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Despite recent publicity about reopening, many historians will be working online for the rest of the calendar year. The American Historical Association is launching a major new initiative to help our members and their colleagues with the challenges of being a historian, and a history teacher, in a virtual environment. It’s hard to teach and work remotely. And most of us still need help.

The AHA announces “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19,” a multi-faceted initiative to document historians’ immediate responses to a historic global pandemic, create digital resources to help history teachers navigate a newly-pervasive environment of remote instruction, and support early career historians during a time of crisis. This project has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, using funding from the CARES Act.

“Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and Covid-19” will support a variety of new and existing AHA programs, including:

  • The AHA Online Teaching Forum, a series of webinars for historians facing the challenges of teaching online or in a hybrid environment
  • A Remote Teaching Wiki, a vetted compilation of resources to help teachers planning for online and hybrid courses
  • A series of virtual mentorship and career development workshops aimed at graduate students and early career historians
  • A bibliography of historians’ responses to COVID-19, documenting the value of historical expertise and historical thinking

“The NEH CARES award will provide historians with professional development opportunities developed from a disciplinary perspective, as face-to-face activities continue to diminish,” said Emily Swafford, AHA Director of Academic and Professional Affairs. “Together, the Remote Teaching Wiki and bibliography of historians’ responses to COVID-19 will help historians right now, in planning fall courses and documenting the value of historical expertise, and also create resources that will benefit historians after the pandemic is over.”

“The AHA is grateful to the NEH for enabling the Association to both document how historians have responded to COVID-19 and create resources for our colleagues facing the challenges of remote history education,” AHA Executive Director James Grossman said. “Optimism is good. But so is preparation, and given the current near-consensus among public health professionals, the AHA has opted for preparation in thinking about what our members need.” “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and Covid-19” will run through the end of 2020.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.