Help Us Update Our Taxonomy of the Discipline

In order to better know and support our members’ professional interests, as well as to collect data on trends in the discipline, we ask historians to provide us with information about their fields of study and teaching when they join or renew. The taxonomy presently in use needs updating to reflect the current shape and scope of the discipline.

Below is a draft of a new taxonomy that has been developed by AHA President Jan Goldstein and a small subcommittee of Council members after consultation with colleagues in a wide range of fields. The taxonomy includes Temporal/Geographic and Thematic categories. Anyone can view the new taxonomy on our website, but you must be a member to comment on the draft. We will be using AHA Communities as the forum for comments, suggestions, and discussion. To access AHA Communities, enter your login information in the header of this page and click the yellow arrow. When you see your name, click AHA COMMUNITIES at the top right. Then click Member Forum in the AHA Communities menu bar to join the discussion.

The AHA Communities site will be open for member comments on the taxonomy until September 30.

Temporal/Geographic Categories

Ancient Near East (West Asia) | Central Asia | China | JapanKoreaSouth Asia | Southeast AsiaAustralasia and OceaniaMiddle East (West Asia) and North AfricaAfricaEuropeThe Americas

Ancient Near East (West Asia)

South Asia

Central Asia

Ancient India to c. 600 CE

Early Central Asia to c. 750 CE

Medieval India, c. 600-1500

Precolonial Central Asia, c. 750-1750

Early Modern South Asian Empires and Global Economy, c. 1500-c. 1800 

Modern Central Asia since 1750

Modern South Asia since c. 1700 


Modern India

Ancient China

Sri Lanka 

Early Imperial China, Qin-Han 

Pakistan and/or Bangladesh

Period of Division and Early Tang China, 220-755

Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and/or Maldives

Middle Imperial China, 755-1368

Southeast Asia

Late Imperial China, 1368-1912

Early Southeast Asia to c. 1300 

Republic of China, 1912-49

Middle Period Southeast Asia, c. 1300-c. 1800 

People's Republic of China since 1949

Southeast Asia since 1800 

Hong Kong, Macao, and/or Taiwan




Premodern Japan to c. 1600 


Early Modern Japan, c. 1600-1868 

Cambodia and/or Laos

Modern Japan since 1868 

Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and/or East Timor

Meiji Japan, 1868-1912 


Imperial Japan, 1905-45


Postwar Japan, 1945-89

Australasia and Oceania

Contemporary Japan since 1990s



New Zealand

Ancient Korea to the Rise of Koryo

Pacific Islands

Medieval Korea, Koryo-c. 1700


Early Modern Korea, c. 1700-1876

Middle East (West Asia) and North Africa

Modern Korea, 1876-1945 

Middle East/North Africa, 600-1300

Contemporary Korea since 1945

Middle East/North Africa, 1300-1800


Middle East/North Africa since 1800

Africa to 1500

Maghreb (North Africa) 

Africa, 1500-1850

Mashreq (Arab East)

Africa since 1850 

Arabian Peninsula

East Africa

Ottoman Empire

Equatorial Africa


North Africa (Maghreb) 


Northeast Africa


Southern Africa


Trans-Saharan Africa

West Africa


Mediterranean Prehistory

Greece and Mediterranean to 323 BCE

Hellenistic and Imperial Greek World

Rome and Italy to 31 BCE

Roman Empire

Late Antiquity


Early Middle Ages, 400-1000

Later Middle Ages, 1000-1500

Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800

British Isles, 1000-1500

British Isles, 1500-1800

France, 1000-1500

France, 1500-1800

Low Countries, 1000-1500

Low Countries, 1500-1800

Central and Eastern Europe, 1000-1500

Spain and Portugal, 1500-1800

Scandinavia, 1000-1500

Italian States, 1500-1800

German Lands, 1000-1500

German Lands, 1500-1800

Southern Europe, 1000-1500

Scandinavia, 1500-1800

Mediterranean Basin, 1000-1500

Eastern Europe, 1500-1800

Russia, 1500-1800

Europe, 1750-1914

Europe in the Era of the Two World Wars, 1914-45

Britain and Ireland, 1750-1914

Britain and Ireland, 1914-45

France, 1750-1914

France, 1914-45

Low Countries, 1750-1914

Low Countries, 1914-45

Spain and Portugal, 1750-1914

Spain and Portugal, 1914-45

Italy, 1750-1914

Italy, 1914-45

German-speaking Central Europe, 1750-1914

German-speaking Central Europe, 1914-45

Scandinavia, 1750-1914

Scandinavia, 1914-45

Eastern Europe, 1750-1914

Eastern Europe, 1914-45

Russia, 1750-1914

Soviet Union, 1914-45

Contemporary Europe since 1945

Britain and Ireland since 1945

German-speaking Central Europe since 1945

France since 1945

Scandinavia since 1945

Low Countries since 1945

Eastern Europe since 1945

Spain and Portugal since 1945

Soviet Union and Russia since 1945

Italy since 1945

Post-Soviet Nationalities since 1945

The Americas

Native American/Indigenous


Precontact Native American/Indigenous

British Islands

Colonial Period Native American/Indigenous

French and British Canada

19th-Century Native American/Indigenous

Atlantic Provinces

Native American since 1900

Prairie Provinces

Latin America

British Columbia

Precontact Latin America


Caribbean Exploration and Early European Settlement 

Exploration and Settlement to 1763

Mexican/Central American Conquest and Early European Settlement 

Colonial Period, 1760-1870

South American Conquest and Early European Settlement 

Dominion Period, 1870-1921

Spanish America, 1680-1760

Canada since 1921

Reform and Expansion in Spanish America, 1760-1800

United States

19th-Century Latin America

American Revolution, 1756-1783

Latin America since 1900

United States, 1783-1815

Spanish Borderlands

United States, 1815-1850


United States, 1850-1877


United States, 1877-1920

Central America

United States, 1920-1945


United States, 1945-1975


United States since 1975

Southern Cone US Northeast

Early and Colonial North America

US South

Precontact North America

US Midwest

European Discovery and Exploration of North America

US Great Plains and Borderlands

British Politics and Administration of North America

US West

Colonial North America

Colonial New England

Middle Colonies

Colonial Chesapeake

Colonial Lower South

French and Dutch Colonies

Thematic Categories

Note: The slash symbol (/) means and/or

African American Environmental Oral
Agrarian/Rural Ethnohistory Pacific Rim
Animal Studies Film Studies Peace and Conflict
Archaeology Food and Foodways Political
Art and Architecture Gender Popular Culture
Asian American Genocide Postcolonial Studies
Atlantic World Historiography/Historical Theory and Method Print Culture/History of the Book 
Borderlands Indian Ocean Studies Public
Capitalism Indigenous Studies (except the Americas) Quantitative Methods
Citizenship and National Identity/Nationalism Intellectual Race and Ethnicity
Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Jewish Religion
Comparative Labor Science and Technology
Cultural Legal Sexuality
Demography/Family LGBTQ Social
Digital Methods Material Culture Slavery
Diplomatic/International Medical Sports
Disability Mediterranean World Urban
Economic/Business Memory Studies Women
Education Migration/Immigration/Diaspora World/Global/Transnational
Emotions/Senses Military
Empire Music