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News of the Organization

Stay up to date with news of the Organization of American Historians through our “News of the Organization” section.

Action Alert: National Humanities Alliance

Act now to prevent deep cuts to funding for international education.

The Senate has proposed deep cuts to Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.

These programs are crucial for educating U.S. students for our interconnected world and training experts in foreign languages and cultures.

The proposed cut would slash $25 million (35%) from Title VI and Fulbright-Hays, and it has already passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This comes after a drastic cut in 2010 and would amount to a 63% reduction over five years!

What's at stake?

Click here for more information on Title VI programs and the status of the appropriations process.

Send a message to Congress now.
We need to speak out now to ensure that the Senate bill does not advance any further. The House appropriations committee has already approved funding at the current level. Your voice will help ensure that these crucial international education programs remain intact.

For more information about the National Humanities Alliance, click here.

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


Renew Early and Win

Renew your membership before the fall rush and be entered to win one of our great prizes: two free registrations to the 2016 Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island; a free night's stay during the annual meeting; two Amazon gift certificates; or our grand prize, a Fitbit Charge HR. To be included in the drawing, you must renew no later than September 30. (Those who have already renewed memberships that expire on 10/31/2015 will automatically be included in the drawing.) You can renew online through the OAH Member Services Portal, by phone, or by mail.

Please call us at (812) 855-7311 (between 8am and 5pm ET), if you need assistance retrieving your username or password or if you would like to renew by phone.

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


New OAH Lecture Videos Available

Catch up with selected OAH Distinguished Lecturers on the OAH YouTube channel

Recently posted lectures include:

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Action Alert: Urge Congress to Restore Funding for K-12 History and Civics Education

Negotiations to finalize a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will resume when Congress returns after Labor Day. Quite simply, the Senate bill restores federal funding for K-12 history and civics education while the House bill does not. 

The Organization of American Historians and the National Coalition for History (NCH) urgently need you to contact your member of the House of Representatives. Congressmen Ross (R-FL) and Cicilline (D-RI) have drafted and distributed a sign-on letter urging their colleagues to adopt the history and civics provisions in the Senate's version of the bill.

Please urge your representative to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter supporting key provisions that benefit history and civics education.

Send an email directly to House members!

Follow this link to NCH's website for more information.

To read the full Action Alert, click here.

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Posted: August 21, 2015
Tagged: Advocacy, News of the Organization, News of the Profession


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. 

Read more >

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


New Member Benefit - The History Teacher

OAH Members can now add a discounted subscription to The History Teacher to their membership. The History Teacher is a quarterly journal devoted to the art and practice of teaching. The OAH is committed to providing our members with tools that positively impact their careers and is pleased to partner with the Society for History Education to expand our teaching tool offerings.

 Subscriptions can be added to your membership when you renew online or by calling (812) 855-7311 between 8am and 5pm ET. 

For More Information 

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Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Public History Employer Survey

What historical skills are most in demand? What do employers want, and where do they see new needs developing? These questions are the focus of a new survey developed by a joint task force of the American Association of State and Local History and the National Council on Public History, American Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians.

Read more about the survey here

Read more >

Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


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.

Read More >>

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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.

Read more >

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


It's Not Too Late to Register for the 2015 OAH Regional Workshop

There's still space for the 3-day workshop, "Diversity in the American West," which will be held on the campus of Glendale Community College, located ten miles north of downtown Los Angeles, from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19, 2015.

Read here for additional information about the event.

Read more >

Posted: June 11, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Support the OAH, Contribute to the Annual Fund

It's not too late to give to the OAH Annual Fund.  The Annual Fund helps support programs and publications of the organization not covered by dues. Contributions to the Annual Fund can be made here.

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Posted: June 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel Responds

As those of you who attended the 2015 OAH Annual Meeting in St. Louis know, the host hotel--The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel--was under construction.  Hotel management had not notified us of the extent of the construction prior to our arrival, and they did not realize the extent to which that construction affected our meeting.  After numerous discussions with them, they have issued the following letter apologizing for not understanding how disruptive this construction was to our group.

Read the letter here.

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Posted: June 9, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


2015 OAH Regional Workshop - Registration Opens May 4

Registration for the OAH's Summer 2015 Regional Workshop will open on May 4. The 3-day workshop, titled "Diversity in the American West," will be held on the campus of Glendale Community College, located ten miles north of downtown Los Angeles, from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19, 2015.

Read here for additional information about the event.

Read more >

Posted: May 1, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Members Honored as Pulitzer Prize Winner and Finalist

OAH member Elizabeth A. Fenn, an associate professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, has received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in history for her work, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People (2014). Fenn's study explores the history of the Mandans, a Native American tribe in the Dakotas. She holds the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Chair in Western American History. Fenn is also the coauthor, with Peter H. Wood, of Natives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina before 1770 (1983) and the author of the award-winning Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 (2001).

Sven Beckert, also an OAH member, was nominated as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2014), which argues that slavery was crucial to the dynamism of the industrial revolution. He is the Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University.

Please join us in congratulating OAH members Fenn and Beckert on their accomplishments!

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Posted: May 1, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession, Clio's Kudos


2015 National Underground Railroad Conference

The OAH is pleased to be partnering with the National Park Service's Network to Freedom Program to help support the 2015 National Underground Railroad Conference, June 17-20, 2015, to be held in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

More information about this year's theme and the conference, including hotel and registration information, can be found here.

Read more >

Posted: April 30, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, Meetings, Conferences, Symposia


Meet the New OAH Distinguished Lecturers

The Organization of American Historians is pleased to welcome 47 new OAH Distinguished Lecturers for 2015-2016. Visit the lectureship web site for a complete list of these newly appointed lecturers and make plans to host one in the coming academic year. Read about the new lecturers here.

Read more >

Posted: April 29, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Thank You to All Our Volunteers; Deadline to Volunteer May 1!

In honor of National Volunteer Week, the OAH wishes to thank our many volunteers for their service and dedication to the organization!

If you would like to be considered for a volunteer position on one of our many committees or boards, please complete the Volunteer Form by logging into the OAH Member Services Portal here.

The deadline to be considered for committees for the upcoming year is May 1!

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Posted: April 28, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


Annual Meeting 2015 Media Coverage

Were you unable to attend the Annual Meeting in St. Louis? Visit History News Network for comprehensive reports on Day 1Day 2, and Day 3. You'll find links to HNN interviews, conference highlights, and more at "The 2015 OAH Annual Meeting: Videos, News, Everything."

Find more videos and interviews here>>

Read more >

Posted: April 26, 2015
Tagged: Meetings, Conferences, Symposia, News of the Organization


Update on Indiana RFRA Law

On April 2, the Indiana General Assembly amended the RFRA law that had been signed by Governor Mike Pence on March 26, 2015. The fix for the law specifically notes that the RFRA does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex or military service. Churches and other nonprofit religious organizations (including affiliated schools) are exempt from the definition of "provider."

After an overwhelming outcry to repeal or fix the bill, the bill with the new language, was signed into law by Governor Pence on April 2, 2015. Most of the businesses and associations were pleased with the new language although most now want the state to pass a nondiscrimination law for all protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity. While not on the table previously, the state legislature has said it will consider such a bill next session.

Read more >

Posted: April 6, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Executive Committee Issues Statement of Opposition to Indiana's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act"

On Thursday, March 26, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" despite exceptionally strong protests of the Republican Mayor of Indianapolis, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, headquartered in Indianapolis), Visit Indy (the Indianapolis convention bureau), churches, and many individuals presenting multiple petitions. As the statements of these individuals and groups indicate, the Act does not reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of Indianapolis and Bloomington residents or of Indiana's many other cities that have worked hard to welcome residents of many backgrounds and views, creating a highly diverse state. The OAH Executive Committee has issued the statement below regarding the Act and is writing the Governor and the leaders in the Indiana House and Senate indicating its strong disapproval of this Act.

"The Executive Committee of the Organization of American Historians, headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, strongly urges the Indiana Legislature and Governor Mike Pence to repeal the 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act' signed into law March 26, 2015. The Act carries alarming potential for abuse in the form of discrimination on many grounds--religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation. The OAH strongly condemns any legislation that can be employed to discriminate against any person, whether on the basis of 'any exercise of religion' or simple personal ethnic or racial prejudice. The OAH Executive Committee urges the immediate repeal of this Act to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all residents of the State of Indiana and visitors to the state."

An article was written in The New York Times on the reactions of Indiana citizens and businesses. That article can be read here. 

The Organization of American Historians is an external agency of Indiana University and is housed on the Bloomington, IN campus. The President of IU, Michael McRobbie, issued a statement about the passing of the new law. It can be read here.

In an unusual move, the Indianapolis Star on March 31, 2015 placed an editorial on its front page demanding that this bill be fixed - read more here.

Earlier articles in the Indianapolis Star about the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act":

The text of the new law can be read in full here.

Read more >

Posted: March 28, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, Advocacy