AHA Announcements: 2019 Archive

  • History Graduate Student Released from Iranian Prison

    Dec 09, 2019 - 

    On Saturday December 7, Iranian authorities released a historian, Xiyue Wang, who had been held for three years in Evin prison in Tehran on suspicion of espionage.  A graduate student at Princeton University, Wang was in Iran for dissertation research on the foreign relations of Qajar-era (1789-1925) Iran, when he was arrested in 2016.  He, his family, his university, and the State Department deny that he engaged in espionage.  In a prisoner swap arranged by the State Department and Iran's Foreign Ministry, Mr. Wang was exchanged for an Iranian scientist, Masoud Soleimani, who was in U.S. custody after conviction on charges of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.  

    The AHA protested Mr. Wang's imprisonment in a letter to Iranian authorities in 2018.  The delay between Wang's initial arrest and the letter is due to our decision to defer to Princeton's judgement on what would best serve Mr. Wang's interests.  The AHA does what it can to defend the interests of historians around the country and around the world, and is pleased to congratulate Mr. Wang on his freedom.

  • AHA Pushes for Reauthorization of Title VI College Affordability Act

    Oct 25, 2019 - 

    The AHA joined 30 other organizations expressing their support for reauthorization of the College Affordability Act, a federally funded Title VI-International Education program. The coalition urged the US House Committee on Education and Labor and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment to continue its bipartisan support for the initiative.

  • AHA Comments on Proposed NLRB Rule Change

    Oct 21, 2019 - 

    The National Labor Relations Board is considering a rule change that would diminish the right of graduate students at private universities to organize unions. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education,"ratherthan looking at the facts in any case before it, the National Labor Relations Board is aiming to create an overarching rulethat would exclude teaching and research assistants from being covered by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act." The American Historical Association opposes the proposed ruling.

  • AHA Awards 2019 Prizes for Publications and Professional Achievements

    Oct 07, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 awards and prizes competition. This year, the Association recognizes the distinguished work of 36 groups and individuals for their contributions to scholarship, public history, digital resources, and dedicated teaching and mentorship. Congratulations to our recipients. Awardees will be recognized at an awards ceremony during the AHA annual meeting in January.

  • AHA Defends Emeritus Professor Romila Thapar

    Oct 07, 2019 - 

    On October 7, AHA President John McNeill sent a letter to Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi to discourage the university's review of Romila Thapar's status as emeritus professor. McNeill cited her impressive record of contributions and achievements, including being named an AHA Honorary Foreign Member.

  • AHA Signs onto Amicus Curiae Brief Providing Historical Context to the Decision to Rescind DACA

    Oct 03, 2019 - 

    The AHA has joined the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Seattle University), the Organization of American Historians, and numerous individual historians an amicus curiae brief supporting respondents in Department of Homeland Security, et al. Petitioners v. Regents of the University of California, et al, Respondents.  The brief explains the relationship between the history of anti-Mexican and Latinx racism and the use of related racist code words in the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    In situations involving the rights and careers of individual historians, historical practice in diverse venues, or the role of history in public culture, the AHA has the responsibility to take public stands - including participation in relevant legal proceedings. Everything has a history; in this particular case, the AHA considers it imperative for the court to be aware of the historical context of current efforts to vilify an entire racial group. 

  • AHA Signs onto MESA letter to US Department of Education

    Sep 26, 2019 - 

    The AHA and other academic associations signed onto a letter from the Middle East Studies Association that registered alarm over the US Department of Education's position towards the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, an unprecedented intervention in academic curricula and the autonomy of higher education.

  • AHA Signs onto Amicus Brief in Pitch v. United States

    Sep 12, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association has signed onto an amicus brief in Pitch v. United States regarding the release of grand jury records froma 1946 court case about the Moore’s Ford Lynching in Walton County, Georgia. Though grand jury records are usually kept under seal forever, the AHA supports the court’s original position that these records can be released as a matter of exceptional historical significance, a precedent the government is working to overturn.

  • AHA Signs onto ASA Statement on Teaching Evaluations

    Sep 09, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association signed onto the American Sociological Association's Statement on Teaching Evaluations. While acknowledging the valuable feedback that student experiences in the classroom can provide, the statement discourages the use of such assessments as a primary factor in faculty promotion, salary increase, and appointment. Studies have shown that student evaluations of teaching are easily biased, particularly towards women and minorities, and weakly related to other measures of teaching effectiveness and learning outcomes. The ASA also provides recommendations of best practices for future collection and implementation of student feedback.

  • AHA Issues Statement on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History

    Aug 26, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association expects the following statement to stimulate more questions than answers.  The Association hopes these questions make their way into classrooms, libraries, museums, city council meetings, community centers, and even coffee shops, wherever people are trying to connect with each other to make historical sense of our current moment. 

  • AHA Receives NEH Funding to Collaborate on Survey of Americans’ Attitudes about History and the Past

    Aug 14, 2019 - 

    On August 14, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the awarding of $29 million for 215 humanities projects, including a cooperative agreement with the American Historical Association to conduct a national survey of Americans to assess perceptions of and engagement with history. The project, "History, the Past and Public Culture: An Exploratory Survey," aims to help historians better understand public audiences and broaden the relevance of historical work to public culture. The AHA is pleased to be working on this initiative with Fairleigh Dickinson University and FDU Poll and in collaboration with the American Association for State and Local History.

  • AHA Opposes Elimination of History Department at Gordon College

    Jul 29, 2019 - 

    On July 29, the American Historical Association sent a letter to Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, in response to the college's drastic restructuring plan and the decision to subsume the history department under one single Political Science, Philosophy, and History entity. The AHA vehemently urged the administration to reconsider its decision and highlighted the detrimental effects to faculty employment, pedagogical and research standards, and student learning outcomes.

  • AHA Expresses Support for the Right of Scholars to Sign the Academics for Peace Petition

    Jul 26, 2019 - 

    In a letter to judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey, the AHA joined 26 other scholarly associations expressing their support for the right of scholars and academics to sign the Academics for Peace Petition. The letter commended the court's recent rulings upholding protections for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and urged the court to continue these protections as it considers the upcoming criminal cases of the Peace Petition signatories

  • AHA Supports Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott Refusal to Aid in ICE Raids

    Jul 15, 2019 - 

    On July 15, the AHA sent letters to the CEOs of Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Marriott International, hotel chains the Association regularly uses for its annual meetings. AHA executive director Jim Grossman applauded the companies' refusal to allow US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to utilize hotel space as temporary detention centers during the announced raids on immigrant communities.

  • AHA Eliminates Job Center at Annual Meeting and Sets New First-Round Interview Guidelines

    Jun 28, 2019 - 

    The AHA will no longer sponsor employment interviews at its annual meeting.  This change encompasses both the Job Center and interviewing suites facilitated by the Association.  In making this decision, the AHA Council took into consideration the dramatic decline in conference interviewing in recent years, along with issues relating to the conference's general tone and atmosphere, technological change, and financial considerations, especially for prospective interviewees.

    The AHA Council has issued new guidelines for first-round interviews that refer to all potential interview venues.  

    The Career Fair will remain an important part of the conference, with its emphasis on broadening employment horizons for historians.

  • Job Opening at the AHA

    Jun 27, 2019 - 

    Join our collaborative team of staff dedicated to promoting history and the work of historians. The AHA is accepting applications for a Managing Editor. We will begin reviewing applications on July 10, 2019.

  • AHA Expresses Concern about Access to the Guatemala Policía Nacional Archives

    Jun 17, 2019 - 

    On June 13, the AHA sent a letter to Jimmy Morales Cabrera, president of the Republic of Guatemala, urging continued access to materials in the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The agreement concerning housing of the archive expires on June 30, 2019, and the AHA urged officials to permit the archive to remain in its current location and to continue the program of lodging digitized copies with the government of Switzerland and the University of Texas at Austin.

  • AHA Endorses Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act

    May 30, 2019 - 

    The Association endorsed bipartisan bill H.R. 1923, the Women's History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act. Beginning in 2021, the proposed program would feature prominent women to mark the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.  Each state, territory, and the District of Columbia will nominate a woman to appear on the coins. The Association commends representatives' efforts to increase gender diversity and representation on our currency.

  • AHA Signs onto Letter of Support for Federal Funding of International Education and Foreign Language Programs

    May 30, 2019 - 

    On May 28, the AHA joined other scholarly and professional organizations in sending a letter to Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The letter advocated increased funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies and articulated the sought-after international skills curated by such programs as Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.

  • AHA Expresses Concern over Departmental Changes at University of Tulsa

    May 17, 2019 - 

    On May 14, the AHA sent a letter to the University of Tulsa provost Janet Levit urging the university administration to reconsider its radical restructuring plan for the humanities. AHA executive director Jim Grossman articulated worries over both the plan's impact and the manner in which deliberations and decisions were conducted without input from key disciplines.

  • AHA Endorses Coalition for International Education Letter for Congressional Title VI Funding

    May 14, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association signed onto a letter from the Coalition for International Education to Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The letter expressed support for the bipartisan re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and encouraged incorporation of Title VI funding into the bill.

  • AHA Sends Letter of Concern to Stanford University

    May 10, 2019 - 

    On May 8, AHA executive director Jim Grossman sent a letter to Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne and provost Persis Drell to voice concern for the proposed reduction in funding for Stanford University Press, a leading and primary publisher of fundamental and influential works in the historical discipline. 

  • AHA Signs onto Letter Protesting Cuts to Humanities Programs in Brazil

    May 08, 2019 - 

    The AHA joined 12 organizations in signing onto a letter issued by the American Philosophical Association and the American Sociological Association in response to Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro's proposal to defund philosophy and sociology programs in the country. 

  • AHA Urges Action over Proposed FY20 Federal Budget Cuts

    May 02, 2019 - 

    On May 2, as the House Appropriations Committee prepared to examine proposed fiscal year 2020 budget slashes for the National Archives and National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Association urged its US members to contact their representatives via a pre-written electronic message or by calling House Appropriations Committee members.

  • Update on Stevens Point Humanities Majors

    Apr 12, 2019 - 

    The American Historical Association is gratified to learn that the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has reversed course on a plan to trim humanities majors, including history, from its undergraduate curriculum. Last March, the AHA expressed concern over the planned eliminations and received a direct response from Provost Greg Summers. The AHA will continue to advocate for the value of studying history for student success and happiness throughout their careers and civic lives.

  • AHA Job Openings

    Mar 13, 2019 - 

    Join our collaborative team of staff dedicated to promoting history and the work of historians. The AHA is accepting applications for an Editorial Assistant. We will begin reviewing applications on April 3, 2019.

  • AHA Signs onto ACLS Letter Protesting Alaskan Budget Cuts

    Mar 05, 2019 - 

    On March 4, the American Historical Association joined 32 other professional societies in sending a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy and several other congressional representatives of the state of Alaska to express deep concern over the proposed $134 million reduction in state funding for the University of Alaska. The consortium of organizations highlighted the multifaceted consequences for Alaskan constituents and urged state leadership to reconsider.

  • AHA Urges Historians and Californians to Take Action

    Mar 01, 2019 - 

    On February 28, AHA leadership alerted members and other historians in California to a new plan at California State University, the nation's largest university, to cut core requirements for U.S. history and civics courses. The Association urges our community to contact Governor Newsom and other state legislators and implore them to reject this proposal put forth by the CSU General Education Task Force.

  • AHA Maintains Support for the Separation of Hungarian Politics and Academic Inquiry

    Feb 11, 2019 - 

    On February 11, the AHA sent a letter to the leadership of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to reaffirm its support for the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The AHA cautioned against reforms that would subject academy funding to approval from ministerial authorities. The separation of the Academy's research institutes and publications from politics is a crucial cornerstone of the institution's international integrity and the credibility of its historical scholarship.

  • Letter Protesting Michigan Mayor’s Termination of Journal Editor’s Contract

    Feb 11, 2019 - 

    On February 11, AHA executive director Jim Grossman sent a letter to Mayor John O'Reilly of Dearborn, Michigan, protesting the dismissal of Bill McGraw, editor of the city's historical commission's journal, for publishing an article about Henry Ford's anti-Semitism. 

  • AHA Expresses Concerns about Potential Impact of Plan S on the Humanities

    Feb 04, 2019 - 

    The AHA fully supports broad access to the resources required to create new knowledge and share it as widely as possible. However, concerns about the principles set out in Plan S have led the AHA to write a letter to Coalition S members regarding the potential for harm to humanities scholarship.

  • AHA Calls on Nicaraguan President to Release History Professor

    Jan 24, 2019 - 

    On January 24, the Association sent a letter to Daniel Ortega Saavedra, president of the Republic of Nicaragua, articulating concern about the imprisonment of Professor Ricardo Baltodano Marcenaro of the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua and the charges leveled against him. The AHA cited the UN High Commission for Human Rights’ inquiry into the case and urged Baltodano’s immediate release.