.m. | Break

11:15–12:00 p.m. | Wrap Up Session


Daniel Greene (PhD, Univ. of Chicago) is adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University and guest exhibition curator of Americans and the Nazi Threat, an exhibition opening in 2018 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. He is the author of The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity (Indiana, 2011) and co-author of Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (Chicago, 2013), a book accompanying a collaborative exhibition between the Newberry Library and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Greene was appointed to the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lecturer Program in 2015. He serves on the academic council of the American Jewish Historical Society and the board of directors of the Center for New Deal Studies. He is former vice president for research and academic programs at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Angela Schlater (PhD, Loyola Univ. Chicago) is a program officer at the MacArthur Foundation, where she manages grants for education and training and congressional engagement in nuclear challenges and is a working group member of 100 & Change. She was previously employed at the MacArthur Foundation as a program associate for research and writing grants in the International Peace & Security Program. Before returning to the foundation as a consultant in 2012, Angela worked on archival projects as an independent historian, including preparing a large private collection for donation to the Ohio State Historical Society.


Melissa Bokovoy is professor of history and department chair at the University of New Mexico, one of the AHA’s Career Diversity pilot sites. She is incoming councilor for the Research Division of the American Historical Association.

Kevin Boyle teaches American history at Northwestern University and is current vice president of the Professional Division of the American Historical Association.

John McNeill is University Professor of History and professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and incoming president-elect of the American Historical Association.

Emily Swafford is manager of academic affairs at the American Historical Association and director of the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative.