With the dramatic increases in dual enrollment/concurrent enrollment programs, the American Historical Association reiterates its commitment to both broadening access to higher education and monitoring the quality of that education in our discipline. The AHA seeks to provide constructive support for all historians involved in and affected by this work. The Association’s Statement on Dual/Concurrent Enrollment offers high school and college faculty, along with their administrators, guidelines to assure baseline quality history education for all students, regardless of where they attend class.
On November 11, the local press in the San Francisco Bay Area reported that a history teacher at Mountain View High School had been suspended for drawing parallels between President-elect Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler in his lesson plan. Longtime teacher Frank Navarro was placed on paid leave apparently following an alleged complaint from a parent about this analogy. We were pleased to see that he was quickly reinstated, and note that the superintendent of schools in Mountain View has stated in a letter to concerned correspondents that the action related to a confidential personnel matter and “I can state that—despite what the headlines say—the teacher’s paid leave was not for teaching a lesson comparing Trump to Hitler.”
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.
The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty: Democratic Constitutionalism.
The AHA Council approved a letter to US Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, requesting a timely recommendation to the White House regarding a National Monument in Beaufort, South Carolina, in recognition of Reconstruction. The proposed monument would be the first in the National Park Service to expressly represent the history of emancipation and Reconstruction. The significant historical events that transpired at Beaufort make it an ideal place to tell this critical story of experimentation, potential transformation, accomplishment, and disappointment.
AHA president Pat Manning sent a letter to Polish President Andrzej Duda expressing concern over the government’s treatment and potential prosecution of Jan T. Gross, professor of history at Princeton University. The celebrated historian of the holocaust is facing a libel investigation from Polish authorities for publishing historical accounts of Poles killing Jews during World War II. The potential actions, according to Manning, represent “a serious threat to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and impartial historical scholarship” in Poland.
The American Historical Association (AHA) has appointed Alex Lichtenstein as editor of the American Historical Review (AHR), beginning August 2017. “Professor Lichtenstein brings energy and insight to the editorial direction of the American Historical Review,” AHA president Pat Manning said of the appointment. “The AHA Council looks forward to working with him, the journal staff, and [the AHR editorial] board in charting the future of the premier historical journal.”
The AHA Council has voted to approve this set of guidelines, drafted by the Professional Division, on the doctoral dissertation process. The guidelines aim to help both doctoral candidates and those who advise them to fulfill their respective obligations in ways that facilitate the work of students and allow them to graduate in a timely manner, while also respecting the many other duties and responsibilities carried by faculty.