Career Diversity for Historians

Connecting the Dots between History and Policymaking: My Internship at the National History Center

When I started my MA program in history at American University in Washington, DC, last fall, I was absolutely sure I was on the track to becoming a tenured professor. I have always enjoyed discussing and analyzing history, so it seemed only natural that I would join the one profession I believed to exist that would allow me to do just that. However, as I dove into my graduate coursework and research, I began to realize that academia was not the only job option available for historians.

What I Do: Aaron Marrs, US Department of State

As part of the Career Diversity for Historians initiative, the AHA is producing and making available short videos of historians working in unusual places talking about what they do. The newest video features Aaron Marrs, historian at the Policy Studies Division in the US Department of State.

September 13, 2016

A Historian in the Stacks: Finding a Professional Home in the Library

By Annie Johnson

Unlike most graduate students, when I started my history PhD at the University of Southern California, I knew I did not want to be a professor. Fresh out of the public humanities program at Brown, I was inspired by the work of public historians like Steven Lubar and Richard Rabinowitz. I figured I would go on and get a PhD, like they had, and then find a curatorial job in a history museum. Not even a semester into my first year, however, my plan began to change (although I didn’t quite realize it at the time).

AHA Announces 2016 Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grants

The AHA is pleased to announce the awardees of its second round of Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grants. Each department will receive $3,000 from Career Diversity for Historians to fund a variety of activities aimed at broadening career horizons and opportunities for graduate students. The AHA received 14 applications. Our selection committee chose the five awardees based on overall merit, with special attention to diversity of geographic location, program size, proposed activities, and varying levels of past work on careers for history PhDs.

Who’s Afraid of Being a Generalist? On Being a Historian outside the Academy

By Rachel Feinmark

After two years of endless academic job applications, Skype interviews, and harrowing job talks, I was exhausted from reinventing myself on a daily basis. For all the effort, I was starting to suspect that I might not even want any of the jobs I was working so hard to get. When I finally gave myself permission to apply for the public history positions I’d secretly been coveting, I felt a sense of relief. But as I revised my teaching statement for a museum studies role, I came to realize that I was less interested in refining my class on the history of display than I was in creating the display myself.