AHA in the News

The staff and leadership of the American Historical Association are frequently quoted by the media. 

  • AHA and OAH Amicus Brief for Dobbs v. Jackson Cited in New York Times Magazine Article (May 2024)

    May 01, 2024 - 

    The amicus curiae brief submitted by the AHA and the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was cited in a New York Times Magazine article by Emily Bazelon about the new “history and tradition” test that conservative court judges have recently adopted, which “allow judges to set aside modern developments in the law to restore the precedents of the distant past.” The brief, based on decades of study and research by professional historians, aimed to provide an accurate historical perspective of abortion and abortion laws; the article describes how the history presented in the brief was largely ignored by in favor of other interpretations by Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the majority opinion in Dobbs.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Huffington Post Article on Florida Law Requiring Schools to Teach “Evils of Communism” (April 2024)

    Apr 18, 2024 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Huffington Post article by Lydia O’Connor on a new Florida law that requires K–12 schools to teach what Governor Ron DeSantis calls “the truth about the evils of communism.” “If our goal is to help students learn about threats to freedom and democracy, why are we not also requiring that they learn about fascism?” Grossman said. “This legislation is largely symbolic, catering to popular notions of a continuing‘threat’ of communism in the United States. A good teacher can stay within the law and help students learn how communism has evolved internationally and nationally, including a variety of perspectives on how it has worked in practice in specific countries.”

  • AHA Executive Director Appears on SpeechMatters Podcast to Discuss Divisive Concepts (April 2024)

    Apr 02, 2024 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman appeared on SpeechMatters, the official podcast of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, to discuss “divisive concepts” legislation and how it creates “challenges for the teaching and learning of history that compromise democratic values and institutions.”

  • AHA Member Interviewed in IGN about Using Video Games to Teach History (March 2024)

    Mar 18, 2024 - 

    AHA member Tore Olsson (Univ. of Tennessee) was interviewed by Wesley Yin-Poole for IGN about his use of the video game Red Dead Redemption as a teaching tool in his American history classes. “[H]istorians, we use pop culture all the time. We use film and literature and TV series, but a lot of historians have been reluctant to engage video games for various reasons. And I decided, well, no, I want to take this medium seriously, because it’s so dominant,” Olsson said. “Video games are so powerful at instilling that curiosity and passion in people. The games themselves usually can’t provide the full story, but they can at least get people fascinated and interested in learning more about it.” Olsson also wrote about teaching with video games in the December 2023 issue of the American Historical Review.

  • TIME Publishes Article by AHA Researchers and Executive Director on K–12 Instruction and the ‘History Wars’

    Mar 14, 2024 - 

    AHA researchers Nicholas Kryczka, Whitney E. Barringer, and Scot McFarlane, along with executive director Jim Grossman, wrote an article for TIME discussing the findings of the research team’s Mapping the Landscape of Secondary US History Education project, a two-year initiative investigating how social studies is being taught in K–12 classrooms. “The typical American history classroom is neither awash in white supremacy nor awoke with critical race theory,” they wrote. “Politically motivated activists may be waging a history war, but teachers are not its warriors.”

  • AHA Annual Meeting Featured in Verge Article about AI in History (February 2024)

    Feb 21, 2024 - 

    The AHA’s recent annual meeting in San Francisco was featured in an article by Josh Dzieza for The Verge about the intersection of AI and history. “AI seemed to be everywhere at the 137th annual meeting of the American Historical Association last month,” the article states, sharing observations from attendees about discussions of AI in panels, history projects featuring machine learning, the use of AI in their own work, and how these types of programs could affect historical research.

  • Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times Article on Introductory US History Courses (February 2024)

    Feb 02, 2024 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about a study of introductory US history syllabi by Arizona State University’s Center for American Institutions that found “‘identity-focused terms’ such as ‘White supremacy’ dominated their content.” “White supremacy is not an ‘identity-focused’ term,” Grossman said. “It is a term that describes a set of legal and social structures that framed the American South for decades. It was inscribed in the law and social practice.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in Washington Post Article on Trump’s Civil War Comments (January 2024)

    Jan 08, 2024 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was featured in a Washington Post article by Marianne LeVine about former president Trump’s assertion that the US Civil War “could have been negotiated.” “Across much of the southern portion of the United States people were owned, bought, and sold by other humans. . . . The declarations of secession explicitly state that the seceding states were leaving the Union to maintain that system, and because many northern states were refusing to return escapees from that regime,” Grossman said. “This could not be ‘negotiated.’”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post on Slavery’s Centrality to the Civil War (December 2023)

    Dec 28, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Washington Post article by Meryl Kornfield,“ Nikki Haley was asked what caused the Civil War. She made no mention of slavery.” “Scholars agree that a dispute over slavery was central to causing the Civil War, said James Grossman. . . . He added that while Haley’s answer reflects the seceding Southern states’ argument that their rights were infringed, she leaves out that the states wanted to protect the institution of slavery. He also said it was inaccurate to say the government was infringing on everyone’s rights rather than some enslavers’ so-called freedom. ‘The problem is that the quote-unquote rights to which she’s referring are the rights of some people to own other humans,’ he said.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in New York Times Article on Removal of Confederate Statue at Arlington National Cemetery (December 2023)

    Dec 19, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a New York Times article by Orlando Mayorquin and Rebecca Carballo about the removal of a prominent Confederate statue in Arlington National Cemetery, which was halted by a judge shortly after removal efforts began. “The statue was a way of reminding Americans who was in charge in the South and what the true traditions of the South were,” Grossman said of the statue, which the United Daughters of the Confederacy began planning for in 1906 to promote the“lost cause” narrative of the Civil War. “It’s one of hundreds of statues that were created across the South in the first two decades of the 20th century whose purpose was to make sure that everybody knows that this is a white country, and that slavery was legitimate and benign.”

  • American Historical Review Article Awarded 2023 Judith Lee Ridge Prize (December 2023)

    Dec 18, 2023 - 

    Congratulations to AHA member Jeong Min Kim (Univ. of Manitoba), whose American Historical Review article, “Base Money: US Military Payment Certificates and the Transpacific Sexual Economies of the Korean War, 1950-1953,” was awarded the 2023 Judith Lee Ridge Prize by the Western Association for Western Historians. The Judith Lee Ridge Prize recognizes “the best article in the field of history published in one of the two years preceding the prize year.” Kim’s article was published in the June 2022 issue of the AHR.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Hechinger Report Article on Teaching Social Studies in a “Polarized World” (December 2023)

    Dec 14, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Hechinger Report article by Javeria Salman about the “increasing politicization of social studies” in schools. The article discusses recent revisions or attempted revisions to learning standards in some states which, Grossman says, emphasize “rote memorization of facts that are deemed to help children become more patriotic” and prohibit certain histories from being taught.

  • AHA Executive Director and Manager of Teaching and Learning Co-Author Op-Ed on Ohio Education Bill (December 2023)

    Dec 13, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman and AHA manager of teaching and learning Brendan Gillis co-authored an op-ed for the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com about Ohio Senate Bill 83, which would introduce “a range of restrictions on faculty, staff, and administrators.” The bill, they write, champions so-called “intellectual diversity” in a way that “betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of higher education, and insists that the work scholars do be measured purely in relationship to policy and, by extension, politics. It subordinates evidence and disciplinary standards to political metrics.”

  • American Historical Review Article Awarded 2023 OTSA Article Prize (December 2023)

    Dec 12, 2023 - 

    Congratulations to AHA member Samuel Dolbee (Vanderbilt Univ.), whose American Historical Review article “Empire on the Edge: Desert, Nomads, and the Making of an Ottoman Provincial Border” has been named as a co-winner of the 2023 Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association Article Prize. Dolbee’s article was published in the March 2022 issue of the AHR.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Inside Higher Ed Article on California “Viewpoint-Neutral” Middle East History Plan

    Dec 04, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in an Inside Higher Ed article by Sara Weissman on pushback from faculty about the University of California system’s plans to implement “viewpoint-neutral” Middle East history programs in an attempt to ease tensions on campuses. Grossman noted “the imperative to read a range of sources and consider historical developments from a variety of angles,” adding that, “[Not] all narratives are equally compelling. Evidence matters.”

  • AHA Congressional Briefing Featured in Article on University of Minnesota Professor’s Visits to Capitol Hill (November 2023)

    Nov 22, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s October 20 Congressional Briefing on “Historical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence” was featured in an article from the University of Minnesota about Charles Babbage Institute director Jeffrey Yost’s visits to Capitol Hill in late October. The briefing placed the current conversations and policy debates on artificial intelligence into historical context, and featured Yost alongside Janet Abbate (Virginia Tech), Matthew Connelly (Columbia Univ.), and moderator Matthew L. Jones (Princeton Univ.). A C-SPAN recording of the briefing will be available for streaming soon.

  • AHA Manager of Teaching and Learning Co-Authors Article in NCSS’s Social Education Journal (November 2023)

    Nov 20, 2023 - 

    Brendan Gillis (AHA manager of teaching and learning), Beau Dickenson (Rockingham County Public Schools), and Chris Jones (Virginia Assoc. for Curriculum Development) co-authored an article that was published in the November/December 2023 issue of Social Education, the flagship journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. In “Defending History: Educators Stand Up to Protect Virginia’s Social Studies Standards,” the authors emphasize that “[t]he story of how Virginia’s educators defended the curriculum on behalf of their students can serve as a model for teachers nationwide in the face of increased efforts to politicize history and social studies education.”