News & Advocacy

News

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

  • Act Now to Protect Graduate Education

    Dec 04, 2017 - 

    Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because the House of Representatives passed its tax bill on November 16, the House and Senate will now designate members for a conference committee to reconcile the two versions of the bill.

    As the AHA has previously reported, the House bill contains a provision that would make tuition waivers for graduate students subject to income tax, significantly increasing the tax liability of hundreds of thousands of graduate students. The Senate bill does not include that provision.

    We ask AHA members to urge the conference committee to reject the House provision in the final legislation.

    Please click here to contact your representative and encourage others to do so via social media. We have activated patch-thru calling in addition to automated email messages.

    The AHA asked members to contact House members during the debate in that chamber. We did not ask you to contact senators because this issue was not under consideration by the Senate. But now is the time.

    Conferees might be announced as early as today. Once they are, we will let you know who they are as soon as possible and reach out to our advocates in those key districts and states. Please stay tuned!

    We will continue to keep you updated as the bill progresses. Thank you for your support.

    Click here to call or write your Members of Congress now.
    Sincerely,
    James Grossman, AHA Executive Director

  • 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."

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation Call to Action

    Dec 01, 2017 - 

    The federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) was eliminated in the tax reform bill passed by the House of Representatives on November 16. The current Senate version of the tax bill keeps the HTC at the current 20% level, but make changes that reduce the value of this important (and successful) historic preservation incentive. The National Park Service website explains how the tax credit works.

    The legislative process is not over.   A House-Senate conference committee will reconcile the differences between the tax bills passed by each chamber. Our colleagues at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have provided a link to their online advocacy site to enable our members to send messages to Members of Congress in support of the Historic Tax Credit.

  • AHA Joins Associations in Opposing Tax on Student Tuition Waivers

    Nov 28, 2017 - 

    Following up on our alert to members on November 7, the American Historical Association has joined our colleagues in 33 other scholarly associations to oppose the proposal to tax graduate student tuition waivers as income. The associations, representing diverse disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, recognize the burden this change would place on graduate students living on modest stipends and the devastating effects this would have on higher education.

  • 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."