After three years of Tuning we have learned a lot!
The latest iteration of the U.S. News and World Report rankings of history graduate programs appeared yesterday, prompting fresh questions about their value for the discipline.
In response to a question from Stacy Patton for her Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Stale PhDs Need Not Apply,” I put together the accompanying chart from my surveys of job advertisers. The trends are quite fascinating, and could have significant implications for the training and preparation of new PhDs and the expectations of those currently in the history job market.
Members of the profession generally recognize that the traditional model of newly minted PhDs filling the junior ranks of the profession increasingly reflects a bygone era.
The AHA cordially invites visiting researchers and friends of the Association to attend the second annual AHA Summer Reception at our Capitol Hill headquarters, Tuesday, July 31, from 3:30 – to 6:30pm. Meet historians who are using the city’s extensive resources, along with a few DC-based historians who haven’t fled for the summer. Please note that space is limited. We look forward to seeing you at 400 A Street SE, Washington DC 20003.
The 37th edition of the Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians, with information on almost 800 history departments and historical organizations, is now available.
Departments that already have paid their fee for listing in the Directory should receive their print copy in the mail in the next 2–3 weeks.
The AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct has been updated both online and in print form for 2011.
The amended statement continues to address “dilemmas and concerns about the practice of history that historians have regularly brought to the American Historical Association seeking guidance and counsel. Some of the most important sections of this Statement address questions about employment that vary according to the different institutional settings in which historians perform their work. Others address forms of professional misconduct that are especially troubling to historians.
History education is important to the AHA, and this week we begin this week with two links on the subject. First up, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has put together a commission, which includes a number of prominent historians, to come up with ways to improve excellence in the humanities in the U.S. Then, we link to an article from The Economist, which emphasizes the need to improve history education, despite the push for an increased focus on math and science.
Another historical malpractice foisted upon American school children came to light in Virginia last week . Once again it comes down to whether the standards of history as a discipline mean anything in the context of elementary and secondary history education. Few of us would trust our children’s dental care to a historian. Nor do we assume that anyone who has written a book can write a math textbook, regardless of their educational credentials. But too often history seems different, subject to lower standards and inadequate review. When a history textbook for fourth graders in Virginia is found to contain falsehoods that expose incompetent research practices and insufficient understanding of professional standards, the author apparently considers “I am a fairly respected writer” to be an adequate defense. A textbook whose author cannot discern the difference between “controversial” interpretations and outright historical fallacy has no place in our classrooms. Our children deserve better.