Published Date

March 27, 2021

Resource Type

AHA Resource, For the Classroom, Vetted Resource


Cultural, Current Events in Historical Context, Economic, Indigenous, Medicine, Science, & Technology, Public History

AHA Topics

AHA Initiatives & Projects, Teaching & Learning


Asia, Europe, United States, World

This resource is part of the AHA’s Bibliography of Historians’ Responses to COVID-19.

In the wake of COVID-19’s disruption to daily life in the United States, the American Historical Association responded to the pandemic’s impact by advocating for historians, emphasizing the importance of historical thinking in understanding the current crisis, and urging all institutions that employ historians to be flexible and humane in considering the needs of their employees and constituencies. This section includes AHA statements on the impact of COVID-19 on historians, as well as Perspectives on History articles on topics contextualizing the pandemic.


AHA Advocacy

“ACLS Joint Statement on the Key Role of the Humanities,” (August 2020)

“AHA Statement on Department Closures and Faculty Firings,” (July 2020)

“AHA Statement on Historical Research during COVID-19,” (July 2020)

“Letter to Congress on Further CARES Funding for Higher Ed,” (June 2020)

“AHA Statement Regarding Historians and COVID-19,” (April 2020)

“AHA Signs onto Statement Encouraging Temporary Adjustments to Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes during COVID-19 Crisis,” (March 2020)

“AHA Encourages Congress to Support NEH during COVID-19 Crisis,” (March 2020)


Perspectives on History

James Grossman, “The AHA, Historians, and COVID-19: A Report from Mid-April,” Perspectives on History (April 14, 2020)

Çigdem Oguz, “We Are at War: The Italian Home Front in the Fight Against COVID-19,” Perspectives on History (April 21, 2020)

Mary Lindemann, “The Historian and the Virus: A Time Capsule from Mid-March,” Perspectives on History (April 22, 2020)  

Ryan C. McIlhenny, “China’s Model: Citizens Work Together to Contain the Virus,” Perspectives on History  (April 23, 2020)

Nancy Tomes, “Medicare for All in the Age of Coronavirus: A History of US Health Care Debates,” Perspectives on History (April 24, 2020)

Seth Archer, “Precedents for a Pandemic: Reflections on Disease and Indigenous Communities,” Perspectives on History (May 26, 2020)

Chad Lower, “School Without Schools: Remembering the 1977 Gas Shortage,” Perspectives on History (June 8, 2020)

Lindsey Passenger Wieck, “BleachMan Says, “Clean It with Bleach!” Education Campaigns for HIV/AIDS Hold Lessons for COVID-19,” Perspectives on History (June 22, 2020)

Ángela Vergara, “Productivity Moves with Our Bodies: Understanding Research Gaps during COVID-19,” Perspectives on History (July 6, 2020)

Leah Valtin-Erwin, “Looking Out for Each Other: How Shoppers and Employees Navigate the Aisles Differently,” Perspectives on History (September 2, 2020)

Heather Murray, “Fearing a Fear of Germs: How Did the Surgical Mask Transform from a Sign of Bigotry to a Sign of Care?” Perspectives on History (October 2, 2020)

Leah Valtin-Erwin, “A Threat from the East?: Narratives of Easternness and the COVID-19 Shortage Crisis,” Perspectives on History (October 29, 2020)

E. Thomas Ewing and Jeffrey S. Reznick, “Clerks Wearing Masks: Building Historical Empathy while Teaching the 1918 Influenza Epidemic,” Perspectives on History (December 9, 2020)

Jeffrey Mathias, “American Solitude: Notes Toward a History of Isolation,” Perspectives on History (February 17, 2021)

Amanda B. Moniz, “Meeting Need, Collecting Need: Creating Museum Collections around COVID-19 and Hunger,” Perspectives on History (April 1, 2021)

Gareth Milward, “Vaccine Hesitancy Is a 21st-Century Phenomenon: Why Moving from ‘Prevention’ to ‘Eradication’ Changes the Scale of the Anti-Vaccination Problem,” Perspectives on History (April 16, 2021)