Historians Making News

This space highlights the accomplishments of historians. Members and non-member historians are encouraged to submit news about prizes, promotions, honors, tenure, and new jobs. Entries to be considered for inclusion on "Historians Making News" can be about yourself, another historian, or group of historians. AHA staff will review all submissions.

  • AHA Member Receives Anneliese Maier Research Award

    Jan 31, 2018 - 

    Alan Mikhail, AHA member and professor of Ottoman history at Yale University, was one of this year's eight recipients of the Anneliese Maier Research Award, which is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to outstanding humanities scholars and social scientists nominated by collaborative partners at German universities and research institutions.  Each award is valued at €250,000. To see the Humboldt Foundation's full press briefing, visit the website

  • AHA Members Receive over $1 Million in NEH Funding

    Jan 18, 2018 - 

    In December, the National Endowment for the Humanities granted over $12.75 million in funding to support more than 250 humanities projects. Twenty-five AHA members were among the recipients, and their grants total about $1.2 million. Find the full list of NEH grant recipients online.

  • AHA Member Advises Caution and a Long Memory in Dealings with Iran

    Dec 01, 2017 - 

    Jane Dailey, professor of history at the University of Chicago and AHA member, wrote a Huffington Post op-ed about the history of American military involvement in the Middle East. In response to increased tensions with Iran, the Trump administration is quietly contemplating the possibility of preemptive military intervention, an idea that Dailey argues has been proven to be a mistake. Her piece advises Americans to learn from the Bush administration's mistakes in Iraq, which she characterizes as a "catastrophically flawed" engagement initiated by a preemptive US assault following 9/11. As Dailey writes, "these claims of existential threat and alliance between a Middle Eastern sovereign state and Al Qaeda are familiar. Before we turn our sights on Iran, we owe it to our children and to the veterans we celebrate every day to recall what happened the last time the United States went down this path."

  • Oral History Association Announces New Headquarters

    Nov 16, 2017 - 

    The Oral History Association, an AHA affiliated society, has announced Middle Tennessee State University as its new headquarters for the next five years beginning January 2018. The incoming co-directors will be AHA member Louis Kyriakoudes, director of the university's Albert Gore Research Center, and history professor Kristine McCusker. The Chair of the OHA search committee cited MTSU's "supporting, internal partners that work in historic preservation, archival management, cultural resource management, museum management, history and music" as a key factor in the decision.

  • AHA Executive Director Comments on National Disunity

    Nov 09, 2017 - 

    In an online article published by HISTORY, AHA executive director Jim Grossman discussed the political divisions that have emerged in the United States in recent years. He attributed the divisions to the recent "erosion of barriers that kept many Americans outside of mainstream political debates," a development brought about primarily through social media. However, Grossman also emphasized the unique nature of the current president, and how Trump differs from his predecessors and their frequent invocations of national unity. "Trump is different," Grossman stated. "He has no patience or time for those niceties, which is why his constituency likes him."

  • Historians Condemn Latest White House Remarks on Civil War

    Nov 06, 2017 - 

    In the last week, historians have strongly condemned recent White House comments relating to the cause of the Civil War. Speaking about the decision by a Virginia church to remove plaques celebrating Robert E. Lee and George Washington, White House chief of staff John Kelly stated that "Robert E. Lee was an honorable man" and that it was "the lack of an ability to compromise" that led to the Civil War. Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University, told CNN that this premise is "too simplistic," noting that "Kelly's comments marginalize the central issue of the war, which was the expansion of slavery." AHA executive director Jim Grossman questioned whether a compromise was even possible: "What compromise was available once states had made it clear that they would secede from any nation that would interfere with their right to own human beings?" 

  • AHA Members File Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Gerrymandering Case

    Oct 16, 2017 - 

    In preparation for the Supreme Court's hearing of Gill v. Whitford, a group of 15 historians, including 11 AHA members, filed a brief of amici curiae that laid out the history of equal representation in early American voting systems and why the Court should strike down Wisconsin's district maps. The historians are joined by numerous other organizations, many of whom agree that Wisconsin's 2010 redistricting plan contains a statistically significant bias towards the party that drew it. A decision on the case is expected by June 2018. 

  • Historians Named as 2017 MacArthur Fellows

    Oct 12, 2017 - 

    The MacArthur Foundation recently announced the 2017 MacArthur Fellows, which includes two historians, Derek Peterson (Univ. of Michigan) and Sunil Amrith (Harvard Univ.). Both scholars have close ties to the AHA: Peterson served on the 2015 annual meeting Program Committee and is an AHA member, and Amrith was awarded the AHA's 2014 John F. Richards Prize for distinguished scholarship on South Asian history. The AHA congratulates them for their achievements!

  • North Carolina Preservation Consortium Statement on Confederate Monuments

    Sep 28, 2017 - 

    In response to protests regarding Confederate monuments on public property, the North Carolina Preservation Consortium issued a statement laying out its recommendations for the "preservation of tangible and intangible heritage." Citing the historical context from which Confederate monuments arose, the NCPC recommends that "all monuments on public property in North Carolina that glorify the Confederacy should be relocated to appropriate museums, historic sites, and other cultural spaces that interpret American history honestly and completely." 

  • AHA Member Responds to Controversial Article in Nature Science Journal

    Sep 19, 2017 - 

    Earlier this month, the science journal Nature published an editorial claiming that the New York Central Park statue of gynecologist J. Marion Sims, who conducted medical experiments on enslaved African American women, stands as part of American history and thus shouldn't be removed. In response, several readers, including AHA member Monica Green (Arizona State Univ.), questioned the propriety of celebrating such a controversial figure. As a result of this public debate, the journal issued a follow-up statement admitting that publishing the original article was a mistake and clarifying that the removal of such statues "does not erase these individuals or their acts from history." For those who would like to learn more, the AHA has published a blog post that further explores the controversial history of Sims.