AHA, OAH, and NCPH endorse new guidelines for tenure

Historians in the News

Three national groups of historians -- the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History and the Organization of American Historians -- have now all endorsed guidelines that suggest a new, broader approach to tenure when considering public historians. The joint guidelines are part of a growing movement in disciplines that have tended to base tenure decisions on traditional forms of scholarship (in this case the monograph) to broaden the way they judge contributions to a field.

Public historians conduct history research and promote history in museums, parks, schools, nonprofit groups and elsewhere -- designing exhibits, overseeing archives and developing educational programs, all based on scholarship, but for a broader audience than scholars. As more history departments have created public history programs (in part because it is considered a growth area in which historians may find jobs), they have hired more public historians -- often creating tension over how to evaluate them.

History departments' public historians have their work in the field ignored while they are evaluated through a "tenure process that emphasizes single-authored monographs and articles at the expense of other types of scholarly productions," according to a report prepared by a committee created by the three history associations. "Often the lone public historian in a department, the public historian on the faculty frequently must serve two masters, publishing a monograph to ensure favorable evaluation of the tenure application while remaining active in the field, or find some other way to reconcile traditional tenure expectations within public history work."...
Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed

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