Historians Making News: 2016 Archive
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
Sep 21, 2016 -
On September 16, the New York Times published an op-ed by historian David Singerman about the history of "Big Sugar."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/.
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.
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).
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"
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
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.
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).
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.