Publication Date

October 20, 2021

Perspectives Section

AHA Annual Meeting

Geographic

  • United States

Thematic

Intellectual

A look at the annual AHA presidential addresses reveals an ongoing debate within the discipline about the ways historians should—or should not—communicate to general audiences. Related to this broad outreach effort is the AHA’s role in promoting or resisting narratives that erase the histories of women and people of color. Today, the democratization of the historical enterprise—from blogs to at-home DNA tests—has broadened the reach of professional and nonprofessional historians alike, while inspiring a backlash among those who see an inclusive account of the nation’s past as dangerous or unpatriotic. Future historians will assess whether these developments represent a welcome and growing appreciation for the study of history or the triumph of a view of the past that promotes fiction over fact, myth over truth.

This 1889 AHA image reveals how much the Association membership has changed in the 137 years since it was chartered.”

This 1889 AHA image reveals how much the Association membership has changed in the 137 years since it was chartered. American Historical Association Archives

The presidential address will take place on Friday, January 7, 2022, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Sheraton New Orleans’ Grand Ballroom C.

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Jacqueline Jones
Jacqueline Jones

University of Texas at Austin