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American Historical Association


  • Originally published 01/03/2014

    Yoni Appelbaum: The Historian in the Digital Age [VIDEO]

    Yoni Appelbaum is a doctoral student at Brandeis University, and a columnist for The Atlantic. In this interview from the 2014 AHA annual meeting, he explains how he came to The Atlantic's attention, and talks about the future of digital history

  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    Q&A on the AHA’s Statement on Embargoing of History Dissertations

    The AHA’s Statement on Policies Regarding the Embargoing of Completed History PhD Dissertations has generated wide discussion, controversy, articles inInside Higher Education and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and a number of questions. In the Q&A below, we’ve summarized some of the most common claims and questions about the statement that we’ve seen on Twitter, blogs, and the comment section of the AHA’s announcement. We welcome further discussion on this issue. Is the AHA recommending that students embargo their dissertations? No. The AHA is recommending that universities adopt flexible policies that will allow newly minted PhDs to decide for themselves whether or not to embargo their dissertations.

  • Originally published 07/22/2013

    AHA issues statement criticizing Mitch Daniels

    The American Historical Association on Friday released a statement criticizing the way Mitch Daniels (when he governor of Indiana, prior to becoming president of Purdue University) exchanged e-mail messages with staff members criticizing the work of the late Howard Zinn. "Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of Howard Zinn’s text, and whatever the criticisms that have been made of it, we believe that the open discussion of controversial books benefits students, historians, and the general public alike. Attempts to single out particular texts for suppression from a school or university curriculum have no place in a democratic society," said the statement....

  • Originally published 07/16/2013

    AHA announces grant winners for 2013

    Courtesy Julie-Irene Nkodo, project assistant at the AHA.Bernadotte Schmitt Grant: to support research in the history of Europe, Asia, and AfricaJeffrey Ahlman, Smith College “Living with Nkrumahism: Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana.”Laura Beers, American University “Red Ellen: Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist.”Alexander Bevilacqua, Princeton University “Islamic Culture in the European Enlightenment.”Jessica Clark, McGill University “Imperial Beauty: The Global Trade in Appearance, 1830-1930.”Surekha Davies, Western Connecticut State University “Mapping the Peoples of the New World: Ethnography, Imagery and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.”Erin Hochman, Southern Methodist University “Anschluss before Hitler: The Politics of Transborder Nationalism in Germany and Austria, 1918-1938.”

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    AHA Today highlights digital history projects

    Jennifer Reut is associate editor of the AHA magazine Perspectives.With the recent proliferation of the digital humanities (DH) in and outside the academy, we thought it might be useful to draw attention to the kinds of projects historians are developing. The National Endowment of the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities (NEH-ODH) has been an early and substantial supporter of projects and workshops across the DH community, so it made sense to look at the recent round of NEH-ODH grantees as a way of highlighting recent work by historians.True to the nature of DH, many of the projects are broadly applicable to scholarship in the humanities, rather than just history, particularly those that construct platforms or environments for data and artifact sharing, analysis, and publication. We’ve focused on a few that were either specifically designed by historians or with an obvious application to historical studies, but we encourage you to view the full range of past and present grants at the NEH-ODH site and explore some of the other projects for possible intersection with your own interests and research.Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, which we are featuring here, are smaller grants for projects that are still in the planning or prototype stage. Wherever possible, we have used the text from the grantees description.

  • Originally published 07/01/2013

    Anthony T. Grafton and James Grossman: What a New Harvard Report on the Humanities Doesn't Tell Us

    Anthony T. Grafton is a professor of history at Princeton University and a former president of the American Historical Association. James Grossman is executive director of the association.Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of course you haven't.Those people are not just unmentionable, they're unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs, not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?

  • Originally published 06/28/2013

    AHA Amicus Brief Ignores Radical Queer History

    The perspective on the history and politics of same-sex marriage crystallized in the AHA amicus brief both reflects and helps to reproduce a much broader and worrying process: the narrowing of the queer political field to variants of liberalism such that a left critique becomes increasingly difficult to voice.

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    AHA Today blog launches new website

    The official blog of the American Historical Association, AHA Today, launched a new version of its website on Monday, dubbed AHA Today "3.0."Vanessa Varin, the assistant editor for Web and social media at the AHA, announced a bevy of new features on the blog:Related tags: Find topics related to the articles you are reading.Shortened URLs. Generate a bit.ly link and share an article without leaving the page.Social media streaming in the comments. See what readers are saying about the article you are reading in the comments. Want to contribute to the conversation? Either comment below or tweet us at @AHAHistorians.Follow an AHA Today blogger with our new author RSS feed and biography pages.Check out the new blog here.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    AHA supports visas for Cuban scholars to attend LASA conference

    The following letter was submitted to the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in support to facilitate visas for Cuban scholars to attend the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) conference. Dear Mr. Secretary:I write on behalf of the American Historical Association (AHA) to request your support to facilitate visas for Cuban scholars who have been invited to participate in the XXXI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association to be held May 29 to June 1, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    AHA seeking new director of scholarly communication and digital initiatives

    The American Historical Association is seeking a Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives. The Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives will oversee the AHA’s communications with members and other constituencies. This includes print and digital publishing, web design, information management, and membership – all part of a strategy to enable the American Historical Association’s programs and activities to take maximum advantage of the new digital environments in which historians work. The AHA seeks a scholar with the skills and vision to help lead the development of the AHA as the nation’s most important hub for the work of professional historians in the 21st century....

  • Originally published 04/03/2013

    AAUP Releases Statement Calling on Higher Education Institutions to Comply with the Affordable Care Act

    Declaring that "access to health care is a basic human right," the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has issued a statement calling on colleges and universities to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and to calculate the hours of part-time and adjunct faculty in a fair and accurate way.  Such calculations would take into account the full responsibilities of these faculty for grading, advising students, and so forth, and not just the hours they spend in the classroom.  The AAUP is responding to news accounts of a few institutions that have threatened to cut the course loads of non-tenure track faculty in order to avoid offering them health benefits- a move the AAUP terms "reprehensible."

  • Originally published 03/29/2013

    AHA protests Senate initiative to restrict political science research funding

    On March 20, 2013, the United States Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, which would restrict the use of federal funds in the National Science Foundation’s Political Science Program. In response, the Council of the American Historical Association approved the following statement of concern:The American Historical Association vigorously opposes the recent Senate appropriations amendment restricting National Science Foundation funding for research in political science to specific topics. The amendment, which requires the agency to limit funding to projects which it can certify “as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States,” is wrong-headed in many ways.First, the amendment represents an intrusion by politicians into the well-established and generally successful peer-review process by which the agency reviews grant applications. Peer review ensures that grant decisions are made by individuals with the necessary expertise through a  reliable, widely accepted, process which minimizes bias. Imposing even innocuous-sounding political criteria for research compromises the autonomy that is necessary for intellectual progress—the first responsibility of the National Science Foundation.

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Debbie Doyle: The National Parks and the Value of History

    Debbie Ann Doyle is Coordinator: Committees & Meetings at the American Historical Association.Heritage tourism is big business. A recent report on the economic impact of the National Park Service (NPS) estimates that 279 million visits to the parks in 2011 generated $30 billion in economic activity and supported 252,000 jobs, both in the park service and in communities surrounding the parks.While budget-minded legislators may see historic sites and preservation as luxuries that might be trimmed from an austerity budget, cultural resources offer a good return on investment. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis notes that the parks contribute $10 to the economy for every $1 in tax money invested in the National Park Service, which “makes good stewardship sense and good business sense.”

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    American Historical Association announces nominees for 2013-2014

    The Nominating Committee for 2013–14, chaired by Raúl A. Ramos (University of Houston), met in Washington, D.C. on February 9–10 and offers the following candidates for offices of the Association that are to be filled in the election this year:President (1-year term) Jan E. Goldstein, University of Chicago (modern European intellectual and cultural history in social and political context, modern France, history of the human sciences)President-elect (1-year term)David Levering Lewis, New York University (political biography, literature of racism, Europe in Africa, Islam in Europe)Vicki L. Ruiz, University of California, Irvine (Chicano/Latino, U.S. women’s, immigration, labor)Vice-President, Professional Division (3-year term)

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Nominations Invited for the American Historical Association’s Equity Awards

    The American Historical Association seeks nominations for its Equity Awards, which recognize individuals and institutions that have demonstrated an exceptional record in recruiting and retaining students and new faculty from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented within the historical profession. Nominations are due by May 15....

  • Originally published 03/04/2013

    Insurance When Your Home's a Piece of History

    A home in Massachusetts has been in the same family since it was built in the 1600s -- less than 20 years after the Mayflower landed. Though nearly four centuries have passed, one room in the home remains just as it was in the 1600s, with the same hand-hewn floorboards. There are special -- and more expensive -- historic-home insurance policies to protect houses such as this. But they vary in what they'll pay for. You might be able to replace 1775 windows with something close to the real thing, or just historic look-alikes....  

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    James Grossman and Elaine Carey: An Undisciplined Report on the Teaching of History

    James Grossman is executive director of the American Historical Association. Elaine Carey is vice president for the Teaching Division of the association and chair of the history department at St. John's University, in New York.Historians welcome informed debate. It is precisely what attracted many of us to the discipline in the first place. Thus our initial reaction to a recent report by the National Association of Scholars, "Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?," was to engage the ideas, explore the research model, and open a conversation about different ways of understanding history. This report, however, does not contribute to informed debate.

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Job Searches at the AHA Annual Meeting

    Search committees conducted interviews for over 154 positions at the 2013 AHA annual meeting, almost matching last year’s total of 160. The number of searches slipped a bit, which is typical in smaller meeting cities.For the first time in recent memory, jobs with a European specialization outnumbered those for the United States, 25 to 24 percent. The next highest was Asia, followed by Latin America, and then thematic. These searches, which did not require a specific geographical area, were mostly for public and digital historians. Five percent or less of the searches asked for either African, Middle East, or world history specializations....

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Mellon Grant Meetings in New Orleans

    In December, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association grants for broadening the career horizons of humanities PhDs. At its 2013 annual meeting in New Orleans, the AHA hosted the project’s initial conversations. Dozens of directors of graduate studies, university administrators, and contingent faculty members met with AHA past president Anthony Grafton, senior project advisor Robert Weisbuch, and project director Julia Brookins. They discussed the implications of what we already know—and do not know—about the careers of history doctorates who are not postsecondary teachers.Administrators from a range of universities focused on disciplinary definitions of “placement.” They described how placement statistics currently encourage history departments to discount or ignore PhD alumni embarking on careers outside the professoriate, however illustrious their paths might be. They shared examples of alternative approaches in disciplines like chemistry and engineering. Participants suggested that the AHA could lead the redefinition of a successful job placement for newly minted PhDs. They also discussed ways that they and their colleagues in administration could help to make placement incentives reflect more fully what historians value about their training and abilities....

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