Publication Date

May 6, 2024

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities, Perspectives Daily

In our busy lives, it can be difficult to find time to read for fun—or to read at all! Yet one of the most enjoyable parts of our work as historians is reading scholarship about the past and discussing that work with others.

So we invite you to participate in the third annual AHA Summer Reading Challenge. Participants will complete three (or more) of the following tasks in the months of June, July, and August. These tasks encourage you to read widely—outside your field, your areas of expertise, and your personal experiences—and define “history” as nonfiction at any length (a book, an article, a chapter).

  • Read a history of a place you’re visiting this summer.
  • Read a history by a scholar whose day job is outside academia.
  • Read a co-authored history.
  • Read a history of Indigenous people.
  • Read a piece of historical fiction (novel, story, poem, play) set in the time or place you study.
  • Learn from a historian presenting their scholarship in an amicus brief, digital collection, exhibition, podcast, video, or another format outside traditional academic publishing.

We’re hoping you’ll talk about how you’re fulfilling the challenge. We encourage participants to post about what they’re reading for this challenge on the AHA Member Forum or on social media using the hashtag #AHAReads. And for those that complete the challenge by Labor Day, there will be a small reward at the end.

Want a paper checklist? Tear off the back cover of the May issue of Perspectives on History or download a PDF.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.

Laura Ansley
Laura Ansley

American Historical Association