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News in American History

2018 OAH Annual Meeting Decisions Now Posted

Decisions for the 2018 OAH Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California, April 12-14, are now posted. If you were included in a proposal, please log into the OAH User portal. The notifications will be at the top of the user portal home page. If you have logged in and do not see your notice, please contact meetings@oah.org to ensure we are using your correct account information. All participants of a pending accept must complete their speaker agreement by July 1 to finalize their acceptance.

We look forward to a very exciting conference in 2018!

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Posted: May 31, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization


Edward L. Ayers Begins Term as OAH President

Edward L. Ayers began his term as the president of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for 2017-2018 on April 8.

Ayers is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus at the University of Richmond.

"The OAH has been doing important work for over a century," Ayers said, "and plays a critical role in the nation today. We will be undertaking ambitious projects in the coming year, so I hope people will stay tuned."

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Posted: April 18, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


OAH Executive Committee Issues Statement in Support of NEH and NEA

The following statement was unanimously approved by the OAH Executive Committee on March 29, 2017:

The Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians strongly urges the U.S. Congress to include funding for the National Endowment of the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts at similar or higher levels than in the past in the upcoming national budget. We urge the Congress to resist efforts to defund and eliminate these essential agencies, which have been crucial in bringing the benefits of the arts and humanities to the American public for over a half-century. The Organization of American Historians applauds the way that communities across the United States—in every state and every district—have shared in the excitement of learning about their own histories through the collaboration of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Posted: March 29, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


In Memoriam: Hamilton Cravens

The OAH notes with sadness that longtime member and OAH supporter Hamilton Cravens passed away late last year. His obituary is available here.

Posted: March 10, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Herbert Parmet

The OAH is saddened to learn of the passing of Herbert Parmet. He died on January 25, 2017 at the age of 87. 

The History News Network published an obituary which can be viewed here.

Posted: March 10, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: James Horton

The OAH notes with sadness the passing of James Horton, past OAH president (2004-2005) on February 20, 2017. A print obituary will appear in the May issue of The American Historian.

Posted: February 24, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Executive Board Action Items - Fall 2016 Meeting

At its fall 2016 meeting, the OAH Executive Board took action on eight items. The full list can be viewed here.

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Posted: February 24, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization


#ImmigrationSyllabus - A New Project by the Immigration History Research Center

Immigration historians associated with the Immigration History Research Center and the Immigration and Ethnic History Center have launched the #ImmigrationSyllabus website, an educational resource that offers historical context to today's immigration debate. 


Additionally, they have annotated and analyzed the Trump Executive Order banning immigrants. It can be seen here.

Read more about the project here. 

Access the syllabus here. 

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Posted: February 24, 2017
Tagged: News of the Profession


2017 OAH Business Meeting

Any member who would like a resolution to be presented at the OAH Business Meeting, must submit the resolution to Katherine Finley, OAH Executive Director, and to the OAH Parliamentarian by February 22, 2017. The resolution must be signed by fifty (50) members in good standing. If these conditions are met, then the OAH membership will be notified via electronic communication thirty (30) days in advance that this resolution will be presented at the OAH Business Meeting.

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Posted: February 22, 2017
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: Joyce Appleby

OAH distinguished member and past president Joyce Appleby (1991-1992) died on December 23, 2016. An obituary for her will appear in the May issue of The American Historian.

Her obituary that appeared in the New York Times can be read here.

Her obituary that was issued by the History Department of UCLA can be read here.

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Posted: February 21, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


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