Publication Date

November 1, 1994

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

With David Ransel's second and final five-year term as editor of the American Historical Review coming to an end, the Association’s leadership, together with Indiana University’s Department of History, has appointed a joint AHA-IU committee to search for his successor. Since the Association’s bylaws place overall responsibility for the Review with its Research Division, the search committee is chaired by William G. Rosenberg (Univ. of Michigan), Vice President for Research. The other members of the committee include Carol Gluck (Columbia Univ.), Lynn Hunt (Univ. of Pennsylvania), Richard Blackett (Indiana Univ.), Ann Carmichael (Indiana Univ.), and Steven Stowe (Indiana Univ.). Together, the committee reflects expertise in the fields of early modern and modern European, Asian, Afro-American, Russian and East European, Caribbean, and American history, as well as a range of topical and methodological interests. The committee also plans to consult extensively to assure that possible candidacies in additional fields are not overlooked.

The committee was chosen to reflect as much as possible the diverse research and teaching interests of AHA members, without presuppositions about the interests or areas of specialization of the new editor. According to Rosenberg, the committee is concerned to appoint a person of intellectual breadth, scholarly accomplishment, and broad conceptual and methodological range. She or he need not have actual editorial experience, but must be eager for the intellectual challenges posed by the tasks of editorial management. Because of the strong support provided to the Review by Indiana University through its Department of History and its College of Arts and Sciences, it is expected that the new editor will join Indiana’s Department of History as a tenured full professor. The initial term of appointment is for five years.

In succeeding Ransel, the new editor will find an excellent staff and a number of well-proven procedures already in place to help meet and balance the many tasks of the nation's premier historical journal. In accordance with the Association's bylaws, a three-person committee consisting of Professors Rosenberg, Stowe, and Linda Kerber (Univ. of Iowa) was appointed at the Council's May meeting to review the journal and evaluate Ransel's tenure as editor. The committee felt strongly that Ransel has done "a superb job," citing in its report his intellectual leadership and his success in bringing together high-quality articles and forums for a broad and diverse community of historians.

The committee offered high praise for Ransel's selection of members for the Review‘s editorial board, noting that during his tenure as editor the board has been made up of “the most original and inclusive scholars in all fields of history … [which] has assured that the board as a whole represents the wealth of intellectual talent that the Review needs to sustain its position at the forefront of historical study in publishing.” The committee also commended Ransel for his ability to work in a number of different spheres —managing the editorial production of the Review, serving with distinction on Indiana’s faculty, and offering leadership to the profession at large.

The review committee concluded that Ransel's successor will need to be "an individual sensitive to the diverse intellectual currents of the profession and the interests of its wide readership; willing to take calculated risks in advancing new issues for discussion and analysis; capable of working collegially and effectively with the board of editors, colleagues in the field, and the Review‘s internal staff; and able to maintain the professional independence of the Review while working collegially with Indiana University’s Department of History and its College of Arts and Sciences.”

The search committee welcomes all applications as well as comments, questions, and suggestions. These can be made to any committee member, or to Bill Rosenberg by phone at (313) 764-6306 or fax at (313) 747-4881. Applications should be sent to the AHR Search Committee, Department of History, Ballantine Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-6624.

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