AHA Announcements: 2017 Archive

  • Letter Concerning Southern Illinois University Reorganization (December 2017)

    Dec 08, 2017 - 

    On December 8, 2017, the Association sent a letter to Professor Carlo Montemagno, chancellor of Southern Illinois University, articulating concern about the proposed reorganization of the Southern Illinois University's administration that would eliminate the autonomy of the History department.

  • 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.
    James Grossman, AHA Executive Director

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Understanding Race after Charlottesville

    Sep 14, 2017 - 

    On Monday, September 18, the AHA, American Anthropological Association, and American Sociology Association will all join together in sharing resources on understanding, discussing, and teaching about race. We will share our materials to the hashtag #UnderstandingRace. We encourage historians to also share any materials they have on the topic. The purpose of this joint endeavor is to promote how our various disciplines can contribute to the conversation sparked by the recent events in Charlottesville and national discourse on Confederate monuments.

  • 2017 AHA President-elect Attends Cornell University Inaugural Event

    Aug 31, 2017 - 

    On August 25, 2017, AHA President-elect Mary Beth Norton represented the AHA at the inauguration of Martha Pollack as the 14th president of Cornell University. The event was attended by several hundred faculty, students, and alumni and focused on the role of universities in the "Search for Truth."

  • Historians Weigh in on the Confederate Monument Debate

    Aug 24, 2017 - 

    In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding last week's events in Charlottesville, historians from across the country have written numerous op-eds in the hopes of providing readers with much-needed context surrounding the history of Confederate monuments. The AHA has compiled an ongoing list of articles written by members, Councilors, and staff. To highlight these important contributions, the AHA is proud to offer a resource page of historians' engagement on these issues.

  • Registration Now Open for 3rd Annual Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses

    Aug 14, 2017 - 

    Registration is now open for the AHA's 2017 Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16 at Houston Community College, Southeast Campus. This free, two-day, statewide conference is for anyone who teaches college-level introductory history courses whether in high schools, community colleges, or four-year universities. Information about the program is available on the event webpage.

  • Academic Statement for the Release of Xiyue Wang

    Jul 28, 2017 - 

    The Iranian judiciary recently announced that Xiyue Wang, a doctoral candidate in history at Princeton University, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "espionage."  The AHA has been asked to post this petition generated by a group of historians to provide an opportunity for scholars to show their support for Mr. Wang's release, and we are pleased to be able to do so.

  • AHA Career Diversity in the News

    Jul 25, 2017 - 

    The AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative has received recognition from national outlets for its efforts to expand the professional horizons for history PhDs. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Kristina Markman, who was involved in the AHA’s Career Diversity pilot site program at the University of California, Los Angeles. The article’s author, Leonard Cassuto, spoke at the AHA’s June Career Diversity Faculty Institute. The Chronicle’s Vitae blog also published an article on the future of graduate education by Kevin Gannon, another participant in the AHA’s June Faculty Institute. Prof. Gannon describes the themes that emerged as faculty members from diverse institutions discussed concrete ways to combine “strategic preparation” for 21st-century careers with “the intensive intellectual commitment of PhD study.”

  • Where Historians Work Twitter Chat

    Jul 18, 2017 - 

    Got questions about the careers of history PhDs? Join the AHA's Emily Swafford @elswafford for a Twitter chat about "Where Historians Work," our groundbreaking database of career outcomes for PhDs. Ask Emily questions and share your thoughts about this new tool using the hashtag #ahadata today July 18th, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST. Direct-message questions to @AHAhistorians or email them to skingsley@historians.org if you prefer to submit them privately.

    In the first half hour, @AHAhistorians will tweet frequently asked questions about Where Historians Work, and @elswafford will answer them. During this time, we also invite followers and chat participants to chime in with their own questions.

    Starting at 2:30, we will solicit feedback from followers. We want to know how you've been using the data and what you'd like to see in terms of other visualizations. We will ask:

    1. How have you used the data?
    2. Have you used the interactive features of the visualizations?
    3. Are there other visualizations you would like to see?
  • Jim Grossman Sends Letter to Archivist of the US Concerning Discontinuing of Saturday Research Room Hours

    Jul 11, 2017 - 

    The National Archives and Records Administration announced last week that research rooms in Washington, DC, and College Park, Maryland, will no longer have Saturday hours beginning July 22, 2017. This letter from AHA Executive Director James Grossman to David Ferriero expresses concern about the change and the nature of the announcement.

  • 2014 Fairbank Prize Returned

    Jun 29, 2017 - 

    In 2014, the American Historical Association (AHA) awarded its John K. Fairbank Prize to Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992, by Charles K. Armstrong. After careful review the AHA identified a set of citations that did not meet professional standards. In response to AHA queries, Dr. Armstrong reviewed his work and the underlying scholarship and identified a number of instances where the source citations were incorrect. Dr. Armstrong has corrected the citation errors and, out of respect for the AHA, has returned the Fairbank Prize.

  • AHA Executive Director Comments on Julius Caesar Controversy

    Jun 13, 2017 - 

    In an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman offered some historical perspective regarding the New York Public Theater's production of Julius Caesar. The decision to present the titular figure as closely resembling President Trump angered the organization's sponsors, with both Bank of America and Delta Air Lines pulling their funding as a result. However, Grossman pointed out that this type of production is nothing new, citing numerous examples of Shakespeare plays that had characters modeled after sitting presidents, including one 2012 version of Julius Caesar at the Guthrie Theater that modeled Caesar after President Obama (a production that Delta did sponsor). "I think the issue here is much more a sense of historical perspective on the role of literature and theater in public culture," Grossman stated. 

  • AHA Message Concerning Federal Budget Advocacy

    May 26, 2017 - 

    On May 23, 2017, AHA members received a message from AHA executive director Jim Grossman regarding the Trump administration's proposed federal budget and the potential cuts to programs the support the humanities. As a member of the National Humanities Alliance, the AHA is working in conjunction with other member organizations to push back against such cuts, which would set funding at the minimal level required to close out the agency. Read the full statement on AHA Today

  • AHA and APA Receive Grant to Work with HBCU Faculty

    May 22, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association (AHA) and the American Philosophical Association (APA) are pleased to announce the receipt of an $80,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to direct "Extending the Reach of Scholarly Society Work to HBCU Faculty," an initiative to improve access by philosophy and history faculty at historically black colleges and universities to the resources and networks provided by scholarly societies.

    Read full press release.

  • AHA Executive Director Interviewed about the Value of the Humanities

    May 12, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman was recently featured in an interview with the German organization LISA (the Science Portal of the Gerda Henkel Foundation) concerning the state of the humanities in the current political climate. He discussed topics including the president's proposed defunding of the NEH, the increasing demand for those in the humanities to "justify themselves," and "history's presence in public culture." "History should teach humility," Grossman stated. "It should help us to appreciate the difficulties of decision making, and the importance of context."

  • Drexel University to Host Talk by AHA Executive Director

    May 12, 2017 - 

    On Friday, May 19, 2017, Jim Grossman will present at the event "Everything Has a History ... and Historians Should Have Something to Say," hosted by Drexel University. Attendance is open to the public. The event will be held at 3101 Market Street, Room 224, Philadelphia, PA, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. 

  • AHA Creates Zotero Group to Collect Articles in Defense of NEH and IMLS

    May 11, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association has created a public Zotero group to collect articles defending funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Community members are encouraged to use the group as a resource and to add relevant articles they find to the library.

  • AHA Executive Director Comments on Civil War Revisionism

    May 04, 2017 - 

    Historians David Blight (Yale Univ.), Judith Giesberg (Villanova Univ.), and AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman gave the BBC a line-by-line assessment of President Trump's recent statements concerning the cause of the Civil War. "They seceded because they thought the election of Lincoln threatened the institution of slavery," Grossman stated, responding to the president's remark that people don't ask the question, "Why was there a Civil War?" Grossman further explained why Trump's remarks have faced such strong criticism in an interview on BBC Radio (listen at 2:38:00) and in a subsequent article in the Washington Post.

  • AHA Council Signs onto Coalition for International Education Letter

    Apr 07, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council has signed onto a letter from the Coalition for International Education to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to reject the Administration's proposal to reduce or eliminate funding for the US Department of Education's International Education and Foreign Langauge Studies Program.

  • AHA Sends Letter in Support of Central European University

    Apr 05, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association has sent a letter to President János Áder of Hungary opposing legislation passed by the Hungarian Parliament that targets Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. The restrictions on institutional autonomy in the legislation would undermine CEU's mission of furthering scholarly collaboration between Europe and the United States. The AHA's letter urges President Áder to preserve international cooperation and the integrity of a national and international educational resource by refraining from signing the legislation.

  • AHA Executive Director Writes Letter to Arkansas Governor Concerning Howard Zinn Controversy

    Apr 04, 2017 - 

    HB 34, introduced into the Arkansas House of representatives in March, would exclude from public school "curriculum or course materials... any book or other material authored by Howard Zinn... or concerning" such materials.  AHA executive director James Grossman has written a letter to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, with slightly revised versions sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

  • AHA Career Diversity Pilot Site Holds "Relevance of History" Conference

    Apr 04, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman, Emily Swafford, and Seth Denbo will attend the University of Chicago regional Career Diversity conference, "The Relevance of History: The Place of the Discipline in Contemporary Society," on April 13-14. The University of Chicago is one of the AHA's Career Diversity pilot sites and the conference explores the role of historians and historical thinking through the career paths of faculty, alumni, and other historians in a wide range of careers.

  • New Developments in Career Diversity's Next Phase

    Mar 28, 2017 - 

    The AHA is kicking off the next phase of Career Diversity for Historians by welcoming a new staff member. Dylan Ruediger joins us on April 10 in the newly created position of coordinator, Career Diversity for Historians. Dylan comes from Georgia State University, where he graduates in May with a PhD in early American and Native American history. He will take over the day-to-day coordination of the activities of the Career Diversity's next phase. Emily Swafford, manager of academic affairs, remains project director, and Elizabeth Elliott, program assistant, will take on additional responsibilities to support the new work of Career Diversity.

    The expanded Career Diversity team will first oversee a series of Faculty Institutes for representatives from up to 40 departments. The institutes will be held June 8-9 in Washington, DC; October 19-20 in Chicago; and in January 2018 during the AHA annual meeting in Washington, DC. Applications for the faculty institutes are being accepted until April 17 via Interfolio. Next year, these preliminary institutes will segue into an institutional grants program, in which up to 20 departments will participate.

  • AHA Sponsoring Career Diversity Event at UT Austin

    Mar 28, 2017 - 

    The University of Texas at Austin is holding a one-day symposium on Friday April 7, 2017 on employment options outside of academia for students finishing their Ph.Ds. Registration is free and required for all attendees. 

  • AHA Staff Attending OAH Annual Meeting

    Mar 23, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman and Emily Swafford will participate in multiple sessions at the 2017 annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. Jim Grossman, AHA executive director, will give the keynote address at a luncheon (April 7) focused on dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and the future of the history survey. He will also chair a panel (April 8) on the AHA's Career Diversity initiative, which includes panelists from the University of New Mexico and Columbia University pilot sites. Emily Swafford, AHA academic affairs manager, will chair a separate panel (April 8) on the AHA's Career Diversity initiative with representatives from the other pilot sites, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Chicago. Lynn Weiner, co-chair of the AHA's Committee on Contingent Faculty, will present the AHA's findings and recommendations on a panel about the future of non-tenure-track faculty (April 8).

  • AHA Welcomes the African American Intellectual History Society as Newest Affiliate

    Mar 22, 2017 - 

    The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) has joined the American Historical Association as an affiliated society. Only in its third year of operation, AAIHS runs the influential blog Black Perspectives as the centerpiece of its efforts to foster "dialogue about researching, writing, and teaching black thought and culture." As an AHA affiliated society, AAIHS will be able to sponsor sessions at the annual meeting and will have access to new tools for collaborating and communicating with the broad community of historians.

  • AHA Executive Director Voices Concern for Proposed NEH/NEA Budget Cuts

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    Talking Points Memo interviewed Executive Director Jim Grossman about the potential impact of Trump's proposed defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. "What we have here is an attack upon global citizenship and national civic culture," Grossman remarked. Nevertheless, Grossman remains optimistic about the organizations' futures, stating that after meetings with Hill staffers during Humanities Advocacy Day, he was "encouraged by their understanding of the value of these programs."

  • Kritika Agarwal to Attend Career Diversity Event at the University at Buffalo

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    On Saturday, April 22, AHA Associate Editor Kritika Agarwal will attend the University at Buffalo's "Humanities Beyond the Academy" event, a career diversity symposium supported by the AHA. The event will feature presentations by university alumni who have built careers across a diverse range of fields outside the academy. Registration is free and open to the public, and lunch will be provided to those who register before Tuesday, April 18.

  • AHA Issues Action Alert Concerning President's Proposed Budget

    Mar 16, 2017 - 

    This morning the Trump Administration proposed a budget that includes an assault on American civic culture. The rhetoric is fiscal prudence; the reality is ideology given the minuscule cost of these programs. The AHA has sent a message to its members, and will follow up with a similar communication to nonmembers in our database.

  • Historians Oppose Second Draft of Executive Travel Ban

    Mar 13, 2017 - 

    Facing extensive criticism and litigation of his first executive order restricting entry into the United States, President Donald Trump has issued a revised executive order (#13780), this time citing historical evidence in support of the policy restricting immigration and refugee resettlement. The American Historical Association has applied the discipline's professional standards to the revised directive and found that it does not pass historical muster. Moreover, like its predecessor EO 13769, the order "stands at odds with the values stated in our nation's founding documents."

    AHA Council approved a statement of protest against the revised executive order on March 13, 2017.

  • Jim Grossman Comments on Speech Equating Slavery to Immigration

    Mar 09, 2017 - 

    AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman appeared on WTOP-DC with Kate Ryan to discuss Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson's recent speech to federal employees during which he referred to enslaved Africans as "other immigrants." Grossman criticized Carson's remarks for implying slavery's equivalence to voluntary immigration.

  • American Historical Association Publishes Statement of Support for National March for Science

    Mar 08, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council voted to officially publish a statement in support of the National March for Science on April 22, 2017. The AHA is firmly aligned with the goals of the March, which calls for the continued funding of evidence-based research and education that promotes the common good.

  • Emily Swafford to Host Webinar on Career Diversity

    Mar 08, 2017 - 

    Emily Swafford headshotOn March 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET, AHA's manager of academic affairs, Emily Swafford, will host a webinar on applying for the Career Diversity Faculty Institutes, a series of workshops for faculty at PhD-granting departments that will explore in depth the lessons learned by Career Diversity for Historians' pilot phase. Join in to learn more about the initiative and get tips on the application process. A recording of the webinar will be available on the AHA website after the broadcast; additional webinars may be scheduled depending on demand.

    Follow this link to view the webinar.

  • Career Diversity Pilot Site Holds "History in Action Day"

    Mar 03, 2017 - 

    Emily Swafford, the AHA's manager of academic affairs, will attend Columbia University History Department's "History in Action Day" conference on March 3. The event concludes the department's participation in the AHA's Career Diversity for Historians initiative as the first phase of the project comes to a close. The conference will reflect on the ways History in Action at Columbia has activated history in the public sphere and explored the role of historical training in diverse careers. 

  • Seth Denbo Discusses Digital History Guidelines at USC

    Mar 02, 2017 - 

    Seth Denbo, Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, will visit the University of Southern California on March 8 to discuss the AHA's Guidelines on the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians with historians, digital humanities, and senior administrators. 

  • AHA Protests French Historian's Airport Detention

    Feb 28, 2017 - 

    Tyler Stovall, President of the American Historical Association, has sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly protesting the "shabby and completely unwarranted" treatment of French historian Henry Rousso after he arrived in Houston Airport en route from Paris to a conference at Texas A&M University.

    This case is a visiable example of the damange to the free exchange of ideas resulting from restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHA previously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel rom seven Muslim-majority countries.m restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHApreviously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.r he arrived in Houston Airport en route from Paris to a conference at Texas A&M University. This case is a visible example of the damage to the free exchange of ideas resulting from restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHA previously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

  • Jim Grossman Interviewed About AHA Initiatives in Graduate Education

    Feb 07, 2017 - 

    Chronicle of Higher Education released an interview with AHA executive director, Jim Grossman, on the AHA's leadership in broadening career horizons and opportunities for humanities PhDs. Originally focused on employment beyond the professoriate, "Career Diversity for Historians" has evolved to explore how preparation for a wide range of careers also trains graduate students for the changing landscape of higher education in the 21st century.

  • AHR Article Wins Award from American Society for Environmental History

    Feb 06, 2017 - 

    Philipp Lehmann's article in the February 2016 issue of the American Historical Review has received the award for best article published on environmental history in 2016 by the American Society for Environmental History. The award recognizes "Infinite Power to Change the World: Hydroelectricity and the Engineered Climate Change in the Atlantropa Project." Congratulations to Dr. Lehmann, an AHA member and Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and to the AHR staff for continuing the journal's tradition of publishing the top scholarship in the discipline.

  • Jim Grossman among Historians Reflecting on Obama's Legacy

    Jan 23, 2017 - 

    AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman offered his thoughts on President Obama’s legacy to multiple outlets in recent weeks. Grossman was one of ten experts who put Obama in historical perspective for TIME Magazine. He was quoted by The New York Times to discuss Obama as a historian. And he was interviewed for a segment on Finnish TV (start at 17:25). The AHA is proud to offer these and other historical perspectives on current events and to take every opportunity to share the importance of historical thinking.

  • Update from the National Coalition for History on IRBs and Oral History

    Jan 19, 2017 - 

    The federal government released its revised protocol for Institutional Review Boards, which "explicitly removes" oral history and journalism from the regulations. The final rule provides that, "For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research: (1) Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected."

    The historical community, collaborating through the National Coalition for History, has long argued that scholarly history projects should not be subject to standard IRB procedures, and in November 2015, the AHA issued a public statement in support of these revisions. The new IRB rule goes into effect in one year, on January 19, 2018.

  • President Obama Designates National Monument to Reconstruction

    Jan 13, 2017 - 

    Based on recommendations from AHA members Kate Masur and Greg Downs, along with other historians, President Obama has designated several sites in Beaufort, South Carolina, as a national monument to Reconstruction. The monument will serve as a focal point for public engagement with this period of American history, which is especially relevant now as we reflect on the integrity of American democratic institutions and processes. The AHA supported this important expansion of the National Park Service system with a letter to the US Secretary of the Interior on November 16, 2016.

    Everything has a history.

  • AHA Statement on Right to Nonviolent Political Action

    Jan 06, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council, at its January 5, 2017, meeting approved the following statement: The AHA upholds the rights of students, faculty, and other historians to speak freely and to engage in nonviolent political action expressing diverse perspectives on historical or contemporary issues. We condemn all efforts to intimidate those expressing their views. Specifically, we condemn in the strongest terms the creation, maintenance, and dissemination of blacklists and watchlists – through media (social and otherwise) - which identify specific individuals in ways that could lead to harassment and intimidation.