Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Attendees enjoy the 2016 annual meeting reception for two-year faculty.

Balancing Teaching and Scholarship: Why Two-Year Faculty Should Attend the AHA Annual Meeting

By Sarah Shurts

I am always surprised that so many of my colleagues at two-year colleges don’t go to the AHA annual meeting. They all have high regard for the AHA itself and for its publications such as the American Historical Review. Many are even AHA members. But for various reasons they don’t think about attending the meeting or submitting a proposal. Some say it is because of the cost associated with travel, particularly if they have other conferences to attend.


“You Will Never Get Anything Useful or of Value Out of This”: How a Difficult Diary Became My Dissertation

By Michelle M. Martin

In a neat, ornate hand Katie Edwards wrote in her diary on April 4, 1870, about the new chapter in her life that awaited her in the Indian Territory. “After a good night rest in a clean bed I rose this morning much refreshed . . . started for the Mission . . . will start with 80 pupils,” she remarked. With this simple declaration Edwards left behind the security and comfort of Ohio and entered the intricate world of the Mvskoke and Seminole peoples in the Indian Territory.


Time to Right the Record: American Conservatism in the Archives

By Michelle Nickerson

“We don’t have anything on conservative women, however . . .”

This is what archivists would tell me during the earliest days of my dissertation research. It was the turn of the 21st century, and I was enthusiastically joining a wave of new scholars taking up what Alan Brinkley had called, in his path-breaking 1994 American Historical Review essay, “The Problem of American Conservatism.”


Peer Reviewing History Assignments at the #AHA17 Undergraduate Teaching Workshop

By Nancy Quam-Wickham

Imagine a crowded room where students—shoulder to shoulder—worked frantically to complete architectural drawings. As the moment to submit their projects approached, an aide pushed a little cart (the “charrette”) through the classroom; students were required to deposit their drawings as the cart passed. Those not yet done with their work leapt into the cart, adding finishing touches to their designs as the cart passed drafting tables. The exercise was a loud, raucous, frenzied, stressful, though profoundly creative experience.


The Promise and Peril of the Civil Rights Act of 1866

By Ibram X. Kendi

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. I must ask: should we be celebrating or lamenting the sesquicentennial of this inaugural civil rights act?


Announcing the Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism

By Erika J. Pribanic-Smith

The American Historical Association is pleased to announce a new book prize to honor excellence in historical scholarship. The Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism, to be inaugurated in 2017, will be awarded annually to the author of the most outstanding book published in English on any aspect of the history of journalism, concerning any area of the world, and any period. This prize recognizes the vital contributions that journalism history has made to our understanding of the past.


Who Died of Consumption? Race and Disease in the United States

Rachel Snyder, Sarah Tran, Scott Saunders, and Jay Pandya

In summer 2015, a project team of eight students from Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and George Mason University collaborated to explore the history of tuberculosis in the United States, using newspaper obituaries and census data. The project, funded by 4Va, a consortium of Virginia research universities,will be explored in two AHA Today blog postings that’ll explain this research experience from the perspective of the students. In July, the National History Center and Woodrow Wilson Center co-sponsored a research forum showcasing the students’ research. More information about the project is available at

Texas Tuning 2016

AHA Holds Second Conference on Introductory History Courses in Texas

By Jonathan Lee

On August 5 and 6, the AHA held its second annual Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses at San Antonio College. The conference, which was established as a space for instructors of introductory history courses in the state to meet with each other and explore innovations surrounding teaching and learning history in informal networks, built on discussions and initiatives from its previous gathering in August 2015 at the University of Texas at Austin. The 60-plus attendees represented a diverse group of history educators from four-year, two-year, and dual-credit programs.