Author Archives: Guest Blogger

2018 Humanities Advocacy Day: Building on Last Year’s Wins

By Beatrice Gurwitz

Over the course of February and March, advocacy organizations of all stripes host “fly-in” days, where advocates from around the country come to Capitol Hill to make the case for federal funding priorities. These events are concentrated in February and March to align with the beginning of the congressional appropriations cycle. After the president submits a budget request in February, Congress begins its own budgeting and appropriations process: Members of Congress submit individual requests and sign on to collective letters that make the case for particular priorities.

History at the Office: How a Business Analyst Uses Her History Degree

By Stephanie Fulbright

I earned my undergraduate degrees in history and business, and while my primary interest was in history, by graduation I had burned out on academia. Looking for a change of pace, I took a job at a healthcare IT organization. As I gained more work experience, I noticed I drew on the skills I learned as a history major more frequently than the skills from my business major. I began to see how well thinking like a historian applied to my roles as a project manager and a business analyst. 

Research-Oriented: Translating a History PhD into a Successful Career at a Think Tank

By Ashton Merck

Think tanks, also known as research institutes, advocacy organizations, and policy centers, are often described as “universities without students.” These organizations run the gamut of political orientations, thematic focus, size, and scope, but most share a common emphasis on research and writing—two core features of doctoral programs in history. Thus, working at a think tank seems like a perfect example of the kind of career outside academia that forward-thinking institutions and professional associations, including the AHA, are increasingly encouraging history PhDs to pursue.

The Graduate: Introducing a New Series on AHA Today

Welcome to the new AHA Today series on graduate life! The Graduate aims to provide a platform for students to discuss the issues they face, reflect on the unique experiences of pursuing a graduate degree in history (trials and triumphs alike), and make proposals for how we—as students, professionals, and as a discipline—can come together to address the challenges of graduate education. 

Students in the Trenches: Using Operation War Diary to Teach the First World War

By Susan Corbesero

About a half hour into tagging frontline records in the Operation War Diary project, the room of high school sophomores erupted. “Rats! These trenches are filled with them.” “That’s not so bad; the officer here is talking about trench foot.” “It looks like 95 soldiers died on just this one day!” “My battalion doesn’t seem to move anywhere.” “Oh no! This unit is heading to Ypres.” As an educator, I could not have found the moment more gratifying.

Race, Print, and Digital Humanities: Pedagogical Approaches

By Amy E. Earhart and Maura Ives

As literary scholars who work with both print and digital materials, and are interested in the production, construction, and materiality of texts, we believe that a book history approach reveals crucial information about the impact of race on what print materials are digitized. As Earhart has documented in “Can Information Be Unfettered? Race and the New Digital Humanities Canon,” there are clear inequities in our digitization of materials that break along the lines of race and gender.

What Makes a Great Proposal for the AHA Annual Meeting?

By Claire Potter and Brian Ogilvie

Chairing a conference program committee is a humbling experience, both because of the fine people in it, and because of the opportunities it provides to encounter thoughtful and engaging scholarship. Building the program of the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, especially, offers an opportunity to see what our colleagues are thinking about across the many fields and subspecialties represented in the Association’s membership. We want to congratulate the 2018 committee for the excellent meeting program in Washington, DC, and are eager to read the proposals we receive for #AHA19.

Conversations Over Cardboard: Poster Sessions at AHA18

By Kathryn Tomasek

The poster sessions at the AHA annual meeting have evolved from a small beginning in 2006 to a far more prominent set of four Saturday sessions that will be featured in the Atrium of the Marriott Wardman Park. The visibility of these sessions and their number indicates that historians have embraced the conference poster as a vital form of scholarly communication. I welcome this adaptation as a demonstration of the vitality of our discipline. When we integrate this form into our models of research and teaching, we highlight the role of conversation at the center of our disciplinary practice.