Historians Making News: 2016 Archive

  • "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.

  • 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.

  • Historians Release Report on Renaming University Buildings

    Dec 05, 2016 - 

    AHA members, including John Fabian Witt serving as chair, were part of a Yale University Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. The 12-person group, which included many historians, released its report outlining procedures for renaming buildings on Yale’s campus, spurred by recent calls to rename Calhoun College. The committee’s report outlines a set of principles, grounded in historical memory and historical context, that should guide renaming decisions. Calling history “one of the forms of knowledge at the core” of the university’s mission, the report sought to balance the need for change without erasing the past.

  • 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.

  • Daina Ramey Berry Pens Op-Ed in New York Times

    Oct 18, 2016 - 

    Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses the practice of collecting body parts of deceased slaves as "trophies" or heirlooms, and how returning these relics can help restore healing and justice.

  • Downs and Masur Call for Reconstruction Monument

    Oct 13, 2016 - 

    AHA members Gregory Downs (UC Davis) and Kate Masur (Northwestern Univ.) penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling for the creation of a new national monument to Reconstruction in Beaufort County, SC "so that Americans can confront the dramatic victories and bitter defeats of a crucial time in our nation's history."

  • "The Shady History of Big Sugar"

    Sep 21, 2016 - 

    On September 16, the New York Times published an op-ed by historian David Singerman about the history of "Big Sugar."

  • 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 will also testify in front of the Texas State Board of Education on September 13. You can watch the hearing live online.

  • Historian Engages Perspectives Article in Own Advocacy on Teaching

    Aug 29, 2016 - 

    In "What does historical thinking mean? Why does it matter?", historian Robert Roy Foresman (North Dakota State Univ.) reflects on "Graduate Education Reconsidered" (Perspectives, April 2016) and considers its application to his own teaching.

  • Op-Ed on Teaching Creative Thinking in History Class

    Aug 28, 2016 - 

    In response to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson's claim that documentaries can replace trained history educators, Amanda Seligman (history department chair, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) penned an op-ed for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the importance of true history education. She explains the necessity of teachers who can actively engage students in "[u]nderstanding multiple viewpoints, debating ideas without acrimony, connecting past and present, and collaborative analysis." By adapting to current debates and student needs, instructors "cultivate qualities that students may deploy at work, as parents, as neighbors, and as citizens in our democracy."

  • New Members Appointed to the Institute for Advanced Study

    Aug 19, 2016 - 

    Fifty-one historians were appointed as Members in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study for the 2016–17 academic year, including AHA members Hwisang Cho, Jennifer Davis, Thomas Dodman, Priscilla Roberts, Daniel Sherman, Nancy Sinkoff and Mark Tauger, as well as 18 international scholars from institutions as far away as China and Jordan. Find the full list on the IAS website.

  • 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.

  • House Designates the National George C. Marshall Museum and Library

    Jul 28, 2016 - 

    On July 11, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution congressionally designating the George C. Marshall Museum and the George C. Marshall Research Library in Lexington, Va., as the National George C. Marshall Museum and Library. The Marshall Museum and Research Library began in 1953 and recently completed the seven-volume collection The Papers of George Catlett Marshall. The president of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which manages the Museum and Library, is AHA member Rob Havers.

  • Four Hundred Years of African American History

    Jul 18, 2016 - 

    In a Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed, Peter Onuf (Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia) responds to a congressional proposal to establish the 400 Years of African-American History Commission, concluding that African American history is American history.

  • Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference Award

    Jul 06, 2016 - 

    The co-recipients for the 2016 Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference award for the best book in business history (broadly defined) are:

    Jonathan Coopersmith, Texas A&M University, Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015)

    Vicki Howard, Hartwick College, From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)

  • 2016 ACLS/Mellon Public Fellows Announced

    Jul 01, 2016 - 

    The American Council of Learned Societies has announced its 2016 cohort of Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows, several of which are historians. Fellows take up a two-year, full-time position at select nonprofit and government organizations. AHA members Carly Goodman and Veera Eliisa Mitzner received fellowships.

  • Member Gives Context on Nativism in the US

    Jun 02, 2016 - 

    Everything has a history, including nativism in US politics and popular culture. In "Nativism, An American Perennial," Historian Alan Kraut (American Univ.) offers a broad summary for the policy community and general public encompassing 250 years.

  • Member News for May 2016

    Jun 01, 2016 - 

    The Online Journal of Rhode Island History published "Roger Williams: A Rhode Island and American Founder," by Alan E. Johnson, based on his book The First American Founder: Roger Williams and Freedom of Conscience (Pittsburgh: Philosophia Publications, 2015).

    Kent State University Press published Candice Shy Hopper's book, Lincoln's Generals' Wives, which examines in depth the influence of Jessie Fremont, Nelly McClellan, Ellen Sherman, and Julia on their husbands during the Civil War, and for the first time maps their travel during the war.

    The inaugural Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize was awarded by the Massachusetts Historical Society to Mary Babson Fuhrer's Crisis of Community, a compelling story of small-town New England transformed between 1815 and 1848.

    Palgrave-Macmillan published Margaret DeLacy's book, The Germ of an Idea: Contagionism, Religion, and Society in Britain, 1660-1730.

  • $5 Million Contributed to National WWI Museum and Memorial

    May 05, 2016 - 

    As part of the "Call to Duty" Centennial Capital Campaign, Kansas City philanthropists donated more than $5 million to enable construction of a new exhibition gallery and renovation of outdoor space for corporate and community events.

  • ACLS Awards Digital Extension Grants to Five Humanities Projects

    May 04, 2016 - 

    The American Council of Learned Societies has made five awards to support digitally based research projects in extending their reach to new communities of users.

  • 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.

  • ACLS Names 66 Dissertation Completion Fellows

    Apr 20, 2016 - 

    The 2016 cohort of Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellows includes many historians, including 13 active and former AHA members. ACLS Program Officer Rachel Bernard commented that "Fellows employ an array of methods to better understand our world, by, for example, conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Kenya, studying a modern multilingual Manchurian literary corpus, or delving into colonial-era archives in Chile and Argentina." Each fellow receives a a $30,000 stipend and up to $8,000 in research funds and university fees to assist in completing the dissertation.

    For more information about the recipients and their projects, visit http://www.acls.org/.

  • 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History Announced

    Apr 18, 2016 - 

    T.J. Stiles, a biographer and AHA member, received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History for Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (Alfred A. Knopf). The Pulitzer Prize Board described his work as "a rich and surprising new telling of the journey of the iconic American soldier whose death turns out not to have been the main point of his life."

    The finalists in the History category included Brian Matthew Jordan for Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War (Liveright/Norton); Annie Jacobsen for The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency (Little, Brown & Company); and James M. Scott for Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor (W.W. Norton & Company).

  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellows Announced

    Mar 29, 2016 - 

    18 historians (including seven AHA members) were named American Council of Learned Societies Fellows in the 2015-16 competition. "The 2016 ACLS Fellows represent the intellectual vitality of humanities and humanistic social science research today," said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs. ACLS Fellowships allow scholars to spend six to twelve months researching and writing full-time.
    The following AHA members were honored:

    Melinda Baldwin (Independent Scholar) for "In Referees We Trust? Scientific Legitimacy and the Rise of Peer Review in the Twentieth Century"
    Elizabeth A. Foster (Assistant Professor of History, Tufts University) for "Decolonizing Faith: Catholics and the End of French Empire in Sub-Saharan Africa"
    Christopher Grasso (Professor of History, College of William and Mary) for "Skepticism and American Faith: From the Revolution to the Civil War"
    Robin Judd (Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University, Columbus) for "Love at the Zero Hour: Jewish Brides, Solider Husbands, and Strategies for Reconstruction, 1943-1955"
    Fabio Lanza (Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies, University of Arizona) for "Revolution In the Quotidian: A History of Maoist Urban Space, 1953-1983"
    Becky M. Nicolaides (Affiliated Research Scholar at the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, University of Southern California) for "On the Ground in Suburbia: A Chronicle of Social and Civic Transformation in Los Angeles Since 1945"
    Vanessa Ogle (Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania) for "Archipelago Capitalism: Tax Havens, Offshore Money, and the Shadow Economy, 1920s-1980s"

  • History Associates CEO wins NCPH Founders Award

    Mar 19, 2016 - 

    Philip L. Cantelon, co-founder and CEO of History Associates, an institutional member of the AHA, received a Founders Award from the National Council on Public History (NCPH). The award recognizes "individuals who played crucial roles in the Council's foundation and early success." Dr. Cantelon, a lifelong public history advocate and NCPH's first executive secretary, was presented the honor at the NCPH Awards Breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland on March 19, 2016.

  • First English-Language Biography of French Revolutionary Francois Buzot Published

    Jan 01, 2016 - 

    Bette W. Oliver has announced the publication of her most recent book, "Provincial Patriot of the French Revolution: Francois Buzot, 1760-1794" (Lexington Books, 2015). It is the first biography written in English of this Girondin leader. The book covers his early life as a lawyer in Evreux, his defense of departmental interests, and his role as a leader in both the Constituent Assembly and the National Convention, as well as his last days as a fugitive from the government of which he had once been a part.

    Oliver, with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, is an independent scholar specializing the late 18th-century French history.