AHA Announcements: 2020 Archive

  • AHR Shifts to Quarterly Issues in 2021 (August 2020)

    Aug 11, 2020 - 

    Beginning in March 2021, the American Historical Review will shift from publishing five times annually to a quarterly publishing schedule. Each issue will be 100 pages longer, ensuring that the total content published per year remains the same. This change will make work schedules easier for journal staff, will allow AHA members to receive the AHR on a more regular schedule, and is the first in a series of changes that will enable the publication of more advance content from the journal online.

  • AHA Offers Relief for Unemployed/Underemployed Members (August 2020)

    Aug 03, 2020 - 

    To assist un/underemployed historians who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the AHA has established the Historians Relief Fund, which will provide $500 emergency grants to AHA members that can be used to cover a loss of income related to the crisis.

    Applications are due August 31, and recipients will be selected by lottery. To apply for this funding, AHA members can log into their MY AHA page at historians.org/myaha and click “Available Awards” in the Awards, Grants, and Fellowships section. 

    The AHA will continue to solicit donations to the Historians Relief Fund and plans to hold an additional lottery selection in late November, pending the availability of funds. Note to applicants: If you are not selected in the September lottery your application will be held over for the November drawing. If your employment situation changes so that you become ineligible, please let us know.

  • Opening Brief Submitted in ICE Lawsuit (July 2020)

    Jul 29, 2020 - 

    On July 24, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the American Historical Association, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations submitted a plaintiff's opening brief in support of their suit against the National Archives and Records Administration (“NARA”) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and signed declarations attesting to their standing to bring the lawsuit.

  • AHA Announces Historians Relief Fund (July 2020)

    Jul 28, 2020 - 

    The upheavals wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant economic hardship for many in the historical community. Numerous non-tenure-track university faculty, public historians, and historians in other professional fields find themselves losing all or substantial parts of their income. To help mitigate these circumstances, the AHA Council has established the Historians Relief Fund for unemployed and underemployed AHA members. The Historians Relief Fund will provide $500 grants for applicants selected by a lottery system, with applications opening in early August.

    To maximize the number of grants we can provide, the AHA is seeking donations to support the Historians Relief Fund. Please donate at www.historians.org/donatenow and click on “Historians Relief Fund” to direct your donation to the fund. Donations must be received by September 1 to be used for this round of funding. If you have any questions about the fund, email us at donate@historians.org.

  • AHA Issues Statement on Department Closures and Faculty Firings (July 2020)

    Jul 27, 2020 - 

    The AHA issued the Statement on Department Closures and Faculty Firings urging administrators to “respect the established principles and procedures of faculty governance and consult with faculty from all disciplines at their institution” before making budgetary decisions. The AHA emphasized that “history education must retain its vibrancy and institutional integrity” and that closing or decimating history departments “comes at immense cost to students and to colleges and universities themselves, and to society as a whole.”

    26 scholarly societies have cosigned this statement.

  • AHA Condemns Tenured Faculty Layoffs at Canisius (July 2020)

    Jul 24, 2020 - 

    The AHA sent a letter to the president and members of the board of trustees of Canisius College expressing grave concern about the college’s dramatic restructuring of academic departments, drastic reduction of the curriculum in history, and termination of three tenured faculty members. The AHA urged the college to reconsider its course of action, asserting that the college’s plan “diminishes the quality of a Canisius degree” and “identifies the college with employment practices that have no place in American higher education.”

  • AHA Issues Statement on Historical Research during COVID-19 (July 2020)

    Jul 23, 2020 - 

    The AHA has issued a statement urging universities to make a series of specific accommodations for faculty and students whose research has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Sustaining historical research during the COVID-19 crisis,” the statement argues, “requires flexible and innovative approaches to the conduct of research itself as well as to how we gauge productivity.” Recommendations include deferral and extension of research funding awards, increased access to online databases, support for research that does not require on-site research, and incorporation of virtual scholarship in professional evaluations.

    46 scholarly organizations have co-signed this statement to date.

  • 2020 AHA Election Results Announced (July 2020)

    Jul 22, 2020 - 

    In the 2020 balloting for officers and committee members of the American Historical Association, AHA members elected James H. Sweet (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) as the next president-elect. See the full list of historians who will begin serving in January 2021.

  • Mark Philip Bradley Named Editor of American Historical Review (July 2020)

    Jul 17, 2020 - 

    After a national search, the American Historical Association (AHA) has appointed Mark Philip Bradley as editor of the American Historical Review (AHR), beginning August 2021. Bradley is the Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as faculty director of the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights and as deputy dean of the Social Sciences Division. Bradley replaces Alex Lichtenstein, who has served as AHR editor since 2016.

  • AHA Hosts Webinar on "Erasing History or Making History? Race, Racism, and the American Memorial Landscape"

    Jul 16, 2020 - 

    On July 2, 2020, the AHA hosted David W. Blight and Annette Gordon-Reed with moderator AHA executive director James Grossman for “Erasing History or Making History? Race, Racism, and the American Memorial Landscape.” Thanks also to HISTORY® for its generous sponsorship of this event.

  • AHA Opposes New ICE Obstacles to Students from Foreign Countries (July 2020)

    Jul 08, 2020 - 

    The AHA has written a letter to the “Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director” of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement strongly objecting to “modifications” declaring that foreign “students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.”

    Whether driven by nativism or an agenda to pressure higher education to reopen campuses, this ruling is likely to have a devastating effect on hundreds of thousands of foreign students and the colleges and universities they attend. 

  • AHA and NCSS Host Webinar on Teaching the History of Racist Violence in the High School Classroom (June 2020)

    Jun 24, 2020 - 

    On June 19, 2020, the American Historical Association (AHA) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) hosted a panel on effectively using the AHA's Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States and how it can be used productively in high school history classrooms. Panelists explored the history referenced in the statement, the context of its authorship, and the opportunities the statement creates for challenging classroom conversations on historical and current events. The panelists were Reginald K. Ellis (Florida A&M Univ. and member of the AHA's Professional Division) and Tina L. Heafner (president, NCSS), with moderator Jacqueline Jones (AHA president-elect).

  • AHA Receives Major NEH Grant to Fund COVID-19 Initiative (June 2020)

    Jun 23, 2020 - 

    The AHA announces "Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19," a multi-faceted initiative to document historians' immediate responses to a historic global pandemic, create digital resources to help history teachers navigate a newly-pervasive environment of remote instruction, and support early career historians during a time of crisis. This project has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, using funding from the CARES Act. 

  • AHA Member Wins Two Awards for Article (June 2020)

    Jun 05, 2020 - 

    Congratulations to AHA member Bathsheba Demuth (Brown Univ.), whose article "The Walrus and the Bureaucrat: Energy, Ecology, and Making the State in the Russian and American Arctic, 1870-1950," published in the American Historical Review, has won two awards: the 2020 Theodore C. Blegen Award from the Forest History Society and the 2019 Article Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

  • AHA Issues Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States (June 2020)

    Jun 04, 2020 - 

    The AHA has issued a statement urging a reckoning with the United States' deplorable record of violence against African Americans, a record that stretches back centuries. The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers stands within this sordid national tradition of racist violence. It is past time for Americans to confront our nation's past, using insights from history to inform our actions as we work to create a more just society. 


    94 scholarly organizations have co-signed this statement to date.

  • AHA Joins Call for Further CARES Funding for Higher Ed (June 2020)

    Jun 02, 2020 - 

    The AHA has joined 33 other societies in a letter to Congress requesting additional relief for higher education hit hard by challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter outlined the struggles that universities, especially HBCUs; community colleges; underfunded public institutions; and tuition-dependent nonprofit private colleges have faced in the wake of this crisis, and asked for greater investments in higher education to provide for the common good.

  • Prize Contest: Applying History to Clarify the COVID-19 Challenge (April 2020)

    Apr 27, 2020 - 

    Inspired by the AHA's recent Statement Regarding Historians and the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Stanton Foundation is launching a weekly contest to identify the best new applied history article or op-ed that analyzes history to clarify the medical, political, economic and/or international impact of COVID-19 and identifies lessons or clues for policymakers. Each week's winner will receive $1,000, with an additional $2,500 prize for the best overall. Further details can be found on the Foundation's website.

  • AHA Issues Statement Regarding Historians and COVID-19 (April 2020)

    Apr 06, 2020 - 

    The etiology of the novel coronavirus is at once scientific and historical. In a statement endorsed by several peer organizations, the AHA emphasizes the importance of historical thinking in understanding the current crisis and urges all institutions that employ historians to be flexible and humane in considering the needs of their employees and constituencies.  

  • AHA Sends Letter to University System of Georgia Opposing Proposed Changes to the General Education Curriculum (March 2020)

    Mar 30, 2020 - 

    In a letter to Dr. Tristan Denley, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for the University System of Georgia and chair of the General Education Redesign Implementation Committee, the AHA opposed proposed changes to the general education curriculum. The letter from the AHA asserts that the legislative requirement for instruction in the history and government of the United States and Georgia cannot be fulfilled by taking only one course, either in history or political science, and that proper instruction in history can be fulfilled only by trained historians. 

  • AHA Signs onto Statement Encouraging Temporary Adjustments to Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes during COVID-19 Crisis (March 2020)

    Mar 23, 2020 - 

    The AHA signed onto a statement from the American Sociological Association regarding faculty review and reappointment processes during the COVID-19 crisis. The statement encourages institutions of higher education to consider appropriate temporary adjustments to their review and reappointment processes for tenured and contingent faculty, including adjusting expectations for faculty scholarship, limiting the use of student evaluations of teaching, and extending tenure timelines. The AHA also urges all higher education institutions that employ contract and/or part-time faculty to compensate fully for courses already contracted for summer and fall offerings.

  • AHA Encourages Congress to Support NEH during COVID-19 Crisis (March 2020)

    Mar 20, 2020 - 

    On March 19, AHA executive director Jim Grossman co-signed a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting emergency funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities that would include support for historians whose income is imperiled by current conditions in higher education and other history-focused institutions, professional development relating to classroom and other historical work, and other needs relevant to the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • AHA Joins Lawsuit Challenging ICE Records Disposition (March 2020)

    Mar 16, 2020 - 

    The AHA has joined the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in a lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) challenging NARA’s approval of ICE’s records disposition, which authorizes ICE to destroy several categories of records documenting mistreatment of immigrants detained in ICE custody.

  • AHA Supports Release of Grand Jury Records of Historical Significance (March 2020)

    Mar 02, 2020 - 

    In connection with the amicus brief in Pitch v. United States, which was filed in September 2019, the AHA signed onto a letter to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the United States Courts proposing a revision to Rule 6(e) to specify that the courts can release grand jury records based on historical significance. The proposed amendment would make clear that district courts have authority to order disclosure, in appropriate circumstances, of grand jury materials of historical significance, and it would provide a temporal limit for secrecy regarding grand jury materials that are stored as archival records at the National Archives.

  • AHA Expresses Concern over Deletion of Immigration Records (Feb 2020)

    Feb 29, 2020 - 

    In a letter to the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) on February 27, 2020, the AHA expressed concern over reports that EOIR had omitted close to 1,000,000 records from its September 2019 anonymized data release. The missing records include more than 1,000 applications for relief filed by immigrants in the course of immigration court proceedings, which are not exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

  • AHA Sends Letter to French President Emmanuel Macron with Concerns about Unclear Procedures for Declassification of Archives

    Feb 11, 2020 - 

    In a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, the AHA expressed concern that the change in policy to declassify documents at Vincennes and other repositories in France has rendered many documents inaccessible. The AHA encouraged the development of a clear, efficient, and effective procedure for declassification so that historians and other researchers can access materials of ongoing public importance.

  • AHA Issues Statement Condemning the Use of Historical Sites in Warfare

    Jan 21, 2020 - 

    The AHA condemns the use of historical sites anywhere in the world as targets for destruction and as shields for protection. The use of historical sites in warfare is a violation of international law. Read the statement here.

  • AHA Sends Letter to Archivist about Altered Photo

    Jan 19, 2020 - 

    The AHA sent the following letter to the Archivist of the United States objecting to the alteration of a photograph on exhibition and praising NARA staff for acknowledging this serious lapse in judgement. Read the letter here.