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News in American History

OAH Endorses AHA Statement on Executive Order

The Executive Board of the OAH has endorsed and joined with the American Historical Association in its statement opposing President Trump's January 27 executive order. Thirty AHA affiliated history organizations have done likewise and over thirty ACLS Member Societies have also spoken out against this presidential order.

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Posted: February 20, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


Executive Board Creates New Initiative

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program, with support and guidance from the OAH Executive Board, has framed a new initiative in these fractious times. More than 80 OAH Distinguished Lecturers stand ready to speak about the deep historical roots of a variety of divisive issues revealed by the 2016 presidential race and the election of Donald J. Trump.

We invite all OAH members to host one or more of these speakers in the coming months and to introduce this resource to campus or community groups seeking to foster dialogue and to advance critical thinking about both past and present.

Contact lectureship program coordinator Annette Windhorn, awindhorn@oah.org, for more information or to start an invitation.

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Posted: February 19, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Receives Mellon Grant for 2018 Annual Meeting

The Organization of American Historians recently received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to increase the reach of the 2018 OAH Annual Meeting.

Read more about the grant and the changes to the 2018 OAH Annual Meeting here.

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Posted: February 17, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization, Calls for Papers, Meetings, Conferences, Symposia


Organization of American Historians Receives Grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to “Imagine a New Kind of Academic Annual Meeting”

The Organization of American Historians recently received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to increase the reach of the 2018 OAH Annual Meeting to the public, teachers, students, and scholars interested in American history. Presently, the meeting reaches primarily those teaching history within the university or college setting and is limited to those who attend the meeting in person.  The 2018 meeting entitled “Forms of History” will be held April 12-14, in Sacramento, California.

The OAH Amplified Initiative will broaden the OAH’s audience and continue OAH’s conversation beyond the walls of the in-person conference meeting. The Mellon grant will allow the work presented at the OAH Annual Meeting to become available to a broader audience, allowing instructors to engage with new ideas in their classrooms and researchers to access and cite the scholarship presented. Digital audio recordings of the sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting will provide the foundation for this amplified meeting initiative. Additionally, a video studio will be set up at the conference where select attendees will be interviewed.

The audio and video recordings captured at the 2018 Annual Meeting will be tagged so that they can be searched and combined in new ways—by topic, period, or type of presentation. These files will be made available to select groups who will curate, introduce, and interpret programs for particular audiences. Members will be able to listen to the audio files and participants will be able to download their own sessions.

The OAH is excited to provide this opportunity to amplify the work of historians both inside the historical community and beyond it. According to OAH President Elect Edward Ayers, “This initiative will help with OAH’s effort to build community and share ideas between our members and those studying, teaching, and interpreting U.S. history. In short, this will allow the OAH to imagine a new kind of academic annual meeting and perhaps, serve as an example for other academic associations.”

Posted: January 10, 2017
Tagged: Grants, News of the Organization


Collective Statement by Scholars in U.S. History and Related Fields on Civil Rights and Liberties in Dangerous Times

As scholars of United States history and related fields, we have experienced concern and alarm as we went from a divisive campaign season to the election of Donald Trump as our president-elect. On the eve of a new administration whose key players have traded in hateful rhetoric and emboldened the harassment of various targets, we urge Americans to be vigilant against a mass violation of civil rights and liberties that could result if such troubling developments continue unchecked.

We sign this statement as individual scholars. Institutions are listed for identification purposes only.

Click here to see the full statement as well as the list of over 1,200 scholars who have signed.

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Posted: December 15, 2016
Tagged: News of the Profession


In Memoriam: Mark S. Foster

Mark S. Foster, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado Denver, (May 2, 1939 - October 21, 2016) was a prolific scholar of twentieth-century American history, authoring eleven books, plus dozens of articles. Among his most well-known books are From Streetcar to Superhighway: American City Planners and Urban Transportation 1900 1940 (1981); Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West (1989); and Castles in the Sand: The Life and Times of Carl G. Fisher (2000). Foster was a life member of the Organization of American Historians, and had been a member for almost 50 years.

Foster taught at the University of Colorado Denver for thirty-three years, beginning in 1972 at what was then a young campus, and retiring in 2005, having helped the university grow toward maturity. His dynamic teaching and intense dedication transformed many students into enthusiastic historians. He loved nothing more than sharing his excitement and apparently infinite knowledge about history with everyone—students and colleagues, as well as friends in any setting.

That excitement about history combined with Foster's avid sportsmanship to produce three scholarly books and many articles on the history of baseball in Colorado. The combination also energized decades of participation in nineteenth-century vintage baseball. In addition, that blend of historian and sportsman animated countless guest lectures in which Foster wore his vintage baseball uniform, alternating between the voice of an 1870s-era gentleman with decidedly illiberal attitudes and his historian's voice.

Foster earned his B.A. in Philosophy at Brown University in 1961. At the University of Southern California, he earned a Master's degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1971, both in American history. His research and teaching won numerous honors at CU Denver, including Teacher of the Year in 1983 and Researcher of the Year in 2001, plus the University of Colorado Medal in 2007.

Contributions are welcome to the Mark Foster Scholarship in History Fund at the University of Colorado Denver.

Posted: November 28, 2016
Tagged: In Memoriam


Journal of American History Executive Editor Named


The OAH is pleased to announce that Benjamin H. Irvin, associate professor at the University of Arizona, has been named the new Executive Editor of the Journal of American History and associate professor in the department of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Irvin has worked on the editorial boards or staffs of Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life, History Compass, and the Journal of American History.

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Posted: October 14, 2016
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


OAH President Nancy Cott on Texas Textbook Controversy

OAH President Nancy Cott, on behalf of the OAH Executive Committee, has joined with other scholars, concerned citizens, and the American Historical Association to raise objections to the proposed Mexican American Studies textbook under consideration by the Texas State Board of Education. Her letter can be read here.

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Posted: September 30, 2016
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


OAH President Nancy Cott's Letter to Lincoln University

Several months ago, the OAH learned that the Board of Curators at Lincoln University decided to deactivate its history degree programs, thereby preventing students from enrolling in these programs. In response to this news, OAH President Nancy Cott sent a letter to Lincoln University President Dr. Kevin D. Rome Sr. urging the Board of Curators to reconsider their decision.

On Thursday, September 29, the OAH heard that LU Faculty Senate members have supported a "no confidence vote" on the work of Said Sewell, the university's provost and vice president for academic affairs. The Jefferson, Missouri, News Tribune noted that OAH had urged the university to reverse its decision and reactivate its program quickly. President Cott's letter was heavily cited in the newspaper article, which you can read here (http://www.newstribune.com/news/story/story/2016/Sep/29/curators-history-degree-decision-questioned/642415/)

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Posted: September 29, 2016
Tagged: News of the Profession


OAH Mourns the Passing of Allan G. Bogue

The OAH is saddened to learn of the passing of Allan G. Bogue. He died on August 1, 2016 at the age of 95. He served as president of the Organization of American Historians from 1982 to 1983.

Bogue was born May 12, 1921. He was as a Lecturer in Economics and History at the University of Ontario, 1949-1952; an Assistant Professor at State University of Iowa, and the Chair of the Department of History, State University of Iowa, 1959-1963. In 1964 he became a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1968 he became the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, a position he held until his retirement in 1991. He was Chairman of the History Department from 1972-1973. He also served as a visiting professor at various universities including the Thord-Gray Lecturing Fellow, Uppsala University, Sweden, 1968 and in 1971-1972, was a visiting professor at Harvard University.

Bogue has won numerous awards for his work including, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1970, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Fellow (Cal Tech), 1975. He was elected and inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, 1985-1986 and shared in the Caughey Prize for best book in Western American history in previous year, 1995. He wrote 7 books including From Prairie to Corn Belt: Farming on the Illinois and Iowa Prairies in the Nineteenth Century, 1963, and Frederick Jackson Turner: Strange Roads Going Down, 1998. He also collaborated on 12 other books and published 73 articles during his career.

He was a fellow of the Agricultural History Society, an honorary life member of the Western History Association, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret Bogue, Professor Emerita of the History Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison and three daughters.

Allan Bogue's full obituary can be read here.

Posted: August 8, 2016
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH Statement on Collective Bargaining and Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent History Faculty

The Organization of American Historians has released a statement on Collective Bargaining and Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent History Faculty.

Whereas the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is a professional society whose mission is dedicated to the promotion of "excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history," and to the encouragement of "the equitable treatment of all practitioners of history"; and...

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Posted: December 7, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Statement on Campus Carry

The Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians strongly supports the statement endorsed by numerous scholarly organizations expressing deep concern about laws permitting individuals to carry guns in college classrooms and throughout college campuses.

A full list of those scholarly organizations as well as the OAH's full statement can be found here. 

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Posted: December 7, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: Cliff M. Kuhn

OAH member Cliff Kuhn passed away on Sunday, November 8 2015. He was 63 years old. Professor Kuhn was the Executive Director of the Oral History Association and professor of history at Georgia State University. He served as co-chair of the 2014 Annual Meeting Local Resource Committee. Several obituaries and remembrances are posted below.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Local Obituary 

Georgia State University Statement

'Atlanta Loses Its Greatest Listener: Cliff Kuhn, 1952-2015', Tropics Of Meta

'Cliff Kuhn, local historian who gathered Atlantans' tales and stories, has died', Creative Loafing

 

Posted: November 20, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Lois Green Carr

Lois Green Carr, Historian for Historic St. Mary's City, recently passed away at the age of 93. Dr. Carr served as the Historian for Historic St. Mary's City for 45 years. During that time published and co-authored numerous books and papers about the Maryland region, among them the book Robert Cole's World which was the recipient of many awards. In 2000, Dr. Carr was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame and much of her work is still essential reading for scholars of early American History.

Memorial Services celebrating her life will take place at two locations. There will be a service at 4 pm on September 19 at the re-construction Brick Chapel at Historic St. Mary's City with a reception following at the 1676 State House. Tours will be offered prior to the service at St. Mary's City of the various exhibit sites Dr. Carr played a major role in interpreting. A second Memorial Service will be held in Annapolis at 1 pm on September 20 at the Maryland State Archives.

Dr. Carr's full obituary can be read here.

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Francis Paul Prucha

Father Francis Paul Prucha, SJ, life member of the American Historical Association and long-time member of the history department at Marquette University, died on July 30, 2015, at the age of 94. A specialist in the relationship between Native Americans and the United States government, Prucha published or edited more than twenty-five books. His two-volume The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians won the Ray Allen Billington Award from the Organization of American Historians and was one of two finalists for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in history. Prucha published books on nearly every aspect of Native Americans' relationships with white Americans, ranging from military campaigns to trade relations, from treaties to treaty medals, and from education to missionary work. He also published numerous volumes of documents, bibliographies, maps, and guides to researching Native American history.

A native of northern Wisconsin, Prucha served in the U. S. Army Air Force during the Second World War. He recieved his PhD from Harvard University in 1950, the same year in which he entered the Society of Jesus. He came to Marquette University in 1960 and remained there for the rest of his career, serving as department chair for several years and winning the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1973. Among his many honors was being named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences in 1986, and receiving honorary degrees from several institutions, including Creighton, Merrimack, Marquette, Loyola-Chicago, and the College of the Holy Cross.

Prucha had a long and distinguished relationship with the Western History Association, serving on the editorial board of the Western Historical Quarterly and as the organization's twenty-second president in 1982-1983. The WHA's Arrington-Prucha Prize recognizes the best journal article published each year in Western religious history.

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH Executive Committee Issues Statement on Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Shared Governance—and the University of Wisconsin System

The Executive Committee of the Organization of American Historians strongly supports the statement on academic freedom and tenure issued by more than twenty of our fellow scholarly organizations. The academic freedom secured through tenure and a partnership between faculty and administration in governing standards is a linchpin of intellectual inquiry in American higher education. Together, tenure and shared university governance stand at the heart of advanced research and vigorous teaching, as has been recognized explicitly in Wisconsin since its Board of Regents' report of 1894.

The OAH Executive Committee shares the grave concerns voiced by our fellow scholarly associations that the proposed changes to the University of Wisconsin tenure system will irreparably damage protections for free inquiry in one of the nation's most distinguished public universities, undermining its model achievements in research, scholarship, and teaching. A threat to the continuation of tenure at the University of Wisconsin threatens the vitality of all higher education in the United States, for erosion of academic freedom anywhere threatens free inquiry as a principle and practice everywhere.

The statement from the twenty scholarly associations supported by the OAH Executive Committee can be found here.

Update: The OAH has recieved several letters thanking the Organization for our support. 

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Posted: July 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


In Memoriam: Allen Weinstein

Allen Weinstein, former Archivist of the United States, died on June 18, 2015. Professor Weinstein was the ninth archivist of the United States and served from February 2006 to December 2008. He was the author of Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978).

Read more about Professor Weinstein's career at the Washington Post and in a statement issued by David S. Ferriero, current Archivist of the United States.

Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: David Kyvig

OAH member David Kyvig died on June 22, 2015. He was emeritus professor of history at Northern Illinois University, having begun teaching there in 1999. He won the Bancroft Prize in 1997 for Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995 (Lawrence, 1996). Professor Kyvig served on several OAH committees and was a former OAH Distinguished Lecturer.

Read more about Professor Kyvig's career at AHA Today.

Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH LGBTQ Committee Issues Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges

The Organization of American (OAH) Historians Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Historians and Histories celebrates the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states and making marriage equality a reality.

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Posted: June 29, 2015
Tagged: Advocacy, News of the Organization, News of the Profession


U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage

In a historic civil rights ruling issued today in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage a right available to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. The OAH Executive Board submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners written by historian and OAH member George Chauncey on the history of discrimination against gay men and lesbians in America. This brief was cited specifically by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion in today's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, as was the historical scholarship of OAH president-elect Nancy Cott and other prominent American historians.

Read the OAH LGBTQ Committee statement here.

Read the U.S. Supreme Court decision here.

Read the amicus curiae brief here.

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Posted: June 26, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession, Advocacy