Opportunities for Historians

Around the Profession

The Oral History Association in Search for Host Institution and/or Executive Director

DEADLINE: July 1, 2022

The Oral History Association (OHA), the principal organization of practicing oral historians in the United States, is seeking a host institution and/or executive director beginning January 1, 2023, for a five (5) year commitment.

OHA will entertain a range of organizational options when it considers institutional hosts and executive leadership. Historical societies, museums, archives, independent administrators, colleges and universities are encouraged to submit proposals. Leadership might include an independently contracted executive director, or it might mean two people are co-directors.

OHA seeks an Executive Director with professional and scholarly experience with oral history, and demonstrated leadership, management, strategic planning, communication, and fundraising abilities. If applicable, the Executive Director works collaboratively with the host institution to foster a mutually beneficial relationship that includes new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, enhanced cross-disciplinary collaboration, and dynamic community engagement. The new Executive Director and/or host institution will inherit a financially sound organization whose membership is committed to oral history as a rigorous practice that embraces democratic values.

Among their many responsibilities, the host institution and/or Executive Director are responsible for providing logistical and operational support to the OHA executive office in carrying out its duties, including any necessary human resources management, office space and equipment, and communications infrastructure (telephone, internet, etc.). Additionally, the Executive Director works with the Finance Committee to prepare annual budgets for approval by Council. Institutions interested in hosting the OHA’s offices or individuals interested in serving as independently contracted Executive Director are invited to send an initial expression of interest to the OHA by October 15, 2021 (See details below.) Viable candidates will be invited to submit a full proposal, due no later than February 18, 2022. A final decision is expected by April 2022, with a transition from the current host institution to the new offices anticipated to begin in June 2022.

For more than sixty years, the Oral History Association has enjoyed a national and international reputation as a leader in the field of oral history. Its members include more than 900 individuals from a variety of disciplines and professional fields; and more than 180 institutions, including university programs and centers, libraries and archives, museums, historical societies, and community-based programs. The association hosts an annual meeting in the fall with an average attendance of 500. It publishes the electronic OHA Newsletter five times a year and sponsors the Oral History Review (OHR), the principal journal in the oral history field in the United States. Published by Routledge, the OHR editorial offices are currently located in and supported by the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. The OHA is governed by a nine-member Council. It is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies.

The association is guided by its mission to “connect and inspire practitioners and support their work to ethically collect, preserve, share, and interpret memories which foster knowledge and respect.”The OHA and its members have been central to the evolution of public and digital humanities during the past several decades and to fostering an appreciation for public humanities work in diverse formats and media. As a field, oral history lies at the intersection of numerous academic disciplines and professional practices: history and public history; folklore, sociology, anthropology and other fieldwork-based disciplines; archival management and library sciences; communication/s, film, journalism, linguistics and performance studies; narrative and memory studies; trauma studies; and gerontology. Oral history has become increasingly international in scope, as recent decades have seen the formation of professional organizations throughout the world and the maturation of the International Oral History Association. To see the current organizational Strategic Plan and for more information about the OHA, visit www.oralhistory.org.

Since 2018 the OHA executive offices have been hosted by Middle Tennessee State University and its operations overseen by two co-directors and supported by a program assistant. Under new leadership, the OHA seeks to expand its membership, further strengthen its national office, and advance new initiatives in the field.

Letter of Interest
Initial expressions of interest, due October 15, 2021, should include a preliminary explanation of factors that would make you an appropriate executive director or your institution an appropriate home, such as your vision for the organization and the field, how the OHA's presence would benefit your institution, as well as a description of available resources, facilities, personnel, programs, and relationships. If applicable, letters of Interest should indicate support from appropriate institutional administrators. Final proposals will require formal letters of support from these administrators.

While the OHA is open to considering a variety of arrangements, either institutionally based or independently supported, it does expect a significant commitment of resources to the executive office and staff. To help guide prospective applicants, we include here a more detailed Fact Sheet describing the OHA's needs and expectations.

The Search Committee is committed to working with prospective applicants as they prepare Letters of Interest. Please feel free to contact Search Committee Chair Lu Ann Jones (luann_jones@nps.gov) and committee members Kelly E. Navies (naviesk@si.edu) and Zaheer Ali (mail@zaheerali.com) to indicate your intent to pursue this opportunity and to address any questions you may have. Potential Executive Directors and/or representatives of institutions and organizations submitting a Letter of Interest should plan to meet with the Search Committee in late October, about the time of its virtual annual meeting. The Letter of Interest should be sent as an attachment to Search Committee Chair Lu Ann Jones with "Letter of Interest" in the Subject line.

Posted: September 20, 2021
Tagged: Around the Profession

Columbia University Press Launches New Partnership with Howard University to Advance Black Studies and Diversity Academic Publishing

DEADLINE: March 1, 2030

Columbia University Press today announced a new ongoing scholarly book series in the field of Black studies called Black Lives in the Diaspora: Past / Present / Future, to be published in partnership with Howard University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Columbia University’s African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. This collaboration between a historically Black university and an Ivy League university’s press and faculty is the first of its kind in academic publishing, and it represents the first step in a larger partnership between the two universities to publish more robustly in Black studies and to recruit and support a cohort of editorial fellows to provide an entryway for recent HBCU graduates into the publishing industry.

An editorial board of eight faculty—four each from Howard University and Columbia University—will oversee the new series, which will be published by the Press. The series will publish in the humanities and social sciences at the junior, midcareer, and senior levels. Acquisitions for 2–3 publications per year in the new series will begin immediately. Funding is currently being sought to expand the program to publish up to 20 titles per year and augment the staff of Columbia University Press with a new full-time Black studies editor and graduate student fellows. The fellows will receive specialized training in the editorial department and will be supported to gain experience across the other standard departments in publishing, according to their own interests. Over time, this cohort of fellows, mentored by the new editor and others at Howard University and Columbia University, will be prepared for careers in the publishing industry.

Building on Columbia University Press’s history of publications in Black studies and history, sociology, religion, philosophy, and literature, the new series will further scholarship in African American and African Diaspora studies by focusing on Black lives in a global diasporic context. The series will showcase scholarship and writing that enriches our understanding of Black experiences in the past, present, and future. It is a goal of the series that the books will reach beyond the academy and become part of urgent national and international conversations about the experiences of people of African descent. By design, the series anchors an exchange across two global educational institutions, both residing in historical capitals of Black life and culture.

Howard University had a press that was discontinued a decade ago, representing the loss of an important voice in African American studies and scholarly publishing. This new collaboration will enable Howard once again to participate in the curatorial process of scholarly publishing, and result in a series dedicated to African American and African Diaspora studies that is more inclusive and of a higher caliber than Columbia University and Columbia University Press could achieve alone. The series will become self-sustaining financially within five years, including funding for the editorial fellows, who are central to the Howard University–Columbia University partnership.

Editorial board members for the new series are:

Howard University

  • Clarence Lusane, Professor of Political Science, and former Chair, Department of Political Science
  • Rubin Patterson, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Sociology
  • Nikki Taylor, Chair, Department of History, and Professor of History
  • Amy Yeboah, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies

Columbia University

  • Kevin Fellezs, Associate Professor of Music and African American and African Diaspora Studies
  • Farah Jasmine Griffin, Chair, African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, and        William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies
  • Frank Guridy, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies
  • Josef Sorett, Chair, Department of Religion, and Professor of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies

Those interested in submitting a project to the series should contact Eric I. Schwartz, PhD, Editorial Director of Columbia University Press, with a proposal containing a brief description of the content and focus of the book, a table of contents or chapter outline, a literature review and market analysis, and professional information about the author, including previous publications.

About Columbia University Press
Founded in 1893, Columbia University Press advances world knowledge through essential writing and research focusing on the global, the urban, and the contemporary. Our books and electronic resources bring new ideas and foundational understanding to a diverse and engaged readership of the intellectually curious, both within and across academic disciplines and other conventional boundaries. We embody our parent institution's educational and research mission as well as its international reputation. Columbia University Press is one of the oldest and largest university presses in the United States. Notable highlights in Columbia University Press’s history include the publication of the Columbia Encyclopedia in 1935; the acquisition of The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry in 1945; the introduction of the three Sources anthologies of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian classic works in the 1950s; and, over the years, the publication of works by numerous eminent thinkers. Recent publications in the field of African American and African Diaspora studies include: A Haven and a Hell by Lance Freeman, Banking on Freedom by Shennette Garrett-Scott; The African Diaspora by Patrick Manning; Dispatches from the Ebony Tower edited by Manning Marable; Uptown Conversation edited by Robert G. O’Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin; Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918–1927 by Jeffrey Perry; and The Other Blacklist by Mary Helen Washington.

More information about Columbia University Press

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that comprises thirteen schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The university operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service, and has produced 1 Schwarzman Scholar, 3 Marshall Scholars, 4 Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows, and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD recipients than any other university in the United States. Howard ranks among the highest producers of the nation's Black professionals in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, nursing, architecture, religion, law, music, social work, and education. Howard’s College of Arts and Sciences alumni include Vice President Kamala Harris, Toni Morrison, Chadwick Boseman, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

More information about Howard University

Posted: March 30, 2021
Tagged: Around the Profession

UCSF Archives to House The COVID Tracking Project, a National Database Donated by The Atlantic

DEADLINE: September 1, 2031

The COVID Tracking Project, a crowdsourced digital archive documenting the face of the pandemic in the United States, will become part of the permanent collection in the UCSF Archives & Special Collections and will be accessible to researchers and the public.

The project was launched by The Atlantic to address the lack of reliable information about the pandemic, was volunteer-driven and published on COVID-19 testing, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. The information gathered was cited by major journals and many news stories and used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the federal Food and Drug Administration.

This collaborative project brings together teams from The COVID Tracking Project team, the California Digital Library, and UCSF Archives & Special Collections. It will provide impetus for developing tools and new approaches for archiving collections, comprising diverse formats from instant messages to source code to emails as well as data sets. The COVID Tracking Project has already published its primary dataset in the Dryad data repository and the team anticipate that within a year this remarkable born-digital collection will be preserved and made accessible online.

This archive joins other publicly accessible UCSF archives on the community HIV/AIDS epidemic response, tobacco industry, the opioid industry, and the food industry.

For more, see:

Posted: September 20, 2021
Tagged: Around the Profession, Resources