News & Advocacy


The latest activity of the AHA and historians in supporting history and historical thinking.

  • AHA Issues Letter Expressing Grave Concern for Russian Historian (October 2020)

    Oct 20, 2020 - 

    The AHA recently sent a letter to the chairman of the Supreme Court of Karelia expressing “grave concern” for Yuri Dmitriev, a Russian historian sentenced for 13 years by the Karelian Supreme Court for what the Delegation of the European Union to Russia has referred to as “unsubstantiated” charges “triggered by his human rights work and his research on political repression in the Soviet period.” The AHA wrote to “respectfully urge the Supreme Court of Karelia to order the release of Mr. Dmitriev.”

  • AHA Member Named as 2020 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalist (October 2020)

    Oct 14, 2020 - 

    Congratulations to AHA member Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (Univ. of California, Berkeley), whose book They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South was recently named as one of the 2020 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists, an annual award of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. 

  • AHA Urges Retraction of Executive Order Prohibiting the Inclusion of “Divisive Concepts” in Employee Training Sessions (October 2020)

    Oct 13, 2020 - 

    In response to the president’s recent executive order prohibiting the inclusion of “divisive concepts” in employee training sessions, the AHA has issued a statement urging the retraction of the order because it is “neither necessary nor useful.” “Rather than banning ‘divisive concepts’ from any educational venue,” the statement explains, “historians seek to draw public attention to these concepts so that they can be discussed, debated, and ultimately challenged.”

    As of October 20, 29 organizations signed onto the statement.

  • AHA Member Writes Piece in the Virginian-Pilot (October 2020)

    Oct 13, 2020 - 

    AHA member E. M. Rose has recently published an opinion piece, “History Shows the Overblown Value of Political Image” in the Virginian-Pilot. Rose discusses how the history of the first governor of Virginia, Lord Delaware, might indicate how political image can override reality, and asserts that “the lessons of Lord Delaware are more relevant than ever today. They suggest that a firm hand is important only in an immediate crisis. For long term institutional support, capitalist enterprise and the democratic debate it enables produce lasting results.”

  • AHA Member Named as Finalist for National Book Award (October 2020)

    Oct 08, 2020 - 

    AHA member Claudio Saunt (Univ. of Georgia) has been named as a finalist for the National Book Award for Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory.  The winner of the National Book Award will be announced in November.

  • AHA Signs on to Amicus Brief in Ahmad v. Michigan (October 2020)

    Oct 01, 2020 - 

    Along with the Association of Research Libraries and other partners, the AHA has signed on to an amicus curiae brief in the Michigan Supreme Court case Ahmad v. University of Michigan concerning “the use of a public records request to circumvent a deed of gift” of private papers to the University of Michigan Library. The brief asserts that an early release of the papers, which would violate the deed of gift, would set a dangerous precedent resulting in individuals destroying their personal papers rather than making them available to historians and other researchers.

  • AHA Executive Director Publishes Editorial in New York Daily News (October 2020)

    Oct 01, 2020 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman recently published a New York Daily News editorial commenting on the recent “White House Conference on American History.” “Genuinely patriotic history education is not cheerleading or nationalist propaganda,” Grossman writes. “A meaningful commitment to the greatness of our nation requires honesty about the past, distant and recent.” The AHA's Statement on the Recent "White House Conference on American History" can be viewed here

  • AHA Signs onto Comments Opposing DHS/CBP Proposals Permitting Records Destruction (September 2020)

    Sep 30, 2020 - 

    The AHA has recently signed onto two comments posted to the National Archives and Records Administration website in response to a proposed records schedule that would classify a set of Customs and Border Patrol records as "temporary," which would allow their destruction in as quickly as four years.

    As proposed, the Department of Homeland Security would be permitted to destroy "records developed to track and monitor complaints that are or will be investigated by DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties regarding alleged violations of civil rights and civil liberties." The proposal also includes only 25 year retention for additional records that include documents related to sexual assaults in prison. These records are comparable to the schedules identified in a lawsuit filed in March by the AHA along with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. As is often the case with records schedule retention policies the issues are complex, even arcane. Historians have the professional authority to argue for longer retention because of the value of such records for historical research.

  • AHA Participates in Civil War History “Call to Action” (September 2020)

    Sep 30, 2020 - 

    The AHA’s Statement on the “White House Conference for American History” was recently featured in a New York Times piece covering the important “Call to Action” event organized by the Journal of the Civil War Era and supported by the AHA. This event saw historians go to “a dozen Civil War-related sites across the country, from New York to Nashville to St. Louis,” where they “simultaneously gathered with signs highlighting distortions in existing plaques and memorials, or things that simply weren't being spoken of at all.”