2016 News

  • Recommendation for John Hope Franklin Memorial Highway

    Jan 26, 2017 - 

    Outgoing Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx signed a proclamation calling on the North Carolina Department of Transportation to name a portion of I-85 in Durham County, the "John Hope Franklin Memorial Highway." Franklin was a leading scholar of African American history and the first African American to serve as president of the AHA. The request still requires approval from NCDOT.

  • "Why We Need a Monument to Reconstruction"

    Dec 14, 2016 - 

    Gregory Downs, Eric Foner, and Kate Masur have written a New York Times op-ed urging President Obama to create a National Park Service monument to Reconstruction in Beaufort, SC. In November, AHA sent a letter to US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in support of the monument.

  • AHA Member Responds to "Echo Chamber" Op-Ed

    Dec 13, 2016 - 

    Elizabeth Lehfeldt (Vice President of the AHA's Teaching Division and Professor of History at Cleveland State University) responded to Nicholas Kristof's op-ed in The New York Times, "The Dangers of Echo Chambers on College Campuses." In An Open Letter and Invitation to Nicholas Kristof she writes, "come visit me and my students at an urban, public university where many of my students are Pell-eligible, working multiple jobs, raising families, all while being among the most engaged and diligent students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching....They are living, breathing students and they have a lot to teach you."

  • Member Represents the AHA

    Dec 09, 2016 - 

    Allyson Poska will represent the AHA at the April 21, 2017 inauguration of Troy Paino as the tenth president of the University of Mary Washington.

  • Antoinette Burton Selected as University of Illinois Presidential Fellow

    Dec 06, 2016 - 

    Antoinette Burton, chair of the AHA's 2018 annual meeting Program Committee (Washington, DC, January 4-7) and member of the Committee on Committees, has been selected by the Office of the President of the University of Illinois System to serve as a year-long fellow. In this role, Burton will make contributions to the future of higher education in Illinois and bring her research in the history of women and gender in transnational contexts to strategic university initiatives. The Presidential Fellows Program recruits distinguished faculty in the U of I system advance the institution's "long legacy of leadership in the arts and humanities."

  • Quartz Article on the Value of History Education in Questioning Fake News

    Dec 02, 2016 - 

    Marie Myung-Ok Lee recently argued in an article in Quartz magazine that "History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump." Despite the need for the skills history classes teach, such as the ability to "question the stories that are handed down to us," Lee cites data from the AHA on the decline in history majors and interviews executive director Jim Grossman on the situation. She suggests that in the wake of an election "plagued by misinformation," and with fake news increasing, history education is vital.

    AHA members have also been discussing how to address fake news and fake sources in their classrooms on the AHA Members' Forum. Not a member? Join now.

  • 2016 National Book Awards

    Nov 30, 2016 - 

    Ibram X. Kendi, assistant professor of African American History at the University of Florida, has won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books). Historians Heather Ann Thompson and Andrés Reséndez were named finalists for the prize.

    Kendi, Thompson, and Reséndez are AHA members.

  • Jewish historians release statement on US election

    Nov 29, 2016 - 

    AHA members are using their historical perspective to build solidarity in the wake of the US presidential election. The Jewish Journal published a statement from over 250 Jewish scholars, including many AHA members, expressing concern about "the racial, ethnic, gender-based, and religious hatred" evidenced by Donald Trump during his campaign and since his election to the Presidency. The statement calls for unity to defend "the constitutional rights and liberties of all Americans."

  • "The Trump Protests Have Reinvigorated the American Radical Tradition"

    Nov 21, 2016 - 

    In response to the recent presidential election, AHA member Jim Downs (associate professor of history at Connecticut College) has penned an article for Slate Magazine on the history of protests in the United States.

  • AHA Statement in Aftermath of 2016 Election

    Nov 18, 2016 - 

    An unusually bitter and divisive election has been followed by continuing evidence of polarization to the point of harassment seldom seen in recent American history. Historians can say with confidence that this is not our nation's finest hour. Language previously relegated to the margins has moved out of the shadows, emboldening elements of American society less interested in a more perfect union than in division and derision.

    Historians should, as part of our work, explore the multiple factors that have shaped this new terrain. The American Historical Association encourages that scholarship, but at the same time condemns the language and harassment that have charred the American landscape in recent weeks.

    The AHA is chartered by the US Congress to promote the study of history in the United States. To advance this goal, the association has agreed on shared standards, including an emphasis on mutual respect and reasoned discourse-the ongoing conversation among historians holding diverse points of view and who learn from each other. A commitment to such discourse-balancing fair and honest criticism with inclusive practices and openness to different ideas-makes possible the fruitful exchange of views, opinions, and knowledge.

    The American Historical Association reaffirms its commitment to mutual respect, reasoned discourse, and appreciation for humanity in its full variety. We will strive to demonstrate these values in all aspects of practice, including in our roles as teachers, researchers, and citizens.

  • Mexican American Heritage Textbook Rejected

    Nov 17, 2016 - 

    With a 14-0 vote, the Texas State Board of Education has denied the adoption of a proposed Mexican American studies textbook denounced by historians for numerous factual and interpretive errors. In September, the AHA, with the assistance of Teaching Division Councilor Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas Coll.) and association member Emilio Zamora (Univ. of Texas, Austin), sent a letter to the Chair of the Board expressing its concern about the textbook. The TBOE has communicated its gratitude to the AHA for providing appropriate professional expertise essential to the Board's ability to properly evaluate the submission.

  • Spreading the News about NHC Zika Briefing

    Nov 14, 2016 - 

    On September 12, AHA member and leading historical expert on mosquito-borne diseases Margaret Humphreys joined other historians to discuss historical parallels and policy responses at the National History Center's Congressional Briefing on the Zika virus. To continue to inform the public health and historical communities, Duke University has shared an excerpt of Humphrey's talk via the Duke Global Health Institute blog.

  • Alex Lichtenstein to serve as next Editor of the American Historical Review

    Oct 25, 2016 - 

    The American Historical Association (AHA) has appointed Alex Lichtenstein as editor of the American Historical Review (AHR), beginning August 2017. "Professor Lichtenstein brings energy and insight to the editorial direction of the American Historical Review," AHA president Pat Manning said of the appointment. "The AHA Council looks forward to working with him, the journal staff, and [the AHR editorial] board in charting the future of the premier historical journal." Read more on AHA Today.

  • Rachel G. Fuchs, 1939-2016

    Oct 21, 2016 - 

    Rachel G. Fuchs, a longtime AHA member who served on the 2016 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize Committee, passed away on October 15, 2016. A respected scholar of French women's history, Fuchs was Regents' Professor and Distinguished Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. She also served as president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in 2008.

  • Peter Kastor Interviewed on Presidential Debates in History

    Oct 12, 2016 - 

    Peter Kastor, a professor of history and American culture studies at Washington University in St. Louis, was invited to discuss political debate history on a recent episode of St. Louis on the Air. Kastor also serves as principal investigator for a major digital archive entitled "Creating a Federal Government."

  • AHA Member John Fea Responds to Dave Ramsey on the Value of the History Major

    Oct 12, 2016 - 

    After businessman, author, and media personality Dave Ramsey declared taking out a student loan for a history degree a "stupid" decision, historian and AHA member John Fea responded on his blog, The Way of Improvement Leads Home, reminding readers that the history degree's low economic value is a fallacy and that it prepares students for success in many careers.

  • Historian Interviewed on MJs Minute

    Sep 21, 2016 - 

    Antoinette Burton, professor of history at the University of Illinois and chair of the 2018 Annual Meeting Program Committee, was interviewed about the importance of the humanities on MJs Minute, a video column for Illinois's News-Gazette.

  • AHA Guidelines Crucial to Response to Controversial Textbook

    Sep 09, 2016 - 

    AHA Teaching Division Councilor Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas Coll.) and AHA member Emilio Zamora (Univ. of Texas, Austin) are part of a committee that has released a report citing numerous factual inaccuracies and generally poor historical work in a textbook proposed to meet Texas’s Mexican American Studies standard in high schools. Drawing on the AHA’s Guidelines for the Preparation, Evaluation, and Selection of History Textbooks and the Association’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct to evaluate Mexican-American Heritage, the committee, convened by a member of the Texas State Board of Education, found a lack of “critical dialogue with current scholarship,” which resulted in “a polemic attempting to masquerade as a textbook.” The AHA remains unaware of any role played by professional historians in writing the text; apparently the publisher ruled out participation by scholars of Mexican descent because of concerns that they would be “biased” (quoting news reports). Here at 400 A St. SE we wonder how many of our colleagues born and raised in the United States have authored US history textbooks tainted by their “bias” as Americans.

    The committee, convened by Ruben Cortez, the 2nd District representative to the Texas State Board of Education, released its report at a press conference on Tuesday, September 6. AHA members Gonzales and Zamora testified in front of the Texas State Board of Education on September 13. You can watch the hearing online.

  • Leading Georgetown to Address Legacy of Slavery

    Sep 01, 2016 - 

    Fr. David Collins, SJ, history professor and chair of Georgetown University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, is grappling with the legacy of Jesuit slave ownership in the nineteenth century and the sale of 272 enslaved men, women, and children to pay university debts. The recommendations made by the working group, influenced by activism from descendents, scholars of African-American history, and members of the Georgetown community, include renaming buildings, reaching out to descendents of enslaved people who built and maintained the university, and extending preferential status in admissions for descendents. Fr. Collins reflected on the legacy of slavery at Georgetown in a New York Times op-ed. In May 2016, AHA member Adam Rothman, also part of the Working Group, addressed this issue for AHA Today.

  • NEH Grantees Announced

    Aug 30, 2016 - 

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced 290 humanities projects in 15 categories that will receive $79 million in grant funds. AHA members received grants in the following categories: Next Generation PhDs, Public Scholar Program, Scholarly Editions and Translations, Collaborative Research, Institutes for Colleges and University Teachers, Institutes for School Teachers, Seminars for College Teachers, Seminars for School Teachers, State Humanities Councils Grants, Digital Humanities Implementation Grants, Exhibitions Grants, and Landmarks of American History.

  • AHA Tuning Project featured in The History Teacher

    Aug 23, 2016 - 

    The August issue of The History Teacher spotlights the AHA's Tuning the History Major project, an "incredible and ambitious endeavor" to articulate the knowledge and skills that students acquire when they study history. The issue features articles from a range of faculty voices, representing the diversity of perspectives that the AHA coalesced during the Tuning project. AHA K-12 members automatically receive a subscription to The History Teacher. All other members can subscribe or purchase individual issues at a discount. Learn more at MyAHA.

  • DOJ Report on African American Rights in Baltimore

    Aug 22, 2016 - 

    Jessica Millward (Associate Professor of History, University of California, Irvine) writes about the recent Department of Justice Report on police activities in Baltimore for The Conversation. Policing practices of the present, she concludes, echo policies and practices directed at Free Blacks in antebellum Baltimore.

  • Toynbee Prize Foundation Awards Jurgen Osterhammel

    Aug 08, 2016 - 

    The Toynbee Prize Foundation has selected Jurgen Osterhammel as the recipient of the 2017 Toynbee Prize. The Prize, given every other year to a distinguished practitioner of global history, will be formally awarded at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Denver, Colorado, on January 6, 2017.

  • Local Historians Fight to Commemorate 'Little Syria'

    Aug 08, 2016 - 

    A small group of historians are working to gain recognition for New York City's first community of Arab immigrants. First established in the 1880s, the neighborhood became a "thriving literary community." Read more from Gothamist.com.

  • 2016-17 National Humanities Center Fellows

    Aug 05, 2016 - 

    Thirteen historians were appointed as National Humanities Center Fellows for the 2016–17 academic year, including AHA members Laurent Dubois, Christopher Grasso, Miguel La Serna, Tatiana Seijas, Cynthia Talbot, and Shellen Wu.

  • NEH Chronicling America Data Challenge

    Aug 02, 2016 - 

    The National Endowment for the Humanities announced six recipients of the Chronicling America Data Challenge, which challenges members of the public to produce creative web-based projects using data pulled from Chronicling America, the digital repository of historic U.S. newspapers. AHA members Lincoln Mullen, Amy Giroux, and Claudio Saunt placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively. AP U.S. History students at Sunapee High School (Sunapee, NH) received the K-12 student prize.

  • 2016 Kluge Fellows Announced

    Aug 02, 2016 - 

    The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress has announced its 2016 Kluge Fellows, who are awarded a generous stipend to conduct research using Library of Congress resources for a period of four to eleven months. Seven historians are among the winners: Christy Chapin, Benjamin Cowan, Luke Harlow, Margarita Karnysheva, Erik Linstrum, Alan Noonan, and Kristen Shedd.

  • CLIR Names 2016 Postdoctoral Fellows

    Jul 28, 2016 - 

    The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) offers a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to recent PHD graduates to gain opportunities working with new research tools and educational technologies. Among the 2016 cohort of CLIR fellows are AHA members Heather Wacha (University of Wisconsin-Madison), who earned a PhD in Medieval History from the University of Iowa; and Jeffrey Wayno, a PhD in History from Columbia University.

  • New Members Elected to the American Philosophical Society

    Jul 28, 2016 - 

    AHA members Thomas C. Holt (James Westfall Thompson Distinguished Service Professor of American and African American History, University of Chicago) and Richard White (Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University) were elected as members to the American Philosophical Society at the organization's Annual Spring Meeting in Philadelphia.

  • AHA Speaks Out Against Actions in Turkey

    Jul 25, 2016 - 

    The AHA, as a member of Scholars at Risk, and also as a scholarly body concerned with and committed to protecting the working environment and rights of historians across the world, endorses in full the statement issued by Scholars at Risk calling for an ongoing dialogue about and the restoration of legal rights to academics in Turkey. The AHA has also joined more than 20 other scholarly societies and the American Council of Learned Societies in a letter expressing similar concerns and objections. These statements follow the AHA's letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the mistreatment of scholars (February 4, 2016). [Updated July 26, 2016]

  • AHA executive director, Jim Grossman, on Australian radio discussing history and memory

    Jul 18, 2016 - 

    During his trip to Melbourne to deliver the Bailyn Lecture at La Trobe University, Jim Grossman appeared on The Conversation with Jon Faine and Clare Wright on 774 ABC to discuss the legacy of war memorials.

  • House Appropriations Committee maintains Fulbright-Hays funding

    Jul 14, 2016 - 

    After advocacy efforts from the AHA and other humanities organizations protesting a 69% cut to Fulbright-Hays funding, the US House of Representatives voted to maintain level funding for these international education programs. Read more from the National Coalition for History.

  • Carla Hayden confirmed as 14th Librarian of Congress

    Jul 13, 2016 - 

    In April 2016, the AHA joined dozens of organizations to support the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden as the newest Librarian of Congress. We are pleased to report that the Senate confirmed the nomination on July 13, 2016, in a vote of 74-18. Read more about the letter of support in our advocacy section.

  • AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman delivers Bailyn Lecture

    Jul 12, 2016 - 

    The Royal Historical Society of Victoria selected Jim Grossman to deliver the 2016 Bernard Baily Lecture on North American History. The title of his lecture was “Celebrate, Commemorate, Remember: The Work of Confederate Monuments in the United States.” The lecture was held at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Read more of Jim’s perspective on contemporary debates about confederate monuments in our AHA in the News page.

  • Member News for June 2016

    Jun 30, 2016 - 

    Shulamit S. Magnus has published A Woman's Life: Pauline Wengeroff and Memoirs of a Grandmother (Oxford: Littman Library, 2016).

    Lois G. Schwoerer's book, Gun Culture in Early Modern England, was published in May 2016 by the University of Virginia Press.

    Cambridge University Press published Iris Berger's new book, Women in Twentieth-Century Africa, which explores women's struggles to control their own marital, sexual, and economic lives and to gain a significant voice in local and national politics.

    Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Princeton University.

  • We need more history majors, not fewer

    Jun 18, 2016 - 

    In a May 30 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, "History isn't a 'useless' major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of," AHA executive director Jim Grossman makes the case that "To think historically is to recognize that all problems, all situations, all institutions exist in contexts that must be understood before informed decisions can be made. No entity—corporate, government, nonprofit—can afford not to have a historian at the table."

  • St. Johns University Team Wins NHPRC Grant

    Jun 09, 2016 - 

    Elaine Carey, AHA life member and past vice president of the Teaching Division, and a team at St. John's University were awarded nearly $150,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to develop curricula and resources to inspired inquiry-based learning by high school students using family history to connect their own histories with broader trends in the world. They will collaborate with the New York City Department of Education and the Queens Memory Project.

  • AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman defends the history major in Op-Ed

    May 31, 2016 - 

    The Los Angeles Times published an Op-Ed from Jim Grossman on the value of the history major for teaching critical thinking, a vital skill in today’s society. Read it online.

  • AHA now accepts automatic membership renewals

    May 20, 2016 - 

    Want to avoid a lapse in membership benefits and keep your inbox free of renewal notices? The AHA now offers EZPay, an automatic membership renewal program. To enroll, simply click the EZPay checkbox when renewing your membership online. Your credit card payment information will be securely stored by PayPal (not in the AHA’s onsite records), and your credit card will be charged automatically on an annual basis. No need to remember to send in that check!

  • Event Raises $17 Million for NMAAHC

    May 06, 2016 - 

    On April 30, notables in the entertainment and media world gathered at Denzel Washington's home in Los Angeles to raise $17 million for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

  • 2016-2017 Rome Prize Winners and Italian Fellows Announced

    May 03, 2016 - 

    Several historians are named among the American Academy in Rome's Rome Prize Winners and Italian Fellows, including AHA member Hussein Fancy.

  • Members Represent the AHA in Spring 2016

    May 01, 2016 - 

    Jeffrey Diamond will represent the AHA at Washington College's commencement on May 21, 2016.

    Barbara Hughes represented the AHA at the Friday, February 26, 2016, inauguration of C. Reynold Verret as the sixth president of Xavier University of Louisiana.

    Julian Chambliss represented the AHA at the inauguration of Grant H. Cornwell as the fifteenth president of Rollins College on April 9, 2016.

  • George Sanchez Nominated to the National Council on the Humanities

    Apr 28, 2016 - 

    President Obama has nominated George Sanchez, Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Southern California (USC), to the National Council on the Humanities. Sanchez is a scholar of Chicano history and immigration and also serves as Director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at USC. He received an Equity Award from the AHA in 2010.

  • Historian Receives a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship

    Apr 19, 2016 - 

    David Trowbridge, associate professor of history at Marshall University, was recently named a 2016-2017 Public Engagement Fellow by the Whiting Foundation. The Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship is designed to "amplify the voices of scholars who take up the challenge of engaging the public, build a community of faculty dedicated to this form of service, and ultimately help to restore broader faith in the value of advanced work in the humanities." This is the first year the fellowship has been awarded.

    Trowbridge will use fellowship funds to expand the functionality of Clio, a mobile app that guides users to historic and cultural sites using geolinked images, video, and text. 

  • Historians Receive 2016 NEH Grants

    Mar 23, 2016 - 

    On March 23, 2016, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $21.1 million in support for 248 humanities projects in 44 states and the District of Columbia. "NEH grants bring the humanities to life for Americans by helping preserve valuable cultural resources, advancing research, and supporting films and exhibitions that communicate the lessons of history and culture to new audiences," according to NEH Chairman William D. Adams. 29 AHA members who received grants are named below. A complete state-by-state listing of the grantees is available here

    Dialogues on the Experience of War: Marian Moser Jones; Susannah R. Ottaway

    Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants: Anne Kelly Knowles

    Enduring Questions: Thomas C. Devaney; Claire Bond Potter

    Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions: Roger Horowitz; Neil F. Safier; Conrad E. Wright

    Humanities Collections and Reference Resources: Sheila A. Brennan; Afsaneh Najmabadi; Gregory E. O'Malley; Jonathan M. Soffer

    Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations Planning: Erin M. Greenwald

    Summer Stipends: Jennifer Adair; Jeffrey S. Ahlman, Tamara Chaplin; Omar Cheta; Jennifer L. Derr; Eileen Mary Kane; Allison Madar; Kate Merkel-Hess; Neeti Nair; Julia Anne Osman; Julia E. Rodirguez; Mona L. Siegel; Kendra D. Smith-Howard; Rebecca A. Tuuri; Katherine R. Unterman; Michael Eugene Woods

  • Historians Receive 2016 Bancroft Prizes

    Mar 15, 2016 - 

    On March 15, Columbia University awarded Mary Sarah Bilder, Deborah A. Rosen, and Andrew Lipman the prestigous Bancroft Prize for works in American history or diplomacy. Rosen and Lipman are AHA members.

    Deborah A. Rosen (Lafayette College) won for Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood (Harvard University Press).

    Andrew Lipman (Barnard College) won for The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (Yale University Press).

    Mary Sarah Bilder (Boston College Law School) won for Madison's Hand: Revisiting the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press).