AHA in the News: 2023 Archive

  • AHA Congressional Briefing Featured in Article on University of Minnesota Professor’s Visits to Capitol Hill (November 2023)

    Nov 22, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s October 20 Congressional Briefing on “Historical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence” was featured in an article from the University of Minnesota about Charles Babbage Institute director Jeffrey Yost’s visits to Capitol Hill in late October. The briefing placed the current conversations and policy debates on artificial intelligence into historical context, and featured Yost alongside Janet Abbate (Virginia Tech), Matthew Connelly (Columbia Univ.), and moderator Matthew L. Jones (Princeton Univ.). A C-SPAN recording of the briefing will be available for streaming soon.

  • AHA Manager of Teaching and Learning Co-Authors Article in NCSS’s Social Education Journal (November 2023)

    Nov 20, 2023 - 

    Brendan Gillis (AHA manager of teaching and learning), Beau Dickenson (Rockingham County Public Schools), and Chris Jones (Virginia Assoc. for Curriculum Development) co-authored an article that was published in the November/December 2023 issue of Social Education, the flagship journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. In “Defending History: Educators Stand Up to Protect Virginia’s Social Studies Standards,” the authors emphasize that “[t]he story of how Virginia’s educators defended the curriculum on behalf of their students can serve as a model for teachers nationwide in the face of increased efforts to politicize history and social studies education.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Stateline Article (October 2023)

    Oct 10, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s 2021 statement requesting that the California State Legislature amend the list of exceptions to AB1887, a law that banned state-funded travel to specified states with anti-LGBTQ laws, was featured in a Stateline article by Matt Vasilogambros. The article described California’s new “Bridge Project,” which is a “public messaging campaign in conservative-leaning states designed to spread a nonpartisan message of acceptance.” The AHA had urged the state legislature to provide an academic exception for thestate-funded travel ban. “Surely we want to learn about LGBTQ+ culture and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people,” executive director Jim Grossman said. “The prohibition on using state funds for the purposes of learning was counter to the intent of the statute.”

  • Perspectives on History Article by AHA Council Member Featured in Online Magazine (October 2023)

    Oct 10, 2023 - 

    AHA Council member Sherri Sheu’s September 2023 Perspectives on History article “Johnny Horizon Environmental Test Kit” was featured in a blog post by Jennifer Sandlin for the online magazine Boing Boing. “I've been enjoying a recurring column called “Everything Has a History,” which provides the histories of everything from 20-sided die to elevator sounds to Big Mouth Billy Bass, and much more,” wrote Sandlin.

  • AHA Council Member Discusses Teaching US History with Ken Burns for TIME (September 2023)

    Sep 14, 2023 - 

    AHA Council member Katharina Matro (Walter Johnson High School) joined documentarian Ken Burns in a conversation for TIME about teaching “complete history” in K–12 schools at a time when concerns about and legislation banning or limiting “divisive concepts” still dominate classrooms in many US states. “History is about learning how people make decisions in difficult or less difficult circumstances and then deciding . . . how would I have acted, what would I have done?” Matro said. “I think we can ask that question in all kinds of circumstances, and it gives us tools for making decisions ourselves and interrogating ourselves and holding ourselves accountable. And that's what I would want students and children to take away from history education.”

  • AHA Congressional Briefing Aired on C-SPAN (September 2023)

    Sep 08, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s July 28 Congressional Briefing on immigration on the southern US border was aired on C-SPAN and is available for streaming. During the briefing, Geraldo Cadava (Northwestern Univ.), Nara Milanich (Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.), and Mae Ngai (Columbia Univ.) presented historical perspectives on the southwestern border as the main site of controversy over immigration to the US. 

  • AHA Executive Director Publishes Miami Herald Op-Ed on New Florida Education Standards (August 2023)

    Aug 15, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman has published an op-ed in the Miami Herald on the Florida Department of Education’s new African American history standards, which “miss the crucial point when it comes to American slavery: The institution was grounded in property rights, and that property was human.” Grossman wrote, “In high school, the curriculum mentions‘contributions’ 23 times (55 in the full K-12 document) without one mention of ‘white supremacy’ and only a single reference to ‘lynching.’ Students will learn about the exploits of patriotic Black soldiers without learning why none of these warriors were awarded the Medal of Honor during World War I or II. . . . [T]he remedy for discomfort is not to ignore or marginalize the lasting effects of legal, economic, social, and cultural institutions that condoned buying and selling other humans for nearly 250 years.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in NBC News Article on Hillsdale College (August 2023)

    Aug 03, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in an NBC News article by Tyler Kingkade about Hillsdale College’s growing influence as a resource for conservatives overhauling K–12 education policy. “What they’ve done is they’ve simply left stuff out in an attempt to shape a vision of patriotism,” Grossman said of Hillsdale’s “1776 Curriculum.” “What they also are trying to do is replace an approach to teaching that teaches students how to think with an approach that teaches the students what to think.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Christian Post Article on Backlash to Hillsdale Curriculum (August 2023)

    Aug 03, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in a Christian Post article by Samantha Kamman about the backlash to Hillsdale College’s conservative “1776 Curriculum” for K–12 schools. The article also cited the AHA’s April 2023 letter to the South Dakota Board of Education expressing concerns about the state’s social studies standards, which failed to meet the AHA’s Criteria for Standards in History/Social Studies/Social Sciences after being reworked in a partisan political environment by a a retired Hillsdale professor.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post Article on Tennessee K-12 Education (July 2023)

    Jul 31, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman was quoted in an op-ed in the Washington Post by Greg Sargent on a lawsuit by teachers in Tennessee challenging a law restricting the teaching of race and gender. “Can I teach that in the state of Tennessee, for over a hundred years the textbooks said one race is superior to another?” Grossman asked. “It’s true. . . . All teachers choose what is important,” he said. “It is utterly impossible to teach in a situation where every decision can be questioned by an uninformed parent with the force of law behind it.”

  • AHA Communications Manager Quoted in Scientific American Article (July 2023)

    Jul 28, 2023 - 

    Alexandra Levy, AHA communications manager, was quoted in an article in Scientific American by Tom Metcalfe. Levy discussed the vast scale of the Manhattan Project and the secrecy surrounding the making of the atomic bomb, as well as J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role. “His great gift was bringing together scientists, engineers and other technicians to collaborate on and solve problems,” Levy said. 

  • AHA Sends Letter to New College of Florida Expressing Concern over History Professor’s Nonrenewal (July 2023)

    Jul 27, 2023 - 

    The AHA has sent a letter to Richard Corcoran, president of New College of Florida, expressing “deep concern about New College’s decision not to renew the contract of Erik Wallenberg, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History.” “Our apprehension stems from evidence that Wallenberg’s contract was not renewed because of his politics and his comments about institutional governance, rather than his qualifications or job performance,” the AHA wrote. “Indiscreet tweets by a member of the college’s board of trustees raise concerns about the possibility of inappropriate governing board interference and a violation of academic freedom.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in ABC News Article on “1776 Ideals” Political Messaging (July 2023)

    Jul 20, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director Jim Grossman spoke with ABC News about the historical context behind Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s invocation of “1776 ideals” on the campaign trail, as well as previous conservatives candidates’ use of 1776 as a shorthand for certain values. “We have, from the very beginning, had vast disagreements of what the spirit of ‘76 is," Grossman said, noting that the contradictions around “liberty” in the founding documents have spurred debate to this day. “If you look at the early to mid-19th century, what you will see are vast debates over whether the Constitution was a pro-slavery or anti-slavery document. . . . [The documents] were written by men who grew up in a world where it was considered normal and acceptable to own, buy, and sell other people.”

  • AHA Letter to Placentia–Yorba Linda Unified School District Published in California History (July 2023)

    Jul 19, 2023 - 

    The Summer 2023 issue of California History has republished the AHA’s January 5, 2022, letter to California’s Placentia–Yorba Linda Unified School District opposing the proposed Resolution No. 21-12,“Resolution Opposing the Teaching of Critical Race Theory.” Along with the letter, California History included an introduction by AHA executive director James Grossman and the June 2021 Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism in American History, issued by the AHA, the American Association of University Professors, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America and signed onto by 155 organizations.

  • AHA Member Awarded 2023 Stuart L. Bernath Scholarly Article Prize for American Historical Review Article (June 2023)

    Jun 27, 2023 - 

    Congratulations to AHA member Emilie Connolly (Brandeis Univ.), who was awarded the 2023 Stuart L. Bernath Scholarly Article Prize for her article “Fiduciary Colonialism: Annuities and Native Dispossession in the Early United States,” which was published in the March 2022 issue of the American Historical Review. The Bernath Scholarly Article Prize is awarded annually by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations “to recognize and encourage distinguished research and writing by junior scholars in the field of diplomatic relations.”

  • American Historical Review Article Awarded 2023 Dorothy Ross Prize (June 2023)

    Jun 26, 2023 - 

    Congratulations to Gili Kliger (Harvard Univ.), whose article “Translating God on the Borders of Sovereignty” was selected as the winner of the 2023 Dorothy Ross Prize for the best article in US intellectual history by the Society for US Intellectual History. Kliger’s article was published in the September 2022 issue of the American Historical Review. 

  • AHA Director of Research and Publications Quoted in New York Times Memorial Day Article (June 2023)

    Jun 05, 2023 - 

    AHA director of research and publications Sarah Weicksel was quoted in a New York Times article by Livia Albeck-Ripka on the history of Memorial Day. Weicksel spoke about the establishment of Memorial Day on the last Monday of May as part of a larger effort to create three-day weekends, explaining, “They wanted it to be an opportunity for people to be able to gather.”

  • AHA Special Projects Coordinator Testifies before Texas House of Representatives Higher Education Committee (May 2023)

    May 11, 2023 - 

    On May 8, special projects coordinator Julia Brookins testified before the Texas House of Representatives Higher Education Committee on behalf of the American Historical Association in opposition to Texas Senate Bill 18, which would eliminate tenure at public institutions in the state.“As a citizen, I value dearly the existence of tenure and the public benefit it provides me, my family, and everyone else by allowing time and political space for scholars to seek truths that advance human knowledge,” Brookins said.“[This bill] is a big, flashy distraction. It will not address any of the actual challenges that higher education institutions need to confront.”

  • AHA Executive Director and AHA Council Member Publish Op-Ed on Texas Bill That Would Eliminate Tenure (May 2023)

    May 02, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman and AHA Council member Laura Hostetler (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) have published an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman about SB 18, the Texas bill that would eliminate tenure for new hires at public institutions in the state beginning in 2024. “This short-sighted policy would rank among the most efficient pathways to ripping apart most of what has been accomplished over decades by thousands of individuals responsible for building a university system that ranks among the best in the world,” they wrote. “Tenure helps to protect university classrooms and laboratories as spaces where learning is advanced and new knowledge is created.”

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post Article on Trump’s Agenda for Second Term (April 2023)

    Apr 26, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Post article by Isaac Arnsdorf and Jeff Stein about the agenda that former president Donald Trump has laid out for his potential second term. Grossman spoke about Trump’s “patriotic” education platform, including his “1776 Commission,” which was condemned by the AHA in 2021. “What Trump is trying to resurrect is something that was thoroughly discredited by the professional historical community in a totally apolitical context,” Grossman said. “There’s lots of places to look and see what happens when history education gets stripped of its professional integrity in the interest of a political party.”

  • AHA Managing Editor and AHA Director of Research and Publications Featured in H-Net Book Channel Series on Scholarly Publishing (April 2023)

    Apr 18, 2023 - 

    AHA managing editor Laura Ansley and AHA director of research and publications Sarah Weicksel were featured as guest authors on H-Net Book Channel’s Feeding the Elephant: A Forum for Scholarly Communications. Ansley and Weicksel wrote about scholarly societies as publishers for the Varieties of University Press Business Models series, discussing the AHA’s publications work including the American Historical Review and Perspectives on History.

  • AHA Special Projects Coordinator Testifies before Texas Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education (April 2023)

    Apr 10, 2023 - 

    On April 6, AHA special projects coordinator Julia Brookins testified before the Texas Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education on behalf of the AHA in opposition to Texas Senate Bill 17.  “This bill would not only enable but require new classroom-level intervention by boards whose expertise and responsibilities lie elsewhere,” Brookins said. “This requirement represents a level of surveillance and implied censorship that has no place in a republic noted for its admirable commitment to academic freedom and innovation. . . . SB 17 is not only a danger to the quality of history education, it poses a threat to public higher education itself.”

  • AHA Executive Director and Vice President Publish Op-Ed Opposing Harmful Education Bill in Ohio (April 2023)

    Apr 04, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman and AHA Professional Division vice president Anne Hyde (Univ. of Oklahoma) published an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch opposing Ohio’s Senate Bill 83. This proposed legislation, “perhaps best summarized as an unwieldy omnibus of contradictory mandates… would undermine education in Ohio by preventing qualified instructors from teaching honest and accurate history.”

  • American Historical Review Featured in Economist Article on Kenyan History Museum (March 2023)

    Mar 31, 2023 - 

    An American Historical Review article was featured in an Economist review of the recently renovated Lamu Museum on the Kenyan island of Lamu. The review cited Patricia Romero’s article, “Laboratory for the Oral History of Slavery: The Island of Lamu on the Kenya Coast,” which appeared in the October 1983 issue of the AHR.

  • AHA Letter Opposing Marymount University’s Proposed Elimination of History Major Featured in Local Media (March 2023)

    Mar 13, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s letter to Marymount University president Irma Becerra urging reconsideration of a proposal to eliminate the university’s history major, as well as several other majors, was featured in coverage by ARL Now and the Falls Church News-Press. Marymount University’s board voted to proceed with the elimination of the majors, most of which were in the humanities, on February 24.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Chronicle of Higher Education Article on Florida Higher-Ed Bill (February 2023)

    Feb 27, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article by Francie Diep about Florida House Bill 999, which would place public higher education under strict state control and severely limit the academic freedom of students and educators. Much of what the bill would ban or suppress, Grossman said, is necessary for teaching truthful history that helps with “students learning how to think historically and students learning how no ideas exist outside of context. Their ideas, their parents’ ideas, their teachers’ ideas, no ideas exist outside of a context.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in USA Today Article about Archivist of the United States Nominee (February 2023)

    Feb 24, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was featured in a USA Today article by Erin Mansfield and Rachel Looker about the nomination of Colleen Shogan for national archivist. “[Shogan]’s a problem solver,” said Grossman. “If you look at that resume, what you’ll see are jobs which required someone to be able to look at a situation and say,‘Here are the challenges, and here is how I’m going to figure out how to address them in collaboration with other people.’” The AHA sent a letter supporting Shogan’s nomination in September 2022.

  • AHA’s New Guidelines for Broadening the Definition of Historical Scholarship Featured in Inside Higher Ed (February 2023)

    Feb 10, 2023 - 

    The AHA’s new Guidelines for Broadening the Definition of Historical Scholarship were featured in an Inside Higher Ed article by Ryan Quinn. In the article, Quinn discussed the context of the guidelines and spoke with AHA executive director James Grossman about the inclusion of new genres of scholarship, such as historical gaming, and how those might be evaluated. “This is a new landscape of historical work. . . . Obviously, a lot of what you see out there I would not describe as scholarship, but it clearly has become possible to do scholarship in that way,” Grossman said. “What we’re trying to say to departments is consider it. Let’s not rule things out until we understand better what they are.”

  • AHA Executive Director Featured in Washington Post Article on Presidential Records Act (January 2023)

    Jan 26, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was featured in a Washington Post article by Toluse Olorunnipa about the challenges of the Presidential Records Act. “Materials generated from the work of the president belong to the American people—that’s pretty straightforward. The complicated part is enforcement,” Grossman said. “It’s not uncommon for mistakes to be made. . . . The issue is really what happens when someone realizes a mistake was made.”

  • AHA Executive Director and AHA Member Publish Inside Higher Ed Article on Threats to the Integrity of History Education (January 2023)

    Jan 25, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman and AHA member Jeremy C. Young (PEN America) published an article in Inside Higher Ed about how recent legislation seeking to restrict K–12 history education also affects colleges and universities. “If higher education leaders and faculty hope to maintain the independence and educational quality of their institutions and to protect the democracy such institutions serve, they cannot afford to keep silent about legislation that censors their colleagues in K–12,” they write.

  • AHA Executive Director Quoted in Washington Post Article about Interpretation of January 6 Attacks on US Capitol Tours (January 2023)

    Jan 13, 2023 - 

    AHA executive director James Grossman was quoted in a Washington Post article by Joe Heim about US Capitol tour guides being instructed to talk about the January 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol building by supporters of former President Trump only if asked by visitors. Grossman described the issue of presenting facts about January 6 as “a real dilemma for the civil servants trying to do their job. No matter what they say about January 6, they are going to get in trouble because people will disagree with them. . . . One casualty of this polarization we’re facing is our inability as communities and individuals to accept straightforward facts based on clear evidence. If we cannot agree on basic facts, we cannot constructively discuss any aspect of our history or what we learn from it.”