Historians Making News: 2017 Archive

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 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."

  • 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."

  • 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."

  • 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).

  • 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.