Recent Advocacy News

The Organization of American Historians regularly issues advocacy statements on issues of particular interest to our members and the wider historical community, bringing the expertise of professional historians to bear on pressing current issues.

On July 4, 2023, the OAH issued a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (SFAI) v. President and Fellows of Harvard and SFAI v. University of North Carolina that disallow race-conscious admission practices at private and public institutions of higher education. The statement objects to the rulings, noting that they “[twist] the intent of both the 14th amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” but “Historical racial and ethnic discrimination, especially in the context of access to high-performing schools and generational accumulation of economic and educational resources, continue to profoundly shape access in the modern higher education landscape and thus the society at large.” The statement calls for a “a new commitment to diversity in higher education so that the next generation of historians can continue to examine and teach the lessons of our nation’s past and of American democracy.” You can read the full statement here: https://www.oah.org/advocacy-statement/endorsed-acls-statement-on-scotus-ruling-on-affirmative-action/.

OAH also endorsed the statement on the rulings issued by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), which can be read here: https://www.oah.org/advocacy-statement/endorsed-acls-statement-on-scotus-ruling-on-affirmative-action/

On June 26, 2023, the Executive Committee issued a statement on Threats to Inclusive History. In the context of the controversy of the Museum of the American Revolution hosting a scheduled event for Moms for Liberty during the Joyful Warriors national summit in Philadelphia, the statement condemns groups that “that threaten by word and action the ability of teachers to teach, students to learn, scholars to produce and amplify histories of systemic discrimination, and the safety of individuals for whom that discrimination still reverberates today.” The statement asserts that “there are multiple harms at the center of the agenda of these groups: harm to accurate and inclusive history, harm to the work undertaken everyday by our community of historians, and harm to individual historians—especially in the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.”

The statement further expresses support for public historians who are continuing to present to the public diverse and inclusive histories. “Our public history colleagues are interpreting the nation’s complex story for the public in a particularly fraught moment in our civic life,” the statement notes. “This work and gains that have been made in this space are in many respects fragile, and must be vigorously defended.” Read the full Executive Committee statement here: https://www.oah.org/advocacy-statement/statement-on-threats-to-inclusive-history/.

Slate of Candidates for the 2023 OAH Election

Each fall, members of the Organization of American Historians cast their ballots for the annual OAH election using the slate of candidates prepared by the OAH Nominating Board. Below is the slate for the 2023 election. Once candidate biographies are available, they will be announced in Update and posted on the website.

Vice President

  • Marc Stein, San Francisco State University

Executive Board

Pair One

  • LaGarrett King, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  • Don Romesburg, Sonoma State University

Pair Two

  • Tera Hunter, Princeton University
  • Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut

Pair Three

  • Jerry González, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Erika Pérez, University of Arizona

Nominating Board

Pair One

  • Dan Berger, University of Washington, Bothell
  • Laura Briggs, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Pair Two

  • Tameka Hobbs, African American Research Library and Cultural Center
  • Laura McCarty, Georgia Humanities

Pair Three

  • Kent Blansett, University of Kansas
  • Farina King, University of Oklahoma

The OAH and JAH Welcome New Staff

We are pleased to welcome new staff members in both the national and publication offices. In February, Danny McMurray joined staff in the national office as the new Web Administrator. In July and August, seven new and returning graduates students joined us for the 2023-24 academic year. Six students—Kasha Appleton, Elijah Beaton, Jessie Day-Lucore, Johnny Fulfer, Zoe Lawson, and Marina Mecham—will work as editorial assistants at the JAH. Macailin Rodriguez, OAH Diversity Fellow, will work in a variety of capacities with department directors at the OAH national office.

New National Park Service – OAH Collaborative Project

The OAH is excited to announce the launch of our newest collaborative public history project, with the National Park Service and The Presidio Trust.

On behalf of the OAH, a group of ten historians will each be writing a topical chapter of a Historic Resource Study (HRS) for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The HRS, following the NPS Cultural Resource Management Guidelines, aims to provide a comprehensive historical overview of the park and place its cultural resources within their historical contexts. By expanding on previous studies and incorporating current scholarship, this project will inform decisions regarding the preservation, management, and interpretation of the park’s historic and cultural resources.

The new study will examine the park’s resources through the lens of contemporary scholarship, considering previously overlooked perspectives. It will also provide historical contexts to support the updating of National Register documentation and will produce prioritized recommendations for future cultural resource research and planning. While providing a broader historical context, the emphasis will be on discussing the places within the GGNRA itself.

By undertaking this HRS with our partners, we aim to enhance our understanding of the park’s history and cultural resources, supporting informed decision-making, and ensuring the preservation and appreciation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s rich heritage.

The expected date for publication of the HRS is mid-2026.

New Website is Live

The OAH recently completed an extensive website redesign. We invite you to explore news about the 2024 Conference on American History, Awards and Prizes, our new NPS/OAH Collaboration projects, and much more on the new and improved site at https://www.oah.org/.

Fund the Future, Support the Past

During his presidential address at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Earl Lewis announced a generous donation to the OAH and issued a challenge to membership—if members could raise $500,000 in five years, he would donate an additional $50,000. We are nearing the end of our campaign but still need your help to achieve the $500,000 goal. You can make a donation here: https://oah.memberclicks.net. If you would like to make a pledge or are interested in designating a planned gift, please call us at (812) 855-7311, between 8am and 4pm ET, Monday through Friday.

Is Your Contact Information Up to Date?

Don’t miss out on publications or announcements. Update your contact information by logging into the  new OAH Member Center to review your account information at https://oah.memberclicks.net, emailing us at [email protected], or by calling us at (812) 855-7311 between 8am and 4:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Become a Reviewer for the Journal of American History

The JAH is always looking for qualified historians to serve as reviewers for the Journal of American History. To be qualified, a reviewer should have either a Ph.D. in American history or a related field,  professional experience in the teaching or presentation of the history of America, or publications in the field. It is crucial that prospective reviewers indicate their areas of interest and publications on the  reviewer data sheet since we use this information to identify reviewers who have expertise in the  particular subject matter of the book or article being reviewed.

To submit a new reviewer data sheet, or to update an existing record, please visit the website— https://portal.oah.org/reviewer-data-sheet/form—and complete the form. We recommend that those interested in reviewing update their information at least once every two years to ensure that you remain on the active reviewer roster.

Support Emerging Historians

The Sponsored Membership Fund provides memberships to history graduate students and  recent graduates as they begin their professional careers. These memberships are made available via a lottery system for those who wish to be considered and enable OAH members to participate in the program without needing to sponsor a specific person.

Donations to the fund can be made in any dollar amount. You can make a contribution in the new OAH Member Center at https://oah.memberclicks.net or by calling (812) 855-7311 between 8am and 4:00pm ET, if you prefer to directly purchase a sponsored membership ($40) for a student or NTT colleague.

Write for Process

In anticipation of the seventieth anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, Process invites proposals and submissions for an upcoming series on the Korean War: Ending the Forgotten War: The Korean War Armistice at Seventy – https://www.processhistory.org/calls-for-submissions/. We are open to articles addressing pertinent aspects of the conflict from a wide variety of historical lenses, including the military, political, legal, cultural, environmental, or diplomatic histories of the conflict. Submissions might address aspects of the conflict and its aftermath. We welcome submissions that adopt global, transnational, or comparative perspectives, but articles should touch on at least some aspect of American involvement in the war.