Publication Date

March 27, 2018

Perspectives Section

Perspectives Summer Columns

A key skill for 21st-century historians, whether they work in the professoriate, public history, government, publishing, or beyond, is the ability to communicate through a variety of media to different audiences. Many historians have turned to blogging to reach a broad public audience, and the success of historical writing online demonstrates a hunger for historians’ point of view. 

The AHA is seeking three graduate student bloggers, each of whom will write about a topic relevant to their work as historians. Pete O’Shea/Flickr CC-BY-2.0

The AHA is seeking three aspiring graduate student bloggers, each to write a series of posts on a topic of their choosing. If you are looking to hone your blogging skills and share what you do as a historian with a wide audience, consider applying to be a summer blogger with the AHA.

This year, we’re challenging our summer bloggers to select and write about a topic of their choosing. You must be able to write a series of two related posts on your chosen topic. The topic must be relevant to the work you do as a historian, be it research, teaching, public engagement, or something else. Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm:

  • Select a historical document and write about its significance to your research. Think of “document” expansively—it could be a letter, a photograph, a map, a sound recording, a dataset, or a nontraditional primary source. What was your process of discovery and how did the document help you think differently about the archive?
  • Write about your experiences teaching. How do you tackle difficult subjects and conversations? How have you used the scholarship on teaching and learning to develop innovative methods to engage your audience? How has teaching helped you think differently about research and the work you do as a historian?
  • Share your experiences working with a particular digital resource. Did you assign a digital history project in your class, or use a digital tool to mine historical sources for your research? Have you developed a digital history project to share your research with others?
  • Tell us about your work as a historian outside the academy. Have you participated in community-engagement efforts or worked in nonacademic spaces like museums, historic sites, or libraries? What tools did you use and what skills did you develop? How did the experience change the way you think about postgraduate careers?

AHA staff will edit each post and provide feedback to the blogger before it is published online.

Who is eligible? Current graduate students in history, either in master’s or doctoral programs; students graduating in spring 2018 are not eligible.

What is required? The three bloggers selected will write two blog posts each, from June through August. The winners will each receive a free one-year membership to the AHA and an honorarium. (Winners who are already members will receive free renewal upon end of their current membership term.)

Application Procedure: To apply, please submit a proposal, no more than 500 words long, following our submission guidelines. Please include a suggested title for the blog series with your proposal. Also required is a writing sample of no more than 1,000 words (can be an excerpt from a longer piece) and a one-page cover letter that introduces who you are and how you see your blog series enriching our readers. The selected applicants’ proposals will be edited and published to introduce the winners and their blog series. Please submit your application through Interfolio. The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. PST, April 27.

Questions? Contact at

Check out posts from previous winners!

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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