AHA in the News: 2022 Archive

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in USA Today Article on Presidential Records Act (September 2022)

    Sep 21, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a USA Today article by Maureen Groppe and Nick Penzenstadler about potential changes to strengthen the Presidential Records Act after the Trump administration’s reported mishandling of federally owned documents. “During Watergate, we learned why it was important for records to belong to the American people,” Grossman said. “As long as there was a notion that those tapes and other records belonged to Richard Nixon, that made it impossible for the American people to know what happened.”

  • AHA’s 2022 Jobs Report Featured in Inside Higher Ed Article (August 2022)

    Sep 07, 2022 - 

    The AHA’s recently published 2022 Jobs Report, which analyzed academic hiring in history for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 cycles, was featured in an Inside Higher Ed article by Colleen Flaherty. The Jobs Report used AHA Career Center data, along with other sources, to examine history faculty job hiring.

  • AHA Special Projects Coordinator Testifies to Texas State Board of Education (September 2022)

    Sep 07, 2022 - 

    On August 30, AHA special projects coordinator Julia Brookins provided testimony at a meeting of the Texas State Board of Education regarding proposed revisions to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies. “Learning to do history gives students powerful examples of individual agency and decision-making and it teaches them to see larger patterns in human societies. They can recognize not just commonalities but also fundamental, almost unimaginable differences in human experiences across time and place. This will expand their vision and help them live well in today's world,” Brookins said. “The students of Texas deserve good lists of great thinkers, but much more than that, they need to learn how to think. I hope this body will focus on that. Indulging authoritarian impulses, whether they come from parents, voters, or state officials, is not the way to get Texas students ready for the marketplace of ideas. You cannot censor your way to great schools.” Brookins’ testimony begins at 1:49:15 of Part 1.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times Article on Portrayals of Slavery at Presidential Homes (August 2022)

    Aug 18, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about the increased presence of information about slavery at presidential homes such as Washington’s Mount Vernon, Jefferson’s Monticello, and Madison’s Montpelier. “It is not possible to exaggerate the importance of ideas about race and the dynamics of human slavery in trying to understand the world views of Jefferson, Madison, and Washington,” said Grossman.

  • AHA Special Projects Coordinator Testifies to Texas State Board of Education (August 2022)

    Aug 04, 2022 - 

    On August 1, AHA special projects coordinator Julia Brookins provided testimony at a special meeting of the Texas State Board of Education regarding proposed revisions to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies. “Texas history and the histories that you are considering here really have a lifelong impact on a lot of people,” Brookins said. “The drafts could continue to use review by scholars in each of the major subject areas, in particular for factual accuracy. . . . I recommend that the Board ask the work groups to revisit that language and I encourage . . . the integration of social studies practices into the actual course outcomes.” Brookins’ testimony begins at 2:41:16 of Part 2.

  • Amicus Curiae Brief and AHA-OAH Statement on Dobbs Decision Featured in News Outlets (July 2022)

    Jul 21, 2022 - 
    An amicus curiae brief for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, signed onto by the AHA and the Organization of American Historians, has been featured in media coverage by Reason, Syracuse University, and the Washington Post. The AHA and OAH’s subsequent joint statement addressing the misrepresentation of history in the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision has also been featured in the Anchorage Daily News, Inside Higher Ed, Insight into Diversity, and the Strict Scrutiny podcast from Crooked Media. Both the brief and the statement were featured in Nature and the Concord Monitor.
  • AHA Executive Director Featured in Article on Academic Conferences in the Post-Roe Era (July 2022)

    Jul 13, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was featured in a Chronicle of Higher Education article by Sylvia Goodman about the challenges of choosing locations for academic conferences after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision by the Supreme Court. “A law banning abortion makes it impossible for us to ask our members to convene,” Grossman said, noting that the AHA sees this as an issue of equal rights, including access to “appropriate and equal medical treatment.” Grossman also discussed the AHA and OAH’s joint statement on the Dobbs decision, which criticized the majority opinion’s use of history that “did not meet professional standards.”

  • AHA’s Amicus Brief Featured in Akron Beacon Journal Article (June 2022)

    Jun 23, 2022 - 

    The amicus curiae brief submitted by the AHA and Organization of American Historians for the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was featured in an Akron Beacon Journal article by Michael Douglas. This amicus brief was based on decades of study and research by professional historians, and aimed to provide an accurate historical perspective of abortion in the US. In the article, Douglas discusses the historical inconsistencies that appear in Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times Article (June 2022)

    Jun 21, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about the waning presence of Flag Day in public schools. Grossman noted that the holiday has come to matter less than “how [the flag’s elements] mean different things to different people. … Perhaps the flag is best thought of not in terms of students memorizing facts about it, but as a source of thoughtful questions in a history or civics class.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times (April 2022)

    Apr 27, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about the upcoming celebration of Ulysses S. Grant’s 200th birthday, including Grant’s changing legacy over the years. Historians, Grossman explained, have come to see the Civil War as a “war of liberation, rather than a tragic and preventable conflict in which both sides had honorable goals. … Grant becomes the leader of an army of liberation. He also, as president, is increasingly understood as attempting to enforce the implications of that victory, rather than oppressing a victimized region struggling to redeem its governments from the alleged excesses of Reconstruction.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times Article about Rejected Textbooks in Florida (April 2022)

    Apr 26, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about textbooks recently rejected by the Florida Department of Education “because they did not meet state benchmarks or they contained examples of critical race theory and social-emotional learning.” For the majority of the textbooks, no specific explanation was given for their rejections. “It is irresponsible to reject materials while refusing to provide actual examples of what is objectionable,” Grossman said. “This is akin to Joseph McCarthy referring to lists of communists in his pocket.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post Article on Faculty Response to “Divisive Concepts” Legislation (February 2022)

    Feb 28, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Washington Post article about college faculty members’ pushback against state-level legislation that would limit or prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts” in American history, especially regarding race and racism. “The ability of students to learn American history that is taught with professional integrity is not a partisan issue,” said Grossman.“No state wants its students to graduate ignorant.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in Article on the Future of Scholarly Societies (February 2022)

    Feb 28, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was featured in a Scholarly Kitchen article by Robert Harington about the future of scholarly societies in a society fundamentally changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHA “considers the changing landscape of scholarly associations to be filled with new opportunities,” Grossman said. “The AHA has been a vocal advocate for the role of history in public culture and the importance of maintaining the professional integrity of history education as well as research. In the current environment this work is essential and we are confident that our colleagues will continue to support our work.” The article also quoted from Grossman’s recent Perspectives on History column on the future of AHA online programming.

  • AHA and NCH Executive Directors Quoted in NBC News Article on Presidential Records Act Violations (February 2022)

    Feb 28, 2022 - 
    AHA executive director Jim Grossman and National Coalition for History executive director Lee White were quoted in an article for NBC News by Jonathan Allen about the Trump administration’s violations of the Presidential Records Act (PRA). “You can’t hold anyone accountable and you can’t write an accurate history if you don’t know all that’s there,” said White. “For historians, it’s the old ‘if the tree falls in the forest and no one is there,’ how are you going to know a record is missing if it’s missing?” Grossman spoke in context of the PRA’s creation after the Nixon presidency, noting, “The presidential records act was created so that this would never happen again.”
  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Article on Associations’ Responses to “Divisive Concepts” Legislation (February 2022)

    Feb 18, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in an Associations Now article by Rasheeda Childress about how associations are pushing back against state-level legislation that would prohibit or limit teaching about racism in the US. “One of the things that divides the country is partisanship; another is race,” Grossman said.“If we don’t understand the histories of what divides us, we’re never going to be able to unite, to work together, to establish the kinds of communities that a democracy needs and wants.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post Articles about Presidential Records Act Violations (February 2022)

    Feb 14, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in two Washington Post articles about former president Trump’s violations of the Presidential Records Act. “The problem is that the Presidential Records Act, as written, does not have any real enforcement mechanism,” said Grossman in “‘He Never Stopped Ripping Things Up’: Inside Trump’s Relentless Document Destruction Habits,” adding that the violations are disrespectful to archivists and the general public. “What is the Presidential Records Act, and How Did Trump Violate It?” by Amber Phillips quoted Grossman and cited the AHA’s recent statement condemning violations of the Presidential Records Act. 

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Times Article on Critical Race Theory Bans (February 2022)

    Feb 03, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Washington Times article by Sean Salai about the influx of state-level legislation banning or limiting the teaching of “divisive concepts,” including critical race theory, in public schools.“History education should help students learn what actually happened, and to think, discuss and argue with one another about roots, continuities and implications,” Grossman said. “Everything has a history, including the divisions that plague our nation and communities. To heal those divisions, our next generation must understand their evolution.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in New York Times Article on Virginia “Divisive Concepts” Bill (January 2022)

    Jan 24, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a New York Times article by Maria Cramer and Amanda Holpuch about a “divisive concepts” bill introduced in the Virginia legislature. The bill gained attention for incorrectly stating that the Lincoln-Douglas debates were between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, but comes “from the same template as legislation introduced in more than 30 other states that seeks to ban or limit the teaching of ‘divisive concepts’ relating to race and racism in classrooms.” The bill’s wording, Grossman said, “prohibits teachers from helping students understand the continuing role of racism in the development of American institutions and culture. It provides a chilling effect that makes teachers wary of teaching accurate American history.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in NOLA.com Article on Pardoning of Homer Plessy (January 2022)

    Jan 07, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was featured in an article in NOLA.com by Will Sutton on Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent pardoning of Homer Plessy. “Jim Grossman met Keith Plessy in January 2013,” Sutton wrote,“when the American Historical Association gathered at the New Orleans Marriott. He saw a badge with the name ‘Plessy,’ and as a historian, he just had to ask: That’s an unusual name. You wouldn’t be related to THE Homer Plessy, would you?…Seven years ago, the association Grossman leads as executive director planned to meet in New Orleans in January 2022. Grossman saw Plessy again Wednesday, this time at a historic signing of a pardon the day before Grossman’s group officially opened its meeting.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in The 74 Million Article on January 6 Anniversary (January 2022)

    Jan 06, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in an article in The 74 Million by Jo Napolitano about how teachers are addressing the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection and assault on the US Capitol. Grossman said it is imperative for students to understand what happened that day. “Part of the purpose of history education is to help students learn to read evidence generated from diverse sources and piece together stories that are consistent with that evidence and answer useful and meaningful questions.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in HISTORY Article on the Great Migration (January 2022)

    Jan 06, 2022 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a HISTORY article by Alexis Clark, “How Southern Landowners Tried to Restrict the Great Migration.” Grossman said that during the Great Migration (1916–70) of African Americans from the south to the north, white southerners “believed, incorrectly, that what was really happening was Black people were being stirred up by labor agents from northern industries coming South to round up Black workers. This is in part because their genuine belief in the lack of agency of Black people, and that Black people can't possibly be figuring these things out themselves.”