Last week, committees in the House of Representatives voted on recommendations for Fiscal Year 2018 budget allocations. Historical works takes place in, or is funded by, a wide variety of federal agencies; the National Coalition for History (NCH) tries to keep track of as many of these as possible. The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) and Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) complement this work with their focus on agencies with broader focus in the humanities and social sciences, but of central interest to historians.
Through e-mail conversation from January 9, 2017, to May 12, 2017, and at meetings on June 3 and 4, 2017, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions or actions:
Through e-mail conversation from June 7, 2016, to December 1, 2016, and at meetings on January 5 and 8, 2017, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions or actions:
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.”
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.
In late August the dean of students at the University of Chicago, John Ellison, stirred up a hornets’ nest with a letter to incoming students that specifically denounced “so-called ‘trigger warnings’” and “intellectual ‘safe spaces’” as antithetical to the university’s commitment to freedom of expression. The letter followed up on issues addressed in the university’s widely praised 2015 report on freedom of expression. Its tone, however, is very different from that report, and many observers argue that so is its perspective.
AHA Teaching Division Councilor Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas Coll.) and AHA member Emilio Zamora (Univ. of Texas, Austin) are part of a committee that has released a report citing numerous factual inaccuracies and generally poor historical work in a textbook proposed to meet Texas’s Mexican American Studies standard in high schools.