2017 News

  • AHA Members File Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Gerrymandering Case

    Oct 16, 2017 - 

    In preparation for the Supreme Court's hearing of Gill v. Whitford, a group of 15 historians, including 11 AHA members, filed a brief of amici curiae that laid out the history of equal representation in early American voting systems and why the Court should strike down Wisconsin's district maps. The historians are joined by numerous other organizations, many of whom agree that Wisconsin's 2010 redistricting plan contains a statistically significant bias towards the party that drew it. A decision on the case is expected by June 2018. 

  • Historians Named as 2017 MacArthur Fellows

    Oct 12, 2017 - 

    The MacArthur Foundation recently announced the 2017 MacArthur Fellows, which includes two historians, Derek Peterson (Univ. of Michigan) and Sunil Amrith (Harvard Univ.). Both scholars have close ties to the AHA: Peterson served on the 2015 annual meeting Program Committee and is an AHA member, and Amrith was awarded the AHA's 2014 John F. Richards Prize for distinguished scholarship on South Asian history. The AHA congratulates them for their achievements!

  • North Carolina Preservation Consortium Statement on Confederate Monuments

    Sep 28, 2017 - 

    In response to protests regarding Confederate monuments on public property, the North Carolina Preservation Consortium issued a statement laying out its recommendations for the "preservation of tangible and intangible heritage." Citing the historical context from which Confederate monuments arose, the NCPC recommends that "all monuments on public property in North Carolina that glorify the Confederacy should be relocated to appropriate museums, historic sites, and other cultural spaces that interpret American history honestly and completely." 

  • AHA Member Speaks at Washington College Inaugural Event

    Sep 26, 2017 - 

    On Saturday, September 23, member Adam Goodheart represented the AHA at Washington College's inauguration of Kurt M. Landgraf as the school's 29th president. Located in Chestertown, Maryland, Washington College is the 10th-oldest college in the United States and was chartered in 1782 with financial support from George Washington. 

  • AHA Member Responds to Controversial Article in Nature Science Journal

    Sep 19, 2017 - 

    Earlier this month, the science journal Nature published an editorial claiming that the New York Central Park statue of gynecologist J. Marion Sims, who conducted medical experiments on enslaved African American women, stands as part of American history and thus shouldn't be removed. In response, several readers, including AHA member Monica Green (Arizona State Univ.), questioned the propriety of celebrating such a controversial figure. As a result of this public debate, the journal issued a follow-up statement admitting that publishing the original article was a mistake and clarifying that the removal of such statues "does not erase these individuals or their acts from history." For those who would like to learn more, the AHA has published a blog post that further explores the controversial history of Sims.

  • Understanding Race after Charlottesville

    Sep 14, 2017 - 

    On Monday, September 18, the AHA, American Anthropological Association, and American Sociology Association will all join together in sharing resources on understanding, discussing, and teaching about race. We will share our materials to the hashtag #UnderstandingRace. We encourage historians to also share any materials they have on the topic. The purpose of this joint endeavor is to promote how our various disciplines can contribute to the conversation sparked by the recent events in Charlottesville and national discourse on Confederate monuments.

  • AHA Member Reflects on Recent Demand for Historical Knowledge

    Sep 07, 2017 - 

    Karen Cox, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, wrote an opinion piece on CNN's website about the increased visibility of the historical profession in light of recent political controversies. Cox, like many of her colleagues, wrote articles on the history and symbolism of Confederate statues, and received feedback across the board. What she was most surprised about, however, were the e-mails "that neither lauded nor castigated me for my opinions" but instead were written by those curious about history, and who wanted to learn more. Cox concludes her piece with several suggestions for how historians can make their work more available to those who might not have received a formal education in history. 

  • 2017 AHA President-elect Attends Cornell University Inaugural Event

    Aug 31, 2017 - 

    On August 25, 2017, AHA President-elect Mary Beth Norton represented the AHA at the inauguration of Martha Pollack as the 14th president of Cornell University. The event was attended by several hundred faculty, students, and alumni and focused on the role of universities in the "Search for Truth."

  • Historians Weigh in on the Confederate Monument Debate

    Aug 24, 2017 - 

    In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding last week's events in Charlottesville, historians from across the country have written numerous op-eds in the hopes of providing readers with much-needed context surrounding the history of Confederate monuments. The AHA has compiled an ongoing list of articles written by members, Councilors, and staff. To highlight these important contributions, the AHA is proud to offer a resource page of historians' engagement on these issues.

  • AHA Members Receive NEH Grants for Humanities Projects

    Aug 17, 2017 - 

    The National Endowment for the Humanities announced earlier this month that it will award over $39 million in grants for humanities projects across the country. Among those whose projects were selected were a number of historians, including 21 AHA members. "The recently announced NEH grants are yet more proof of the Endowment's crucial role in supporting access to the humanities for all Americans," said Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance. "We are pleased to see that Congressional leaders value the NEH even as the administration has sought to eliminate its funding."

  • Grossman and Ayers on Leadership in Times of Unrest at College Campuses

    Aug 15, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman, AHA executive director, and Edward Ayers, AHA member and president emeritus of the University of Richmond, were quoted in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education concerning the recent protests by white supremacists at the University of Virginia and the ensuing violence. Grossman and Ayers commented on what makes universities such popular targets for the far right and how university administrators can prepare for future disruptions. Because of their status as "open places" and the concentration of those with opposing views, college campuses will continue to find themselves at the center of similar events. "All you can really do is be ready," Ayers stated, emphasizing the need to protect students, faculty, and staff as a priority. 

  • Registration Now Open for 3rd Annual Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses

    Aug 14, 2017 - 

    Registration is now open for the AHA's 2017 Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16 at Houston Community College, Southeast Campus. This free, two-day, statewide conference is for anyone who teaches college-level introductory history courses whether in high schools, community colleges, or four-year universities. Information about the program is available on the event webpage.

  • AHA Member Discusses Historians and Controversy

    Aug 08, 2017 - 

    In a Guardian op-ed, AHA member Michelle Moyd and her co-authors Jennifer Evans and Yuliya Komska discuss the importance of historical controversies when it comes to the revival of democratic values. Pointing to the Historikerstreit as an example, an intellectual controversy that arose after the publishing of historian Ernst Nolte's 1986 article "The Past That Will Not Pass," Moyd, Evans, and Komska argue that, until very recently, the US has lacked the kind of status-quo-challenging academic that Nolte provided to Germany. This in turn has resulted in a lack of "a shared public memory or narrative about the past." However, the authors argue that recent political controversies, facilitated in large part by social media, offer historians a chance to revive the culture of debate. "The US variant of the historian's controversy and the widened public sphere that it brings about must recognize the productive potential of everyday history-makers," they write. "It must not just tap into it but fully harness it to seed a history that all Americans will want to fight over and for."

  • Jim Grossman on the Business of Government

    Aug 06, 2017 - 

    According to AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman, "The business of government is governance, not business." Grossman's essay on the subject, as published in the Huffington Post, emphasizes that a government, though superficially comparable to a business in certain ways, is a fundamentally different entity. "The President has referred to military commanders who work for the American people as 'my generals,'" Grossman states. "He thinks the Attorney General is his lawyer. That's true in a business, especially a family business where there aren't even shareholders to worry about. But in a democratic polity it's not even a matter of shareholders. It's the people, and the people are entitled to services, not profits."

  • AHA Member Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    Aug 01, 2017 - 

    On April 1, 2017, the Renaissance Society of America awarded the Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award to AHA member Paul F. Grendler, professor emeritus of history at the University of Toronto. The award is presented in recognition of a "lifetime of uncompromising devotion to the highest standard of scholarship accompanied by exceptional achievement in Renaissance studies."

  • History Professor Rates Dunkirk on Historical Accuracy

    Jul 31, 2017 - 

    John Broich, historian of the British Empire at Case Western Reserve University, offered his thoughts on what Christopher Nolan's newest blockbuster Dunkirk got right, and where the movie took some artistic liberties. “In terms of accuracy,” Broich writes, “it rates pretty highly. There are no big, glaring historical whoppers.” However, while Broich’s article commends the way that the film portrayed the titular battle, he also points out a few things that were noticeably missing, such as the lack of Commonwealth forces, in particular those from India: “Their [the Royal Indian Army Service Corps] appearance in the film would have provided a good reminder of how utterly central the role of the Indian Army was in the war.” Overall though, Broich’s review is positive, noting that “several scenes in the film must be as near a manifestation of that experience as can be safely had at the multiplex.”

  • Academic Statement for the Release of Xiyue Wang

    Jul 28, 2017 - 

    The Iranian judiciary recently announced that Xiyue Wang, a doctoral candidate in history at Princeton University, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "espionage."  The AHA has been asked to post this petition generated by a group of historians to provide an opportunity for scholars to show their support for Mr. Wang's release, and we are pleased to be able to do so.

  • AHA Career Diversity in the News

    Jul 25, 2017 - 

    The AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative has received recognition from national outlets for its efforts to expand the professional horizons for history PhDs. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Kristina Markman, who was involved in the AHA’s Career Diversity pilot site program at the University of California, Los Angeles. The article’s author, Leonard Cassuto, spoke at the AHA’s June Career Diversity Faculty Institute. The Chronicle’s Vitae blog also published an article on the future of graduate education by Kevin Gannon, another participant in the AHA’s June Faculty Institute. Prof. Gannon describes the themes that emerged as faculty members from diverse institutions discussed concrete ways to combine “strategic preparation” for 21st-century careers with “the intensive intellectual commitment of PhD study.”

  • Where Historians Work Twitter Chat

    Jul 18, 2017 - 

    Got questions about the careers of history PhDs? Join the AHA's Emily Swafford @elswafford for a Twitter chat about "Where Historians Work," our groundbreaking database of career outcomes for PhDs. Ask Emily questions and share your thoughts about this new tool using the hashtag #ahadata today July 18th, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST. Direct-message questions to @AHAhistorians or email them to skingsley@historians.org if you prefer to submit them privately.

    In the first half hour, @AHAhistorians will tweet frequently asked questions about Where Historians Work, and @elswafford will answer them. During this time, we also invite followers and chat participants to chime in with their own questions.

    Starting at 2:30, we will solicit feedback from followers. We want to know how you've been using the data and what you'd like to see in terms of other visualizations. We will ask:

    1. How have you used the data?
    2. Have you used the interactive features of the visualizations?
    3. Are there other visualizations you would like to see?
  • Jim Grossman Sends Letter to Archivist of the US Concerning Discontinuing of Saturday Research Room Hours

    Jul 11, 2017 - 

    The National Archives and Records Administration announced last week that research rooms in Washington, DC, and College Park, Maryland, will no longer have Saturday hours beginning July 22, 2017. This letter from AHA Executive Director James Grossman to David Ferriero expresses concern about the change and the nature of the announcement.

  • 2014 Fairbank Prize Returned

    Jun 29, 2017 - 

    In 2014, the American Historical Association (AHA) awarded its John K. Fairbank Prize to Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992, by Charles K. Armstrong. After careful review the AHA identified a set of citations that did not meet professional standards. In response to AHA queries, Dr. Armstrong reviewed his work and the underlying scholarship and identified a number of instances where the source citations were incorrect. Dr. Armstrong has corrected the citation errors and, out of respect for the AHA, has returned the Fairbank Prize.

  • AHA Member Writes Op-Ed on Historians Acting as Pundits

    Jun 28, 2017 - 

    "Donald Trump might be disastrous for most Americans," writes Moshik Temkin, AHA member and professor of history at Harvard University, "but he has been a boon to historians." In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Temkin warns against the increasing trend of presenting history in "30-second blasts on cable news," often by way of analogies with similar historical figures. "This is not what historians should be doing. We teach our students to be wary of analogies, which are popular with politicians and policy makers (who choose them to serve their agendas) but often distort both the past and the present."

  • AHA Member Comments on Renewed Interest in History

    Jun 22, 2017 - 

    An article published by Quartz on the recent resurgence of interest in history on college campuses included comments by AHA member Alan Mikhail, Yale University history department's director of undergraduate studies, from an AHA Today blog post. The article cited a number of potential factors for the spike in popularity, such as confusion over the turbulent 2016 presidential election, the UK's unprecedented decision to leave the EU, and the presidential administration's own "less-than-tight grasp on history." The article concludes, "For those striving to secure the future of generations to come, history may be of much more use than biology or computer science." 

  • Newt Gingrich Weighs in on Trump Controversy "as a Historian"

    Jun 22, 2017 - 

    On ABC's This Week, Newt Gingrich (PhD, Tulane 1971) spoke "as a historian"concerning the Trump administration's dismissal of James Comey in the wake of recent investigations into the president's ties with foreign powers. "You have this legalistic nightmare trying to block the Trump presidency," Gingrich stated, "and you want me to believe this is all just random behavior. As a historian, I don't believe it." The American Historical Association encourages PhD recipients to apply their expertise to occupations beyond the professoriate. In keeping with that mission, Barbara Metcalf, past president of the AHA, extended an open invitation to Gingrich to join the AHA through a 2011 letter in the New York Times. "All of us seriously interested in history, as Mr. Gingrich clearly is, need the kind of 'continuing education' that the American Historical Association provides," Metcalf wrote. "All of us as American citizens, moreover, need figures in public life who demonstrate the breadth and open-mindedness that a historical perspective at its best encourages."

  • AHA Executive Director Comments on Julius Caesar Controversy

    Jun 13, 2017 - 

    In an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman offered some historical perspective regarding the New York Public Theater's production of Julius Caesar. The decision to present the titular figure as closely resembling President Trump angered the organization's sponsors, with both Bank of America and Delta Air Lines pulling their funding as a result. However, Grossman pointed out that this type of production is nothing new, citing numerous examples of Shakespeare plays that had characters modeled after sitting presidents, including one 2012 version of Julius Caesar at the Guthrie Theater that modeled Caesar after President Obama (a production that Delta did sponsor). "I think the issue here is much more a sense of historical perspective on the role of literature and theater in public culture," Grossman stated. 

  • AHA Member Honored for Work on History of Boy Scouts

    Jun 09, 2017 - 

    AHA member Nelson Block was recently awarded the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo Award, the organization's highest honor for adult volunteers. Block is one of the most prolific historians of scouting, having written two books and over 20 articles on the subject. In 2002, Block was named the Founder Gilwell Fellow by the Chief Scout of Great Britain in recognition of his contribution to the field of scouting history. 

  • AHA Member and Medieval Scholar Offers Insight into Appropriation of Viking History

    Jun 01, 2017 - 

    David Perry, AHA member and professor of medieval and Renaissance history at Dominican University, published an op-ed in the Washington Post about the recent use of the slogan "Hail Vinland! Hail Victory!" among white supremacist organizations. Perry's article offers some historical context for why such groups have begun to appropriate a rather obscure myth of Viking colonization, one which dates back to the 10th century. "For white supremacists," he writes, "the concept of Vinland asserts a historical claim over North America, stretching especially from the Northeast coast to the Pacific Northwest. They use the myth of Vinland to position themselves as righteous defenders in the wars of race and religion they believe are coming."

  • Former AHA President Honored by Society of American Historians

    May 30, 2017 - 

    Former AHA president and University of Wisconsin-Madison historian William Cronon was awarded the 10th annual Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Award for "distinguished writing in American history of enduring public significance" by the Society of American Historians. In addition to his field-defining work on environmental history, he has been a staunch defender of academic freedom and the role of scholars in the public sphere. Cronon was president of the AHA in 2012 and gave his Presidential Address on "Storytelling."

  • AHA Message Concerning Federal Budget Advocacy

    May 26, 2017 - 

    On May 23, 2017, AHA members received a message from AHA executive director Jim Grossman regarding the Trump administration's proposed federal budget and the potential cuts to programs the support the humanities. As a member of the National Humanities Alliance, the AHA is working in conjunction with other member organizations to push back against such cuts, which would set funding at the minimal level required to close out the agency. Read the full statement on AHA Today

  • AHA and APA Receive Grant to Work with HBCU Faculty

    May 22, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association (AHA) and the American Philosophical Association (APA) are pleased to announce the receipt of an $80,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to direct "Extending the Reach of Scholarly Society Work to HBCU Faculty," an initiative to improve access by philosophy and history faculty at historically black colleges and universities to the resources and networks provided by scholarly societies.

    Read full press release.

  • AHA President-Elect Provides Historical Context to President's "Witch-Hunt" Statement

    May 19, 2017 - 

    Mary Beth Norton, professor of history at Cornell University and AHA president-elect, was recently interviewed by The Atlantic about President Donald Trump's use of the Salem witch trials as an analogy for current federal investigations. "To me what's interesting about Trump's tweet is the use of the witch-hunt analogy, because it's a classic way in which somebody implicitly claims, 'I am being unfairly targeted,' because we all believe that the people who were accused of witchcraft in 1692 were unfairly targeted," Norton said. "It's not just that it's a massive attack on him, it's that it's an unfair and false attack on him, which goes along with everything else he's said."

  • AHA Executive Director Interviewed about the Value of the Humanities

    May 12, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman was recently featured in an interview with the German organization LISA (the Science Portal of the Gerda Henkel Foundation) concerning the state of the humanities in the current political climate. He discussed topics including the president's proposed defunding of the NEH, the increasing demand for those in the humanities to "justify themselves," and "history's presence in public culture." "History should teach humility," Grossman stated. "It should help us to appreciate the difficulties of decision making, and the importance of context."

  • Drexel University to Host Talk by AHA Executive Director

    May 12, 2017 - 

    On Friday, May 19, 2017, Jim Grossman will present at the event "Everything Has a History ... and Historians Should Have Something to Say," hosted by Drexel University. Attendance is open to the public. The event will be held at 3101 Market Street, Room 224, Philadelphia, PA, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. 

  • AHA Member Pens Op-Ed on the Yale Graduate Student Hunger Strike

    May 12, 2017 - 

    Jennifer Klein, professor of history at Yale University, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times concerning the ongoing hunger strike of Yale graduate student teachers protesting the university's failure to recognize the graduate student union. Klein noted that an increase in a dependence on contingent faculty and graduate student labor, coupled with a decline in available tenure-track positions (as highlighted in the AHA's recent jobs data report), has created "a perpetual backlog of aspiring assistant professors, all competing for fewer jobs."

  • AHA Creates Zotero Group to Collect Articles in Defense of NEH and IMLS

    May 11, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association has created a public Zotero group to collect articles defending funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Community members are encouraged to use the group as a resource and to add relevant articles they find to the library.

  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellows Announced

    May 10, 2017 - 

    The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced the 2017 class of Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows. Two members of the AHA, Daniel Platt (Brown Univ.) and Zebulon Dingley (Univ. of Chicago), are among the 21 scholars to receive this honor. The fellows will receive 12-month awards of $25,000 to support their final year of dissertation work. 

  • AHA Executive Director Comments on Civil War Revisionism

    May 04, 2017 - 

    Historians David Blight (Yale Univ.), Judith Giesberg (Villanova Univ.), and AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman gave the BBC a line-by-line assessment of President Trump's recent statements concerning the cause of the Civil War. "They seceded because they thought the election of Lincoln threatened the institution of slavery," Grossman stated, responding to the president's remark that people don't ask the question, "Why was there a Civil War?" Grossman further explained why Trump's remarks have faced such strong criticism in an interview on BBC Radio (listen at 2:38:00) and in a subsequent article in the Washington Post.

  • ACLS Announces List of 2017 Dissertation Completion Fellows

    May 04, 2017 - 

    The American Council of Learned Societies recently announced the 2017 class of Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows. Among the list of awardees are several AHA members. Each of the 65 fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend and up to $8,000 in research funds and university fees in their final year of dissertation writing. 

  • AHA Committee Chair Discusses History of the War in Afghanistan with NPR

    Apr 20, 2017 - 

    Aaron O'Connell, co-chair of the 2018 AHA Local Arrangements Committee, recently spoke on NPR about comparisons between how the US has handled the Afghan conflict and the US strategy during the Vietnam War. O'Connell, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, remarked, "the people who wrote our tactics for Iraq and Afghanistan were scholars of the Vietnam War. They were men who had written PhD dissertations on the war in Vietnam. And yet, we repeated the errors over and over again."

  • AHA Member Encourages Historical Context in Discussions of Immigration

    Apr 19, 2017 - 

    AHA member Una Cadegan, professor of history at the University of Dayton, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post that examines the "myth of immigrant self-reliance," the notion that early 20th-century Irish and Italian immigrants "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps without 'any special favors'" and that other racial groups "should do the same." Cadegan concludes that "rather than reinventing a mythical past about self-reliance, it's time to pay it forward."

  • AHA Members among List of American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellows

    Apr 12, 2017 - 

    The American Academy of Arts & Sciences announced the 237th class of new members, including several AHA members. Lonnie Bunch of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Takeshi Hamashita of Sun Yat-sen University, John McNeill of Georgetown University, and Dana Robert of Boston University will be inducted at the academy's ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with over 200 other leaders from the humanities, sciences, arts, business, and philanthropy.

  • Society for History in the Federal Government Award Winners

    Apr 11, 2017 - 

    The Society for History in the Federal Government has recently announced the winners of its annual prize competition. Among the awardees are three AHA members: Daniel Feller, Emily Merchant, and J. Samuel Walker. The awards will be presented at the society's annual meeting on April 13 at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

  • AHA Member Wins 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History

    Apr 10, 2017 - 

    Heather Ann Thompson, professor of history at the University of Michigan and AHA member, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History for Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy. The committee found that Thompson's book "sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots." Watch Prof. Thompson discuss her work on the history of incarceration at a National History Center Congressional Briefing. 

  • AHA Council Signs onto Coalition for International Education Letter

    Apr 07, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council has signed onto a letter from the Coalition for International Education to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to reject the Administration's proposal to reduce or eliminate funding for the US Department of Education's International Education and Foreign Langauge Studies Program.

  • National Council on Public History Releases Employers' Report

    Apr 06, 2017 - 

    The National Council of Public History, in conjunction with the American Historical Association and several other historical societies, has just released the results of their Public History Employer Report and Survey, which was developed to address the concerns about job prospects for public historians. The results can be found on the AHA's website.

  • AHA Sends Letter in Support of Central European University

    Apr 05, 2017 - 

    The American Historical Association has sent a letter to President János Áder of Hungary opposing legislation passed by the Hungarian Parliament that targets Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. The restrictions on institutional autonomy in the legislation would undermine CEU's mission of furthering scholarly collaboration between Europe and the United States. The AHA's letter urges President Áder to preserve international cooperation and the integrity of a national and international educational resource by refraining from signing the legislation.

  • AHA Executive Director Writes Letter to Arkansas Governor Concerning Howard Zinn Controversy

    Apr 04, 2017 - 

    HB 34, introduced into the Arkansas House of representatives in March, would exclude from public school "curriculum or course materials... any book or other material authored by Howard Zinn... or concerning" such materials.  AHA executive director James Grossman has written a letter to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, with slightly revised versions sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

  • AHA Career Diversity Pilot Site Holds "Relevance of History" Conference

    Apr 04, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman, Emily Swafford, and Seth Denbo will attend the University of Chicago regional Career Diversity conference, "The Relevance of History: The Place of the Discipline in Contemporary Society," on April 13-14. The University of Chicago is one of the AHA's Career Diversity pilot sites and the conference explores the role of historians and historical thinking through the career paths of faculty, alumni, and other historians in a wide range of careers.

  • 2017 ACLS Fellows Announced

    Mar 31, 2017 - 

    Fourteen AHA members are among the 2017 ACLS Fellows recently announced by the American Council of Learned Societies. This year the ACLS raised the stipend level for assistant and associate professors to $40,000 and $50,000, respectively. The fellowships support scholars for six to twelve months of full-time research and writing. 

  • Reddit History Forum Takes a Stand for the NEH

    Mar 31, 2017 - 

    The popular Internet history forum, r/AskHistorians, a group within Reddit, recently broke one its cardinal rules forbidding discussion of current events (defined as 20 years old or less) to come out against the proposal in the Trump administration's budget blueprint to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities and other federal agencies supporting the humanities. "We don't get political for a particular candidate . . . we get political when good history matters," the moderators stated, urging the nearly half-million subscribers to contact their congressional representatives and voice their support for the NEA and NEH.

  • New Developments in Career Diversity's Next Phase

    Mar 28, 2017 - 

    The AHA is kicking off the next phase of Career Diversity for Historians by welcoming a new staff member. Dylan Ruediger joins us on April 10 in the newly created position of coordinator, Career Diversity for Historians. Dylan comes from Georgia State University, where he graduates in May with a PhD in early American and Native American history. He will take over the day-to-day coordination of the activities of the Career Diversity's next phase. Emily Swafford, manager of academic affairs, remains project director, and Elizabeth Elliott, program assistant, will take on additional responsibilities to support the new work of Career Diversity.

    The expanded Career Diversity team will first oversee a series of Faculty Institutes for representatives from up to 40 departments. The institutes will be held June 8-9 in Washington, DC; October 19-20 in Chicago; and in January 2018 during the AHA annual meeting in Washington, DC. Applications for the faculty institutes are being accepted until April 17 via Interfolio. Next year, these preliminary institutes will segue into an institutional grants program, in which up to 20 departments will participate.

  • AHA Sponsoring Career Diversity Event at UT Austin

    Mar 28, 2017 - 

    The University of Texas at Austin is holding a one-day symposium on Friday April 7, 2017 on employment options outside of academia for students finishing their Ph.Ds. Registration is free and required for all attendees. 

  • AHA Staff Attending OAH Annual Meeting

    Mar 23, 2017 - 

    Jim Grossman and Emily Swafford will participate in multiple sessions at the 2017 annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. Jim Grossman, AHA executive director, will give the keynote address at a luncheon (April 7) focused on dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and the future of the history survey. He will also chair a panel (April 8) on the AHA's Career Diversity initiative, which includes panelists from the University of New Mexico and Columbia University pilot sites. Emily Swafford, AHA academic affairs manager, will chair a separate panel (April 8) on the AHA's Career Diversity initiative with representatives from the other pilot sites, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Chicago. Lynn Weiner, co-chair of the AHA's Committee on Contingent Faculty, will present the AHA's findings and recommendations on a panel about the future of non-tenure-track faculty (April 8).

  • AHA Welcomes the African American Intellectual History Society as Newest Affiliate

    Mar 22, 2017 - 

    The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) has joined the American Historical Association as an affiliated society. Only in its third year of operation, AAIHS runs the influential blog Black Perspectives as the centerpiece of its efforts to foster "dialogue about researching, writing, and teaching black thought and culture." As an AHA affiliated society, AAIHS will be able to sponsor sessions at the annual meeting and will have access to new tools for collaborating and communicating with the broad community of historians.

  • Former AHA President Featured in OC Weekly Profile

    Mar 20, 2017 - 

    Vicki Ruiz, professor of history at UC Irvine and former AHA president, was recently profiled in OC Weekly.  Recounting her youth in Florida, Ruiz noted that "when it came to Latinos, all they taught us ... was Ponce de Leon and the Alamo," thus inspiring her to "bridge the narratives that I learned at home with what I learned at school."

  • AHA Executive Director Voices Concern for Proposed NEH/NEA Budget Cuts

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    Talking Points Memo interviewed Executive Director Jim Grossman about the potential impact of Trump's proposed defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. "What we have here is an attack upon global citizenship and national civic culture," Grossman remarked. Nevertheless, Grossman remains optimistic about the organizations' futures, stating that after meetings with Hill staffers during Humanities Advocacy Day, he was "encouraged by their understanding of the value of these programs."

  • Kritika Agarwal to Attend Career Diversity Event at the University at Buffalo

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    On Saturday, April 22, AHA Associate Editor Kritika Agarwal will attend the University at Buffalo's "Humanities Beyond the Academy" event, a career diversity symposium supported by the AHA. The event will feature presentations by university alumni who have built careers across a diverse range of fields outside the academy. Registration is free and open to the public, and lunch will be provided to those who register before Tuesday, April 18.

  • AHA Member Speaks about Development of Clio App

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    David Trowbridge, professor of history at Marshall University, was featured in an article by the Herald Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia, where he spoke about his inspiration for the Clio platform, a digital app that connects users with nearby museums and historical monuments. Seth Denbo, AHA director of scholarly communication and digital initiatives, was also interviewed and commented on the advantages that apps like Clio can offer both inside and outside the classroom. "Having information you know is good quality and has been read by people who know the history" is a useful tool to have in an age where misinformation about the past is common, Denbo said.

  • AHA Members Sweep 2017 Bancroft Prizes

    Mar 17, 2017 - 

    Columbia University recently announced the awardees of the 2017 Bancroft Prize for works on American history. AHA members Andrés Reséndez (Univ. of California, Davis), Heather Ann Thompson (Univ. of Michigan), and Nancy Tomes (Stony Brook Univ., SUNY) are this year's recipients of the prestigious award. Each prize carries with it an award of $10,000.

  • AHA Issues Action Alert Concerning President's Proposed Budget

    Mar 16, 2017 - 

    This morning the Trump Administration proposed a budget that includes an assault on American civic culture. The rhetoric is fiscal prudence; the reality is ideology given the minuscule cost of these programs. The AHA has sent a message to its members, and will follow up with a similar communication to nonmembers in our database.

  • Historians Oppose Second Draft of Executive Travel Ban

    Mar 13, 2017 - 

    Facing extensive criticism and litigation of his first executive order restricting entry into the United States, President Donald Trump has issued a revised executive order (#13780), this time citing historical evidence in support of the policy restricting immigration and refugee resettlement. The American Historical Association has applied the discipline's professional standards to the revised directive and found that it does not pass historical muster. Moreover, like its predecessor EO 13769, the order "stands at odds with the values stated in our nation's founding documents."

    AHA Council approved a statement of protest against the revised executive order on March 13, 2017.

  • Jim Grossman Comments on Speech Equating Slavery to Immigration

    Mar 09, 2017 - 

    AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman appeared on WTOP-DC with Kate Ryan to discuss Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson's recent speech to federal employees during which he referred to enslaved Africans as "other immigrants." Grossman criticized Carson's remarks for implying slavery's equivalence to voluntary immigration.

  • American Historical Association Publishes Statement of Support for National March for Science

    Mar 08, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council voted to officially publish a statement in support of the National March for Science on April 22, 2017. The AHA is firmly aligned with the goals of the March, which calls for the continued funding of evidence-based research and education that promotes the common good.

  • Emily Swafford to Host Webinar on Career Diversity

    Mar 08, 2017 - 

    Emily Swafford headshotOn March 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET, AHA's manager of academic affairs, Emily Swafford, will host a webinar on applying for the Career Diversity Faculty Institutes, a series of workshops for faculty at PhD-granting departments that will explore in depth the lessons learned by Career Diversity for Historians' pilot phase. Join in to learn more about the initiative and get tips on the application process. A recording of the webinar will be available on the AHA website after the broadcast; additional webinars may be scheduled depending on demand.

    Follow this link to view the webinar.

  • AHA Member Offers Historical Perspective on the Role of the EPA

    Mar 07, 2017 - 

    AHA member Steven Conn, the W. E. Smith Professor of History at Miami University in Ohio, published an op-ed in the Dayton Daily News criticizing the current administration's proposal to cut funding for the EPA. Conn outlines the historical significance of EPA regulations and reminds readers that if the administration's proposals are put into action, "the laws will still stand, but no one will be around to enforce them."  

  • Historian Publishes Op-Ed on the Powers and Limitations of Executive Orders

    Mar 07, 2017 - 

    George Washington University professor Matthew Dallek published an op-ed in the New York Daily News on the history of executive orders, a topic he recently discussed as a participant in  the National History Center's Congressional Briefing. Dallek highlights a number of past executive orders and their varying degrees of success. "The power of a presidential pen has been restricted by the fast-shifting politics of the times," Dallek writes, and "for the most part, executive orders have not become, as critics of the imperial president have feared, the friend of the authoritarian."

  • Career Diversity Pilot Site Holds "History in Action Day"

    Mar 03, 2017 - 

    Emily Swafford, the AHA's manager of academic affairs, will attend Columbia University History Department's "History in Action Day" conference on March 3. The event concludes the department's participation in the AHA's Career Diversity for Historians initiative as the first phase of the project comes to a close. The conference will reflect on the ways History in Action at Columbia has activated history in the public sphere and explored the role of historical training in diverse careers. 

  • Seth Denbo Discusses Digital History Guidelines at USC

    Mar 02, 2017 - 

    Seth Denbo, Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, will visit the University of Southern California on March 8 to discuss the AHA's Guidelines on the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians with historians, digital humanities, and senior administrators. 

  • AHA Protests French Historian's Airport Detention

    Feb 28, 2017 - 

    Tyler Stovall, President of the American Historical Association, has sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly protesting the "shabby and completely unwarranted" treatment of French historian Henry Rousso after he arrived in Houston Airport en route from Paris to a conference at Texas A&M University.

    This case is a visiable example of the damange to the free exchange of ideas resulting from restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHA previously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel rom seven Muslim-majority countries.m restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHApreviously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.r he arrived in Houston Airport en route from Paris to a conference at Texas A&M University. This case is a visible example of the damage to the free exchange of ideas resulting from restrictions on immigration and international travel. The AHA previously issued a statement against the executive order that restricted international travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

  • Desecration of Cemetery a Repercussion of the Unfulfilled American Dream

    Feb 28, 2017 - 

    AHA members Eric Sandweiss, Carmony Chair of History at Indiana University and his sister Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of History at Princeton University, recently penned an op-ed about the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in their hometown of University City, Missouri. Their article discusses the 20th-century "upward mobility narrative of the American Dream," which is complicated by the historical record. "The upending of the narrative in our own backyard, the intentionally symbolic damage done to the monuments to our own ancestors' unheralded search for peace, reminds us that History will always find a way to come home."

  • Historian Comments on the Shifting Role of U.S. in International Affairs

    Feb 24, 2017 - 

    Kristin Hoganson, professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and AHA member, recently published an op-ed in the News-Gazette about "the end of the American Century." Hoganson offers a critique of an increasingly isolationist sentiment from the new administration, one that runs counter to previous decades of foreign engagement. While recognizing the repercussions that have resulted from America's place at the forefront of world affairs, Hoganson rejects the administration's calls of "America first," stating that "no wall, no matter how high, can make us safer than the world order that our president is ripping up."

  • Whiting Foundation Announces Recipients for 2017 Public Engagement Fellowship

    Feb 24, 2017 - 

    The Whiting Foundation has announced the recipients of its inaugural Public Engagement Fellowship, a program to support humanities scholars "to engage directly with the public beyond the academy and infuse the nuance and complexity of the humanities into our shared culture." Each of the eight fellows will receive $50,000 to pursue a wide-ranging assortment of projects including a documentary on Muslim immigrants during the Asian Exclusion Era and a work of theater about the history of Latino men in the Vietnam War. 

  • Colgate History Department Issues Statement Affirming "A Respect for Truth and Facts"

    Feb 21, 2017 - 

    The History Department of Colgate University, an institutional member of the AHA, has released a statement affirming "a respect for truth and facts" among the "core principles" anchoring the work of educators and scholars. Noting the importance of "informed debate" and "questions of objectivity and subjectivity," our colleagues at Colgate emphasize that free inquiry also relies "on the basis of vetted and broadly accepted fact" as opposed to "defiant, dishonest speech that aims at rhetorical and political control." The department has also affirmed its support for freedom of movement without religious or ethnic restrictions, recognizing "the rich contributions of immigrants" as "a matter of fact."

  • AHA Member Writes Op-Ed in Support of the Humanities

    Feb 17, 2017 - 

    Dianne Harris, dean of the College of Humanities and a professor of history at the University of Utah, published an op-ed in the Salt-Lake Tribune about the importance of the humanities for understanding what it means to be an American. Countering those who would propose to cut or eliminate funding for the National Endwoment for the Humanities, Harris argues that this work "is essential to the health of our democracy because it supports the development of our educated citizenry."

  • Jim Grossman Interviewed About AHA Initiatives in Graduate Education

    Feb 07, 2017 - 

    Chronicle of Higher Education released an interview with AHA executive director, Jim Grossman, on the AHA's leadership in broadening career horizons and opportunities for humanities PhDs. Originally focused on employment beyond the professoriate, "Career Diversity for Historians" has evolved to explore how preparation for a wide range of careers also trains graduate students for the changing landscape of higher education in the 21st century.

  • AHR Article Wins Award from American Society for Environmental History

    Feb 06, 2017 - 

    Philipp Lehmann's article in the February 2016 issue of the American Historical Review has received the award for best article published on environmental history in 2016 by the American Society for Environmental History. The award recognizes "Infinite Power to Change the World: Hydroelectricity and the Engineered Climate Change in the Atlantropa Project." Congratulations to Dr. Lehmann, an AHA member and Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and to the AHR staff for continuing the journal's tradition of publishing the top scholarship in the discipline.

  • Historians Speaking Out on Immigration History

    Feb 06, 2017 - 

    Historians, including AHA members, have been bringing historical perspective to public discussions in response to President Trump's executive order limiting entry into the US. AHA member Paul A. Kramer (Vanderbilt Univ.) explores the competing impulses of both pluralism and xenophobia throughout US history in an article for Slate.com. Stephanie Hinnershitz (Cleveland State Univ.) explains the "two faces" of American immigration history for Cleveland.com. The Immigration History Research Center, along with the AHA-affiliated Immigration and Ethnic History Society, has curated #ImmigrationSyllabus to bring important historical analysis and primary sources into classrooms (and beyond). These are a few of the many ways historians are bringing vital insights to current policy. You can also read the AHA’s statement condemning the executive order from both an institutional and historical perspective.

  • 10 Ways to Support Students Facing Immigration Crises

    Feb 01, 2017 - 

    Anita Casavantes Bradford, chair of the AHA's Graduate and Early Career Committee, joined her colleagues at the University of California, Irvine, to author advice for faculty members and administrators to assist students negatively affected by President Trump's executive order restricting entry into the United States and compelling state and local law enforcement to actively enforce federal immigration law. Considering how many colleague students have a documentation status that may put them at risk, Bradford and her co-authors provide suggestions for the higher ed community to provide support. Read the article from InsideHigherEd.com.

  • Why Trump is making Muslims the new Chinese

    Jan 30, 2017 - 

    In an opinion piece for CNN, Mae Ngai (Columbia Univ.) makes the historical comparison between President Donald Trump's recent Executive Order on immigration and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Made ostensibly on the grounds of national security, the Act also displayed "palpable animus" toward an ethnic group. Responses to the Act in the late twentieth century changed immigration law to prohibit blatant discrimination. But "it remains to be seen how far we have really come."

  • Jim Grossman among Historians Reflecting on Obama's Legacy

    Jan 23, 2017 - 

    AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman offered his thoughts on President Obama’s legacy to multiple outlets in recent weeks. Grossman was one of ten experts who put Obama in historical perspective for TIME Magazine. He was quoted by The New York Times to discuss Obama as a historian. And he was interviewed for a segment on Finnish TV (start at 17:25). The AHA is proud to offer these and other historical perspectives on current events and to take every opportunity to share the importance of historical thinking.

  • Update from the National Coalition for History on IRBs and Oral History

    Jan 19, 2017 - 

    The federal government released its revised protocol for Institutional Review Boards, which "explicitly removes" oral history and journalism from the regulations. The final rule provides that, "For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research: (1) Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected."

    The historical community, collaborating through the National Coalition for History, has long argued that scholarly history projects should not be subject to standard IRB procedures, and in November 2015, the AHA issued a public statement in support of these revisions. The new IRB rule goes into effect in one year, on January 19, 2018.

  • The Grisley Work of VA Secretaries

    Jan 19, 2017 - 

    Jessica Adler, assistant professor of history at Florida International University, composed a piece for The Hill on the nomination of David Shulkin as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

  • President Obama Designates National Monument to Reconstruction

    Jan 13, 2017 - 

    Based on recommendations from AHA members Kate Masur and Greg Downs, along with other historians, President Obama has designated several sites in Beaufort, South Carolina, as a national monument to Reconstruction. The monument will serve as a focal point for public engagement with this period of American history, which is especially relevant now as we reflect on the integrity of American democratic institutions and processes. The AHA supported this important expansion of the National Park Service system with a letter to the US Secretary of the Interior on November 16, 2016.

    Everything has a history.

  • NEH Grants Support Historians Expanding Access to the Humanities

    Jan 13, 2017 - 

    Two dozen AHA members, along with many other historians, received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in recent weeks. Among other groups, this round of awards supports cultural programs for disadvantaged populations; digitization of events at local cultural institutions; and researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Find the full list of grant winners on the NEH website.

  • AHA Statement on Right to Nonviolent Political Action

    Jan 06, 2017 - 

    The AHA Council, at its January 5, 2017, meeting approved the following statement: The AHA upholds the rights of students, faculty, and other historians to speak freely and to engage in nonviolent political action expressing diverse perspectives on historical or contemporary issues. We condemn all efforts to intimidate those expressing their views. Specifically, we condemn in the strongest terms the creation, maintenance, and dissemination of blacklists and watchlists – through media (social and otherwise) - which identify specific individuals in ways that could lead to harassment and intimidation.