AHA Member Spotlight: Alice Browne

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Browne_photoAlice Browne is a librarian at the New-York Historical Society. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a member since 1986.

Alma maters: BA, Classics, Newnham College, Cambridge, 1969; MPhil, Combined Historical Studies, Warburg Institute, University of London, 1971; PhD, Combined Historical Studies, Warburg Institute, University of London, 1975

Fields of interest: history of ideas, women’s history

When did you first develop an interest in history?

I was interested in the past from childhood, and then came back to a sense of history in graduate school, after a period of being more interested in literature and philosophy.

What projects are you working on currently?

Currently my time is taken up with manuscript and pamphlet cataloging for the New-York Historical Society.

Have your interests changed since graduation? If so, how? 

Working as a librarian has given me a greater appreciation of the difficulty and importance of preserving the remains of the past. 

Is there an article, book, movie, blog etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members?

Two very different and extremely humane books: David Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2014), and Peter Barham, Forgotten Lunatics of the Great War (2007).

What do you value most about the history profession? 

Its seriousness about memory and the past, and its ability to include very different enterprises and points of view.

Why did you join the AHA? 

When I moved to the US, for job searches and to stay in touch with what other historians are doing.

Other than history, what are you passionate about?

The dearth of medical research into myalgia encephalomyelitis (aka chronic fatigue syndrome), and the neglect of people suffering from the illness.

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