Early Career Historians

Becoming an Assistant Professor: Things I Wish I’d Known as a Grad Student

By Jared Hardesty

As I gear up for another AHA annual meeting, I have been reflecting a lot about my own transition from graduate student to assistant professor. Mostly it’s because this will be my second year staffing the “Ask an Assistant Professor” booth at the annual meeting’s Career Fair. For those who can’t make it to the booth, and are mystified by life on the other side, here are some things about becoming an assistant professor that I wish I’d known as a graduate student.

How About Some Optimism? Changing the Conversation around Career Prospects for Future Historians

By Jason Steinhauer

In February I had the privilege of visiting a public university in the Midwest and meeting with students from its graduate history program, both masters and PhD candidates. I left very impressed: the department chair was dedicated and forward-thinking, the faculty were excellent, and the students were remarkably bright. One was researching the intersection of African American history with health and medicine. Another was working on a topic connected to LGBT history. A third was doing work connected to public policy.

An Americanist in Meknès: Applying Historical Training and Skills to Diverse Careers

By Darren A. Raspa

At its finest the news media connects us with human stories and events. As historians, it is these records of humanity from the past that drive us and link us to the people, events, and processes we have the privilege of dedicating our lives to. As a contributing historical editor for Morocco World News last summer, I had the immense opportunity to both participate in the writing of history as it unfolds today, and utilize the tools we have developed as trained historians.

Futures of History: Empowering the Next Generation of Historians through Career Diversity

By Grace Ballor

Recent efforts to professionalize doctoral students in history for careers beyond the professoriate, including initiatives such as the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians, have faced significant resistance from critics, students, and faculty alike, who worry about the commercialization of the academy. Skeptics express concern that attempts to “repurpose the history PhD” dissuade graduate students from scholarship in favor of other career paths, and deliberately devalue both a doctoral degree in history as well as the pursuit of historical knowledge.