Publication Date

February 1, 2019

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

Through email conversations from June 12, 2018, to December 28, 2018, and at meetings on January 3 and 6, 2019, the Council of the American Historical Association took the following actions:

  • Approved sending a letter to the College Board urging reconsideration of its recent decision to revise the Advanced Placement World History exam to “assess content only from c. 1450 to the present.”
  • Approved changes and clarifications to the Annual Meeting Media and Recording Policy.
  • Approved sending a letter to US senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) in support of the World War Centennial Commission’s effort to award the Congressional Gold Medal to 226 American women who served in the US Army Signal Corps during World War I.
  • Endorsed a Dear Colleague letter from Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) urging their colleagues to vote against the Grothman Amendment, which would reduce funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities by 15 percent.
  • Approved signing on to a letter from the Consortium of Social Science Associations to Jennifer Jessup, departmental paperwork clearance officer at the Department of Commerce, opposing adding a citizenship question as part of the 2020 census.
  • Approved a letter to the Archivist of the United States urging the archives to “deny any request for authorization to permit ICE or the Border Patrol to destroy records related to individuals in their custody.”
  • Approved amendments, made in August and in November, to the AHA Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Approved a letter to the King of Saudi Arabia expressing concern regarding the detention of Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi, an associate professor of history at King Saud University, apparently because of her activism on behalf of women’s rights.
  • Approved a letter to Rutgers University president Robert Barchi expressing concern about the university’s investigation of history professor James Livingston for comments he made outside of the context of his university employment.
  • Approved a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, calling for the immediate release of Xiyue Wang, a PhD student in the Princeton University Department of History, imprisoned on groundless charges of espionage.
  • Appointed the following to the 2020 Annual Meeting Program Committee: Christine Abajian, G. W. Hewlett–Woodmere High School (world); Joel Blecher, George Washington Univ. (Middle East); Paul Deslandes, Univ. of Vermont (Europe, modern); C. Cymone Fourshey, Bucknell Univ. (Africa); David Greenberg, Rutgers Univ. (US political); Sana Haroon, Univ. of Massachusetts Boston (South Asia); Moramay López-Alonso, Rice Univ. (Latin America/Caribbean); Austin Mason, Carleton Coll. (Europe, medieval/early modern); Brett Walker, Montana State Univ. (China, Japan, Taiwan, East Asia); Jackie Whitt, Army War Coll. (United States, 20th century); Christine Worobec, Northern Illinois Univ. (Russia/eastern Europe); and Morgen Young, Historical Research Associates, Inc. (public history).
  • Approved a proposal from the AHA’s Pacific Coast Branch (PCB) to award a life membership to the annual winner of the PCB’s Distinguished Service Award.
  • Sent a letter to the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, expressing concern regarding the current records disposition request from the Department of the Interior.
  • Approved minutes of the June 2018 Council meeting.
  • Approved interim minutes of the Council from June through December 2018.
  • Approved the 2019 committee appointments.
  • Approved the dissolution of the Task Force on Intellectual Property.
  • Approved changes to the membership of the Investment and Finance Committees.
  • Selected the 2019 Honorary Foreign Member (to be announced in fall 2019).
  • Approved reading the following statement at the AHA awards ceremony during the 2019 annual meeting: “One historian who cannot be with us tonight is Xiyue Wang, a PhD student at Princeton University. He is imprisoned in Teheran, convicted on what the AHA believes to be groundless charges of espionage. The AHA reiterates its support for Mr. Wang and once again calls on the Iranian authorities to release him from prison and allow him to resume his life and career.”
  • Approved sending a letter of support for Ricardo Baltodano, a historian in Nicaragua who was arrested and detained in September 2018 for his protests against the regime of President Daniel Ortega.
  • Established an ad hoc NARA Review Committee to assist the Association in its response to decisions and actions taken by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and to serve as a resource to decision makers at NARA.
  • Appointed five associate review editors for the American Historical Review: Bradley Davis, Eastern Connecticut State Univ. (Asian studies); Christina Snyder, Penn State Univ. (American history); Cristina Soriano, Villanova Univ. (Latin American history); Lorelle Semley, Coll. of the Holy Cross (West African history); and Michelle Tusan, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (British history).
  • Received the AHA FY 2017–18 audit.
  • Approved changes to the Investment Committee Statement of Responsibilities, which would grant the committee oversight of an AHA Employee Group Retirement Contract.
  • Approved the Guidelines for the Incorporation of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the Work of the History Profession.
  • Established an ad hoc Committee on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to develop ways of highlighting the work of SoTL and integrating it into the curriculum and teaching practices across the K–16 spectrum, in graduate programs, and beyond the classroom. This will include building deliberate connections between SoTL and the AHA’s Career Diversity initiative.
  • Approved revisions to the AHA’s Criteria for Standards in History/Social Studies/Social Sciences.
  • Approved changes to the AHA Bylaws, number 3, pursuant to Article IV, Section 5 (2), indicating that in the event the executive director is incapacitated, the deputy director or another appropriate member of the AHA staff designated by the president shall serve as acting executive director until the Council appoints a temporary or permanent executive director.
  • Established an ad hoc committee to explore the history of the AHA with regard to racial discrimination.
  • Approved changes to the Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct, Section 2: Shared Values of Historians, in order to clarify that the values of mutual respect and constructive criticism should extend to social media.
  • Approved an addition to the Guidelines for the Hiring Process to encourage hiring institutions to request reference letters only from those candidates who have passed the initial screening.
  • Appointed Jared Poley (Georgia State Univ.) as chair and Lisa Brady (Boise State Univ.) as co-chair of the 2021 Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Update, February 26, 2019: This article originally said that the AHA Council supported efforts to posthumously award members of the US Army Signal Corps the "Congressional Medal of Honor." The award is in fact the Congressional Gold Medal. The text of this article has been corrected.

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