The unofficial slogan of the American Historical Association is “Everything has a history.” Introduced by executive director James Grossman in the December 2015 issue of Perspectives, the phrase now appears on staff business cards and, in its hashtag form, has begun to spread on Twitter. As Grossman put it, “Instead of lamenting the decline of public intellectuals, I propose that most historians ought to be capable of functioning in public arenas, ought to be capable of at least reminding our neighbors that everything has a history.”
The April issue of Perspectives on History arrives near the end of the academic year, when many historians are neck-deep in metrics—grades, course evaluations, funding allocations, and more. So it’s appropriate that several stories in this month’s Perspectives address modes of measurement and their implications.
By Allison Miller
An open file cabinet graces the cover of this month’s Perspectives on History. As an illustration for our cover story—a brief for the power of academic administration to further knowledge production—it’s apt enough.
Editor’s Note: The February issue of Perspectives on History carried an article by Carlisle High School teacher Kevin Wagner, winner of the AHA’s 2015 Beveridge Family Teaching Prize. In the piece, Wagner described traveling with his student, Sam Spare, to Normandy as part of the Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Teacher Institute, created by National History Day. Here are Sam’s reflections on the institute, his relationship with his history teacher, and the process of doing historical research.
Perspectives continues its tradition of devoting the February issue to capturing the spirit of the annual meeting just past.
AHA staff is thrilled to announce the winning names of this year’s “Name That Cocktail!” contest. Each year, historians submit names for signature cocktails to be served at the annual meeting hotel bars.
Are historians shaking off a Frankfurt School hangover? Anecdotally, it seems that having a taste for mass culture is more acceptable today than it was in the past, at least for the critical set.
One of the pleasures of editing Perspectives on History is the opportunity to work with authors committed to history in so many of its facets—including but not limited to academic research, public history, and teaching