Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Oral History Research Excluded from IRB Oversight

By Lee White

On January 19 the federal government issued its final rule governing Institutional Review Boards, which “explicitly removes” oral history and journalism from the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. It was originally promulgated as the “Common Rule” in 1991. The historical community, collaborating through the National Coalition for History, has long argued that scholarly history projects should not be subject to standard IRB procedures since they are designed for the research practices of the sciences. The new IRB rule goes into effect January 19, 2018.

Broadening Your Career Horizon: Practical Advice for Using the AHA’s Career Contacts Program

By Katie Streit

The challenging academic job market facing historians is one topic that is frequently discussed in graduate courses, academic journals, and job reports. While students are aware of the steep competition for limited positions, there are few resources available for identifying careers outside of academia and successfully marketing oneself for those positions. Fortunately, the AHA is trying to help with its Career Contacts program. The service connects graduate students and recent PhDs with historians working in various careers, including those employed in the government and nonprofit organizations.

The Muddled History of the Denver Omelet

By Rick Halpern

The Denver omelet is a near ubiquitous offering on diner and greasy spoon menus across the country, but what is the home city’s spin on this American perennial? And what can the culinary history of this dish tell us about the social history of the frontier West? Why not take advantage of a few days in Denver for the 2017 AHA annual meeting to explore these questions?

Becoming an Assistant Professor: Things I Wish I’d Known as a Grad Student

By Jared Hardesty

As I gear up for another AHA annual meeting, I have been reflecting a lot about my own transition from graduate student to assistant professor. Mostly it’s because this will be my second year staffing the “Ask an Assistant Professor” booth at the annual meeting’s Career Fair. For those who can’t make it to the booth, and are mystified by life on the other side, here are some things about becoming an assistant professor that I wish I’d known as a graduate student.

Hunting and Gathering: An Editor’s Life at the Annual Meeting

By Nancy Toff

On the first day of the AHA’s annual meeting, the most senior editors, the youngest marketing assistants, and anyone else representing a publisher are on their hands and knees in the Exhibit Hall unpacking skids full of books. We pray that all the boxes have arrived, and then we artfully arrange a display of the last year’s publishing efforts. In a few short hours, unruly stacks of cardboard boxes morph into a Potemkin Palace of history books. That Exhibit Hall is the best place on earth—and these days, often the only place—for scholars to actually peruse our new publications, especially the specialist monographs.

Confessions of a Recovering Introvert: Networking When You Don’t Want to Talk to Strangers

By Amanda I. Seligman

Attending my first AHA annual meeting as a graduate student almost 25 years ago, I knew only my advisor, whom I saw for all of five or ten minutes as we waited for the plenary session on Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land. For the rest of that very long weekend, I felt entirely alone. I did not know anyone in the profession. As a novice historian and (I then firmly believed) a natural introvert, I had trouble imagining ever turning into one of those middle-aged people gracefully greeting old friends and warmly meeting strangers.

Nurses in the Navy attending class, 1940. Wikimedia Commons

Pink-Collar Pain and Our New President

By Katherine Turk

In the wake of this year’s presidential election, many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are struggling to understand why her calls for sisterhood did not persuade the 62 percent of white non-college-educated women who voted for her opponent, Donald J. Trump.[1] One explanation came in Trump’s acceptance speech. In a 21st-century twist on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Depression-era appeal to the working class, the president-elect praised the “forgotten men and women” who hoisted him to victory. Many of these women are indeed the pink-collar workers the civil rights revolution forgot.

Business History Conference Cancels Meeting in Charlotte

By Roger Horowitz

The Business History Conference (BHC), the largest professional organization of business historians in the United States, has cancelled plans to hold its 2018 annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its decision is in response to the adoption of the HB2 bill by the state government, and the recent rejection of a repeal of the measure by the North Carolina legislature. BHC will instead hold its 2018 annual meeting at the Baltimore Embassy Suites Inner Harbor.