Publication Date

December 30, 2015

Perspectives Section

Member Spotlight, Perspectives Daily

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Dahl_photoRoger M. Dahl is an archivist at the National Bahá’í Archives, United States. He lives in Des Plaines, Illinois, and has been a member since 1978.

Alma maters: BA (history), Lewis & Clark College, 1968; MA (American history with archival sequence), University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1972

Fields of interest: history of the Bahá’í Faith in the United States, world history

When did you first develop an interest in history?

From childhood, when I started spending my allowance on copies of the Landmark Books series. I had a beloved copy of The Golden History of the World and loved to read Ivanhoe.

What projects are you currently working on?

Biography of Robert Turner, who was the first African American member of the Bahá’í Faith and the butler of Phoebe Hearst.

Have your interests changed since graduation? If so, how?

During college my main ambition was to write a world history but I have pretty much given up on that idea. Still I would like to eventually finish an article with some ideas on how to conceptualize a history of the entire human race as one civilization, in a manageable form.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members?

Anyone interested in learning more about the history of the Bahá’í Faith should consider the online courses from the Wilmette Institute https://wilmetteinstitute.org.

What do you value most about the history profession?

Partly the new stories and insights that historical research brings but also the role that understanding our history can play in helping us to face the challenges that humanity must meet in the new global society that we have never experienced before.

Why have you continued to be a member of the AHA?

To keep in touch with what is happening within the history profession.

Other than history, what are you passionate about?

I am passionate about being a member of the Baha’i Faith and also my family genealogy research.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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