Historians Making News: 2017 Archive

  • 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 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.