Author Archives: American Historical Association

About American Historical Association

The American Historical Association (AHA) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. The AHA provides leadership for the profession, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship, and supplies various services to sustain and enhance the work of its members. The association’s principal functions fall within four realms: publication, teaching, advocacy, and networking. As the largest historical society in the United States, the AHA serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area. The nearly 14,000 members include academics at universities, two- and four-year colleges, museums, historical organizations, libraries and archives, but also independent historians, students, K–12 teachers, government and business professionals, and countless people who, whatever their profession, possess an abiding interest in history.

AHA Protests Detainment of French Historian Henry Rousso

On February 28th, AHA president Tyler Stovall sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security protesting the recent detainment of Henry Rousso, distinguished historian of the Holocaust in France.​ Professor Rousso’s detainment at the Houston airport enroute to participation at a conference at Texas A&M University offers a chilling reminder of the importance of rule of law and respect for the rights of not only our colleagues but all travelers to the United States. Because the issue is of vital importance to the ability of historians to do our work, which includes international scholarly conversation, the AHA Council has voted to make the letter an official statement of the Association.

2017 AHA Nominations

Compiled by Liz Townsend

The Nominating Committee for 2017–18, chaired by Jana Lipman (Tulane Univ.), met in Washington, DC, on February 10 and 11 and offers the following candidates for offices of the Association that are to be filled in the election this year. Voting by AHA members will begin June 1. 

AHA Condemns Executive Order Restricting Entry to the United States

The American Historical Association strongly condemns the executive order issued by President Donald J. Trump on January 27 purportedly “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” Historians look first to evidence: deaths from terrorism in the United States in the last fifteen years have come at the hands of native-born citizens and people from countries other than the seven singled out for exclusion in the order. Attention to evidence raises the question as to whether the order actually speaks to the dangers of foreign terrorism.

NEH Action Alert

Last week a news story appeared in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper with a strong reputation for accuracy, that the Trump administration is considering the elimination of the NEH, along with other cultural agencies. Normally the AHA would not send out an alert based on a single report in a single newspaper. It is clear, however, that the “blueprint” reported in The Hill indeed points to a threat to the very existence of the NEH.

Actions by the AHA Council, June 2016 to January 2017

Through e-mail conversation from June 7, 2016, to December 1, 2016, and at meetings on January 5 and 8, 2017, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions or actions:

Mellon Foundation Grant Expands Impact and Scope of Career Diversity for Historians

The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue and expand its work on Career Diversity for Historians. Launched in 2014 after several years of preliminary work, Career Diversity for Historians supports an exploration of the culture and practice of doctoral education in history. Pilot programs at Columbia University; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Chicago; and the University of New Mexico have devised new courses and programming, including doctoral internships, revised professionalization seminars, new community spaces, and innovative grants.

AHA Statement in Aftermath of 2016 Election

An unusually bitter and divisive election has been followed by continuing evidence of polarization to the point of harassment seldom seen in recent American history. Historians can say with confidence that this is not our nation’s finest hour. Language previously relegated to the margins has moved out of the shadows, emboldening elements of American society less interested in a more perfect union than in division and derision.